iOS app Android app

Health Psychology

The Psychology of a Memorable Lunch

Wray Herbert | Posted 04.16.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Our choices have implications, not only for how much we enjoy lunch today, but also for longer term goals like fitness and health. But how do we choose? What are the basic cognitive processes that lead from initial hunger pang to this soup or that sandwich?

Under the Skin: How Childhood Adversity Takes Its Toll

Wray Herbert | Posted 03.12.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

These findings highlight an important and previously unreported link between early misfortune, unhealthy living and serious health risks in early adulthood. It's not to suggest that this is the only mechanism at work, but these hopeful findings identify actual behavioral targets.

The Addict's Perilous Bargain

Wray Herbert | Posted 02.26.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Most of us are capable of bargaining for a distant payoff -- a college diploma, for example -- but addicts are bad at this calculation. So if addicts are so bad at temporal discounting, is it possible that this cognitive bias might be a marker of treatment success -- even a target of intervention?

Sirens in the Grocery Aisles

Wray Herbert | Posted 01.23.2014 | Science
Wray Herbert

Very few of us have perfect self-control, but importantly, many of us are well aware of our limited power to say no. So it's sometimes possible to anticipate times of weakness and devise ways to restrict our own freedom.

Matters of the Heart: Whither the Type A Personality?

Wray Herbert | Posted 11.13.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

The relationship between psychology and heart disease is far more complex than Type A theory proposed. But in another sense, that short-fused workaholic guy was the originator of today's more sophisticated view.

A Good Meal: The Science of Savoring

Wray Herbert | Posted 07.10.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

It may be that combining eating with mental work -- even something as mindless as watching reruns -- diminishes the taste of food. With our attention focused elsewhere, the mind becomes less sensitive to tastes like saltiness and sweetness.

"Consult Your Physician Immediately If ..."

Wray Herbert | Posted 06.17.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Drug ads are required to list the most serious side effects for the prescription drugs they promote, and some are indeed serious. Do consumers take these warnings seriously, and do these frightening catalogs of symptoms change their attitudes toward the drugs?

For Obesity, the Future Is Now

Wray Herbert | Posted 06.12.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

We do have the cognitive ability to project days or weeks or even years into the future, but we don't do it when we're making food choices in the here and now. What if we could trick ourselves into keeping our heads in the future?

Contemplation: A Healthy State of Mind

Wray Herbert | Posted 03.25.2013 | Science
Wray Herbert

Many people do not have a scale, and what's more, do not want one. Or if they have one, they never use it. There are many explanations for such avoidance.

The Healthy Poor: Demystifying John Henry

Wray Herbert | Posted 08.08.2012 | Science
Wray Herbert

First described in the 1980s, "John Henryism" has come to mean a strong-headed, never-give-up attitude toward life and its travails -- an attitude and coping style that, paradoxically, seems to result in old sorts of pathology and disease among the have-nots.

I Think, Therefore I Eat Junk Food: Philosophy and Health

Wray Herbert | Posted 06.03.2012 | Science
Wray Herbert

So are you a dualist? Most scientists reject the notion that the mind has an immaterial substance that's unlike the physical world. Instead, they argue that the mind somehow emerges from the squishy matter called the brain -- a philosophy called physicalism.

Love And Health: Research Examines Love's Impact On Us

Posted 02.02.2012 | Healthy Living

Valentine's Day is around the corner. But before you chalk it up to a greeting card holiday, consider this: There's actually some real science behind...

The Psychology Of Weight Control: How Recalling Your Values Leads To Weight Loss

Wray Herbert | Posted 03.03.2012 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

Scientists believe that people can get stuck in repeating cycles, in which failure to lose weight impairs psychological functioning, which in turn increases the risk of more failure. Even a quick and simple intervention may have the power to disrupt this destructive cycle.

The Surprising Link Between Self-Esteem And Disease Prevention

Wray Herbert | Posted 01.30.2012 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

Many get screened for diseases, but millions also opt out, actively avoiding information about their true health status. Why is that? What makes some people choose to know, while others refuse?

The Partner Paradox: 'Outsourcing' Self-Discipline

Wray Herbert | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

Is it possible that having a supportive partner might have the opposite and paradoxical effect, actually undermining effort and commitment to health and fitness goals over the long haul?

The Link Between Education And Living Longer

Wray Herbert | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Wray Herbert

People who go to school lead healthier, longer lives. That connection is well documented and unsurprising. But as obvious as this link is to us, the fact is we don't really know why that's the case.