Psych Central

The 2nd Most Popular Question Asked of Google?

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

Every month, 60,500 people go to their Google search bar and type the question, “Is Santa real?” That’s from a study by Search Factory, an Australian optimization agency. I like to read the original versions of studies, but I can’t find this one, so I’m relying here on press reports. Risky, I know.

In articles discussing the results of the research, the question about Santa was the only one that was asked more often than this one:

Continue reading… »



Can You Know Someone — or Some Place — in 2 Seconds?

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

In 1993, the brilliant Nalini Ambady, together with Robert Rosenthal (my advisor at Harvard, most famous for his research showing how teacher’s expectations influence students’ performance), published a startling finding: Students seem to be able to size up a professor in 2 seconds.

Continue reading… »



It’s Personal, Part 2: Bad Reporting on Marriage and Single Life

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

[Note: This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on why it matters when misleading reports about marriage and single life are perpetrated in the media. Part 1 is here.]

All of the media reports claiming that getting married will make you lastingly happier or healthier or better in some other psychological, emotional, or physical way – they are all wrong. Every single one of them. (There is one way that getting married does help – it makes you wealthier. That’s because of discriminatory practices of singlism built right into our laws and practices. But you can lose a lot in a flash if you get divorced.)

Continue reading… »



It’s Personal, Part 1: Bad Reporting on Marriage and Single Life

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

In 1986, Newsweek published a cover story with the sensational claim that a 40-year old woman who had never married was “more likely to be killed by a terrorist” than to ever get married. Even thought the viral powers of social media were decades in the future, the story took off. It was discussed everywhere, mostly unquestioningly. Finally, Susan Faludi took it apart in her brilliant Backlash book, but by then, the damage was done. Decades later, even Newsweek copped to getting it wrong, though they did so in a story that itself was matrimanical.

Continue reading… »



Single-at-Heart After 40: Guest Post by Alan

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

[Bella’s intro: We are still just beginning to understand what it means to be single-at-heart. At this early stage, it is especially illuminating to hear personal stories from people who fit the “single-at-heart” criteria. I’m very grateful that one of the readers most engaged in discussing posts here at the PsychCentral “Single at Heart” blog, “Alan,” has written this guest post. Thanks, Alan! And thanks for your participation over the years. Also: to other readers who consider themselves single-at-heart, if you would also like to write about your experiences for this blog, just let me know.]

Continue reading… »



How Many Rooms Is a Single Person Allowed to Have?

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

When I moved to California in 2000, thinking I would be here for just a one-year sabbatical, I rented a beautiful home. When I loved my whole Southern California experience so much that I decided never to return to Virginia, I sold the home I owned in Virginia and stayed in the rental place in California. One thing I don’t like out here is the real estate market – buying is beyond my means.

After nearly 14 years, my rent has gone up but my income has not, so I have been looking for a new place. One of the homes I inquired about had three bedrooms. I asked if I could make an appointment to see it. The owner wanted me to answer a question before she would show me the place: Why, as a single person, did I need three bedrooms?

Continue reading… »



Fun Times for Single vs. Married People

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

How much time do single and married people get to spend on sports and exercise and socializing and reading and traveling and watching TV and doing other kinds of things that count as fun? Thanks to the American Time Use Survey, we have answers to those kinds of questions.

There is only one kind of fun activity (of all those included in the survey) that married people spend more time doing than single people. Can you guess what it is? I would not have guessed correctly.

Continue reading… »



It Is 9 pm: Do You Know What Americans of All Ages Are Doing?

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

tvPeople spend their time differently at different ages. For instance, young adults spend more time on sports and exercise than older adults do. Another example: On the average, people from 25 through 34 spend more time than others caring for children.

We know all of these kinds of things because the Bureau of Labor Statistics has been conducting the American Time Use Survey since 2003. It samples people 15 and older from representative households across the country. In this post, I’m drawing from the results from 2012.

Continue reading… »



Alone Together: Intimacy in Solitude

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

Louise Sundararajan

Guest Post by Louise Sundararajan

[Bella’s intro: Last month, I wrote two posts about my favorite chapter from the new Handbook of Solitude, “Experiences of Solitude,” by James Averill and Louise Sundararajan. The posts were “6 psychological insights about solitude” and “20 varieties of solitude;” judging from the page views, readers seemed to greatly appreciate the topic. One reader, Alan, had an important observation: “I found it interesting that they included “intimacy”, I would never have thought of that as being a quality of solitude.” How can intimacy be a quality of solitude? I asked one of the chapter co-authors, Louise Sundararajan, if she would write a guest post on the topic, and I am delighted that she agreed.  Thanks, Louise! Below is what she wrote. At the end, you can read more about her.]

Continue reading… »



How Hero Pilot’s Wife Reacted When She Learned the Plane Had Crashed

By Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

candleWith that Malaysian Airlines flight still missing, I have been thinking about another flight that could have been catastrophic but wasn’t. It was five years ago when Captain Sully Sullenberger heroically achieved a dramatic landing of a plane that was in serious trouble. As the aftermath unfolded, we learned more about how various people reacted when the dramatic events were in progress.

Continue reading… »



 
 

Subscribe to this Blog: Feed

Recent Comments
  • Raina: Just hire someone to be at your house and take care of the service people. What’s craigslist for,...
  • Kathy: The “time exchange” mentioned above might be a good way to acquire house sitting time when someone...
  • big box: For my opinion Big Box Storage can maintain their work properly.The most important thing is you can fine all...
  • Alan: I’d add that, with studies of this type, it’s probably important to report the range of results,...
  • dave: I agree with everything you said. I will be 40 in a few months and am in a similar situation. as for being the...
Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

Find a Therapist
Enter ZIP or postal code



Users Online: 12240
Join Us Now!