Photo Source: Yurly Lukin

The only true voyage of discovery…would be not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold the universe through the eyes of another, of a hundred others, to behold the hundred universes that each of them beholds, that each of them is. Marcel Proust

Perception is everything—and it is flawed. Most of us navigate our daily lives believing we see the world as it is. Our brains are perceiving an objective reality, right? Well, not quite. Everything we bring in through our senses is interpreted through the filter of our past experiences.

Understanding Sensation and Perception

Sensation…


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“The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.” — Marcus Aurelius

Pronounced over 2000 years ago by the famous general and eventual leader of the Roman Empire, Marcus Aurelius’ words are still powerfully accurate into the 21st century. How we think about the world around us profoundly affects the quality of our life.

Could it be that simple?

While the connections between beliefs, behaviors, and outcomes have been extensively studied within many psychology domains, one line of inquiry highlights the importance of this relationship. …


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Click here to test your psychology knowledge before your read further. Don’t worry; it isn’t graded! Now, click here to see the answers. How did you do? Most people miss at least a few.

Why do we think we know so much about psychology?

Popular psychology lore permeates our culture. We hear soundbites of information from poorly vetted sources across various forms of media every day. Pop psychology is often based on flimsy studies using the poorly designed methodology. We then integrate the unsupported knowledge into our fund of information. The psychomyths spread and become difficult to challenge.

Beyond pop…


Image by Jessica Koehler

I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.

Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau and other literary giants of the past eloquently pronounced the positive effects of spending time in nature. While their anecdotal notions were profound, scientists are now empirically investigating their assumptions.

Despite growing evidence for the numerous benefits of spending time in nature, reports indicate that most Americans spend 90% of their time indoors. Increasingly, people across the globe are struggling with various physiological, mental health, and higher-order cognitive issues, and practitioners are searching for realistic evidence-based interventions for those suffering.

Therefore, it…


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The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition.—Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein is widely known for his prolific achievements in physics. But few people know he attributes his creative breakthroughs in the sciences to his passion for music. While not regarded as a polymath of the same stature as the epitome of the Renaissance Man-—Leonardo Da Vinci, Einstein’s musical avocation may be credited for his ground-breaking scientific innovations.

Beyond Einstein, many of the most revolutionary thinkers in the sciences, humanities, and arts had multiple hobbies. Within the sciences, significant correlations exist…


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“Look at the moon,” I exclaimed.

As my family brushed off my profound excitement with their “Cool, Mom,” retorts, I began to wonder about wonder. What makes some people feel deeply moved by nature, art, and love?

What is awe?

Conceptualized as a sense of wonder, amazement, or fascination, awe is a complex emotion associated with deep and personal change. The experience of this multifaceted sensation is atypical, powerful, and memorable. People who experience awe are intensely moved and often propelled toward a feeling of self-transcendence-becoming aware they are one minor part of a larger whole.

Historically described and discussed…


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Modern parenting is bewildering, and the struggles are plentiful. Parents turn to childrearing books filled with behavioral principals of reinforcement and punishment to generate compliance from their offspring. When these operant conditioning techniques fail, parents are confused and frustrated.

Why are many children—especially teenagers—defiant and disrespectful?

While there are individual differences contributing to some of the domestic turmoil, looking to our most basic parental instincts may help us understand how modern parenting has gone awry.

A Brief History of Attachment

In the early 20th century, psychologists—propelled mostly by Freudian theory—conceptualized the infant-caregiver relationship as Cupboard Love. …


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When I reached the summit, I peered out at the vast expanse, overcome with emotion. Coursing through my mind and body was a hybrid feeling of ecstasy and marvel. At that moment, the fleeting sensation transcended my reality and eternally altered my perception of the world.

Frequently conceptualized as a sense of wonder, awe is a complex emotion associated with deep and personal change. From the tears stimulated by beautiful mountain vistas to the astounding emotional connection following the birth of a child, it is difficult to describe the experience of awe.

What is this perplexing emotion, and why does…


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“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you really are.”

Carl Jung’s early-20th-century assertion transcends time. Many of us arrive at middle age, realizing our life paths are fueled by outside expectations. This insight is disconcerting—often leading to a mental unraveling as we try to find ourselves in middle adulthood.

The challenge of discovering ourselves at midlife has been written about extensively, but what if we apply Jung’s maxim to our children? Do most of us allow our kids to develop into who they truly are? …


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Ominous forecasts speculate that technological innovations will replace many occupational opportunities. To combat this looming calamity, creativity is being hailed as the skill of the future. Humans who conceptualize various alternatives to solve problems in original ways will likely excel and flourish.

What is Creativity?

Understanding the rapidly evolving field of creativity is complex, but a basic understanding can provide a framework to scaffold creative processes within ourselves and our children.

Generally defined as the ability to develop novel and useful ideas, creativity dazzles and delights us. …

Jessica Koehler, Ph.D.

Psychologist 🧠 | Writer ✍🏻 | Instructor 👩🏻‍💻

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