The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine


behavioral psychology

Frans De Waal on Sex and Gender Across the Primate Spectrum

What is gender? How different are men and women? Are differences due to biological sex or to culture? How do they compare with what is known about our fellow primates? Do apes also culturally learn their sex roles or is “gender” uniquely human? Michael Shermer and Frans de Waal discuss sexual orientation, gender identity, and the limitations of the gender binary, exceptions to which are also found in other primates.

Stuart Vyse — The Uses of Delusion: Why It’s Not Always Rational to Be Rational

Michael Shermer speaks with psychologist and behavioral scientist, Stuart Vyse, about aspects of human nature that are not altogether rational but, nonetheless, help us achieve our social and personal goals. In his book, and in this conversation, Vyse presents an accessible exploration of the psychological concepts behind useful delusions, fleshing out how delusional thinking may play a role in love and relationships, illness and loss, and personality and behavior.

Frank Sulloway on How Lives Turn Out: Genes, Environment, Pluck, and Luck

Michael Shermer speaks with American psychologist Dr. Frank J. Sulloway about the relative roles of genes, environment, hard work, and luck in how lives turn out. For decades, Dr. Sulloway has employed evolutionary theory to understand how family dynamics affect personality development.

eSkeptic for January 29, 2022

Michael Shermer speaks with American psychologist Dr. Frank J. Sulloway about the relative roles of genes, environment, hard work, and luck in how lives turn out. For decades, Dr. Sulloway has employed evolutionary theory to understand how family dynamics affect personality development.

Trans Science: A review of Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters

Detail of cover of Irreversible Damage, by Abigail Shrier

A review by Dr. Harriet Hall of Abigail Shrier’s 2020 book Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters was originally published on Science-Based Medicine’s website and later removed and put under review by SBM’s Editors “due to concerns expressed over its scientific accuracy and completeness.” Skeptic is publishing here because, if skepticism means anything, there are no sacred cows, no political sensitivities of topics to prohibit open discussion and review, no censorship of ideas that don’t toe a political line.

eSkeptic for May 15, 2021

In episode 181 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with professor of psychology David Buss about sexual conflict, morality, and the double standards that flourish even in the most sexually egalitarian cultures on earth. Buss shows that this “battle of the sexes” is deeper and far more pervasive than anyone has recognized, revealing the hidden roots of sexual conflict — roots that originated over deep evolutionary time.

David Buss — When Men Behave Badly: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment, and Assault

In episode 181 of Michael Shermer’s podcast, Michael speaks with professor of psychology David Buss about sexual conflict, morality, and the double standards that flourish even in the most sexually egalitarian cultures on earth. Buss shows that this “battle of the sexes” is deeper and far more pervasive than anyone has recognized, revealing the hidden roots of sexual conflict — roots that originated over deep evolutionary time.

How Would You Design a Code of Conduct?

Carol Tavris avers that organizations’ Codes of Conduct that try to specify each and every possible behavior they wish to prohibit (or encourage), will find themselves in linguistic and psychological quicksand.

eSkeptic for February 18, 2020

In Science Salon # 104 Michael Shermer speaks with Judith Finlayson about her book You Are What Your Grandparents Ate: What You Need to Know About Nutrition, Experience, Epigenetics and the Origins of Chronic Disease. PLUS: Carol Tavris avers that organizations’ Codes of Conduct that try to specify each and every possible behavior they wish to prohibit (or encourage), will find themselves in linguistic and psychological quicksand.

Bruce Hood — Possessed: Why We Want More Than We Need

Psychologist Bruce Hood explains why our uniquely human preoccupation with ownership governs our behavior, even when it is often irrational, and destructive. Possessed is the first book to explore how ownership has us enthralled in relentless pursuit of a false happiness, with damaging consequences for society and the planet — and how we can stop buying into it.

eSkeptic for September 3, 2019

In Science Salon # 81, Michael Shermer speaks with award-winning University of Bristol psychologist Bruce Hood about his brand new book, Possessed: Why We Want More Than We Need, which draws on research to explain why our uniquely human preoccupation with ownership governs our behavior from the cradle to the grave, even when it is often irrational, and destructive.

eSkeptic for March 27, 2019

Dr. Raymond Barglow discusses three mistaken approaches to the opioid epidemic in this article that appeared in Skeptic magazine 24.1 (2019). Plus, Michael Shermer dialogues On Freedom with New York Times bestselling author Cass Sunstein.

The Opioid Epidemic Misunderstood

Dr. Raymond Barglow discusses three mistaken approaches to the opioid epidemic in this article that appeared in Skeptic magazine 24.1 (2019).

eSkeptic for February 20, 2019

How do arguments for evolution used by mainstream scientists differ from arguments employed by creationists and proponents of Intelligent Design? Ralph M. Barnes sheds some light on this question in this article from Skeptic magazine 23.4 (2018).

Dr. Michele Gelfand — Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World

Why are clocks in Germany so accurate while those in Brazil are frequently wrong? Why do New Zealand’s women have the highest number of sexual partners? Why are “Red” and “Blue” States really so divided? Why is the driver of a Jaguar more likely to run a red light than the driver of a plumber’s van? Why does one spouse prize running a “tight ship” while the other refuses to “sweat the small stuff?” Cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand provides answers.

eSkeptic for March 22, 2017

Are abused children doomed to repeat the crimes of their abusers? In this week’s eSkeptic, Carol Tavris examines our intuition about the “cycle of abuse.”

How Accurate is the “Cycle of Abuse”?

Are abused children doomed to repeat the crimes of their abusers? In this column, Carol Tavris examines our intuition about the “cycle of abuse.”

What is Sexual Orientation?

When it comes to understanding sexual orientation “nobody knows anything” is a pretty close assessment. In this column from Skeptic magazine 21.3, Carol Tavris explores various notions and definitions of sexual orientation.

eSkeptic for March 15, 2017

When it comes to understanding sexual orientation “nobody knows anything” is a pretty close assessment. In this week’s eSkeptic, Carol Tavris explores various notions and definitions of sexual orientation. This column was originally published in Skeptic magazine 21.3 (2016).

eSkeptic for January 25, 2017

In this week’s eSkeptic, we announce three upcoming Science Salons with Dr. Carol Tavris, Dr. Andrew Shtulman, and Derren Brown; plus, Derek interview Bo Bennett on Skepticality about his latest book, Uncomfortable Ideas.

NEXT
Donate
For those seeking a sound scientific viewpoint

Newsletter

Be in the know!

Subscribe to eSkeptic: our free email newsletter and get great podcasts, videos, reviews and articles from Skeptic magazine, announcements, and more in your inbox once or twice a week.

Sign me up!

Copyright © 1992–2022. All rights reserved. | P.O. Box 338 | Altadena, CA, 91001 | 1-805-576-9396. The Skeptics Society is a non-profit, member-supported 501(c)(3) organization (ID # 95-4550781) whose mission is to promote science & reason. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Privacy Policy.