The Social Upside of Workplace Gossip 

Dishing Dirt About Colleagues Can Keep Them From Acting Selfishly, and Helps Coworkers Cooperate

Gossip has long been popular in the workplace, where employees seem to have a vigorous appetite for informally evaluating coworkers behind their backs. Recently, an increasing number of scientific studies have examined what motivates gossip, and how it affects individuals and groups both inside and outside of organizations.

Of course, if you ask most people, they are likely to say they deplore gossip, but as a social scientist who studies how organizations work, it’s clear to me that it plays a more positive role in the workplace than we might expect. …

How Feminists Invented the Male Midlife Crisis

When Women's Lib Upended Traditional Gender Roles, Men Claimed Their Own Right to Self-Fulfillment Outside the Home

The term “midlife crisis” conjures up the image of an affluent, middle-aged man speeding off in a red sports car with a woman half his age. He leaves behind his …

Empathy’s Evolution in the Human Imagination

What Began as an Aesthetic Response to Art Is Now a Highly Complex Neurochemical Reaction

Empathy seems to be one of the most “natural” emotions, but before 1908, no one in the English-speaking world had heard of it.

And when it did appear, “empathy” was …

What Constant Screen Time Does to Kids’ Brains

Internet Exposure Can Improve Children's Learning—but It's Still No Substitute for Real-World Experience

An 8-year-old American child has never known a world without an iPhone. For today’s kids, smartwatches, video chats, and virtual reality aren’t harbingers of the high-tech future that adults have …