Writing at the intersection of culture and psychology.

A lesson from America’s misunderstood cultural graveyards.

Photo Credit: Seph Lawless

If you were born before the turn of the millennium, there’s a good chance you grew up in and around the American shopping mall. These suburban superstructures were the quintessential emblem of culture and capitalism, their meteoric rise an integral chapter in the story of Americana. Malls weren’t just the…

The truth is that we’re only willing to talk freely about failure after it happens, at certain intervals, and in certain contexts. Our psychological relationship with the prospect of failure is far more complicated.

There’s this pithy turn-of-phrase that episodically makes its rounds across the internet, often attributed to Winston Churchill, occasionally to Abraham Lincoln, that goes like this: “Success is jumping from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

At a fundamental level, we can all draw energy from those words. We’re taught…

Most draft strategies and player rankings prey on faulty assumptions, coercing you into making bad decisions that dramatically decrease your chances of success.

Mike Evans might be one of the best wide receivers in fantasy in 2020. But what if drafting him is a mistake? (Photo: The Tampa Bay Times)

Fantasy football is a game most aptly described as unpredictable. After all, so much of our achievements are tied to forces well beyond our control. We all…

Studies suggest that seemingly inconsequential language choices might reveal something about our identities (and our biases).

If you’re a fan of the New England Patriots, you may refer to your team differently than, say, a Cleveland Browns fan (and no, I’m not talking about your accent). Photo: Jim Davis/The Boston Globe

In 1996, social psychologist John Bargh set out to prove that the words you read can subconsciously influence your behavior. He brought in students, broke them into three different groups, and told them he…

What happens when organizations prioritize decisions based on how they’ll look over what they’ll achieve?

Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman got away with a blatant pass interference penalty against New Orleans Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis in 2019. Had the officials made the right call, the Saints would likely have advanced to Super Bowl LIII. (Photo: AP/Gerald Herbert)

Last October, National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell addressed reporters at a news conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Speaking to the media isn’t new for Goodell, who often holds press briefings at the conclusion of his meetings with the NFL owners.

Roger Goodell is an NFL lifer. He began his…

Our love affair with the position is symbolic for the ways in which we misjudge how leaders influence their environment.

2020 NFL Free Agency is in full swing, and quarterbacks stand to reap an unbalanced amount of its benefits. (Photo: Getty Images)

In the not-so-distant future, an NFL quarterback will pocket $40 million per season.

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill was deemed a middle-of-the-pack passer heading into 2019. This week, he signed a deal worth up to $118 million.

42-year-old Tom Brady (17th in QBR in 2019) is courting offers upwards of $30…

We like to believe that we form unbiased opinions, without letting our political affiliation affect our perspective. But the research overwhelmingly tells us . . . we don’t.

Seeking membership in a group is an innate tendency in human beings. So how does our propensity to team up affect our perception of the world? (Photo: Nevada Policy Research Institute)

This is a story about bias and division. About the surprising ways the tribes we form can hinder reason and thought. It’s a story that is both timely, and timeless. Timely, if you’ve wondered how our opinions of a global health crisis are still largely shaped by party lines. …

As COVID-19 doomsday theories spread faster than the virus itself, it’s important for us to understand the ways in which our reasoning is susceptible to error.

From the Bible to a 1981 science fiction novel, it’s a little surreal to consider how past texts may have predicted the COVID-19 pandemic. But don’t worry: they didn’t.

As the coronavirus pandemic postpones our sports, closes our offices, and cancels our travel plans, the past seven days have been a chilling reminder of how quickly a global health crisis can make a profound impact on our daily lives. Unfortunately, inseparably wedged between the C.D.C. …

David Giardino

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