Psychology

More than 10,000 mental health apps are available, according to one estimate. In order to pick the most reliable ones, researchers say you should consider their privacy policies, effectiveness, and costs.

The Future of Mental Health

Can a Mental Health App Help You Deal With Anxiety?

Experts say the aids can be a first step to meaningful treatment if you choose an app based on three criteria

Later this summer, people will be able to call, text or online chat the number 988 to connect with mental health counselors.

The Future of Mental Health

Beginning in Mid-July, Dial 988 for the Mental Health Hotline

The three-digit code will be like 911, but for mental health emergencies only

Li Shiu Tong and Magnus Hirschfeld at the 1932 conference for the World League for Sexual Reform

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Gay Asian Activist Whose Theories on Sexuality Were Decades Ahead of Their Time

In the 1930s, Li Shiu Tong's boyfriend, Magnus Hirschfeld, was a prominent defender of gay people. But Li's own research has long been overlooked

As of 2019, doctors can prescribe an FDA approved ketamine-based antidepressant for treatment-resistant depression.

The Past, Present and Future of Using Ketamine to Treat Depression

The drug's initial successes have upended what many neuroscientists know about the brain and mental illness

School children protest climate change outside the Scottish Parliament in 2019 as part of a worldwide demonstration.

The Future of Mental Health

Your Crushing Anxiety About the Climate Crisis Is Normal

A Stanford researcher shares what she’s learned about the ways climate change affects mental health and offers practical advice

Many Americans struggle with risk assessment when making decisions during the pandemic.

The Future of Mental Health

Why It’s So Hard to Make Risk Decisions in the Pandemic

Our brains weren’t built to do public health calculus like this, but following a few pieces of advice from the experts will help as you weigh your options

The results of the analysis—that society’s concept of “person” prioritizes men over women—suggests a “fundamental bias in our species’ collective view of itself,” write the researchers in the paper.

Gender-Neutral Words Like 'People' and 'Person' Are Perceived as Male, Study Suggests

Researchers found that society's concept of "person" and similar terms prioritizes men over women

Runners in Hawaii exercise at sunset. Exercise has profound effects on brain structure and provides more subtle mental health benefits as well.

The Future of Mental Health

How Exercise Boosts the Brain and Improves Mental Health

New research is revealing how physical activity can reduce and even ward off depression, anxiety and other psychological ailments

This image shows the Wordle instruction page.

Why the Online Game Wordle Went Viral, According to Psychology

Users are sharing their game grids, which show how they played without spoiling the answer for others

Eating disorders affect hundreds of millions around the world and are dominated by negative thoughts and behaviors around food, eating, weight and body shape. Current research reveals the best evidence-based psychological therapies and some new avenues for treatments.

The Future of Mental Health

The Search for a Better Treatment for Eating Disorders

Cognitive behavioral therapy is working well for some, but scientists are seeking new innovations to help people with anorexia, bulimia and binge eating

Dozens of Smithsonian Institution professionals share their favorite reads from this year.

The Best Books of 2021

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2021

The writings of many fine authors support the research and ambitious undertakings of an Institution rising to the challenges ahead

With the Phobys app, people with arachnophobia can overcome their fears by viewing a virtual spider. 

New Research

Got Arachnophobia? There's an App for That

Smartphone app helps fearful individuals overcome phobia of spiders

Firefighters walk towards one of the towers at the World Trade Center before it collapsed on September 11, 2001.

Innovation for Good

9/11 Changed How Doctors Treat PTSD

New research in the 20 years since the September 11th attacks has led to better therapies for those diagnosed with trauma disorders

Rasha Alqahtani, an 18-year-old from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, won a third award in the behavioral and social sciences category of the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair for her prototype of a video game feature to assess anxiety. In addition to her STEM research, Alqahtani is a poet and artist.

Innovation for Good

This Teenager Is Developing a Video Game That Assesses Your Mental Health

Rasha Alqahtani, an 18-year-old from Saudi Arabia, is determined to help her peers learn about their anxiety—in the wildly popular setting of 'Minecraft'

A man in Laruns, southwestern France, whistling as a form of speech. Like others in the Canary Islands and elsewhere, local people have learned to whistle their language to communicate across long distances. Linguists are studying whistled speech to help understand which sound elements are essential to comprehension.

More Than 80 Cultures Still Speak in Whistles

Dozens of traditional cultures use a whistled form of their native language for long-distance communication. You could, too.

In an event where a cheetah attacks an impala and the prey survives, the trauma can leave lasting effects on the survivor’s behavior that resemble post-traumatic stress disorder in people.

Do Wild Animals Get PTSD?

Many creatures show lasting changes in behavior and physiology after a traumatic experience

Some of the details between the film and its source material are, of course, different, but the themes at their respective hearts remain consistent.

'The Green Knight' Adopts a Medieval Approach to 'Modern' Problems

A new film starring Dev Patel as Gawain feels more like a psychological thriller than a period drama

In work and in personal life, virtual communication kept us in touch during Covid — but oh, those endless Zoom meets! There’s psychological and sensory science behind why they wear us down, and much promise to be realized once we iron out the wrinkles.

How the Pandemic Has Revealed the Promise and Perils of Life Lived Online

For good and for bad, Covid has propelled us even faster into immersive communication technologies

The researchers taught 26 volunteers to use mouth clicking to observe nearby objects and navigate outdoors.

New Research

People Can Learn Echolocation in Ten Weeks

Researchers taught 12 people who are blind and 14 people with sight to use clicks to navigate their environments

A young puppy responds to a human pointing to a treat during an experiment conducted by scientists at the University of Arizona.

New Research

Puppies Are Born Ready to Communicate With Humans

A new study finds very young dogs with little human contact can understand pointing gestures—and that the ability has a strong genetic basis

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