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Thought-provoking articles about human nature from diverse thinkers

Communication and language

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Why listening well can make disagreements less damaging

Offering undivided attention and curiosity not only lowers the temperature of a conversation but can change its outcome

by Guy Itzchakov

Communication and language

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Beyond dogwhistles – racists have a new rhetorical trick

How are so many politicians today able to get away with overtly racist utterances? By using rhetorical ‘figleaves’

by Jennifer Saul

Psychoanalysis and the unconscious

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For Jung, architecture was a tool to represent the psyche

Carl Jung’s approach to architecture is a provocation: how are we creating spaces for the forgotten dimensions of our minds?

by David Borkenhagen

A dancer in traditional Indian dress performs on stage against a black background

Dance

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Bharathanatyam dance is a living exploration of being human

With its origins in 16th-century India, Bharathanatyam remains hugely popular. Here’s a primer to kickstart your enjoyment

by Lakshmi Thiagarajan

An angry mob of people jeer at a woman carrying a young baby up a cobbled street. Her head is shaved

Shame and guilt

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Personal and political shaming is running hot, yet it doesn’t work

When passions run high so does the urge to shame wrongdoers. But if the goal is to change, shamers should think twice

by David Keen

Three older men in cheerful mood are inside a bar or pub with painted red walls

Friendship

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Is it better to have friends who are like you or different from you?

Studies of longterm friends offer surprising insights as to whether friends who are more or less alike tend to endure

by Christian Jarrett

A kindergarten-age child plays with a padlock and key at a white table

Thinking and intelligence

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Innovative three-year-olds expose the limits of AI chatbots

New experiments show that very young children are better at solving creative puzzles than ChatGPT and other AI models

by Shayla Love

Students in a library, studying at their own private desk in cubicles or at a communal table

Virtues and vices

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Why so many plagiarists are in denial about what they did wrong

So often people claim ‘I didn’t mean to’, yet they fail to realise that plagiarism is more like speeding than theft

by Philip Reed