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Self-knowledge and personal growth

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

People of different ages and genders sitting on park benches, some chatting, some looking at their smartphones

Technology and media

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The illusion of closeness: how social media redefined respect

As we share and like and post, have our notions of restraint transformed so profoundly that all dignity becomes abandoned?

by Lutif Ali Halo

Sex and sexuality

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My take on ‘Venus in Furs’ as a modern-day dominatrix

My experiences as a 21st-century femdom echo the gendered themes that feature in Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s 1870 novel

by Gia Marcos

A woman seen from behind is advising another woman on something. They are standing at the edge of a wide road

Communication and language

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Recognise the point of giving advice and you can do it better

A philosophical look at advising highlights what makes it a distinct form of interaction – and why it often goes wrong

by Joshua Habgood-Coote

Rituals and celebrations

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Together forever: ‘at-home burial’ in southern Vietnam

What might a traveller along the Mekong Delta learn about the beliefs and traditions behind the country’s elevated tombs?

by Gina Elia

Emerging therapies

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The reason little noises drive you mad is about more than sounds

Fascinating research into ‘misophonia’ – an intolerance to specific sounds – is revealing an important role for context

by Nathaniel Scharping