Articles & Op Eds

In Defense of Nostalgia

In Defense of Nostalgia

This article was originally published in Business Insider. Nostalgia has taken over our culture. The top-grossing movies of 2023 were "Barbie" and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." "Hogwarts Legacy" and "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" were two of the most...

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Nostalgia Can Be an Engine of Progress

Nostalgia Can Be an Engine of Progress

This article was originally published in Discourse Magazine. The journey to the past that nostalgia takes us on is really about the present and the future. A few years ago, I attended a presentation by a professor who studies scientific, medical and technological...

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Nostalgia Is the Greatest Gift This Holiday Season

Nostalgia Is the Greatest Gift This Holiday Season

This article was originally published in Los Angeles Daily News. As we enter the winter holiday season, we are especially likely to feel nostalgic. Gathering with loved ones or participating in cherished social and cultural traditions elevates our sentimentality...

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The Costs of Declining Fertility Go Beyond Economics

The Costs of Declining Fertility Go Beyond Economics

This article was originally published in The Hill. The fertility decline in the U.S. and around the world has prompted growing concern. Much of the focus has been on societal-level economic problems that could result from sub-replacement fertility.  However, it...

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Outward Action Is Good for Your Brain

Outward Action Is Good for Your Brain

We can help solve our mental health crisis by getting out of our own heads This article was originally published in Discourse Magazine. Beyond a given point man is not helped by more “knowing,” but only by living and doing in a partly self-forgetful way. As Goethe put...

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If You Believe: How Meaning Can Improve College Outcomes

If You Believe: How Meaning Can Improve College Outcomes

This article was originally published in Profectus Magazine. The path to a college degree can be tough. Sometimes, students face difficulties that shake their confidence in themselves and their ability to succeed. As a college professor, it is common for a student to...

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Mental-Health Awareness Can Be Bad for Mental Health

Mental-Health Awareness Can Be Bad for Mental Health

This article was originally published in the Wall Street Journal. Rather than ruminating, turn outward and engage with the world. We hear a lot about America’s mental-health crisis, and the crisis is real. But part of the problem is that we talk about it too...

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A New Hope: ‘Star Wars’ as American Religion

A New Hope: ‘Star Wars’ as American Religion

This article was originally published in The Hill. May the Fourth be with you! Today, “Star Wars” fans from all over the world are celebrating their passion for the multi-billion-dollar science fiction franchise created by George Lucas 46 years...

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High Anxiety, Low Abundance

High Anxiety, Low Abundance

This article was originally published in Discourse Magazine. America is becoming a nation of anxious people. Psychologists point to the rapid rise in anxiety, especially among teenagers and young adults, as evidence that our country is facing a mental health crisis....

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We Need a Psychology of Progress

We Need a Psychology of Progress

This article was originally published in the Progress Network. Today, thanks to scientific discoveries and technological innovations, we live safer, longer, and more comfortable lives than at any time in human history. Nearly all of us would be unwilling to surrender...

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Meaning and the Psychology of Freedom

Meaning and the Psychology of Freedom

This article was originally published in Profectus Magazine. The human brain is an amazing organ. Though it only accounts for 2% of the weight of an adult human, it uses 20% of the energy our bodies produce. Many of the tasks our brains complete happen without our...

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What Tinder Has Given and Taken Away

What Tinder Has Given and Taken Away

This article was originally published in the Daily News. Tinder, a leader among American dating apps, is about to turn 10. Tinder is widely criticized as being bad for healthy relationships and even mental health. Generally, it’s a bad rap; the problem runs deeper...

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Patriotism and Progress

Patriotism and Progress

The article was originally published in Discourse Magazine. The data show that love of country correlates with optimism about the future, which facilitates positive change. Surveys show that patriotism is unpopular among progressives. To many of them, love of...

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Investigating Human Flourishing at Harvard

Investigating Human Flourishing at Harvard

This article was originally published in Profectus Magazine. The following is an interview conducted by Profectus Co-editor Clay Routledge with Brendan Case and Matthew T. Lee. Brendan Case, Th.D., is the Associate Director for Research of the Human Flourishing...

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Existential Economics

Existential Economics

This article was originally published in Profectus Magazine. Humans are often described as social animals because we are so driven by the need for connection and much of our success as a species relies on our ability to work together. This is certainly true but our...

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Most Americans Believe They Can Live Meaningful Lives

Most Americans Believe They Can Live Meaningful Lives

This article was originally published in the Washington Examiner Meaning in life is central to individual and societal flourishing. People must believe that they have the power to live meaningful lives. The good news is that the majority of Americans do believe they...

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Rediscovering the Bonds We Share

Rediscovering the Bonds We Share

This article was originally published in Profectus Magazine. In these polarized times, people are regularly encouraged to think about differences between groups. Social commentators expound on the differences between conservatives and liberals, religious and...

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Security Can’t Substitute for Development

Security Can’t Substitute for Development

This article was originally published in Profectus Magazine. I once attended a dinner where the keynote speaker was Mike Rowe. As a lover of “Dirty Jobs,” and someone who was interested in alternatives to traditional higher education, I was excited to hear what the...

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