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Why and how do we fall in love?

*What is this thing called love?* We can live without St Valentine’s Day. But we can’t survive without love, because love is nested in the need for closeness that is wired into the deep structure of the human psyche. When that need is thwarted, we are beset by loneliness and rejection, blocked, adrift, stagnating in our lives. When we have love, we... Read More

Posted: 10 February 2018

Article

Creativity

Creative Ireland In 1970s, in a now famous experiment, psychologists observed children aged 3-5 as they played spontaneously and identified those who most liked drawing. A few weeks later, the psychologists returned and asked those children to draw a picture. They divided the children into three groups. The first group were promised an award when they had finished the drawing. The... Read More

Posted: 13 December 2017

Article

The glue that holds a society together

Thomas Hobbes’ social contract may seem a long way from the fraught issue of how unpaid water charges will be handled.  Yet, it’s right at the heart of the dilemma facing us.  When any group try to organise their lives collectively, the first job is to agree a social contract: what contribution is needed from each member to make the... Read More

Posted: 21 December 2016

Article

How Ireland legalised divorce… eventually

For anyone under 30, the 1995 Divorce Referendum is ancient history. Anyone over 40 still can't quite believe it’s 21 years ago.  For those over 50, it’s forever linked with the earlier Divorce Referendum in 1986, and before that the 1983 Pro-Life Amendment, because that’s when the story began.   Best not to linger on just how bleak the 1980s were in... Read More

Posted: 22 May 2016

Article

How cognitive biases affect our decisions

It now seems that the results of election 2016 may ultimately be decided by a contest between fear and anger. The opposition parties hope that voters’ anger at austerity will be stronger than their fear of changing government when the economy is improving.  At this point, it seems anger is ahead.  So why is the government’s message about the risk to recovery... Read More

Posted: 19 February 2016

Article

Why Fine Gael’s election strategy is not working...yet

It now seems that the result of Election 2016 may be decided by a contest between fear and anger. The Opposition parties hope that voters’ anger at austerity will be stronger than their fear of changing government when the econom is improving. At this point it seems anger is ahead. So why is the Government’s message about the risk to recovery... Read More

Posted: 19 February 2016