Two Guys on Your Head

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Happiness may be one of the most common and egalitarian of human emotions, but all aren't created equal when it comes to elation.

The work of Harvard’s Dan Gilbert speaks to findings in psychology that reveal that people have about a 50-10-40 ratio for happiness – 50 percent depends on genetic makeup; 10 percent depends on what happens to us throughout the day; and 40 percent is dependent on how we react to those environmental goings-on.

So, why is it some of us are more predisposed than others to see the glass as half empty as opposed to half full?

In this edition of “Two Guys on Your Head,” Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss how self-imposed strategies might give us an edge when it comes to feeling happier.

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Internet memes are a dime a dozen, but users young and old have undoubtedly seen, and quite possibly enjoyed, a good cat video or two.

Even if we have better things to do, it seems almost inhuman to resist clicking the "play" button above a cute kitten's face.

But why are those prolific time-wasters so irresistible? On this week’s edition of "Two Guys on Your Head," Dr. Art Markman, Dr. Bob Duke and host Rebecca McInroy discuss the animal magnetism of cat videos.

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You can go to the gym and work out your quads, or your biceps, or your balance and isolate those muscle groups to focus improvement of those areas of function with work. 

So it's not too far of a stretch to assume if we exercise specific areas of our brains might we see improvement in functions as well, right?  Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple.

But have so many brain-training systems like Lumosity become so popular?

On this week’s show, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke will demystify the process of brain function improvement and illustrate the effectiveness of brain training programs.

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Procrastination is the all-too-familiar foe of productivity, but why do some wait until the last minute to even get a project started?

In this episode of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explore the psychology behind procrastination, and how we can overcome factors that might be keeping us from getting started.

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Can you remember what it was like for you to learn your native language?  Probably not, but why is that?

As humans, we begin learning to speak our native language during the earliest stages of our lives, in infancy.  Most people don’t have many accessible memories from this period of development. How do we do that?

If we can learn a language in our infant stages of life, why is it so difficult to learn a second language later in life?

On this week’s episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Art Markman and Bob Duke explore how we learn language.

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We may think of our memory functioning much like a movie camera does; capturing a scene and replaying it in a linear fashion. Yet, in actuality, it’s more like catching bits of paper at a ticker tape parade and weaving together a story of the past by re-constructing the pieces of paper we and others around us catch.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explain how and why we construct memories, and how our memories can be influenced by variables that we may never consider.

If you’ve seen "Ferris Bueller’s Day Off" or ever been in a classroom, you know that school can sometimes be very boring. However, learning and coming up with ideas in an environment with others in our social group should be fun! So why do schools get such a bad rap?

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Robert Duke talk about some of the historical and present day factors that contribute to why school is so boring, and offer a few suggestions for a brighter future.

Let It Go!

Aug 22, 2014
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“He did it!” "She hit me first!” “He never said he was sorry!” "She doesn’t care if I forgive her so why should I?”

From the time we are very small, our interpersonal relationships are based on conflict. How does the saying go? You can please some of the people some of the time, but you’re not gonna fool me a second time… Hmmm we’ll look that up later. In the mean time please forgive us for getting it wrong.

Why? You may ask.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychological purpose of forgiveness.

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We've passed the 4th of July, Christmas is a ways away, and New Year’s isn't for months So why, you may ask, is Two Guys on Your Head doing a show on celebration?

Aside from the show being on-air for a year, we've got a lot to celebrate and so do you—even though you might not think so right away.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss the evolutionary reasons behind the importance of celebration, gratitude, and achievement.

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Is greed good?  Is greed a human instinct?  Why are some people inclined to hoard?

For some individuals, greed and selfishness are much more commonly displayed than generosity. So, it might be fair to say greed feels more natural for some. On the other hand, most might say they favor unselfishness.

In this installment of "Two Guys on Your Head" Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss whether greed is instinctual or not.

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I am absolutely certain that I’m right and you’re wrong, so because of this certainty, I will argue my belief, which I believe to be correct, however long it takes to convince you to submit to my superior correctness. 

Have you ever encountered such a fixed and inflexible perspective of a belief in a person who disagrees with you on something?  Of course you have.  We’re only human, and it’s part of the nature of our cognitive patterns to want to hold onto certain beliefs with a very firm intellectual grip.

On this week’s episode of Two Guys On Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke analyze the differing approaches to holding a belief and how those different approaches affect interaction in society. Essentially, this comes down to two fundamental ways of holding a belief: You can have a firm grip, or a loose one.

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Don’t we all hate having to deal with jerks? Everyone has some unpleasant person that they encounter frequently in life and would rather not. 

Fact is, we constantly encounter an endless variety of people with an endless variety of attitudes, perspectives and beliefs that – in all realistic possibility – will differ from the attitudes that we carry for the moment. 

This week, the Two Guys On Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, will toss around the topic of jerks – and provide some insightful, doctor prescribed strategies for handling difficult people in our lives.  

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Do you take pride in your ability to divide your focus and energy into more than one task at a time? Do you think you’re a good multitasker?

Chances are, you’re probably not.

We sat down with two experts – the Two Guys, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Robert Duke – to take a closer look at the topic of multitasking. Their take offers a perspective into some of the unique issues associated with multitasking.

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Being the incredibly social species that we are, we humans simply cannot avoid influencing one another when we interact. Influence is inevitable. 

The question then becomes, since influence is inevitable in human interaction, can we achieve the kind of influence that we intend to have, or that we might think we have in the world? 

On this week’s show, the Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, influence our understanding of the different functions and effects of influence in our lives.

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What’s so funny?

In this week’s show, the Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, analyze laughter until it cracks you up.

Why is it that laughter is such a seemingly uncontrollable response? There's many angles in a discussion on laughter, since there is no definitive way of explaining or understanding such a complex aspect of life. So lets start by noting laughter is a form of social bonding. 

The idea of distance conjures up many images in our minds. We might be thinking of how wonderful it will be when we are retired and have time to spend with our loved ones, do some traveling, or play 18 holes of golf on a weekday. Or perhaps when we think of distance, we think of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and how far away the conflicts are from us.

For Art Markman and Robert Duke, how we process distance is particularly important, because it clues researchers in to how we think and make decisions as a result of distance.

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Who knows what? Essentially, this question is the basis of the complex concept called Theory of Mind – which is very misleadingly labeled. No, it’s not a theory that explains how mind works, as you might assume. It’s a process within our minds that allows us to separate and distinguish between what we know ourselves and what we know that other people know – or don’t know.  It’s a skill that is critical for accomplishing effective social interaction in the world. A better term might be Theory of Other People's Minds.

Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke do a wonderful job of explaining and dissecting this important skill in this week’s episode of Two Guys on Your Head. Have a listen and get smarter.  

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Everybody knows somebody who's familiar with the online dating service experience. It's a fairly common way for people to meet and become romantically involved these days. But how is it different from more traditional dating and courtship?

Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke take a crack at online dating in this week’s episode of Two Guys on Your Head.

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Living with a mental illness is difficult – not only for the sufferer, but for caregivers, friends and family.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk how it can be isolating and disheartening to interact with someone who has depression, dementia or any other mental illness – and they offer some ideas that can help.

One of the struggles in caring for friends and family with mental illness is that we have no idea what we’re really dealing with. Unlike seeing someone with a broken bone, we don’t see mental illness. It's more like a cancer in that it affects the whole family and it lasts for a long time.

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Our world these days is laden with a constant flow of information. It’s unavoidable. 

But how do we determine what information to believe? Once we’ve made that choice, what if we later find out that the information was false? How do we shed false beliefs?

On this week’s show, good doctors Art Markman and Bob Duke analyze the process of belief formation – and why our false beliefs are so insistent that we reconsider them.

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