YANSS 189 – Why we must use social science to fight misinformation, partisanship, conspiratorial thinking, and general confusion when we finally have a vaccine for COVID-19

In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, we sit down with four experts on vaccines, epidemiology, psychology, and science communication to try and understand how we created so much confusion about COVID-19, and how we can avoid doing so again when a vaccine is ready for widespread, public distribution. Also in… Read More

YANSS 182 – Why we find A/B testing icky when it comes to policies, practices, medicine, and social media

In 1835, at a tavern in Bavaria, a group of 120 people once met to drink from a randomized assortment of glass vials. Before shuffling them, they divided the vials into two sets. One contained distilled water from a recent snowfall and the other a solution made by collecting 100 drops of that water and… Read More

Why Walking Matters—Now More Than Ever (essay in the Wall St Journal)

I have an essay up on today’s Wall Street Journal. Snippet: Why does walking make us feel good? We all know that a satisfying stroll changes our outlook. Perhaps we realize it all the more today, when so many of us are hunkered down and this simple activity is a challenge. But walking is especially… Read More

Robert MacFarlane’s ‘Underworld’ – a very short review of a remarkable and astonishing book

This is one of the most remarkable and astonishing books I’ve ever read. It’s one of those rare books that you can’t wait return to, hate putting down b/c you’re drooling with sleep and your eyes can’t focus any more, and you want to start again when you’re finished reading it. Completing Underworld comes with… Read More

A small but persistent peeve: Journal referencing styles are a waste of time

Context: there are many things wrong with academic publishing (the financial winners and losers from the unpaid burden of peer review, for a start). But here’s a simple one: the house style for referencing for journals is utterly inconsistent, user unfriendly and a staggering waste of time. It would make life easier for everyone if… Read More

In Praise of Walking – My new book

In Praise of Walking is now available in hardback, paperback and Audible versions. You can get it via: Amazon.com Amazon.uk PenguinRandomHouse Audible Some reviews: New Scientist: ‘’informative and persuasive enough to rouse the most ardent couch potato’ The Times: “Fascinating … O’Mara argues [walking] is intimately connected to our bodies, our brains, and ultimately how we exist… Read More

The Psychological Science Accelerator: Call for Study Submissions (Deadline: June 20th)

Psychological Science Accelerator The Psychological Science Accelerator (PSA), a network of 300 labs collaborating to collect large-scale international samples of psychological data, is currently accepting study proposals from all areas of psychological science. Anyone can submit a proposal, whether or not they are a member of the PSA. Our mission is to accelerate the accumulation… Read More