The Great Marshmallow Trust Test

A new study from Cognition complicates the traditional “marshmallow test” of children’s impulse control. In the original test, children are told they can eat one marshmallow now or wait (usually about 15 minutes) and get two marshmallows by showing restraint. The initial interpretation of this test suggested that children who were able to exercise self-control were more likely to be successful later in life; Maia Szalavitz writes in TIME Magazine that “This apparently trivial challenge has seriou … [Read more...]

Mixed Signals: Staged Brand Experiences or Building Blocks for Belonging?

You remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs—it prescribes the building blocks individuals need to achieve something dubbed self actualization. In order to work toward the pinnacle, our physiological, personal safety, love and belonging, and self esteem needs must be met, respectively. Then we arrive at some idealistic state of personhood, which no one has ever experienced but supposedly exists.Marketing specialists keep these psychological goals in mind to develop strategic messages that impact … [Read more...]

Science Fiction and Theology: A Match Made in Heaven?

Science fiction can be more than just stories about big-headed aliens, evil robots, and laser guns. It can probe complex and provocative theological ideas, or so claim the theologians interviewed in a recent io9 article titled "Big Theological Questions that Science Fiction Should Answer".The article's author, Charlie Jane Anders, interviewed several theologians who also happen to be sci-fi nerds, including Lorenzo DiTommaso, Robert Geraci, and James McGrath. The reason for this interest in s … [Read more...]

Was America Ever a Christian Nation? every day, I see some post on Facebook or Twitter mourning how far America has fallen from its Christian founding. I understand where many of these people are coming from, they sense that Christian principles are not as respected as they once were in our country. This is something that we have weighed in on numerous times in recent days here at Christ and Pop Culture. Alan has refuted the idea that is pretty prevalent in American … [Read more...]

The Cure for Workplace Blues

Back when I was in college, I remember dreaming of what my first job would be after graduation. I didn’t know what I would do, exactly, but I assumed whatever job I found would be challenging and fulfilling. There I would be, working for some company’s marketing department, the creative communications pouring out faster than I can write them down.My first job was for a great company and I got to work with great people. I did get to develop some interesting, creative communications. But I was … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: Diapers, for the Glory of God

I got pregnant with my first daughter almost 4 years ago now; I subsequently carried her to term, nursed her for 23 months, and, in the same week that I celebrated weaning her, found out I was pregnant again. The cycle began again (or rather continued) with another pregnancy, the birth of another baby girl, and here I am, almost 5 months in to nursing and going strong. Sometimes I wonder when I’ll get my body back to myself, and yet some days I feel like my own body’s basic needs get neglected wh … [Read more...]

Judge Finds Convicted Murderer to Be Theologically Orthodox Enough to be Executed

Here is one the might have slipped through the media cracks. This week, a Florida judge has come to the conclusion that convicted murderer John Ferguson can be put to death. What makes this case stand out is that Ferguson, unlike most convicts, believes that he is the second coming of Jesus and will be God’s right-hand man in the next life. And somehow, Florida judge Peter Grant thinks this is a totally normal Christian belief. From The Guardian: Astoundingly, the judge goes on to say that the p … [Read more...]

Teach Your Children Well: Reflecting on Madeline Levine’s Book and Galatians 5

Last week, MSNBC’s "The Cycle" interviewed Dr. Madeline Levine, psychologist and author of Teach Your Children Well, whose best-selling text calls into question the dominant ideologies of today’s parenting ideals. Levine remarks “What’s overparenting? It’s doing what your kid can already do and can technically do” and confusing the parents’ needs with the children’s. The challenge with letting children exercise their abilities and near-abilities is essentially one of parental peer pressure.My … [Read more...]

Resisting Facebook is Harder Than Resisting Sex

We all know how addictive it is to grab your smartphone and check up on what's happening in in our Facebook and Twitter feeds. But just how addictive? A recent study in Germany, in which participants were given a Blackberry and told to frequently report how often they were tempted to check Facebook and how often they gave in, revealed that social media was harder to resist other things, including sex. The reason that cigarettes, alcohol and even drugs can be less addictive than using social … [Read more...]

Research Shows that Complaining Turns Brains to Mush

You know that feeling of fight or flight that comes over you when you get caught in the middle of someone's gripe session? You want out, but you aren’t sure how to escape. You try to turn the conversation to something more positive, to no avail. You finally get away, but the negativity lingers, clouding your thoughts, preventing you from concentrating on work and making decisions.There’s a reason for that. An Inc. article by Minda Zetlin reports:Listening to too much complaining is bad fo … [Read more...]