Article Description
Stress balls, DVDs and conversation ease pain and anxiety during surgery Being conscious during an operation can make patients feel anxious and is often painful. However, new research from the University of Surrey has found that simple distraction techniques, such as talking to a nurse, watching a DVD or using stress balls, can help patients to relax during varicose vein surgery and reduce their pain. The [...]The post Stress balls, DVDs and conversation ease pain and anxiety during surgery appeared first on PsyPost.
Mobile and interactive media use by young children: The good, the bad and the unknown Mobile devices are everywhere and children are using them more frequently at young ages. The impact these mobile devices are having on the development and behavior of children is still relatively unknown. In a commentary in the journal Pediatrics, researchers review the many types of interactive media available today and raise important questions regarding their [...]The post Mobile and interactive media use by young children: The good, the bad and the unknown appeared first on PsyPost.
Child maltreatment not a clear path to adult crime Research has found a significant link between childhood abuse and neglect and crime in adulthood. But a recent University of Washington study finds that link all but disappears when accounting for other life factors. “We find that children who were involved in child welfare services are at high risk of adult crimes, but once we [...]The post Child maltreatment not a clear path to adult crime appeared first on PsyPost.
Three Ways To Step Up Your Mental Game         There are many lessons we can learn from sports: play by the rules, don’t cheat, lose honorably, start with a goal, create a training program to get there, keep composure when the pressure is on, teamwork, and, of course, how to overcome defeat.   And many...
How to Worry More Effectively Everyone worries from time to time. The problem is, some of us have a tendency to worry about things more than is helpful. Excessive worry can be accompanied by physical symptoms (such as tension, fatigue, or insomnia) or psychological ones (such as dread, anxiety, and sometimes depression). So how do...
Does space flight inspire school students to take STEM subjects? Science Education researchers at University of York are to work with leading space scientist and The Sky at Night presenter Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock to investigate if human spaceflight inspires school students to take science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects. The £348,000 three-year project, funded by the UK Space Agency and the Economic and Social Research [...]The post Does space flight inspire school students to take STEM subjects? appeared first on PsyPost.
Landmark study to track ‘pioneer’ generation of transgender children Marlo Mack’s son was 3 years old when he told her very adamantly that he was not a boy, but a girl. Unsure what to do, Mack went in search of answers. She found little information online, her pediatrician knew nothing about transgender children, and even a psychologist who specialized in child identity issues couldn’t [...]The post Landmark study to track ‘pioneer’ generation of transgender children appeared first on PsyPost.
First-ever view of protein structure may lead to better anxiety drugs When new medicines are invented, the drug may hit the intended target and nullify the symptoms, but nailing a bull’s eye – one that produces zero side effects – can be quite elusive. New research conducted at Michigan State University and published in the current issue of Science has, for the first time, revealed the [...]The post First-ever view of protein structure may lead to better anxiety drugs appeared first on PsyPost.
Scientists discover how a ‘mini-brain’ in the spinal cord aids in balance Walking across an icy parking lot in winter–and remaining upright–takes intense concentration. But a new discovery suggests that much of the balancing act that our bodies perform when faced with such a task happens unconsciously, thanks to a cluster of neurons in our spinal cord that function as a “mini-brain” to integrate sensory information and [...]The post Scientists discover how a ‘mini-brain’ in the spinal cord aids in balance appeared first on PsyPost.
Blame men for political gridlock? Study finds women may be better at compromise During the political gridlock that led to the 2013 federal government shutdown, the leading voices for compromise were the handful of female U.S. senators — only 20 percent of the overall legislative body. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that women were so heavily involved in trying to end this stalemate,” Maine Sen. Susan Collins [...]The post Blame men for political gridlock? Study finds women may be better at compromise appeared first on PsyPost.
Study analyzes Internet, mobile and video game effects on young users A study conducted by researchers at the UAB, the Catalan Institute of Health (ICS) and the FPCEE Blanquerna (Ramon Llull University), and which included the methodological support of the Institute for Primary Healthcare Research (IDIAP Jordi Gol), has analysed the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) by secondary school students, by using a sample [...]The post Study analyzes Internet, mobile and video game effects on young users appeared first on PsyPost.
How negative stereotyping affects older people The most comprehensive analysis to date of research on the effect of negative stereotypes on older people’s abilities has concluded that these stereotypes create a significant problem for that demographic. A research team at the University of Kent’s School of Psychology carried out a review and meta-analysis of Aged-Based Stereotype Threat (ABST). They statistically analysed [...]The post How negative stereotyping affects older people appeared first on PsyPost.
Women prefer the scents of fertile-phase women, study finds Men prefer the scents of fertile-phase women to the scents of luteal-phase women — and new research has found that women do, too. In a study published January in the journal Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, researchers Savannah L. Woodward, Melissa Emery Thompson and Steven W. Gangestad examined the attractiveness of women’s body odors over [...]The post Women prefer the scents of fertile-phase women, study finds appeared first on PsyPost.
Bruce Jenner’s “Transition” Will Be Documented on Reality Series For a while, people have been commenting on Bruce Jenner’s changing physical appearance. Since his split from most recent ex-wife, Kris Jenner, he has been spotted with longer hair, fuller lips and manicures. While speculation has definitely been rampant, PEOPLE magazine is confirming the rumors that he is transitioning into...
Compassion: Brain Food for Happiness Did you know that compassion, the act of recognizing someone else’s suffering with the inclination to want to support them, creates important activity shifts in the brain that are associated with resiliency and well-being? I recently attended a talk at a fundraiser where the presenter, Amy McLaren, had conveyed her...
Whitney Houston’s Daughter Bobbi Kristina in Medically Induced Coma Bobbi Kristina, the daughter of singers Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, was found unresponsive in a bathtub in her Georgia home. The news is particularly chilling since it conjures up memories of how her mother died almost three years ago. Police were called to the home on Saturday morning...
So-Called Masochistic Relationships Following Freud, the failure to extricate oneself from painful, punishing relationships has traditionally been attributed to the finding of pleasure in pain—i.e., to masochism. I have found, by contrast, that the perpetuation of painful relationships is most often the product of blaming oneself for their punishing aspects. The developmental basis for this pattern can by found in what Scottish psychoanalyst Ronald Fairbairn famously called the moral defense, which is captured in the aphorism, “Better to be a sinner in a world ruled by God than to be an innocent in a world ruled by the devil.” It is much too terrifying for a young child who is traumatized to perceive the devilish, destructive aspects of a parent, so he/she attributes the traumatization to his/her own badness or defectiveness. Similarly, adults often remain endlessly in unhappy, abusive, or depriving relationships by blaming their suffering on their own shortcomings, their not having “gotten it right” yet: “If I can just get it right, the punishing other will smile upon me.” Such an interpretive pattern can keep someone futilely trying to get it right forever. The breaking of the shackles of such a pattern is grippingly captured in a song, Jar of Hearts, performed by Christina Perri. Have a listen to its emancipatory message: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8v_4O44sfjM Copyright Robert Stolorow   Topics:  Personality Relationships Child Development Stress Trauma Subtitle:  Taking the blame perpetuates punishing relationships. Blog to Post to:  Feeling, Relating, Existing Teaser Text:  People often remain endlessly in unhappy, abusive, or depriving relationships by blaming their suffering on their own shortcomings, their not having “gotten it right” yet. Such an interpretive pattern can keep someone futilely trying to get it right forever. Mature Audiences Only:  Content Topics:  Parenting Ethics and Morality Freudian Psychology Quote
26 Creative & Curious Questions to Deepen Your Connection An important part of building a connection with your partner is knowing their inner life. What are they thinking and feeling? What were their dreams as a child? What are their dreams today? Another important part is knowing how they feel about your relationship (and your partner knowing how you...
Got Issues? It’s All Your Parents’ Fault Everything that’s wrong in your life is the fault of your parents. Whatever your struggles, your mistakes and your pain, you are not to blame. You are an innocent victim of those who raised you. At least that’s the way some folks interpret my definition of Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)....
How to Avoid the BS So, you’ve decided that to want to change your life for the better. Become happier. Be a better person. Find meaning. Be positive. Gain clarity. Reduce stress. Become more focused. Where do you start? It used to be that the choices were limited. Only a few decades ago, a person would turn to their religion as the sole source of information, but today the world offers a multitude of movements, strategies, and spiritual traditions to choose from, all of them holding the promise of a better future. For example, wisdom traditions like Buddhism, Vedanta, and Taoism offer both a foundation of concepts and principles alongside a set of practices. In particular, meditation practices have become mainstream. In many circles people now include meditative practices in their regimen of nutrition, exercise, and a healthier lifestyle. Such practices and concepts have also become intertwined with modern science, resulting in disciplines like Buddhist Psychology [1], Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy [2], and Positive Psychology [3]. These modern movements adopt ideas from various sources, put them under the microscope of research, and refine them into newer and improved versions. With this type of assortment to choose from, you may find that on the very first steps of your transformative journey, you are already overwhelmed with a confusing portfolio of neuroscience, psychology, medicine, popular self-help, and religion. In my Ride of Your Life Interview with James Pennebaker at UTexas at Austin, I asked him about this challenge of choice. His take on it emphasized the fact that a lot of stuff doesn’t really work, and what works doesn’t work all of the time: “I think most of the self-help work, much of positive psychology, much of all psychology, much like most religions, most of anything, is probably bullshit. It’s all air. Some of the right work I think is air. You try it and afterwards — are you objectively better? Very often — not, but you have done all you can to convince yourself…I get so pissed off by all of these movements, where there is this guru belief that this method is right, this method is truth — that is false. Sometimes, it’s right, sometimes it’s not.” And of course, Pennebaker is right. There’s tons of BS out there, but perhaps more importantly, even the good stuff doesn’t work for everyone, and definitely not all the time. The optimal thing to do is different depending on the situation and context one is in. Take mindfulness as an example. In past years we are repeatedly told that it’s good to focus on the present moment [5]. A range of books, training programs, TV shows, and digital mindfulness meditation programs (some developed by yours truly [5]), provide us with the means to “bring ourselves back” when our mind wanders. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) [6] has been around for 36 years now. Mindfulness has been studied inside and out. It is definitely good for you, but there’s a *but*: It may not be best to focus on the present moment when you’re working on a product roadmap, reminiscing on your wedding day, or imagining your best possible future [7]. In these contexts, you probably want to move away from the distractions of the present moment as much as possible, so you can plan/remember/imagine. It’s all a matter of balance. When I asked Sonja Lyubomirsky of UCR about mindfulness in our Ride of Your Life Interview, she reinforced the need to have balanced time perspectives: “There has to be a balance. The problem with the way most people live their lives today is that they are preoccupied with worry about the future and obsess too much about the past, so they need a “higher dosage of present” in their lives.” Related to mindfulness research is the issue of mind-wandering [8]. In general, a wandering mind most definitely makes you unhappy (which we now know thanks to Killingsworth and Gilbert’s pioneering experience-sampling studies). Yet when you’re trying to be creative and come up with new ideas, it may be good to let your mind go where it wants [9]. Let it wander. Context is king. In the words of Phil Zimbardo: “Of course, the people are the actors on the stage of life, but — you're never alone. There are always other actors, it depends on how you dress, it depends on what role you are playing, it depends on who's doing the stagecraft, it depends on the props” The bible tells us that “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1(, and there’s something to be said about doing the right thing at the right time. To simply ask yourself:  “What is the most useful thing to say or to do right now?” “Is there a future, better context, in which what I am planning to say/do is better?” “and if it is not good for now and not good for later, is it possible that it is utter bullshit?” References: [1] Kalupahana, David J. The principles of Buddhist psychology. State University of New York Press, 1987. [2] Segal, Z. V., Williams, J. M. G., & Teasdale, J. D. (2012). Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy for depression. Guilford Press. [3] Seligman, M. E., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction (Vol. 55, No. 1, p. 5). American Psychological Association. [4] Davis, D. M., & Hayes, J. A. (2011). What are the benefits of mindfulness? A practice review of psychotherapy-related research. Psychotherapy, 48(2), 198. [5] Parks, A. C., Della Porta, M. D., Pierce, R. S., Zilca, R., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2012). Pursuing happiness in everyday life: The characteristics and behaviors of online happiness seekers. Emotion, 12(6), 1222. [6] Grossman, P., Niemann, L., Schmidt, S., & Walach, H. (2004). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health benefits: A meta-analysis. Journal of psychosomatic research, 57(1), 35-43. [7] Sheldon, K. M., & Lyubomirsky, S. (2006). How to increase and sustain positive emotion: The effects of expressing gratitude and visualizing best possible selves. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1(2), 73-82. [8] Killingsworth, M. A., & Gilbert, D. T. (2010). A wandering mind is an unhappy mind. Science, 330(6006), 932-932. [9] Carson, S. H., Peterson, J. B., & Higgins, D. M. (2003). Decreased latent inhibition is associated with increased creative achievement in high-functioning individuals. Journal of personality and social psychology, 85(3), 499. Topics:  Happiness Philosophy Subtitle:  Where do you start your journey to a better you? Blog to Post to:  Confessions of a Techie Teaser Text:  There’s something to be said about doing the right thing at the right time. To simply ask yourself: “What is the most useful thing to say or to do right now?” “Is there a future, better context, in which what I am planning to say/do is better?” “and if it is not good for now and not good for later, is it possible that it is utter bullshit?” Teaser Image:  Mature Audiences Only:  Images:  Content Topics:  Positive Psychology Therapy Neuroscience Mindfulness Personality Depression Meditation Gratitude Self-Help Cognition Spirituality Diet Happiness Religion Wisdom Health Stress Quote