|A New Perspective On PTSD
||PTSD is known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a label used to describe how your body locks into itself a pattern of abuse and trauma that gets repeated again … ...
|Rage Disorder Linked To Common Parasite Carried By 30% of People
||Around 30% of people are thought to carry the parasite often caught from a common domestic pet.
** PsyBlog's new ebook is out now: "Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything" **
|3 Commons Myths About Depression
||Depression is one of those things that everyone has heard about, but few understand. I often joke that depression is like a panda bear in that everyone is familiar with … ...
|Do People Take Autism Seriously?
||So what kinds of reactions do you get when you tell people you have autism/Asperger’s? I’ve only told maybe a third of the people I know, but I’ve had the … ...
|A Criminal Personality or So-Called "Radicalization"?
||Radicalization does not "happen" to just anyone.
|Prenatal steroids reduce risk of brain bleeding in preemies, Stanford study finds
||Prenatal steroid treatment reduces by half a premature baby's risk for a severe form of brain hemorrhage after birth, a study has found. The research, on nearly 26,000 premature infants, demonstrated that the benefit applies even to the earliest born preemies, who can be overlooked as potential candidates for this steroid treatment.
|How to Prioritize Your Life When You Have ADHD, Part 1
||Prioritizing may seem simple enough. You figure out what you need to do, when you need to do it, and then you do it. But there are actually many steps and processes involved in prioritizing your life. These include everything from paying and shifting attention … ...
|Mental Attitude and Disease
||Dr. William Osler, MD is considered the father of modern medicine. When Johns Hopkins Medical Center was opened in the 1880s, he started the first residency program. Prior to that, … ...
|We Thought You’d Never Ask: Autism and Self-Advocacy
||Assumptions of mental retardation limit opportunities for autistic people to express their intelligence.
|Today I Love Being Unique
||Today I love being unique and unusual. I love that I sometimes feel like I am the oddest creature I know, and that’s pretty cool. I love that I learned … ...
|4 Ways to Set Boundaries with a Workaholic Boss
||So, your boss is a workaholic and expects you to emulate her? Whether that means working ridiculous hours, inhaling lunch at your desk (or skipping it altogether), and even sacrificing your weekends, reporting to a person like this can be taxing on both your career … ...
|Why Does Happiness Inequality Matter?
||According to the World Happiness Report 2016 Update, happiness inequality is on the rise.
What is happiness inequality? It’s the psychological parallel to income inequality: how much individuals in a society differ in their self-reported happiness levels—or subjective well-being, as happiness is sometimes called by researchers.
Since 2012, the World Happiness Report has championed the idea that happiness is a better measure of human welfare than standard indicators like wealth, education, health, or good government. And if that’s the case, it has implications for our conversations about equality, privilege, and fairness in the world.
We know that income inequality can be detrimental to happiness: According to a 2011 study, for example, the American population as a whole was less happy over the past several decades in years with greater inequality. The authors of a companion study to the World Happiness Report hypothesized that happiness inequality might show a similar pattern, and that appears to be the case.
In their study, they found that countries with greater inequality of well-being also tend to have lower average well-being, even after controlling for factors like GDP per capita, life expectancy, and individuals’ reports of social support and freedom to make decisions. In other words, the more happiness equality a country has, the happier it tends to be as a whole. Among the world’s happiest countries—Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Finland—three of them also rank in the top ten for happiness equality (see the ranking below).
On an individual level, the same link exists; in fact, individuals’ happiness levels were more closely tied to the level of happiness equality in their country than to its income equality. Happiness equality was also a stronger predictor of social trust than income equality—and social trust, a belief in the integrity of other people and institutions, is crucial to personal and societal well-being.
“Inequality of well-being provides a better measure of the distribution of welfare than is provided by income and wealth,” assert the World Happiness Report authors, who hail from the University of British Columbia, the London School of Economics, and the Earth Institute.
How much happiness inequality does your country have?
World Happiness Report 2016 UpdateTo do this analysis, the researchers asked a simple question of nearly half a million people worldwide: On a scale of 0-10, representing your worst possible life to your best possible life, where do you stand? The most common answer is 5—but as you can see in the graph on the right, many people rate themselves as less happy than that. If the world had perfect happiness equality, everyone would provide the same answer to this question.
Researchers also assessed the level of happiness inequality in each of 157 countries, taking into account how much people’s happiness ratings deviated from each other.
Topping the rankings for happiness equality is Bhutan, a country whose government policy is based on the goal of increasing Gross National Happiness. Those with the most happiness inequality are the African countries of South Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
The US ranks 85th for happiness inequality, meaning that subjective well-being—not just wealth—is spread relatively unevenly throughout our society. We fare worse than New Zealand (#18), our neighbor Canada (#29), Australia (#30), and much of Western Europe. Note that these aren’t the happiest countries; they are simply the places without a huge happiness gap between people. Even so, as described above, happiness equality is associated with greater happiness overall.
Unfortunately, trends in happiness inequality are going in the wrong direction: up. Comparing surveys from 2005-2011 to 2012-2015, the researchers found that well-being inequality has increased worldwide. More than half of the countries surveyed saw spikes in happiness inequality over that period, particularly those in the Middle East, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, fewer than one in ten countries saw their happiness inequality decrease. Over that time period, happiness inequality in the US has gone up while happiness itself has declined.
The good news is that promoting happiness equality doesn’t require taking happiness from some people and giving it to others. Instead, these findings underscore the importance of building a society and a culture that cares about individual well-being, not just economic growth. Some countries—such as Bhutan, Ecuador, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela—have already taken this stance, appointing happiness ministers to work alongside their government officials. As report co-editor and Earth Institute director Jeffrey Sachs writes:
Governments can ensure access to mental health services, early childhood development programs, and safe environments where trust can grow. Education, including moral education and mindfulness training, can play an important role. Human well-being [should be] at the very center of global concerns and policy choices in the coming years.
|A Closer Look at Intrusive Thoughts
||One of the defining features of OCD is the presence of intrusive thoughts. But here’s the thing that really threw me for a loop when my therapist and psychiatrist explained … ...
|Narcissism Isn’t One Thing But Many
||If you think that you’re dealing with a narcissist, don’t stop there because the devil is in the detail – what kind of narcissism if it’s narcissism at all.
|Exercise may slow brain aging by 10 years for older people
||Exercise in older people is associated with a slower rate of decline in thinking skills that occurs with aging. People who reported light to no exercise experienced a decline equal to 10 more years of aging as compared to people who reported moderate to intense exercise, according to a population-based observational study published in the [...]
|Should I Stay or Should I Go?
||Relationships that last are built on the foundation of trust, mutual caring, desire for each other, reciprocal support, communication and common goals. Those that flounder hold the opposite polarity of … ...
|Where Do Movie Ideas Come From? Public Domain
||One way to come up with an idea for a screenplay is take a classic story that’s proven to be relevant over time and retell it in current day. Why … ...
|The conflict between science and religion lies in our brains
||The conflict between science and religion may have its origins in the structure of our brains, researchers at Case Western Reserve University and Babson College have found. Clashes between the use of faith vs. scientific evidence to explain the world around us dates back centuries and is perhaps most visible today in the arguments between [...]
|Brain stimulation may reduce symptoms and improve decision-making in people with anorexia
||Core symptoms of anorexia nervosa, including the urge to restrict food intake and feeling fat, are reduced after just one session of a non-invasive brain stimulation technique, according to King’s College London research published today in PLOS ONE. This new study is the first randomised control trial to assess whether repetitive transcranial stimulation (rTMS), already [...]
|Study finds link between rage disorder and exposure to toxoplasma gondii parasite
||Individuals with a psychiatric disorder involving recurrent bouts of extreme, impulsive anger–road rage, for example–are more than twice as likely to have been exposed to a common parasite than healthy individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. In a study involving 358 adult subjects, a team led by researchers from the University of Chicago found that toxoplasmosis, [...]