Posts

September 15, 2014

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10:45 AM | What’s Holding You Back? 5 Ways to Break Free from Mental Barriers
The power of fear never ceases to amaze me. It can control people’s entire lives and destiny!  I was in Orlando, Florida, the day I realized that fear was just a made-up idea — a concept that is both very real for most people, yet not real at all. I was in my car, listening […]
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8:57 AM | How to increase children’s patience in 5 seconds
A single act increases adults’ compliance with researchers. The same act makes students more likely to volunteer to solve math problems in front of others. Moreover, it makes four-year-olds more patient. What sounds like a miracle cure to everyday problems is actually the oldest trick in the book: human touch. How do researchers know this? […]

Guéguen N & Fischer-Lokou J (2002). An evaluation of touch on a large request: a field setting., Psychological reports, 90 (1) 267-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11898995

Guéguen, N. (2004). Nonverbal Encouragement of Participation in a Course: the Effect of Touching, Social Psychology of Education, 7 (1) 89-98. DOI: 10.1023/B:SPOE.0000010691.30834.14

Leonard JA, Berkowitz T & Shusterman A (2014). The effect of friendly touch on delay-of-gratification in preschool children., Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006), 1-11. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24666195

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8:47 AM | Zinc and copper and autism
The paper by Li and colleagues [1] looking at serum copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) levels in a group of participants diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the source material for today's post. Highlighting how "mean serum Zn levels and Zn/Cu ratio were significantly lower in children with ASD compared with normal cases... whereas serum Cu levels were significantly higher" the continued focus on the metallome in autism carries on at a pace. I should at this point out that I'm not […]

Li SO, Wang JL, Bjørklund G, Zhao WN & Yin CH (2014). Serum copper and zinc levels in individuals with autism spectrum disorders., Neuroreport, PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25162784

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8:45 AM | Hallucinogens
A recent article in The Psychologist by Carhart, Kaelen and Nutt (here) reviews what is known about the action of chemicals that cause hallucinations: LSD from ergot fungi, dimethyltryptamine from ayahuasca and psilocybin from magic mushrooms. The molecular action of the hallucinogens is to excite particular pyramidal neurons by mimicking the action of the transmitter […]
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8:28 AM | Pupils benefit from praise, but should teachers give it to them publicly or privately?
There's a best practice guide for teachers, produced by the Association of School Psychologists in the US, that states praise is best given to pupils in private. This advice is not based on experimental research - there hasn't been any - but on surveys of student preferences, and on the rationale that pupils could be embarrassed by receiving praise in public.Now, in the first study of its kind, John Blaze and his colleagues have systematically compared the effect of public and private praise […]

Blaze JT, Olmi DJ, Mercer SH, Dufrene BA & Tingstom DH (2014). Loud versus quiet praise: A direct behavioral comparison in secondary classrooms., Journal of school psychology, 52 (4) 349-60. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25107408

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4:01 AM | Infographic: The 10 Most Interesting Dating Studies of 2014
We’re always looking for fun new ways to share relationship science with our readers. So when the folks at DatingAdvice.com contacted us and asked if we’d be interested in helping them create an infographic that highlights some of the great relationship science about dating that’s come out recently, we were more than happy to oblige. Admittedly, identifying the best empirical studies on relationships is a monumental feat. Simply put, relationship scientists all across the […]
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1:30 AM | 5 Divorce Facts That Might Change Your Idea of Splitting Up
Find out how 50 percent of divorcees feel about their separation. Many people think they have it all figured out when it comes to divorce. The whole “50 percent of marriages end in divorce” statistic gets thrown around a lot. Everyone knows someone whose family was torn apart by it. But there’s so much more […]

September 14, 2014

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11:53 PM | Brain On Drugs
Cartoonist Chato Stewart Notes: With this cartoons I was mixing two cartoons series.  The Over-medicated and a new one I started called Brainstorming.  BraingStorming is just right now about what else-brain and goofy word play.  A Brain “storm” -brains falling … Continue reading →
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11:40 PM | Injury Response
Injury Response I’ve had several conversations with safety people about response to events and incidents on site. One mate on a tier 1 site explains the Safety Advisor role as simply ‘demoralising’. So I thought I would try to mimic the typical safety spud head response to an incident. (Spud walks in the door) Bill: Hey Spud, where have you been? Spud: Sorry, my phone has been playing up. Bill: Well, there’s been an accident down near the batch plant, you […]
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10:55 PM | JUST PUBLISHED: The Dance of Communication: Retaining Family Membership Despite Non-Speech Dementia
As the majority of people in developed countries will be touched in some way by dementia in the 21st century, current ways of interacting in dementia care may no longer be acceptable. In particular, when people with dementia appear uncommunicative, their retained awareness and ability to interact is often dismissed or overlooked. Facing social isolation and further decline, many languish with unmet needs for human interaction. However, the intimacies of family interaction in dementia care […]

Walmsley, B. & McCormack, L. (2013). The dance of communication: Retaining family membership despite severe non-speech dementia, Dementia, 13 (5) 626-641. DOI: 10.1177/1471301213480359

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10:15 PM | How to Be Real Without Being Mean
The mantra to “get real” has become popular nowadays — and for good reason. We live in a society where images rule and authenticity is reserved for blue jeans and ethnic recipes. We’re trained to polish and parade a false self that we think will garner acceptance and accolades. The isolation and disconnection that’s rampant […]
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9:05 PM | An earlier death
Journalism site The Toast has what I believe is the only first-person account of Cotard’s delusion – the belief that you’re dead – which can occur in psychosis. The article is by writer Esmé Weijun Wang who describes her own episode of psychosis and how she came to believe, and later unbelieve, that she was […]
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8:48 PM | Worker Injuries May Take Years to Become a Fatality
Worker Injuries May Take Years to Become a Fatality By Phil LaDuke on his blog. READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE. Phil says: Yesterday the workplace killed another one of my loved ones. I honestly don't have the energy to promote this one, but as you each have in your own way been such a part of my journey I share it with you. Editors note:  Another brilliant, committed safety professional who is just not that into safety anymore I have more than a couple of people question my motives in […]
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7:35 PM | The Secret and Wondrous World of Psychedelic Drugs and How You Can Harness Its Full Potential
“The waves of the sounds ran through my hair like a caress. The music ran down my back and came out of my fingertips. I was small, light, mobile. I could use any method of levitation I wished. I could dissolve, melt, float, soar. Wavelets of light touched the rim … READ MORE
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6:05 PM | How to Love Yourself
I have a confession to make. I have a reminder on my phone that goes off every morning at 8 o’clock that says simply, “You’re awesome.” This might sound dumb but you’d be surprised how often I forget that fact. This is just one tool in my arsenal of tricks that I use to combat […]
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2:36 PM | International reading comparisons: is England really doing so poorly?
I was surprised to see a piece in the Guardian stating that "England is one of the most unequal countries for children's reading levels, second in the EU only to Romania". This claim was made in an article about a new campaign, Read On, Get On, that was launched this week. The campaign sounds great. A consortium of organizations and individuals have got together to address the problem of poor reading: the tail in the distribution of reading ability that seems to stubbornly remain, despite […]
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2:26 PM | OKCupid: Let’s Manipulate Matches in the Name of ‘Research’
Let’s imagine that, once upon a time, you signed up for an online dating service that you thought was going to provide you with the best possible matches it could based upon the information you gave it. Let’s also imagine that the guy who ran the site decided to play a game. He decided that, […]
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2:24 PM | An Evolving Text of Self
Mind is a living, evolving, self-correcting, self-editing, self-serving text of survival. What you say to yourself matters.  And what you don’t say to yourself matters too. But, as important as this self-narrative is, we are not it: we are not this mind. This mind, this narrative is but writing on the ever-changing water of consciousness. […]
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1:31 PM | One More Reason Why Teenage Behaviour Can Be So Extreme
Adolescent behaviour can seem very weird to adults -- this basic mental process helps explain why. Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:Later School Start Times Improve Sleep and Daytime Functioning in Adolescents The Irritating Reason That Overconfident People Get All The Breaks Mysterious Brain Region That is Vital to How You Decide The Honking Experiment: Can You […]
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12:00 PM | The Jesus Experiment (Part 1 of 2)
For Milton Rokeach, it would be more than an experiment in treating mental illness. In many ways, it would be one of the most remarkable studies of its kind ever undertaken and help transform the very meaning of human identity....            Related StoriesCan Childhood Bullying Lead to Suicide?Does Fertility Affect Attractiveness?Can Media Use Cause ADHD Symptoms in Children? 
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11:00 AM | A History of the Essex Lunatic Asylum: Part 2
The search for biological causes and effective remedies continued unsuccessful for some years, fostering a growing sense of therapeutic nihilism within the psychiatric profession. The available treatments were viewed as non specific, and a major emphasis remained on fresh air (outdoor relief) and a healthy environment, distinctly unglamorous interventions compared to the technological advances being made in medicine.
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10:30 AM | The Secret Lives of Women with ADHD
Many women with ADHD live with a painful secret: “Shame, unfortunately, seems to be the name of the game, for many women I have worked with who have ADHD,” said Terry Matlen, MSW, ACSW, a psychotherapist and ADHD coach. Even women with advanced degrees in demanding, high-powered positions feel incredibly overwhelmed once they get home, […]
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12:30 AM | Creating A Safe Space for Others
Yesterday I talked about how we can create a safe space for ourselves, to listen to our needs, wants and wishes and to compassionately care for ourselves. Today, let’s talk about how we can do the same for others. Whether this is your child, spouse, best friend or family member, here are some ideas: Listen to your loved […]

September 13, 2014

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11:31 PM | A Student Discovers The Joy of Reading
  Dear Friends, The other day I had a wonderful conversation with one of my older students. He was brimming over with enthusiasm for his senior-level College Reading class. It’s really more a structured study period than a class, in which students come in every day and spend the entire 48-minute period silently reading a […]
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11:30 PM | September Is the Other January: Do You Agree or Disagree?
Even though I haven’t been in school for a long time, for me, September  marks the beginning of a new year.  Orange is the new black, breakfast is the new lunch, Monday is the new Thursday, pork is the other white meat, and September is the other January. (And yes, it’s still September, even though most schools […]
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9:45 PM | A History of the Essex Lunatic Asylum: Part 1
“...aims at making the Institution really and truly an Asylum, a place of refuge and retreat from pain and sorrow; an Hospital and a home.” Extract from the Essex Lunatic Asylum Medical Superintendent’s Annual Report, 1874
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8:39 PM | Secrets of the Ancient Pyramids: Physicists Suggest a New Theory of Construction
When visiting the ancient pyramids of Giza, you may be left in awe of their splendor, well, of course you will. These magnificent wonders of the world are immense! Just like with Easter Island, you may find yourself contemplating about how the pyramids were built as well. They seem almost … READ MORE
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6:35 PM | 5 Ways to Reduce Helplessness
When trauma hits, we may feel utterly helpless. We may feel powerless, paralyzed, wounded. The trauma may be a physical trauma, such as a car wreck or any kind of abuse; an emotional trauma, such as bullying or poverty; or a community trauma, such as an earthquake or murder, according to Deborah Serani, PsyD, a […]
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4:48 PM | Husband or Wife? The Partner Whose Happiness Matters More For The Marriage
Which spouse's happiness is most important for marital satisfaction? Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:New Study Affirms 4 Very Old-Fashioned Guidelines for a Good Marriage Movie-and-Talk: Can This Simple Exercise Help Save a Marriage? The Key to Happiness: Brainpower or Social Connectedness? 4 Dark Sides To The Pursuit of Happiness Our Genes Respond Positively […]
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2:28 PM | Low Serotonin Levels Don’t Cause Depression
One of the leading myths that unfortunately still circulates about clinical depression is that it’s caused by low serotonin levels in the brain (or a “biochemical imbalance”). This is a myth because countless scientific studies have specifically examined this theory and have come back universally rejecting it. So let’s put it to rest once and […]
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