Psychology

Big gods came after the rise of civilisations, not before, finds study using huge historical database

When you think of religion, you probably think of a god who rewards the good and punishes the wicked. Authors: The Conversation But the idea of morally concerned gods is by no means universal. Social scientists have long known that small-scale traditional societies – the kind missionaries used to dismiss as “pagan” – envisaged a spirit world that cared little about the… Their concern was less about whether humans behaved nicely towards one another and more about whether they carried ... Read More »

Walking Is About More Than 10,000 Steps – Here’s How It Can Change Your Life

Got a pair of shoes that don’t rub? You’re ready. Rachel Moss HuffPost It’s something many of us take for granted, but the simple act of walking has the power to transform both our physical and mental health. The cheapest form of exercise you’ll find, walking doesn’t require specialist boots, trainers or fitness clothing. If you’ve got a pair of shoes that don’t rub, you’re ready. Still need a little convincing? Read on to find out more about the proven benefits of putting ... Read More »

The psychology of fear and hate, and what each of us can do to stop it

As an immigrant to New Zealand, I am saddened and outraged by the events in Christchurch. The apparent innocence of New Zealand has been stripped away by acts of cowardice and evil. Stephen Croucher The Conversation Police remain on high alert and authorities are still responding to events following the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch that took the lives of 50 people and seriously injured many more. Three people have been arrested, and one, an Australian living in New ... Read More »

How European ideas motivated Christchurch killer

The self-described ‘fascist’ may have picked up ideas during a trip to France in 2017. Europe can’t turn a blind eye to the Christchurch killings. By NICHOLAS VINOCUR Politico Even though the attack happened on the other side of the world, the man who carried it out declared that he started his planning after a trip to France — inspired by ideas that have filtered into right-wing discourse across the European Union. The links were on display in a 73-page manifesto ... Read More »

The Psychology Of Getting Julian Assange, Part 4: Why Even Some Lefties Want To See Him Hang

Convinced Julian Assange handed Trump the election? Certain he raped two women in Sweden? Want to see him rot in jail? The fourth in a five-part series by clinical psychologist Dr Lissa Johnson explains the science behind smear and propaganda, and how and why it works. New Matilda On Sunday March 3rd and 10th, hundreds attended rallies organised by the Socialist Equality Party of Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, demanding that the Australian government secure freedom for Julian Assange. Acclaimed journalist and film-maker John Pilger spoke at the Sydney rally ... Read More »

A Mass Shooting of, and for, the Internet

Before entering a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, the site of one of the deadliest mass murders in the country’s history, the accused gunman paused to endorse a YouTube star in a video that appeared to capture the shooting. Kevin Roose The New York Times “Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie,” he said. To an untrained eye, this would have seemed like a bizarre detour. But the people watching the video stream recognized it as something entirely different: a meme. Like ... Read More »

Conspiracy theories fuel prejudice towards minority groups

Some 60% of British people believe in at least one conspiracy theory, a recent poll reveals. Authors: The Conversation From the idea that 9/11 was an inside job to the notion that climate change is a hoax, conspiracy theories divert attention away from the facts in favour of plots and schemes involving powerful and secret groups. With the aid of modern technology, conspiracy theories have found a natural home online. Conspiracy theories often unfairly and erroneously accuse minority groups of ... Read More »

The mental health crisis among America’s youth is real – and staggering

The first signs of a problem started to emerge around 2014: More young people said they felt overwhelmed and depressed. College counseling centers reported sharp increases in the number of students seeking… Jean Twenge The Conversation Even as studies were showing increases in symptoms of depression and in suicide among adolescents since 2010, some researchers called the concerns overblown and claimed there simply isn’t enough good… The idea that there’s an epidemic in anxiety or depression among youth “is simply ... Read More »

String of British firms switch over to four-day working week

Exclusive: small companies tell the Guardian of the impact of ending ‘Friday fatigue’ Robert Booth Social affairs correspondent and Matthew Holmes The Guardian A string of small British firms have switched their workers over to a four-day week, the Guardian can reveal, amid mounting political interest in the idea that working less could deliver higher productivity and better balance between life and work. A lingerie manufacturer, a lighting design firm and a landscape architect are among a wave of employers experimenting with ... Read More »

Spotting the signs of strangulation could save a life. But they’re not always obvious

It’s been described as a “last warning shot” before death. RN By Ben Hays and Damien Carrick for The Law Report ABC Women who survive strangulation are up to seven times more likely to go on to die at the hands of their partner, according to recent studies in the US. And there are side effects that aren’t always obvious to treating doctors, paramedics or police officers — everything from voice changes to blood clots, strokes and paralysis. Survivors and ... Read More »

Socrates in love: how the ideas of this woman are at the root of Western philosophy

Where did Socrates, the foundational figure of Western philosophy, get the inspiration for his original ideas about truth, love, justice, courage and knowledge? Armand D’Angour The Conversation New research I’ve conducted reveals that as a young man in 5th-century BC Athens, he came into contact with a fiercely intelligent woman, Aspasia of Miletus. I argue that her ideas about love and transcendence inspired him to formulate key aspects of his thought (as transmitted by Plato). If the evidence for this ... Read More »

Andrew Bolt, please stop implying that you know all the facts about George Pell

Clare Linane, whose husband Peter Blenkiron is a survivor of clerical child abuse, writes in response to Andrew Bolt’s defence of George Pell Clare Linane The Guardian I am a Ballarat local who has been living with the aftermath of child sexual abuse for many years. My husband, Peter Blenkiron, is a survivor of clergy abuse at 11-years-old. You met him whilst in Rome three years ago. I am compelled to write to you after you expressed your opinion that ... Read More »

‘You Have to Pay With Your Body’: The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border

MCALLEN, Tex. — It was dark in the stash house where they kept her, the windows covered so no one could see inside. Manny Fernandez The New York Times At first, the smugglers had her cook for the other migrants who had recently crossed illegally into the United States. Then they took her to a room upstairs, locked the door and began taking turns with her. It was the summer of 2014, and Melvin, a 36-year-old mother of three, had ... Read More »

My anger with George Pell has been replaced by immense sadness

I don’t see a monster. I see all the women and children and men and nuns and priests destroyed by shame, fear and lies Christos Tsiolkas The Guardian I  have been angry with Cardinal George Pell for a long time. That anger was first stirred by his absolute disdain for extending compassion to people living with Aids, and also by his refusal to accept queer people into Catholic fellowship. I was also made furious by his perverting of the teachings ... Read More »

‘The last moments were beautiful’: Wife remembers firefighter who died at Swiss euthanasia clinic

When Christine Thornton said goodbye to her husband at a euthanasia clinic in Switzerland last week, he turned to her, told her he loved her, and said, “I’m going now”. Simone Fox Koob WAtoday They had spent four days by each other’s side, having coffee in Basel’s picturesque old town, eating cheese in the Swiss Alps and visiting the border so her husband could say he’d been to France. “Troy said to me it was a lovely way to spend ... Read More »

When a kid breaks the law there’s so much more going on below the surface

We must recognise the link between mental conditions and youth crime Anonymous The Guardian The Kimberley is an exceptionally beautiful part of the continent. None of its natural splendour can be seen in one of the region’s courtrooms, however. The only noteworthy feature is the Western Australian coat of arms, with its iconic black swan and kangaroo paw. Opposite the magistrate’s chair sits a wide screen television, used in part to reach young offenders via video link. This screen streams ... Read More »