Psychology

Why do so many friendships dissolve as we age?

What are we without friends, those who know us warts and all but love us anyway? Yet many friendships drift away as we age, leaving us beating on, boats against the current, borne back into the past… Frank Robson The Canberra Times Even now, with our friendship effectively over, I still picture Damian* as he was long ago when we met as reporters on the shameless Melbourne Truth. More specifically, I visualise him crawling triumphantly from a dumbwaiter on the 15th ... Read More »

Fresh Thinking on Autism

The documentary film “Deej” challenges us all to live inclusion. Deej, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated feature-length documentary, offers fresh perspectives on autism, inclusion, disability, and neurological diversity. Jason Tougaw Psychology Today A collaboration between Director Rob Rooy and Writer/Producer David James Savarese, the film has aired on PBS and at festivals across the country, where it has garnered numerous awards. Savarese—also known as DJ or Deej—is the primary subject of the documentary. While the film is about his experience and education as the first non-… Fresh ... Read More »

What makes a good friend?

Good friendships seem worth celebrating. But for many of us, tensions can appear from time to time between being a good friend and doing “the right thing.” Alexis Elder The Conversation When faced with, for example, a situation where it’s tempting to lie to cover for a friend, it can seem as though friendship and morality are on a collision course. I am an ethicist who works on issues involving friendship, so this tension is of great interest to me. ... Read More »

Children who have lost a parent to family violence need to be listened to

Around the world, at least one in seven homicides are committed by a current or former intimate partner. Eva Alisic The Conversation In the United States, estimates suggest that, each year, a child may be more likely to lose a parent (the mother, in most cases) to intimate partner homicide than to be diagnosed with leukaemia. Many of these children witness the killing or its direct aftermath, often involving graphic scenes. Some try to intervene in whatever way they can. ... Read More »

We’re racist towards robots, too, study finds

Have you ever wondered why you rarely see a brown or black robot? A couple of researchers at Monash University in Melbourne and Canterbury University in New Zealand were having trouble finding any — why were all the robots white? RN Drive – By Barbara Heggen and Mariella Attard – ABC It led them to investigate whether people ascribe race to robots, and if this changed their behaviour towards them. What they discovered was that humans carry their racial biases over to ... Read More »

Call for doctors to help looming asylum seeker mental health crisis

These days, the inner-city suburb of Brunswick is not often associated with grinding poverty or desperation. Miki Perkins The Canberra Times Uni students riffle through upmarket op shops, a multitude of cafes churn out bespoke coffee and new, expensive apartment buildings thrust upwards along the spine of Sydney Road. But if you step off Sydney Road and walk into the calm waiting room of the Cabrini Asylum Seeker and Refugee Health Hub, an undercurrent of distress is palpable. The hub ... Read More »

More than half of WA kids’ calls to helpline were dropped last year

Questions posed in the WA parliament have revealed over half of the calls made to the Kids Helpline last year were dropped. Hannah Barry WAtoday Greens MP Alison Xamon asked the question of Minister Sue Ellery in parliament in May this year, regarding how much the state government had committed to service provider Yourtown between 2012 and 2017, how many calls were made by WA young people to the helpline and… Ms Xamon received answers during a Legislative Council sitting ... Read More »

Men who murder v men who abuse: Queensland research aims to find the difference

Researchers will interview Queensland prisoners in the hopes of discovering the difference between men who abuse their intimate female partners versus men who murder them. Lucy Stone Brisbane Times Griffith University professor Paul Mazerolle hopes the project could provide much-needed practical information on the reasons behind the escalation from violence to murder. “A number of years ago we undertook the Australian Homicide Study, so we have an existing data set of 302 people who have murdered somebody, and a subset ... Read More »

It’s impossible to lead a totally ethical life—but it’s fun to try

You want to do the right thing. But in a world where it often seems impossible to eat, shop, drive, travel, or pretty much do anything without causing some measure of harm to others and the planet, leading an… Ephrat Livni Quartz It’s true that practically everything we do in life has ethical repercussions. “Any decision that has an impact on others now or in the future is an ethical choice,” explains ethicist Christopher Gilbert, author of the new book ... Read More »

Each time Australia delays bringing a sick child from Nauru, the stakes get higher

The government is playing a dangerous game with the lives of refugee children Ben Doherty The Guardian Last week, three children held in Australia’s offshore immigration regime on the island of Nauru were moved to Australia following court order or threat of legal action. In six months, eight cases have been brought before the Australian courts of children suffering life-threatening psychological or physical illness that cannot be properly treated on Nauru. Every one of those cases has been won. Children have been ... Read More »

Game changing game changes

‘Stochastic games’ can resolve Tragedy of the Commons Harvard University All it took for rewriting the rules of understanding evolution of cooperation was a series of chance encounters between Martin Nowak, Krishnendu Chatterjee and Christian Hilbe. Chatterjee, a computer science professor at IST Austria, mentioned the idea of stochastic games – games which can change based on players’ actions – during his first visit to Harvard in 2008, and the idea sent Nowak down a… “People who study evolution of ... Read More »

What it’s like to be trapped in a cave

The experience can be harrowing, even when you know what you’re doing By Laura Demarest — Washington Post Gulf News I’d been swaddled in a cold, sopping-wet trash bag for approximately 20 hours, listening to six other cavers shivering and breathing quietly. We were huddled close on the hard ground of a muddy crawlway, a space barely tall enough for sitting up, in an Indiana cave system. Despite my cosy wetsuit socks and the light of a tiny tealight candle, ... Read More »

Happiness helps football players do better, and it could help economies too

World Cup football teams with a higher proportion of players smiling in their official portraits have scored more goals on average in all group phases since 1970. Authors: The Conversation The authors of this study argue that smiling is a reflection of confidence. Greater confidence results in a greater capacity to overcome complex situations and score more goals. We decided to explore whether this same smiling-creativity link holds for entire societies by looking at the relationship between happiness and creative… ... Read More »

Abortion and the human person

The fall of Christendom and the rise of secularism has profound consequences for our understanding of the human person. Peter Sellick OnLineOpinion The latter would have it that humanity is but a species among species. This is so because nature is taken as the primary source of our being. Evolutionary theory and the discovery that we share a large amount of our DNA with other species underlines the point. Human beings are biological. The other view of humanity is that, ... Read More »

Thailand cave rescue: what has happened so far

Rescue bid enters second day; Four rescued from Thai cave ‘kept away’ from parents over infection risk Agencies Gulf News Tham Luang: An eighth person has been carried out on a stretcher from Thailand cave, reports Reuters, quoting eyewitness. A total of four boys have been rescued so far in today’s operation. There are five people still inside the cave, the coach Ekapol Chanthawong and four Wild Boars. The first of the boys extracted Monday was carried in a stretcher and ... Read More »

The Australian doctor playing a key role in Thai cave rescue

An Australian doctor is at the centre of the desperate attempt to rescue 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach trapped in a cave in Chiang Rai. Josh Dye The Age Richard Harris, an anaesthetist from Adelaide, has been revealed as one of the international dive experts seconded to assist with the difficult and dangerous rescue mission. On Saturday, Dr Harris undertook the dangerous dive through to the 12 Thai boys and their coach. He gave the final approval on the boys’ ... Read More »