Psychology

A Zen master explains why “positive thinking” is terrible advice

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Have you ever been told to just “think positive” and your problems will go away? Or that to achieve your goals in life, all you have to do is visualize it with positive intent? The Power of Ideas Inspirational Ideapod blog It’s a philosophy that’s been popular for decades thanks to books like How to win Friends and Influence People and Think and Grow Rich.  But is it really helping us live more meaningful and fulfilling lives? Not exactly… A ... Read More »

Cary Grant: how 100 acid trips in Tinseltown ‘changed my life’

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At the height of his fame, Cary Grant turned to LSD therapy for help. He later claimed the drug saved him, but did it also spell the end of his career? Xan Brooks The Guardian In the late 1950s, at the height of his fame, Cary Grant set off on a trip in search of his true self, unpicking the myth he had spent three decades perfecting. He tried hypnosis and yoga and felt that they both came up short. ... Read More »

A Zen master reveals the giveaway signs of a toxic person and the most powerful way to deal with them

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We’ve all come across toxic people before. You know, the type of person that can be manipulative, judgmental and inconsiderate of anyone’s feelings. Hack Spirit It can hard to deal with these people, especially if you’re forced to every single day. That’s why I thought the advice below from a Zen master on Reddit was quite remarkable. But first, let’s define what a… A Zen master… Read More »

The Strong Evidence Against Spanking

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A review of the available research finds that physical punishment is significantly linked to bad outcomes for kids. JULIE BECK TheAtlantic Around the world, an average of 60 percent of children receive some kind of physical punishment, according to UNICEF. And the most common form is spanking. In the United States, most people still see spanking as acceptable… The Strong Evidence… Read More »

April Fool’s Day: Why are some people more gullible than others?

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Homo sapiens is probably an intrinsically gullible species. Joseph Paul Forgas ABC We owe our evolutionary success to culture, our unique ability to receive, trust and act on stories we get from others, and so accumulate a shared view about the world. In a way… April Fool’s Day… Read More »

The ups and downs of Africa’s online gambling boom

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Gambling is a multitrillion-dollar industry and Africa is one of the newest, most exciting players to sit at the table. The East Africa Monitor Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are the fastest growing markets on the continent, according to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers, while Uganda and… It’s not only the casinos that are driving Africa’s gambling boom either, but the rise of online sports betting that’s gripping people across the continent. There’s serious money to be made for innovators in the industry and, ... Read More »

2016 didn’t just give us “fake news.” It likely gave us false memories.

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A psychologist explains how easy it is to form false memories — and what that means for the future of our shared reality. Brian Resnick VOX Here’s a reasonable fear: 20 years from now, very few people are going to agree on the details of our shared history. Recently, I spoke… 2016 didn’t just… Read More »

A Psychiatrist Who Survived The Holocaust Explains Why Meaningfulness Matters More Than Happiness

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“It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.” In September 1942, Viktor Frankl, a prominent Jewish psychiatrist and neurologist in Vienna, was arrested and transported to a Nazi concentration camp with his wife and… Emily Esfahani Smith, The Atlantic Business Insider Three years later, when his camp was liberated, most of his family, including his pregnant wife, had perished — but he, prisoner number 119104, had… A Psychiatrist Who… Read More »

Why you think you’re right, even when you’re wrong

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Are you a soldier or a scout? Your answer to this question, says decision-making expert Julia Galef, could determine how clearly you see the world. Julia Galef Imagine for a moment you’re a soldier in the heat of battle — perhaps a Roman foot soldier, medieval archer or Zulu warrior. IdeasTED Regardless of your time and place, some things are probably constant. Your adrenaline is elevated, and your actions stem from your deeply ingrained reflexes, reflexes that are rooted in ... Read More »

An Eminent Psychiatrist Demurs on Trump’s Mental State

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To the Editor: Fevered media speculation about Donald Trump’s psychological motivations and psychiatric diagnosis has recently encouraged mental health professionals to disregard the usual ethical constraints against diagnosing public figures at a distance. They have sponsored several petitions and a Feb. 14 letter to The New York Times suggesting that Mr. Trump is incapable, on psychiatric grounds, of serving as president. Most amateur diagnosticians have mislabeled President Trump with the diagnosis of narcissistic personality disorder. I wrote the criteria that ... Read More »

Australian-Made Fish Sauce To Protect Cambodian Babies From Deadly Beriberi

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There’s a special ingredient that fortifies babies against a deadly deficiency. Cayla Dengate HuffPost Fish sauce is the pungent, salty key to Khmer cooking, and now, it’s also protecting babies from a deadly deficiency. Researchers at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute are using fish sauce to combat beriberi — a… Australian-Made Fish… Read More »

When the mind doesn’t fit the body and your daughter becomes a son

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Kirsty Donohue’s eldest child told her he was a boy trapped in a girl’s body. She tells Claire O’Sullivan about the journey her family has been on since that day. By Claire O’Sullivan Ιrish Examiner Reporter For some time, Kirsty Donohue’s eldest had a sketch hanging up on the wall. Kirsty didn’t take… Kirsty Donohue’s eldest… Read More »

Does Empathy Guide or Hinder Moral Action?

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After a year of surprising election results and referendums, and violence in protests, terrorism and war, the term “empathy” has been cited by many as a key component to helping groups of people that have little in common, or disagree, come together. The New York Times Jamil Zaki and Paul Bloom But does empathy actually increase the ability of opposing parties to understand each other better, or otherwise inform correct moral action? Empathy Can Lead to… Does Empathy Guide or… Read More »

Study finds one-third of people prone to ‘remembering’ false events

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A recent study has found about one-third of people can, if prompted, ‘remember’ or at least believe events that never actually happened. ABC Emma Wynne It is a confronting finding in an era when fake news is said to be proliferating online and has been blamed for influencing the recent US presidential election. The study from the University of… Study finds one-third of people prone… Read More »

The Undoing Project review – ‘psychology’s Lennon and McCartney’

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Michael Lewis tells the compelling story of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman, whose behaviourist theories led to his own bestseller Moneyball Tim Adams The Guardian All love stories involve the science of decision making – for better or worse, richer or poorer. No romance has been as alive to the fallibility of that process as the one described in this book. Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman were both the grandsons of eastern European rabbis. Chance and fate brought them together ... Read More »

Rhythm of Breathing Affects Memory and Fear

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Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and… Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and… Neuroscience News  Northwestern University These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the… Rhythm of Breathing… Read More »