1) Jim Al-Khalili On Quantum Biology This isn’t Psychology really but it might tell us quite a lot about what we do. There’s a BBC programme and a shorter TED Talk. Jim Al-Khalili is a physicist. In these items, he is applying what has been known for a while in quantum mechanics to the problems […]

1) Interrogation And Telling The Truth I have spent the last week thinking about the social influence topic in next year’s AS. Within that topic, I have been thinking about the role of psychologists in interrogation through the the idea of conformity to a social role. Since Zimbardo’s work on this in the Stanford Prison […]

1) Making Choices We throw concepts like “individualistic” and “collectivistic” when talking about cultural differences. In individualistic cultures, people make choices for themselves; in collectivistic cultures, choices are made by someone else. In this TED Talk, Sheena Iyengar deconstructs this dichotomy and says a lot more about how we understand choices. Understanding cultural differences becomes […]

1) Chemical Soup This TED talk from David Anderson comes from the same event as the one by Thomas Insel which we use in lessons. Anderson’s idea in this talk is that we tend to treat the brain as a chemical soup where things go wrong when the balance of ingredients is not quite right: […]

1) Early Experience This week, I have been preparing for the Attachment topic in the new AS. In stages of development, there is a controversy about how much babies can do in the early weeks of life. This research into the laughter of babies is part of the process of suggesting that they can do […]

1) Cases Of Amnesia I am in the middle of planning the Memory topic for AS next year. Here is a case of amnesia which has defied explanation. http://www.spring.org.uk/2015/07/memory-loss-man-baffles-psychologists-weve-never-seen-anything-like-this-before.php Amnesia cases are both useful for illustrating the principles by which we understand memory but also for exposing the limitations of what we understand. 2) Computerised […]

1) Tax Sugary Drinks A tax on sugary drinks is now being backed by the British Medical Association. Part of the proposal is to use the money to subsidise more healthy food. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33479118 I first used a BBC World Service report on the proposal for sugar tax in New York City in early 2010. It […]

1) Neuroscience In Education Our course includes a section on applications of theories of cognitive development to education. We consider the influence of the theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. Since these theories became popular 40 years ago, neuroscience has developed our understanding of so many aspects of the brain. The question arises as to whether […]

1)¬†Improving response inhibition systems in frontotemporal dementia with citalopram This is interesting in lots of ways. We frequently refer to the role of the pre-frontal cortex in the inhibition of risky or socially unacceptable behaviour. Our main focus is how this develops in adolescence. There is another side to this. When people develop dementia in […]

1) Addictive Personality In the A2 course, we consider how the idea of an addictive personality is challenged by current psychological research. This article makes several persuasive points. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v522/n7557_supp/full/522S48a.html There’s a very good piece of video on modifying memories of addiction which you can see¬†on this page. http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1 2) Can The Bacteria In Your Gut […]

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