1) The Safety Of Interventions For Smoking When I started teaching the addictive behaviour option in 2012, drug treatments for addiction seemed dangerously experimental. This article shows how far we have come. It reports on a large scale, multi-centre RCT looking at the risks associated with bupropion, varenicline and NRT as interventions for smoking. There […]

1) Counting The Calories Still It’s become common in research into dieting and obesity to suggest that a calorie is not just a calorie. In other words, the type of food we eat is as important in determining whether it will make us put on weight as how much we eat. That does not mean, […]

1) Autism, Sense Of Self And Autobiographical Memory The idea that autism is connected to a lack of Theory Of Mind has been around for about 30 years. “Theory Of Mind” refers to the ability to understand the connection between the thoughts and actions of others. Theory Of Mind depends on sense of self. You […]

1) Genes For Obesity The story about genes for obesity is similar to other stories in Psychology. We know obesity runs in families but can’t yet say which particular genes are involved. That is changing though as more sophisticated genetic analysis comes on stream. We’ve known about the variant of FTO gene for a while […]

1) Turning Protest Into Powerful Change In the social change sub-topic, we look at how consistency, commitment and flexibility in the face of new evidence work to enable a minority to influence a majority. We look also at the role of majority social influence through normative and informational influence and at the role of authority figures. […]

1) Issues Of Gender These two articles show how Psychology has dealt with gender. The first starts with a disturbing account of an attempt to cure homosexuality before exploring the career of Robert Heath, the man who carried them out. It is easy to see the ethical guidelines under which Psychology now operates as banal and […]

1) Epigenetics If we are going to understand nature and nurture properly, we need to understand epigenetics. Epigenetics describes how some genes are switched on but others are not. This TED-ED video explains the process. This article explains how research into one aspect of epigenetics might explain why we still find it hard to understand […]

1) Is Psychology Really In Crisis? In this article, Keith Laws looks at the replication crisis in Psychology. The article sees the lack of replication of reported by some studies as part of a broader problem with the culture of Psychology. There is a bias in favour of high impact studies whose findings are surprising […]

1) Robert Cialdini On Social Psychology Here’s Robert Cialdini explaining what social psychology, and in particular social influence research, is all about.   2) The Personality Myth This programme from NPR explores personality through several personal stories. In thinking about nature-nurture and free will and determinism, these stories are rather important.   3) Recovering From […]

1) Marcus Munafo On Mental Health Genetics Here’s Marcus Munafo on a Mental Elf podcast. He says many important things about what we do and don’t know about the genetics of mental health. There is much here for our work on nature and nurture. Beyond that, he has something important to say about the connection […]

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