Post Of The Week – Sunday 18th October 2015

1) Randomised Controlled Trials In Education

I have been teaching people for a few years now that education suffers from a lack of RCTs. This is fundamentally because people do not wish to see students allocated to a condition randomly which may not be optimal for their education. This was what we learnt Term 1 Week 1 of the Psychology Of Education degree I did over 20 years ago.

https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/projects/cognitive-acceleration-through-science-education-case-lets-think-forum/

It is fascinating to see therefore that a large scale RCT is being carried out into CASE. This stands for Cognitive Acceleration Through Science Education and borrows heavily from the work of Piaget and Vygotsky. The study is due to report in 2016.

2) Adherence To Smoking Cessation Medication

There is increasing evidence that biological interventions can help people give up smoking. These include Nicotine Replacement Therapies such as gum or patches but also the use of Bupropion and Varenicline as drugs to address dependence. The problem with giving people drugs is that they might not take them.

http://www.nationalelfservice.net/mental-health/substance-misuse/increasing-adherence-to-smoking-cessation-medications/

This study suggests that interventions designed to persuade people to take these medications can help them to quit. This at a basic level shows how biological and psychological interventions work together.

3) Milgram Film

We’ll be working on Milgram’s obedience experiment in AS soon. Here is a trailer of a new film about his work.

Doubts persist about the method and representation of Milgram’s study as this link from the BPS shows.

http://digest.bps.org.uk/2015/10/contemporary-social-psychology.html

4) Uta Frith On Slow Science

Uta Frith is always worth listening to.

http://frithmind.org/socialminds/2015/10/11/slow-science/#more-660

Here, she talks about the virtues of slow science. If you follow the link at the bottom of the page, you can find some writing from her about the programme she made about OCD.

5) Adolescent Mental Health

This is an area receiving increasing coverage. Here is a news report about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge getting involved on World Mental Health Day.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34496349

Here’s the point of view of Jamie Hacker-Hughes, president of the BPS.

http://www.bps.org.uk/blog/presidential/mental-health-schools-and-minded

Here’s Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and others on a new initiative in mindfulness.

http://www.oxfordmindfulness.org/mindfulness-resilience-adolescence/

The video connected to this is well worth a look and makes you stop and think.

6) National Lottery

When looking at media influences on addictive behaviour, we look at how the National Lottery is advertised and the beliefs this advertising is designed to engender. What people believe about the National Lottery and how that influences their behaviour is dealt with by Mark Griffiths here.

https://theconversation.com/jackpot-why-longer-odds-will-never-put-us-off-the-national-lottery-49032

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