Post Of The Week – Saturday 31st October 2015

1) Peering Inside The Brain

This article looks at various attempts over the last 200 years to understand what happens inside our skulls. It refers to some of the exhibits in the Science Museum. If you are ever in London, there is some great Psychology stuff in there.

2) How Writing Makes People Smarter

I have been using the idea that we will understand a piece of Psychology research better in a lesson if we write about it. There’s some science behind this idea, as this article shows. There’s also the idea that writing helps us process negative feelings. I was taught about this on a stress management course many years ago.

3) More On Ketamine

The story of how ketamine has been researched as a possible anti-depressant continues to fascinate. Developed as an anaesthetic and sometimes used illegally as a recreational drug, ketamine is said to have antidepressant effects because it works on different systems in the brain from standard SSRIs. Even if it works as an antidepressant, it may not be safe. This article explains some of the safety issues.

4) Behavioural Activation In Older Veterans

One of the techniques we look at as part of CBT for depression is behavioural activation. This involves identifying activities which give pleasure which the person with depression might have given up and finding a way of doing them again. When we look at CBT for depression, we use for evaluation the idea that CBT can be developed for use online, focusing on how online applications have made CBT more accessible for young people.

This article explains how behavioural activation has been delivered online to older military veterans, a group which for different reasons has been hard for therapists to reach. The article suggests that delivering behavioural activation remotely is no less effective than delivering it face to face. The problem is that for this group, neither remote nor face to face delivery work particularly well.

5) Some Links To Items On The BBC

All In The Mind this week was about adolescent mental health. Professor Green made a TV programme about suicide. Panorama this week was about mental health provision in hospitals. The links are all on the BPS Research Digest page here, along with some other good stuff.

6) For The Sake Of The Study

Milgram’s study is based on participants obeying an instruction to carry on hurting a participant because the experiment requires it. This idea is explored in the study described in this link.

Participants play a game where they can take money off an opponent. They are more likely to behave in a way which harms an opponent if they are told it is important for the experiment to do so. Milgram’s study often gets misreported and misinterpreted. Obedience in the study is not blind but based on scientific authority. This latest study reminds us of this.

7) Mindful Eating

In writing about dieting in A2, we look at the work of Sandra Aamodt on mindful eating.

This article explains the link between mindfulness and obesity further. It suggests that when eating habits become mindless, obesity results.

8) Dorothy Bishop On Reproducibility

Click on the link and go 15 minutes and 56 seconds into the programme to hear Dorothy Bishop talk sense about reproducibility on science.

9) Small Things Can Make A Big Difference

Here is the latest from Time To Change.


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