Post Of The Week – Sunday 27th December 2015

1) David Kilcullen On ISIS

David Kilcullen is a former colonel in the Australian Army. His academic background is in the social sciences. He has acted as an adviser to governments on threats from Islamist extremists. Here, he speaks at length about what we know and don’t know about these extremists.

We’ve been looking at concepts in AS Social Influence related to minority social influence and social change: identification, consistency, commitment and flexibility. Using these concepts and w a whole load more, Kilcullen assesses what has gone wrong and what we might do to put things right. It’s fascinating.


2) What Is Depression?

Here’s a TED Ed video from Helen M. Farrell introducing some important ideas about Depression. There are some extra resources to explore here.


3) A Couple From Mental Elf

This first link refers to short interventions for people experiencing problems with alcohol. Screening people with a problem of addiction, particularly if they are visiting a health care provider for another reason, and then giving them some sort of intervention, has been seen as a good way to address addiction.

This link suggests that this approach is not particularly effective for alcohol.

This set of links represents the best of Mental Elf from 2015. A great summary of where we are at in some critical areas.


4) Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking

This has appeared on the NHS website.

E-cigarettes remain controversial. The fact that their use as a tool to stop smoking is now discussed on the NHS website suggests that attitudes and evidence about them is changing.


5) Robert Spitzer

Robert Spitzer’s death has been announced.

This obituary explains why he was important in framing the system for classifying mental health disorders. It also explains his role in redefining homosexuality and his later regret at some of his earlier research.


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