Post Of The Week – Saturday 20th February, 2016

1) In The Mind

When this blog started two and a half years ago, references to public perception of mental health in the media were rare enough to include a link in a post. They have now become so common that it would be foolish to include everything which comes up. The centrepiece of the BBC “In The Mind” season is this programme presented by Stephen Fry.

Although the programme features extended sequences of Fry talking to his psychiatrist, much of the programme focuses on other people living with psychological disorder. Their stories are told sympathetically and powerfully. The programme has however come in for some criticism from within the Psychology community. Richard Bentall writes persuasively here.

All in the brain?


2) Implications For The Economy

We are now in the new AS asked to consider implications for the economy. Here’s a health economist, Martin Knapp from the London School Of Economics, talking about the economic impact of psychological disorders amongst adolescents.



3) The Psychology Behind Gambling Machine Addiction

Fixed odds betting terminals are now a feature of betting shops on many high streets. They are high stakes slot machines. People can become addicted to using them because of the variable rate of reinforcement.

This article explains the risk of addiction and the processes behind it. It also refers to a trial under the aegis of the NHS of the drug Naltrexone, a drug originally developed to treat heroin addiction, as a means to address gambling addiction.


4) The Truth About False Memories

I spent some of last week putting together a revision resource on Elizabeth Loftus’ research on eye witness testimony. Here is a timely reminder about some of the work in this area.


5) Antidepressants – Benefits And Harms

There has been some media coverage of this study over the last couple of weeks. The headline point is that antidepressants do some good and little harm to adults but are more risky for children.

It is worth reading this summary from the Mental Elf to understand the detail, both what has been found and how the researchers arrived at these findings through access to previously unpublished data.


6) Allen Francis On Diagnosis

Allen Francis was one of the people behind DSM-IV, the diagnostic manual devised in America but still used here. He is critical however of the new manual, DSM5. He explains why in this brief interview.

Dr. Allen Frances: Overdiagnosis


7) David Eagleman On The Brain

I don’t watch much TV but caught some of this on Thursday.

Some of the scenes in this are upsetting: please see the warning on the linked page. There was however some fascinating research on the social brain which is well worth a look.


8) Hegarty Maths

This is about Maths, not Psychology.

What Colin Hegarty says about how to learn Maths can be translated into what we do in Psychology. Don’t revise but practise.


9) BPS Research Digest

Here are some great extra links from the BPS.


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