Post Of The Week – Sunday 24th April, 2016

1) Global Disease Burden

I keep hearing myself say in lessons that by 2030, mental illness will represent the main burden of preventable disease across the planet.

This study puts some of the detail on this, explaining what the cost of not treating people might be. This is a good example of the economic implications of psychological research.


2) The Concepts We Use

We like to think of Psychology as a contemporary discipline. However, many of the concepts we use date back a long way: think about nature and nurture.

This article looks at how longstanding the concepts we use in Psychology are. It’s quite surprising and suggests that things are due to change quite radically.


3) Tim Lott On Depression

I like Tim Lott’s writing.

Here he is talking about depression.


4) Big White Wall

I’ve been using links to Big White Wall for a while to show how the principles of CBT are applied in a digital environment. I’ve also been explaining how mental health apps may come to revolutionise the way we diagnose and access mental health therapy.

This link explains how Big White Wall uses big data. These changes are happening now.


5) Erasing Fears

When we look at phobias, we identify as a weakness of systematic desensitisation the fact that it takes a long time. Cognitive therapies offer a short cut because in asking a client to think about the sources of her/his fear, the need to work through every feared stimulus is eliminated.

Erasing fear: Psychologists developing a one-session treatment that defeats phobia

This article explains a different short cut. People are exposed to their feared stimulus once along with a drug which affects the way in which the memory of that exposure is laid down. Seems to work.


6) Genotype And Phenotype

This article explains why it is wrong to think that behaviour is in our genes.


7) Natural Born Gamblers

When we study addictive behaviours, we tend to regard the things to which people are addicted as social facts. Gambling, alcohol or anything else to which people become addicted are out there and used safely by many people. The unfortunate few get addicted. This article challenges this idea. Gambling, it seems, is not universal but arises from particular social and economic conditions.


8) Genetics And Intelligence

Here’s a very good overview of where the research has reached from Daphne Martschenko.


9) Number Needing Treatment

We’ve looked at NNT – Number Needing Treatment – this week in the AS course. It is explained in this article here alongside some other ideas which drug companies would rather you did not know.

Related to this is this from Irving Kirsch about what we do and don’t know about treating depression.


10) Unanimity

We find unanimity convincing. It is at the heart of Asch’s conformity studies. Here’s a piece from TED-Ed about what’s not so good about it.


11) And finally ….

One more from TED-Ed, this time about why we like to frighten ourselves. This links to how we understand our reactions of fight or flight.


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