1) John Oliver On Science
This is late night American cable TV. Please do not watch this if you are likely to be offended by occasional references to sex and by swearing. It does however say s0me important and intelligent things about how science works and our understanding of it.
2) Rational Choice
We have been interested during the Addictive Behaviour topic in the irrational thought processes involved in gambling. It turns out that this is part of a bigger problem of how we judge anything to do with probability and risk. This video explains.
3) Why Antidepressants Work Less Well Than They Used To
In our A2 course, we include the claim by Irving Kirsch that antidepressants only work for severe cases of depression.
This article puts this claim in its historical context. It goes back to the process of classification and diagnosis. Major Depressive Disorder in DSM III is an amalgamation of two earlier categories of depression. Antidepressants work well for one form but not the second, milder form. By broadening the definition of depression, we make it harder to discover what causes and how to cure the most debilitating sort. In the meantime, very many prescriptions are written.
The problem with e-cigarettes in the eyes of most adults is that they give people nicotine and are a gateway into smoking. This report suggests that children see e-cigarettes differently.
The question of how e-cigarettes are going to be regulated is discussed in this article.
On the horizon is a potentially explosive confrontation between drug companies promoting drugs to reduce tobacco use and tobacco companies getting into the e-cigarette market. That could get nasty.
5) The Cognitive Thing
Brilliant work here from Uta Frith, who features in a couple of documentaries we use. She’s writing here about how we understand the causes of autism. She shows in the process how we use different approaches in Psychology to understand a complex problem.
6) Genes For Academic Suucess
Ed Yong writes well about education. Here he tackles some testing questions about nature and nurture.
7) Mapping Activity
We’re going to be revising psychological explanations of obesity this week. We use the evidence from Mick Cornett’s TED talk about the impact of changes to the environment on levels of obesity.
This article explains how data from Strava, an app used to track walking and cycling, can be used to design safer streets.
8) Do you inherit your parent’s mental illness?
This article asks a powerful question and comes up with a thoughtful and measured response.