Post Of The Week – Sunday 13th August, 2017

1) Smartphones

This article looks at the effect of smartphones on children and adolescents. It challenges claims by Jean Twenge, whose work we look at in the context of locus of control, about the damaging effect of phones on well-being. It’s useful for us in a couple of ways. Firstly, it raises some research methods issues about correlation and cause and about publication bias. Secondly, it ties in with what we have noticed about the protective effect of mobile phones and about the need to find a middle course in the research projects done last term.


2) Brain Mapping

We talk about mapping the brain in Psychology. I have just been practising an exam question which includes a simple map of the brain. This article explains some of the issues with mapping. Mapping is not a neutral activity.


3) CBT For Eating Disorders

One of the arguments for psychological explanations for anorexia nervosa is that CBT is effective in treating it. This paper is about a meta-analysis of research into the effect of CBT on quality of life in people with eating disorders. The research suggests that the impact is positive. There are however familiar problems: what the people in the control condition are doing, whether negative findings have been published, establishing criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The clearest problem is that of how we define whether someone with an eating disorder has really got better. In this areas of research, recovery’, ‘relapse’ and ‘remission’ are used without anyone being clear about what they mean.


4) Punishment and Reinforcement

The difference between these concepts is explained here along with some other terms that people tend to confuse.


5) Tobacco Advertising

This article explains some of the techniques used by tobacco companies in targeting young people. Addiction to nicotine and gambling are to some extent socially learnt. In our course, we look at the influence of family and peers as risk factors. This article reminds us we need to look more widely.


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