Post Of The Week – Sunday 19th November 2017

1) All In The Mind – Attachment

You need to wind about ten minutes into this programme to find a discussion on attachment with Elizabeth Meins. She challenges the way in which attachment is linked to later disorders. She emphasises that attachments are not stable and change over time. She also challenges the idea that you can assess attachment outside the constraints of the Strange Situation procedure. She emphasises that studies often use concurrent assessments of attachment. This is certainly a feature of the Hazan and Shaver study which we use. She points out that in most samples, 40% of attachments are insecure. Of itself, it seems unlikely that insecure attachment cannot predict later problems.


2) Chicken Korma, Eton Mess and MC4R

I’ve only just seen this article, although it was written a year ago. It looks at evidence that people with a defective MC4R gene are more likely to eat high fat food than people without the defect. Sadaf Farooqi, whose work we looked at in connection with ethical implications, is one of the people behind this research.


3) Diathesis-Stress

We used this phrase in Year 2 this week in order to illustrate the interactionist approach in the nature-nurture debate. This is a piece of evidence about the nature-nurture debate, describing the interaction of polygenic risk scores and life events in the development of depression. The concepts we study don’t just exist in classrooms.


4) How Obedient Are You?

Here’s a BBC3 piece exploring obedience to legitimate authority. The video is here. Watch to the end of the video to see how the issue of consent is dealt with.


5) Mental Downtime

I’ve been working on presentations for Year 10 about memory. We looked as part of these sessions at why cramming is not a good idea when you want to learn something. This article refers to some research which shows that downtime is important for the consolidation of memory, using fMRI scans to illustrate the point. Mental downtime allows for consolidation which in turn makes it more likely that related new information can be remembered.


6) Cultural Bias

In Year 2, when we looked at gender and culture bias three or so weeks ago, we looked at an exam question about gender bias. There was a study featuring just male participants but a headline about everybody. I asked then what a question about cultural bias might look like. When I thought about it, I realised that it would be possible to write a similar stem about most psychological studies in that they draw their participants from a narrow range of socio-economic and cultural groups. This article explains the point in relation to neuroscience studies and explains what is being done about it.


7) A Renaissance In Psychology

We’ve been struggling a bit in Year 1 with some correlation studies which didn’t turn out the way we were expecting. We started to think about replicability. This article looks at problems of replication in Psychology and lots at the progress which is being made.




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