1) Brain Buzz – Gambling
This podcast comes from some PhD students from the University Of British Columbia. I’ve dipped in and listened to bits of it. Psychology is fundamentally a research subject where researchers form hypotheses which they then test. It is also fundamentally about using a variety of approaches to understand questions and formulate solutions. This podcast exemplifies these fundamental traits.
I’m going to be tackling some material on mental health with my Year 10 tutor group this week. The Myriad Project has just been recruiting: 84 schools and 22,000 children. It aims to understand the effect of mindfulness training in building resilience in adolescence. Here’s an overview of why this might be important. The long term effects of stress are increasingly well understood and troubling. In connection with this, this research looks at the difference between types of self-control in adolescence.
3) The Physical Basis Of Memory
We’ve been looking at the structure and function of neurons in Year 1. The conventional view of how memory is stored is that connections are strengthened between cells as a result of repeated connections. This article looks at what is now being understood about this claim. It shows us why we need to do Biopsychology in order to understand the building blocks of how the brain works.
4) Philosophy Of Science
Our course contains a section on the features of science. It is not a redundant element. We frequently come back to questions of objectivity and falsifiability. This article explains why the philosophy of science is important. It looks at some of the problems of inference and the need for a multi-disciplined approach. These issues crop up in Psychology but are important well beyond it.
5) Diagnosis Of Autism
Autism used to be regarded as a rare disorder. The Isle Of Wight study in the 1970s, the study to which Michael Rutter refers in his explanation of the effects of separation, found a diagnosis rate of 0.04% as opposed to 2% today. This study suggests that this arises because of the reduction in the number of diagnostic criteria which need to be met.
Here’s a TED Ed video with an important overview.