Post Of The Week – Saturday 14th April 2018

1) Educational Achievement And Genes

When we study the nature-nurture debate, we look at the idea that the heritability of a trait depends on the quality of environment. In an environment with no food, genetic differences in vulnerability to obesity do not matter. In an educational environment where everyone has the support and the facilities to develop their talents, genetic differences will come to the fore. This is illustrated by this study into educational achievement in Estonia. After Estonia became independent, there was an increase in selection in the Estonian education system and a greater range of opportunities. As the graph below shows, heritability of achievement increased.

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2) Therapeutic Drift

One of the evaluation points we look at when studying CBT is that the effectiveness of the therapy varies with the quality of the therapist. This article looks at therapeutic drift, the idea that therapists over time become less effective, and discusses what might be done about it.

 

3) A Couple On Depression

When we study classification and diagnosis, we focus on what happens in a GP’s consulting room. This article is written by Richard Byng who is a GP in Plymouth. It explains some of the choices and dilemmas GPs face when deciding whether to prescribe antidepressants. This article raises some important questions about the relationship between antidepressants and psychotherapy.

 

4) A Bit Of Sports Psychology

Here, Laura Cosgrove explains her role as a sports psychologist working with elite British divers.

 

5) New Nerve Cells In Adult Brains

Here’s another article saying that there is such a thing.

 

6) Working Memory

I’ve been marking a practice exam question about whether the working memory model can be criticised for being out of date. One way of addressing this criticism is to look at the way the model is continuously updated. This article has just been published. It seeks to understand the process of directing attention. Alan Baddeley and Graham Hitch, the originators of the model, are in the list of authors. Alan Baddeley is in his mid eighties.

 

7) Basal Ganglia

We use the basal ganglia as part of the neural explanation of OCD. Here’s a two minute explanation of what they do.

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