Post Of The Week – Sunday 29th July, 2018

1) Resilience Training

This article from the Mental Elf reviews resilience training in schools. It’s useful for us for several reasons. Firstly, it’s an example of how CBT can be applied effectively to different contexts and therefore another example of the flexibility of CBT. Secondly, it raises the issue of generalisability. Effectiveness may well depend on many factors in each setting where the resilience training is applied. That should make us think about the generalisability of the work we are starting in Year 2 on understanding anxiety. Thirdly, the research uses self-report. The article suggests that there may be other quantitative measures such as number of days absent from school which would be better indicators of the success of these programmes.


2) Educational Achievement And Genetics

A big study has just found an association between 1271 genes and educational achievement. The findings and issues which arise are well summed up in this piece by Ed Yong. There’s a crucial difference between predicting heritability in a whole population and predicting outcomes for individuals which is well illustrated in this article. You can see a lecture on this research here.

The speed of progress in this research is astonishing.


3) Creating Emotions

Here is Lisa Feldman Barrett challenging the idea that emotions are hard wired in the brain and showing how emotions are constructed.


4) Autism And Epilepsy

This article is a another example of how quickly research moves. It looks at how one genetic variant has been identified which is linked both to autism and to epilepsy.


5) CBT And Schizophrenia

I can remember when the first studies came out suggesting that CBT could be effective treatment for schizophrenia. This article explains what was wrong with them and what more recent and robust evidence suggests.


6) “Brain training does not generalize, even to very similar tasks.”

Here is the full abstract of a study which concludes that brain training is ineffective in developing working memory. People get better at the tasks they are asked to do as part of the training but this improvement does not transfer even to tasks which make similar demands of working memory.


7) Plane Protest

This article explains how the deporting of a man to Afghanistan was halted after the protest of one passenger. We could link this to ideas about unanimity and social support in understanding social influence.

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