1) Nature And Well-Being
This is a theme behind the practical we do in Year 1 comparing a mindfulness video and a walk in a biodiverse environment for their effect in reducing stress. This article and this article relate to same piece of research which is published here. It shows an association between spending two hours per week in nature and improved health and well-being. This links to some recent interest in the Japanese practice of forest bathing which is dealt with here. This itself is backed up by some interesting research here. What’s striking is how little is known about possible causes these increases in well being. Our research group is looking at social interaction as a factor, something which is only considered briefly in the research. There are some other questions, for example how personal histories of exercise and interaction with nature affect the experience of being in nature as well as the effect of the activity being voluntary. Plenty for use to think about here.
2) All In The Mind
This has continued to be a great series. This week’s was about procrastination and motivation. Last week’s had a new way of treating phobia.
3) What We Don’t Know About Addiction
In this video, Ian Hamilton explains what we do and don’t know about addiction. There is a question about the validity of a medical model which sees addiction as an illness. That has an impact on our work on risk factors. There is also the problem of gender bias. Most of the research is done on men. Knowing little about the experience of women and addiction means we have an impoverished view of addiction as a whole.
4) And Culture Bias
Both cultural and gender bias come up in the Year 2 exam. This article suggests that we know little about mental health in different cultures, in part because cross-cultural research comes from a limited range of settings. Data often lacks social and cultural context. Also related to bias, this article looks at how we use concepts and words from different languages in developing Psychology concepts.
5) Defining Abnormality
Here is a radio programme about gaming disorder. We think about this in the context of defining abnormality. This article looks at the issues of impairment, disability and empowerment in relation to autism. This relates to the definitions of abnormality which we use.
6) Higher Doses Of Antidepressants
This piece is a response to a large scale meta-analysis about doses of antidepressants. It becomes though an investigation of the depth of problems which doctors have to solve and calls into question the streamlined view of explanation and treatment with which we deal when we present research.
In the way in which we represent the function of a neuron, the dendrite is seen as a mere conductor of signals. The business is done at the synapse. This article challenges this view with some new research.