Post Of The Week – Monday 22nd July 2019

1) Slaughterhouses Of Souls

When we study the effects of institutionalisation and in particular Rutter’s research on Romanian orphans, we tend not to dwell too long on how bad the conditions were from which the orphans were taken. This article from three and a half years ago sets that record straight. Although some children were treated better than others, it presents a harrowing picture of physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Please do not follow this link if it may in some way be triggering.


2) Implicit Learning

The memory tests we use in experiments are explicit. We tell people what to learn and they know they are learning it. This article looks at implicit learning, the learning we do without realising we are doing it. The research tells us much about how we process information.


3) The Role Of Psychodynamic Therapy

While we have been studying the psychodynamic approach, we have struggled to understand its contemporary importance. This article goes some way to explaining both the importance of psychodynamic ideas in therapeutic practice but also the evidence of its effectiveness.


4) Genetic Basis Of Anorexia Nervosa

This link from King’s College, London and this piece on the  BBC website explain the latest findings from the international study of the genetic basis of anorexia. It’s important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it describes anorexia as a “metabo-psychiatric disorder”. That means we cannot that the categories we use, “psychological” and “biological” no longer do justice to the complexity of the condition. Secondly, it is a case of using evidence from genes not only to demonstrate that there is a genetic basis to the condition but also to explain which systems in the body are influenced. That means that we no longer separate “genetic” and “neural” explanations but instead put them together.



This article explains the context of the development of the classification and diagnosis of ADHD. It relates to changes in American education in the late 1950s. That raises questions about how we define abnormality.


6) Extinction Rebellion And Breaking The Law

We consider when studying social change the impact of a minority showing commitment. This article explains why Extinction Rebellion places such emphasis on arrest and what this tells us about their objectives.


7) Causes Of Obesity

This article deals not only with the causes of obesity but also with how health campaigns perpetuate stigma.


8) Gene-Environment Interaction

This study is clever. It compares the influence of genes for educational achievement in adopted and non-adopted individuals. The influence is greater in non-adopted individuals. This means that the genetic influence depends on  the environment created by parents with the same genes. It’s an example of interaction.


9) Humans Aren’t Designed To Be Happy

We’ve been thinking about the humanistic approach in lessons last week. We saw how Maslow’s and Rogers’ work led to the growth of positive psychology. This article challenges the assumption that people are born to be happy. As we saw, Maslow’s picture of self-actualisation is more complex than is sometimes portrayed. It does not assume that someone who self-actualises is free from any kind of distress.


10) Stroop Effect

In our experiments last term. some groups used colour tasks to divide attention. Here is Hank Green explaining the Stroop Effect, the procedure on which some of these tasks were based.



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