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Psychiatry in pictures

Psychiatry in Pictures is a monthly feature of The British Journal of Psychiatry which often demonstrates art created by the psychopathologically afflicted. Other installments include portraits of important figures in the history of psychiatry, paintings drawn during art therapy, and photographs of (quite inhumane) psychiatric treatments.
posted by charmston on Jul 18, 2007 - 15 comments

Why Terrorism Does Not Work

Why Terrorism Does Not Work [pdf] is an article by Max Abrahms that tries to understand why terrorist groups have a success rate of 7% on their stated goals and those terrorists who target civilians have a stunning 0% success rate when it comes to achieving their political objectives. He argues that the answer lies in correspondent inference theory. [via Wired's Bruce Schneier]
posted by Kattullus on Jul 12, 2007 - 78 comments

Ten Evolutionarily Obvious Truths About Human Nature

Women won't sleep with random attractive strangers? Damn.
posted by Citizen Premier on Jul 5, 2007 - 129 comments

Boy Gets in Trouble at School with "No Touching" Policy

Boy's Hug Lands Him in Trouble At School With "No Touching" Policy. 7th grader Hal Beaulieu "hopped up from his lunch table one day a few months ago, sat next to his girlfriend and slipped his arm around her shoulder. That landed him a trip to the school office." Handshakes could be gang signs, and officials note, "in a culturally diverse school...families might have different views of what is appropriate." The PTA President remarks: ""Even high-fives can get out of hand ... someone can get bonked in the head." (CNN News Video)
posted by shivohum on Jun 24, 2007 - 108 comments

Natalie Portman: Broadway, Silver Screen...Research Lab?

Turns out that Golden Globe-winning actress Natalie Portman (formerly known as Natalie Hershlag) is quite an accomplished scholar. In addition to being a Harvard psychology student, she worked in Dr. Abigail Baird's research lab and was the co-author of a peer-reviewed journal article investigating the neuroscience underlying the development of object permanence in infants. Quite impressive, in an age where Lindsay Lohans and Paris Hiltons dominate the headlines.
posted by charmston on Jun 19, 2007 - 101 comments

Heckuva job Brownie!

Positive self-deception is a normal In 1988, psychologists Shelly Taylor and Jonathon Brown published an article making the somewhat disturbing claim that positive self-deception is a normal and beneficial part of most people’s everyday outlook.
posted by punkfloyd on Jun 19, 2007 - 71 comments

About psychopaths.

Are these people qualitatively different from us? "I would think yes," says Hare. "Do they form a discrete taxon or category? I would say probably -- the evidence is suggesting that.
Psychopaths. They form about 1% of the population. They enjoy the excitement of power. Some choice bits from Hare's book. The obligatory Bush link, but, hey, it's got the test sections and the sad truth is that we do have some psychopaths in positions of power, though probably not the Presidency. [Gosh this is getting long] It turns out there's a biological basis for it. Here's the DSM description and some detailed analysis/description (gosh, I identify with some of those traits!) And here's some AskMe fodder, "Are You Involved With A Psychopath?" And because of that lust for power... well, it could well be your boss.
posted by five fresh fish on May 28, 2007 - 112 comments

Field Guide to Loners

Contrary to popular belief, not all loners have a pathological fear of social contact "Loners often hear from well-meaning peers that they need to be more social, but the implication that they're merely black-and-white opposites of their bubbly peers misses the point."
posted by 2shay on May 16, 2007 - 89 comments

Women don't talk more than man after all.

The commonly held belief that women talk more than men is apparently a fabrication. The truth: "No reputable study has ever measured the widely repeated numerical comparisons that show women talking two or three times as much as men."
posted by 2shay on Apr 20, 2007 - 97 comments

Psychopathology of the Boss

Boss Science: The Psychopathology of the modern American corporate leader. The personality which wins the promotion game has dubious overlap with characteristics of effective leadership. Many organizational psychologists argue that the "emergent" boss is often a narcissist who, because he "manages to act like he already is the boss," is "socially skilled at adjusting his personality," and is charismatic, rises and entrenches himself to the detriment of the organization. Some, though, "extol[] the virtues of the narcissist’s selfishness, ethical blindness, and lack of empathy as indispensable to being an agent of change in a large corporation—or the world."
posted by shivohum on Apr 8, 2007 - 37 comments

Highly Sensitive People: if you prick us, do we not bleed? and burst into tears? and run from the room and fling ourselves down on the bed?

Are you a Highly Sensitive Person? This trait ... is inherited by 15 to 20% of the population, and ... seems to be present in all higher animals. Being an HSP means your nervous system is more sensitive to subtleties. Your sight, hearing, and sense of smell are not necessarily keener .... But your brain processes information and reflects on it more deeply. Being an HSP also means, necessarily, that you are more easily overstimulated, stressed out, overwhelmed. This trait ... has been mislabeled as shyness (not an inherited trait), introversion (30% of HSPs are actually extraverts), inhibitedness, fearfulness, and the like. HSPs can be these, but none of these are the fundamental trait they have inherited ...
yahoo group | latest research (fascinating!) | newsletter | wikipedia | blog | via
posted by grumblebee on Apr 8, 2007 - 150 comments

Jeff Hawkins unleashes his brain: Numenta's new AI platform

Jeff Hawkins, co-founder of Palm and Handspring, has started a new company, called Numenta, to test his controversial theory of intelligence. Whether you find his theory plausible or not, his book, "On Intelligence" is fascinating. Numenta is attempting to build A.I.s using Hawkins' theory as a backbone. They've developed a software engine and a Python-based API, which they've made public (as free downloads), so that hackers can start playing. They've also released manuals, a whitepaper (pdf) and videos [1] [2]. (At about 30:18 into the first video, Hawkins demonstrates, with screenshots, the first app which uses his system.)
posted by grumblebee on Apr 4, 2007 - 22 comments

surviving relationships with difficult people

If You Had Controlling Parents. A site providing support and resources for adults raised with unhealthy control and/or Narcissistic parenting. The eight styles of controlling parents.
posted by nickyskye on Apr 4, 2007 - 29 comments

We Used To Get Together And Really Let Our Hair Down...

Remember When We Used To Have Fun? A look into the causes of modern unhappiness by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of "Nickel and Dimed."
posted by amyms on Apr 3, 2007 - 73 comments

"Do you hear voices?" "Doesn't everyone?"

INTERVOICE (International Network for Training, Education and Research into Hearing Voices) "offers information, publications, research, and good practice on hearing voices and other key issues." Voice hearing is surprisingly common, even normal. Many people find it a pleasurable and positive experience. Find everything from stencil graffiti to a recent New York Times magazine article on the work of the Hearing Voices Movement. (w i k i s)
posted by srs on Mar 29, 2007 - 20 comments

"So I try to laugh about it / Cover it all up with lies"

Men get depression too. An excellent article about the hurdles men face in coming to terms with having the Black Dog. (Click "Print this" at the bottom for an easier to read one-page version; bonus links inside.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 11, 2007 - 73 comments

The Lucifer Effect

Retiring psychology professor Philip G. Zimbardo, who ran the Stanford Prison Experiment, gave his final lecture at Stanford this week, criticizing the Bush administration and saying that senior government officials responsible for Abu Ghraib should be "tried for the crimes against humanity." [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 9, 2007 - 38 comments

What's outside?

Leave No Child Inside
Are children disconnected from the natural world? With the rise of endless variations of in-home entertainment, parents are finding it harder to get kids to play outside, get muddy, and explore nature. Are we inadvertently creating yet another childhood malady (Nature Deficit Disorder)?
posted by moonbird on Mar 7, 2007 - 55 comments

God made me do it.

Increased violence linked to scriptures. University of Michigan psychologist Brad Bushman and his colleagues suggest that scriptural violence sanctioned by God can increase aggression, especially in believers.
posted by Brian B. on Mar 3, 2007 - 93 comments

Pink fix !

Chile Pepper's Lonely Endorphins Club Cinema: I, II, III

Can all this be explained by Dr. Paul Rozin's Benign Masochism / Constrained Risk theory? I, for one, am not buying it, but any way you slice it, hot cock sauce is here to stay.
posted by NaturalScinema on Feb 23, 2007 - 35 comments

Follow the links!

The Authoritarians - Robert Altemeyer's book on authoritarianism is freely available online [via]
posted by daksya on Feb 17, 2007 - 42 comments

You're so smart you probably think this post is about you

"You're really smart!" Psychologist Carol Dweck says that praising a child for being smart only teaches the kid to avoid any effort that might fail. "When we praise children for their intelligence, we tell them that this is the name of the game: Look smart, don't risk making mistakes." Malcolm Gladwell chimes in with his thoughts on the importance of being a smart kid, "What a gifted child is, in many ways, is a gifted learner. And what a gifted adult is, is a gifted doer. And those are quite separate domains of achievement."
posted by revgeorge on Feb 13, 2007 - 218 comments

Psychology of Security

The Psychology of Security. An essay by Bruce Schneier on the difference between the feeling of security and the reality of security. [Via MindHacks.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 8, 2007 - 25 comments

Positive Psychology

Positive Psychology: Can psychology break away from its obsessive focus on the negative? Four decades after Abraham Maslow popularized the search for self-actualization, academics are bringing scientific vigor to our search for the fulfilled life. Evolutionary biologist Nancy Etcoff believes that our Hedonic Set Point can be raised. George Vaillant is less concerned with happiness than with the Neurobiology of Spirituality and Joy. Daniel Gilbert studies prospection, our search for happiness, and our ability to recover from tragedy. Meanwhile, Tal Ben-Shahar teaches the most popular class at Harvard, Psychology 1504: Positive Psychology (includes links to syllabus, reading list, powerpoints, and realvideo of full class lectures).
posted by alms on Jan 31, 2007 - 21 comments

laughter is the best medicine

The Laughing Club. A practicing doctor at a Bombay hospital, Dr. Kataria, formed the first laughing club in 1994. What started off as a group of 5 people, barely able to break into a chortle, gradually spread the world over. Today, there are 5,000 laughing clubs around the world.
posted by nickyskye on Jan 28, 2007 - 14 comments

The Art of Psychiatry

Dictionary of Disorder - shaping the DSM
posted by Gyan on Jan 13, 2007 - 13 comments

知己知彼,百戰不貽

Why hawks win. How identified predictable errors of judgement favour hawkish policy decisions. Via. Previously.
posted by Abiezer on Jan 13, 2007 - 16 comments

The Ideological Animal

The Ideological Animal. We think our political stance is the product of reason, but we're easily manipulated and surprisingly malleable. Our essential political self is more a stew of childhood temperament, education, and fear of death. Call it the 9/11 effect. Or the Metafilter effect. [ducks]
posted by gottabefunky on Jan 9, 2007 - 44 comments

this body is a prison

this body is a prison (google video link)
Go behind the scenes of media coverage of the West Bank and enter a world where terror is a daily reality. Against the backdrop of this politically tumultuous environment there emerges a deeply layered story of a nation fractured by walls both physical and internalized.

Professor of Psychology Khalil Issa discusses the existential dilemmas faced by Palestinian youth as they attempt to develop a sense of self in a land carved by war.

posted by Tryptophan-5ht on Nov 30, 2006 - 2 comments

Illusion is the first of all pleasures

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures"
posted by MetaMonkey on Nov 7, 2006 - 12 comments

Dr Kanazawa.

I find my interest piqued by some of Dr Satoshi Kanazawa's ideas. Especially regarding The conformist culture of Asia. But also: The Myth of Racial Discrimination in Pay in the United States[pdf]. He works hard thinking.
posted by econous on Nov 6, 2006 - 27 comments

This just in: Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance

...Objectives    This double-blind study evaluated the acute and longer-term psychological effects of a high dose of psilocybin relative to a comparison compound administered under comfortable, supportive conditions...

Results    Psilocybin produced a range of acute perceptual changes, subjective experiences, and labile moods including anxiety. Psilocybin also increased measures of mystical experience. At 2 months, the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers.

Conclusions   When administered under supportive conditions, psilocybin occasioned experiences similar to spontaneously occurring mystical experiences. The ability to occasion such experiences prospectively will allow rigorous scientific investigations of their causes and consequences.
Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance
posted by y2karl on Oct 16, 2006 - 58 comments

Shadow People

Scientists discover a region of the brain responsible for feelings of 'self' and 'other'. If electrically stimulated, it causes the perception of an alien being-- a shadow person, standing just behind you, mimicking your every move. This could explain strange feelings of being watched, or of strange presences, or ghosts.
posted by empath on Sep 27, 2006 - 75 comments

Stanford Prison Experiment, The Video

Studying obedience and conformity: The Stanford Prison Experiment has been discussed many times before (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) and has been made into a number of movies. Now you can watch the incredible review film made by the experimenter, with extensive documentary footage, post-experiment interviews and commentary: The Stanford Prison Experiment. [google video, 50 mins]
posted by MetaMonkey on Sep 14, 2006 - 27 comments

Wait, so lawbreakers can be unethical too?

Subliminal Spam. It's rather crude, but I wonder if we'll start seeing more of this, and done more subtly.
posted by delmoi on Sep 6, 2006 - 20 comments

The Internet and You

The Internet and our social and psychological well-being : This older study correlates Internet use with declining social relationships and isolation. A more recent study (PDF) shows that the Internet has changed and positively affects social relationships.
posted by lpctstr; on Aug 31, 2006 - 6 comments

transitional states of mind

The Tibetan Book of the Dead: Part One. Part Two. [YouTube videos] [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Jul 28, 2006 - 20 comments

Coming soon to a cinema near you

The Human Speechome Project - "A baby is to be monitored by a network of microphones and video cameras for 14 hours a day, 365 days a year, in an effort to unravel the seemingly miraculous process by which children acquire language.". Selected video clips. Paper (PDF, 750KB). To test hypotheses of how children learn, Prof Deb Roy's team at MIT will develop machine learning systems that “step into the shoes” of his son by processing the sights and sounds of three years of life at home. Total storage required: 1.4 petabytes.
posted by Gyan on Jul 23, 2006 - 21 comments

been caught stealing...?

New research finds that the human brain registers the avoidance of an anticipated punishment in pretty much the same way as it registers a reward. (See this link for a less technical discussion of the research.) Do these findings suggest that the use of punishment as a deterrent to undesirable behavior in effect actually motivates the undesirable behavior (as opposed to the use of negative reinforcement, or in other words, the withholding of reward)? Do punishment-oriented models of socialization/behaviorial conditioning actually encourage cheating, by in effect selecting for better cheaters?
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 12, 2006 - 28 comments

The miserable and the horrible.

Some dark thoughts about happiness.
posted by Sticherbeast on Jul 10, 2006 - 29 comments

Mmmm, mmm good... Freshly squeezed crude!

Suppose you were like this guy and you had devoted nearly a decade of your life to figuring out how to make oil from turkey gizzards. Now suppose this guy and a bunch of pencil-pushers like these guys came along and started challenging the long-term viability of carbon-based fuels (whether of the freshly-squeezed variety or not). For sake of argument, suppose they were right. How reluctant do you suppose you'd be to admit it, even to yourself?
posted by saulgoodman on Jul 10, 2006 - 45 comments

^_* *_^

The Symmetry Thesis
posted by Tlogmer on Jun 6, 2006 - 37 comments

Childhood trauma makes adults gullible?

Graduates of the "school of hard knocks" flunk real life. A study from the University of Leicester says that, contrary to popular expectation, unpleasant and traumatic life experiences don't make people suspicious and shrewd -- quite the opposite. Many people who've had a tough life actually turn out more gullible and easily swayed:
"This is because the person may have learned to distrust their actions, judgments and decisions due to the fact that the majority of the time their actions have been perceived to invite negative consequences"
The counter-intuitiveness of this finding fascinates me. Wait. Maybe I shouldn't be taking it at face value...
posted by AmbroseChapel on May 27, 2006 - 50 comments

Ayahuasca

Hell and Back: "Deep in the Amazon jungle, writer Kira Salak tests ayahuasca, a shamanistic medicinal ritual, and finds a terrifying—but enlightening—world within." Interesting tale found via this interview with Charles Grob on the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics. The legal status of ayahuasca in the US was recently discussed here.
posted by homunculus on May 26, 2006 - 56 comments

Burying Freud

Burying Freud. A collection of essays and responses by and about Freud's harshest critics, including "Confessions of a Freud-Basher" by anti-Freud point man Frederick Crews, interviewed at length here.
posted by mediareport on May 15, 2006 - 32 comments

The Magical Number Seven

The Magical Number Seven Psychologist George A. Miller on the human limits for processing and remembering data. It is a little dramatic to watch a person memorize 40 binary digits in a row without error.
posted by Lanark on May 10, 2006 - 14 comments

Strange afflictions.

Penis panic, is a type of body dysmorphia, among other strange afflictions. Also known as koro, it may be induced by cannabis, superstition or fear.
posted by nickyskye on May 8, 2006 - 23 comments

Shania Twain defence works in drunk driver's favour

It's okay...Shania was driving for me. Chalk another one up to insanity. Hinkley had Jody. Berkowitz had Sam. God told Peter Sutcliffe what to do. Of course, no one told Ted Kaczynski what to do.
posted by thejimp on Mar 29, 2006 - 45 comments

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Author of the excellent book "Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience" which investigates the phenomenon of the happiness of doing, how the balance between stress/anxiety and slack/boredom effect experience and happiness, and how we can all use it to our advantage.
posted by loquacious on Mar 22, 2006 - 32 comments

The Good Burns, Not C. Montgomery Burns

Everyone in the blue and the green loves David Burns.
His landmark (and most often recommended) book, "Feeling Good" is available in Small, Medium, and you can even Supersize it, complete with exercises, questionnaires and expanded section on medications for depression.
"Feeling Good" is a great book, but Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is good for lots of stuff besides depression.
Like dating, relationship or shyness issues. Solutions that do not involve John Gray, Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura, or heck, even the song "Doctor Doctor" from the Thompson Twins.
No worries, because Dr. Burns has a book for that too, and it rocks. It will get you off the couch, and get you out and smooching in no time.
There are others out there also working with CBT to help you make your life all it can be.
posted by willmize on Mar 21, 2006 - 19 comments

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