Why Gun Laws Targeting ‘Crazy People’ Would Have Little Benefit

Two days ago, according to FBI crime statistics, approximately 38 murders took place in the U.S. Most of these murders were completed with a gun between two or more people who knew one another.

But people are only talking about two of them -- the deaths of TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward by Vester Flanagan (aka Bryce Williams). Flanagan was a disgruntled former worker at the local TV station where the three of them briefly worked at the same time for about 9 months in 2012.

And one of the victims' fathers -- Andy Parker -- has now made it his mission in life to increase common sense gun control laws in the U.S. Targeting "crazy people."

Unfortunately, had his laws been in place, they likely wouldn't have prevented this tragedy -- or most tragedies like this.

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The Problem with Google’s Health Knowledge Graphs

Earlier this year, Google changed how it presented health search results. It added a new box to its search results it calls a "Knowledge Graph."

Apparently this new product came about because a Google product manager had a hard time finding information about a concussion, using -- you guessed it -- Google. Believing that health information is different than all other information people search for, Google decided to start becoming a health information publisher instead of a search engine.

And when you get into the publishing business, well, you better know what you're doing. Can a search engine company also offer vetted health information you can trust?

The answer is unclear.

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Ethics & Morality

American Psychological Association’s New Torture Policy is Unenforceable

In a resolution that only people who love the intricacies of governance could appreciate, the American Psychological Association's (APA) Council of Representatives voted on August 7 to institute a new policy for the organization. Namely, that APA psychologist members can no longer engage in enhanced interrogation techniques, or in any way be a part of them as a consultant or otherwise. (The new policy is the result of the Council of Representatives Resolution 23B (PDF).)

And while it made for some great headlines in the newspapers and on countless professional mailing lists, one important fact flew under the radar -- the new policy is completely, 100 percent unenforceable. Today, no psychologist can be removed from the APA for violating this policy.

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Brain and Behavior

Vote to Help Teach Kids Vital Mental Health Tools

Microsoft wants to #UpgradeYourWorld with $500,000 grant

Your vote can bring iFred’s Schools for Hope program to children around the world. Microsoft is celebrating people and organizations who do great things and make a difference every day by awarding a global nonprofit organization with $500,000, along with technology and support. If selected, funds will be used to expand iFred’s Schools for Hope program, a free curriculum teaching kids vital mental health tools for having hope, a skill that can be taught according to research and...
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Spreading Misinformation About ADHD

John Rosemond, MS is a nationally-syndicated columnist and parenting expert who's made a name for himself by promoting a lot of old-fashioned parenting skills. You know, like spanking. I suppose there's nothing wrong with ignoring research data and science that's been published in the past few decades (if that's your thing).

But I was a little taken aback by Rosemond's recent answer to a parent's concern that her child may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Rosemond starts his reply off with this outrageous claim: "First and foremost, there is no good science behind the diagnosis of ADHD."

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The 2015 Murphy Mental Health Crisis Act: Little Better This Time Around

Rep. Tim Murphy is back and here to help the families of people with mental health concerns -- but not necessarily the patients themselves. And this time he's pitching his Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2015 (HR 2646) as a "new and improved" version of the same bill he introduced in 2013.

I wish I could say the bill is a more actually a better, more refined vision of the 2013 act. But despite some advances and changes made in it, it still has some major issues -- issues that mean it is still problematic to pass it as written today.

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Anxiety and Panic

The Psychological Effects of Too Much Testing

How do I recall my years in elementary school? I surely remember assignments and standardized tests, but I can also conjure up images of snacks and story time and recreation with my peers in order to forge social relationships (which, in my opinion, is integral for development).

However, the light appears rather dim for today’s schoolchildren. The current academic curriculum is intensive. Lots of work, little play and tests galore.

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Ethics & Morality

American Psychological Association’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

This has been a rough week for the staff and leadership at the American Psychological Association (APA). After sitting on the Hoffman Report for nearly a week, they faced a major New York Times story because someone (ethically) leaked it to the newspaper. Rather than getting in front of the story and discussing the report before the media got a hold of it, they again demonstrated the lack of leadership the organization has suffered from for years.

And that was just the beginning of the week for the once stalwart professional organization representing many psychologists in the United States. Although the independent inquiry into the governance and ethical practices of the APA named dozens of high-level APA staffers and elected leaders, the APA reacted with a resounding thud -- "letting go" just one person named in the report in the first week the organization had the report.

To date, the APA still hasn't responded to important questions regarding the findings of the inquiry. The fire is only going to get hotter as the APA's silence speaks volumes.

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Disability, Work, and Recovery

I’ve established myself as an advocate of getting people off of long-term disability. Too many people with mental illness are discouraged from living at their most productive. Disability condemns them to living within a system that doles out subsistence pay and prohibits the risk and reward of work. There are many incentives to stay on assistance, and many stigmas and barriers to stepping out and being fully responsible for one’s present and future. I believe work is beneficial and healing, and everyone who can work should find the opportunity.
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Ethics & Morality

APA Has Lost 10,000+ Members in Less Than 6 Years

Perhaps due to the ethical quandaries that the American Psychological Association (APA) appears to be continuously facing nowadays, the professional organization that represents psychologists in the United States appears to be hemorrhaging regular bread-and-butter members.

At the height of its membership in 2008, the APA counted 92,322 members (8,318 of which were associate members -- members who have no voting rights in the organization). In 2013, the last year which the APA makes membership statistics available, they had only 82,153 members. That's a drop of 10,169 members in just 6 years -- a loss of about 11 percent of its membership.

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APA Leadership Resignations: Anderson, Honaker & Farberman

The two top leaders of the American Psychological Association (APA), its CEO Norman Anderson and his deputry, Michael Honaker, have been allowed to resign from the organization. This after The Hoffman Report found they were amongst the key leaders present and voting in some of the meetings where APA officials apparently colluded with military leaders to manipulate some ethical policy positions of the APA.

Rhea Farberman was also allowed to resign. She was the executive director for public and member communications for the APA for 22 years.

The full press release is below.

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Ethics & Morality

The Hoffman Report: After Years of Lies, Who Holds the APA Accountable?

After years of lying to its members, the public, and other professionals, the American Psychological Association (APA) finds itself in the awkward position of being a professional organization that no longer has a moral or ethical leg to stand on.

According to a new report by independent investigator David Hoffman, not only did individual APA members lie and cover up their extensive involvement with post-9/11 torture. But on behalf of these members, the entire APA organizational structure colluded to keep these lies going.

And not just a decade or more ago. No, the lies and justifications for the lies continued right up until last year. After a book critical of APA's stance on torture was published last year (Risen, 2014), did the APA suggest the book had merit? Nope, instead the APA kept making excuses, discrediting the author and the book saying it was "largely based on innuendo and one-sided reporting" and "a thorough review of these public materials and our standing policies will clearly demonstrate that APA will not tolerate psychologist participation in torture."

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