Research Articles

Psychology Around the Net: February 28, 2015

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

1 brain light goo

Check out this week’s Psychology Around the Net to learn more about smokers and their relationships to anxiety and depression, how your state ranks regarding the five aspects of life satisfaction, neurons that predict how we might react in particular situations, and more.

Neurons That Help Predict What Another Individual Will Do Identified: Scientists have located two groups of neurons in primates that: one that activates during cooperation situations and another that predicts how one will react.

4 Ways a Child with Autism Affects Family Life

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

family grass blue skyAn autism diagnosis not only changes the life of the child diagnosed, but also that of family members. Parents of an autistic child have to bear a lot of stress owing to complicated therapy schedules, home treatments, and juggling job responsibilities and family commitments. There is also financial stress coming from the expensive therapies and treatments.

Such stress may affect family life in various adverse ways. Parents of autistic children need to meet the needs of their children, as well as address the needs of their family. Coping with the stresses involved in being parents to an autistic child can strengthen families and marriages, but this requires a great support system and a lot of hard work.

How Personal Writing Can Positively Affect Mental Health

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The Power of Writing: 3 Types of Therapeutic WritingWhen I write, I aim to get my work published and share my stories with others, hoping that it could leave an impact of some kind. If I can touch at least one person with my writing, I deem the whole process worth it.

“If I can string words together to explain life, in some small and meaningless way, that’s what I feel most authentic doing,” Abby Norman wrote in her essay on Medium. “Even if it’s nothing profound, even if it’s just a good joke — if someone reads the words they need for a moment, that’s enough.”

That sentiment instantly resonated.

Psychology Around the Net: February 21, 2015

Saturday, February 21st, 2015

A wall calendar with the words Do It Now to symbolize the import

Happy Saturday, Psych Central readers!

This week’s edition of Psychology Around the Net brings you information about the subtle signs of depression, how to change your attitude even when you can’t change your circumstances, the connection between being locked up and mental illness and poverty, and more.

(Oh, and we even get an appearance from the Duchess herself!)

Stop Beating Yourself Up for Not Getting Everything Done Every Day: Tired of feeling defeated because you didn’t accomplish every last thing on your to-do list? Ask yourself these five questions and you might just feel a little more relaxed at the end of the day.

Research Suggests Light Therapy Offers More Than Just Mental Relief

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Happy celebrating winning success woman at sunset or sunrise sta

Bright light therapy has long been an effective treatment for people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Now new research shows that this alternative treatment may offer significant relief for physical pain as well — specifically back pain.

In a new study, published in the journal Pain Medicine, the back pain of 125 participants was significantly reduced after only three sessions of bright light therapy with 5000 lux. (Office lighting is about 500 lux, and direct sunlight is about 30,000 to 100,000 lux.) The participants’ depression, mainly due to the pain, was also significantly lowered.

Psychology Around the Net: February 14, 2015

Saturday, February 14th, 2015

love letter 3

Happy Valentine’s Day, Psych Central readers!

For those of you who observe Valentine’s Day, we have some interesting information about why single people actually might benefit more than those in relationships.

Oh, and there’re are a few more fascinating reads — from taking a peek at some useful mental health apps to learning how successful people deal with depression.

We hope it provides a great start to your weekend!

It’s Better to Be Single On Valentine’s Day: Here’s one that’s sure to drum up some controversy: Philosopher Neil McArthur and author Marina Adshade make several arguments about why it’s actually better to be single on this day of celebrating love, going beyond just the economic implications and diving into the “are you or are you not committed to me” realm.

Mental Health Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Love CrimesMore than 1 in 3 women in the United States have been victims of intimate partner violence (IPV), including physical assault, rape, or stalking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Although heterosexual males remain the largest class of offenders, there is growing recognition of the impact of IPV committed by heterosexual women on their male partners as well as IPV within same-sex relationships.

Alarmingly, most cases of IPV are never reported to the police (Frieze & Browne, 1989). Survivors of IPV choose not to report the crimes for a variety of reasons, including shame, embarrassment, concern that law enforcement officials will not be supportive, or fear of retribution from their intimate partner.

The Benefits of Mindful Eating

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Making a choiceAt 2 p.m. I still hadn’t eaten lunch. I was struggling to finish up an article before my daughter walked in the door from school. But a growling stomach was making it hard to focus.

I moved to the kitchen, grabbed a banana and a handful of crackers and ate them at the counter, while making notes on my to-do List. Then I grabbed a piece of string cheese from the fridge and a rubbery Tootsie Pop from the back cupboard and carried them to my desk. I still don’t remember eating the lollipop, but the wrapper is sitting there under the computer monitor.

Why Change is Difficult

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

woman in deep thoughtWe all want to improve our health, our wellness and our happiness. And in order to achieve our goals, we need to break bad habits and form good ones that actually stick. But despite our good intensions, we often fail to act on them. Even if we do, it rarely lasts.

There’s no doubt about it: change is hard. And no matter how hard we try to change, the comforts of eating sugary snacks, shopping and online surfing are difficult to resist. We try everything, but despite our unremitting effort to change, we return to our vices with greater voracity.

Why do we fail to break bad habits?

HuffPo Lies: Marijuana Effective Against Depression

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

HuffPo Lies: Marijuana Effective Against DepressionWow, what a whopper there. The brazen Huffington Post Science article headline blares: “New Study Finds Marijuana To Be Effective Against Depression.”

While many of us turn to the HuffPo for our entertainment news, this is an example of why it’s probably not a good source to trust for science news. Because that headline isn’t just inaccurate — it’s an outright lie.

There has been no study that was just published that shows marijuana to be effective against depression. Because the research HuffPo references is a study done on rats. Measuring not depression, but rather chronic stress.

Psychology Around the Net: February 7, 2015

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

football10

Learn more about money and happiness, how our personality types affect our habits, and — *gasp* — whether practicing BDSM can actually reduce anxiety in this week’s Psychology Around the Net.

The Psychology of Why Sports Fans See Their Teams as Extensions of Themselves: With the Super Bowl (and possibly DeflateGate — at least, somewhat) behind us, let’s take a look behind the scenes of how we see our favorite sports teams actually could be an expression of our own selves.

Facebook Doesn’t Cause Depression Amongst College Students, But Envy Might

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Facebook Doesn't Cause Depression Amongst College Students, But Envy Might

In a well thought-out study designed to tease out some of the differences in how people actually use the social networking service Facebook, Tandoc et al. (2015) have put some interesting data behind the question that’s been asked at least a half-dozen times already: Does Facebook cause depression?

Their findings? No, Facebook doesn’t cause depression any more than using the Internet causes depression (that was actually a thing at one point in the past too!).

In fact, like most things in psychological research, they found the relationship between depression and Facebook use is a complex one, mediated by a number of factors. Two of those factors are how exactly you use Facebook, and whether you feel envious of others.

Let’s take a closer look at the study…

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