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Dr. Grohol's Blog of Psychology

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 Wednesday, April 2, 2003

Brain can reorganize after injury at any age
No matter when the brain is injured -- early in life, in middle age, or later -- it shows a remarkable ability to reorganize to help the body recover normal motor functions, a new study at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine has shown.

(Posted at 02:22:41 PM EST.) Discuss this...

 Monday, March 31, 2003

SARS Not As Bad As You Thought
With all the media hype surrounding severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), you'd think it was a super-killing virus or something. Well, in this article, Michael Fumento puts the syndrome into some much-needed context. There's a lot less to be concerned about than you think. Which brings me to a good book recommendation, The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things by Barry Glassner.

(Posted at 12:03:22 PM EST.) Discuss this...

 Thursday, March 27, 2003

Mothers' psychological symptoms influence which children go to the doctor
Children whose mothers are the most depressed, anxious, and report high levels of psychosomatic symptom are twice as likely to be taken to a doctor when they complain of a stomach ache or abdominal pain than are children whose mothers report the least amount of such mental stress, according to a new study.

(Posted at 08:52:26 AM EST.) Discuss this...

 Thursday, March 20, 2003

Genetic link may tie together pesticides, ADHD, Gulf War syndrome and other disorders
Recent research at the Salk Institute has identified a gene that may link certain pesticides and chemical weaponry to a number of neurological disorders, including the elusive Gulf War syndrome and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

(Posted at 03:47:30 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Women smile more than men, except when they are in similar roles
Women do smile more than men, but when occupying similar work and social roles, the gender differences in the rate of smiling disappear, a Yale researcher has found. Also, there are large differences in the degree to which men smile less than women depending on a person's culture, ethnicity, age, or when people think they are being observed, according to the study funded by the National Science Foundation.

(Posted at 03:28:54 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Researchers identify differing risk factors contributing to Parkinson's Disease in men and women
New Mayo Clinic research provides evidence that environmental factors may play a greater role in the development of Parkinson's disease in men, while for women, hereditary factors may play a greater role. The findings are published in the March, 2003 issue of the journal Movement Disorders.

(Posted at 03:27:56 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Online therapy research study published
On page 61 of the American Counseling Association's Journal of Counseling and Development, Winter 2003 (PDF) issue, there is an article describing a survey undertaken by the authors of online counseling or e-therapy (they call it "WebCounseling"). The title of the article is The Scope of WebCounseling: A Survey of Services and Compliance with NBCC Standards for the Ethical Practice of WebCounseling. This article has stirred up some debate on the ISMHO members' list, because of the poor research methodology used and the overreaching conclusions drawn by the authors of the article. It's too bad, too, given how little good research there is in the field of online counseling. Now that this study is published in a peer-reviewed journal, it will be referenced by other researchers as though it was quality research. It has value, though, because the data gathered can still be of use to other researchers for post-hoc analyses.

(Posted at 03:52:41 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Friday, March 14, 2003

Childhood exposure to media violence predicts young adult aggressive behavior
Children's viewing of violent TV shows, their identification with aggressive same-sex TV characters, and their perceptions that TV violence is realistic are all linked to later aggression as young adults, for both males and females. That is the conclusion of a 15-year longitudinal study of 329 youth published in the March issue of Developmental Psychology, a journal of the American Psychological Association (APA). These findings hold true for any child from any family, regardless of the child's initial aggression levels, their intellectual capabilities, their social status as measured by their parents' education or occupation, their parents' aggressiveness, or the mother's and father's parenting style.

(Posted at 03:01:59 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Men overestimate the number of sexual partners they have had in their lives
A University of Alberta professor of psychology has learned men tend to overestimate the number of sexual partners they've had, and he's come up with some interesting theories explain why the do this. Psychology professor Dr. Norman Brown said while some people might conclude this happens because "men are pigs," there is in fact, important information to be gathered from his survey of approximately 1,100 Albertans, who were asked to recall how many sexual partners they had had during their lives.

He found that men were twice as likely as women to use a rough approximation method, while women were more likely to think about individual incidents and calculate the number this way. People who had had few sexual partners were the most likely to use the reasoning "I just know."

(Posted at 02:50:38 PM EST.) Discuss this...

'Sleep debts' accrue when nightly sleep totals six hours or fewer
Those who believe they can function well on six or fewer hours of sleep every night may be accumulating a "sleep debt" that cuts into their normal cognitive abilities, according to research conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. What's more, the research indicates, those people may be too sleep-deprived to know it.

(Posted at 02:42:34 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Friday, March 7, 2003

The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science
"There is, alas, no scientific claim so preposterous that a scientist cannot be found to vouch for it. And many such claims end up in a court of law after they have cost some gullible person or corporation a lot of money. How are juries to evaluate them?" This excellent article describes how to discover junk science in a quick and efficient manner, and largely holds up to scientific scrutiny. Apply it to so-called "Internet addiction disorder" for a quick test of its merits!

(Posted at 10:42:58 AM EST.) Discuss this...

Thursday, March 6, 2003

Stimulant treatment of children with ADHD reduces subsequent substance abuse
A study by researchers at Harvard University has provided more evidence that using stimulant medications to treat children with ADHD may reduce their risk of developing drug and alcohol use disorders later in life.

(Posted at 01:42:21 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Many depressed patients have low satisfaction with care
"Antidepressant drugs are the most prevalent, and often the only, treatment offered to patients newly diagnosed with depression, even when mental health therapy is readily available, according to a new study. And after three months of treatment, many depressed patients have relatively low satisfaction with their care, say Leif I. Solberg, M.D., of HealthPartners Research Foundation and colleagues."

It's depressing to me to read that only a third of the folks in the study received educational materials about their disorder, and only half were given a recommendation to see a therapist. There's plenty of research to show the most effective treatment for depression is a combined approach of psychotherapy and medications. So why aren't more doctors doing their jobs?

(Posted at 01:23:15 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Compromise is name of the game in how brain works
A new study illustrates how the brain is constantly compromising as it pieces together information, often ignoring or downplaying small visual changes in the world that do not fit with its expectations. This process - far from being flawed - shows that the brain functions optimally, say University of Toronto researchers.

(Posted at 01:17:35 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Emotional distress leads children to doubt their competence
Children who experience emotional distress from depression and anxiety are prone to viewing themselves and their world in a negative light -- and this thinking leads them to underestimate their abilities, suggest the results of a long-term study of nearly 1,000 elementary school children.

Three specific negative beliefs associated with emotional distress led children to underestimate themselves. One involved their tendency to blame themselves for failures while attributing successes external factors, and another involved feeling uncertain that they could meet performance standards. A third negative belief, low self-esteem, led children to underestimate themselves in the social realm, but not in the academic realm.

(Posted at 01:00:05 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Study shows people with major depression may have higher suicide risk
People suffering from major depression and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to attempt suicide, and women with both disorders are more likely to have attempted suicide than men with both disorders, according to a new report in the March 2003 American Journal of Psychiatry, the monthly scientific journal of the American Psychiatric Association.

(Posted at 12:57:00 PM EST.) Discuss this...

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jul 2007
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

 

 

Happiness depends upon ourselves.
-- Aristotle
 
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