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Children and Teens

The Psychology of ’13 Reasons Why,’ Suicide & High School Life

After watching the Netflix series, "13 Reasons Why," I can see why it was picked up for a second season.

It's an engaging story with well-drawn characters that are more complex than typical high-school stereotypes. It's a story that deals with a bunch of difficult topics students in high school face -- texting, photo-sharing of a sexual nature, drinking, drugs, bullying, sexual assault, and, yes, suicide.

Some say the series idolizes suicide. Critics claim the series makes suicide look attractive, beautiful, tragic, and that the show contributes to dangerous suicide contagion.

Some say the series isn't that bad and it's a realistic portrayal of the challenges of modern high school life.

So where's the truth? Somewhere in-between.

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Brain and Behavior

Even Facebook Doesn’t Understand Facebook’s Algorithms

After all the hand-wringing that came from the "fake news" spectacle courtesy of Facebook's news feed -- the content you see when you log into Facebook from your phone or laptop -- one thing has become abundantly clear. Even Facebook doesn't understand Facebook.

And that's the problem with relying on an algorithmic artificial intelligence (AI) that has been built (or more accurately, pieced together) over the years by hundreds of different developers and programmers.

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Children and Teens

The Importance of ’13 Reasons Why’ and It’s Reflection of Teen Mental Health

Warning: This article does include spoilers for the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why".

On March 31, 2017 Netflix released a new series titled, “13 Reasons Why”, based off the book by author Jay Asher. This series depicts a young man, Clay Jensen, and his journey to bring justice for his friend Hannah Baker. Hannah, a seventeen-year-old high school junior with nothing but the future before her, took her life on a seemingly calm afternoon. Why is this important? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that in individuals between the ages of 10 and 24 years old, suicide is the third leading cause of death.
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Brain and Behavior

No, Researchers Have Not Discovered the Cause of OCD

If "fake news" is an epidemic, we see it no place more clearly than in the media relations offices of universities that promote their professors' latest research results. Some of the blame falls on the researchers themselves, who have eschewed conservative, careful language in their studies and instead have turned to hyperbole and over-generalization.

The latest example of scientific "fake news" is the supposed discovery of the single cause of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). And we don't have to look any further than the news release published by the University of Würzburg to see how bad the problem is.

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Antidepressant

Mothers’ Depression, Not SSRI Use, Best Explains Researchers’ Results

Back in October, researchers published the findings from a study that suggested that mothers who take a common form of antidepressants (SSRIs like Prozac) while pregnant are at greater risk for producing offspring that will later have speech or language problems.

However, this month, the researchers got some push back in the journal where the original study was published. And in reviewing the results of the study, it appears the researchers overstated the association and import of the relationship they found.

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Bullying

What if Donald Trump Was Only an Algorithm?

What if Donald Trump existed only as an algorithm? Imagine if his entire campaign, presidency, and life all stemmed from a systematic approach to gain an identity other than the algorithm. It would be absurd. The very pattern of all his actions would be governed by the system he subconsciously wishes to overcome. By following his formula, Trump would cement the identity of a machine rather than a human.
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Bullying

How Trump’s Brand of Masculinity Hurts Us All: It’s Toxic But We Can Fix It

You can easily find tweets, posts and messages on all forms of social media with horrific messages designed to degrade and humiliate women. And we just elected a president who unabashedly slanders and bullies women.

I want to consider the hate that some men have for women, whether in public, on social media, or in private, where domestic abuse is still all too common. These men seem to lack empathy for women. What could explain the lack of empathy that fuels misogyny?
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