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Psychology Around the Net: February 17, 2018

Hello, Psych Central readers.

For this week's Psychology Around the Net, we're diving into vibes and what causes us to feel them, how we can use our emotions to cause positive environmental change, ways to help children better understand and practice mindfulness, and more.

I've chosen to not address the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in this week's Psychology Around the Net, as many of our Psych Central writers have already and are continuing to do so. I encourage you to browse our latest blog posts for our team's insights.

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Brain and Behavior

The Connection Between Obesity and the Blood-Brain Barrier

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is an important physiological formation tasked with protecting the brain from multiple chemicals that might circulate in our bloodstream. The BBB obstructs the exchange and movement of most molecules, cells, and proteins in and out of the central nervous system (CNS). This helps to keep the brain “cool” and unaffected by whatever we eat and the kind of infections we encounter.

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Brain Blogger

Could Marijuana Contribute to Sexual Dysfunction?

Marijuana consists of a mixture of dried plant leaves, flowers, and/or stems of the Cannabis Sativa plant. In addition, there is a resin-based version of marijuana that is called hash. Most people either smoke marijuana or vape it (warming it, but not cooking it), but it can also be ingested in oil form. The most common way to ingest marijuana is to roll it up and smoke it like you would a cigarette or cigar, or use a smoking tool like a pipe. Some users, however, consume weed by infusing foods (i.e., butter and cooking oil) or teas.
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Your Personality Type Might Help You Live Longer

Stubborn, positive personality types likely to live longer, new study says.

I love reading about the oldest people in the world, because the details are so fascinating, and because the people themselves are living links to history. For example, Italy’s Emma Morano was 117 when she passed—and with her, so went a connection to an era. She was the last person born in the 19th century.
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Children and Teens

Perfectionism Among College Students Grows

For many of us, perfectionism is often confused with the genuine drive and desire to obtain excellence. What perfectionism actually is, however, is the quest for the unobtainable.

In this post on perfectionism, Dr. Michael Ashworth explains:

Individuals caught up in perfectionistic thinking or behavior commonly experience significant personal distress as well as chronic health and emotional problems. Such individuals can also provoke extremely negative reactions from others due to their unrealistically high standards and quest to avoid failure and rejection…
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Super Bowl Babies: More Boy Births 9 Months Later?

Ah, Super Bowl Sunday. One of the unofficial national holidays of Americans, and second only to Thanksgiving in the amount of food and drink consumed. The annual championship game of the National Football League in the U.S. is often the most-watched television event of the year.

After any big event -- whether man-made or natural -- researchers often find surprising trends in birth rates. When you follow the data, all sorts of interesting things can be discovered.

Let's find out how Super Bowl Sunday influences birth rates in America.

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Psychology Around the Net: February 3, 2018

Well, ol' Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow yesterday, so we might be looking at six more weeks of winter -- "might," because he's usually wrong.

However, if he's right, there's plenty of cozy wintertime activities to get us through the days and nights when it's too cold or snowy to go out. One of my favorites? Reading! Coincidentally, in this week's Psychology Around the Net we have a list of 10 new mental health books out in 2018!

We also have the latest on the anti-diarrhea medicine overdoses, a psychologist's controversial research regarding how we distinguish physical features of gay and straight people, unusual habits that actually could have health benefits, and more.

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Schizophrenia Prevalence: Fear-Mongering, Fake News & the NIMH

It's odd what upsets some people. Take E. Fuller Torrey and Elizabeth Sinclair's recent take on a change in the way a single number -- the 12-month prevalence rate of schizophrenia -- is displayed on the National Institute of Mental Health's (NIMH) website.

This esoteric number has little impact in most people's lives. If you live with schizophrenia or know someone who does, they most likely don't give a hoot about it. Like most people, they probably don't even know what it means.

But these two authors do care, suggesting the number was reduced due to a hypothesized renewed focus on accountability of the NIMH. In their blazing, fear-mongering headline, they boldly claim that "the National Institute of Mental Health Made Two Million People with Schizophrenia Disappear."

So what's the truth about the numbers with schizophrenia, and what is "fake news?" Let's find out...

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