World of Psychology

Ethics & Morality

What We Can Learn From the Stanford Prison ‘Experiment’

The Stanford Prison 'Experiment' is not so much an actual scientific experiment as it is a great piece of fiction, a piece of improvisational drama created by a budding psychologist at the time, Philip Zimbardo.

So please, let's stop calling it an "experiment" and let's stop teaching it in psychology classes. It's astounding how many people still believe the experiment to be a credible piece of research based on an objective set of hypotheses and scientific methodologies.

As we've learned over the past decade, as more evidence has become available -- and after another set of researchers failed to replicate the original experiment -- there's little doubt that the original study has little of scientific value to teach us. Other than how to tell a good story, one that others really want to believe.

Best of Our Blogs

Best of Our Blogs: July 13, 2018

Summer is a wonderful time to catch up on reading. Right now, I have five books vying for attention on my nightstand including Lynn Dannheisser and Jerry Rosenbaum, M.D.'s What's Wrong With Me? The Frustrated Patient's Guide to Getting an Accurate Diagnosis. If you've ever felt frustrated or labeled, "hypochondriac" or anxious by a doctor, then you might want to read it too.

But I'm curious to know what you're favorite health books are. Tell me what you're reading currently or share your perennial favorites. I'm always looking to add more great books whether fiction or nonfiction to my list.


Replacing the Irreplaceable: On Finding a New Therapist

Some are between jobs. Some people are between husbands. I’m between psychiatrists. Last week, I saw my psychiatrist of 19 years for the very last time. Unfortunately, he was retiring. Next week, I will see my new psychiatrist. I have to admit, I feel untethered.

Something funny happened on the day of our last appointment. I was sitting in the waiting room, minding my own business. I was wearing a pair of extremely loud green, flowered pants.

Children and Teens

Why Consistency in Parenting Isn’t Always Best

Parents are often told that consistency is the key to successful parenting, especially in the areas of children’s bed times, expectations about behavior, and discipline. I agree with the first two: most of us benefit from a consistent bed time and sleep pattern, and it’s really helpful for children if they know what their parents’ expectations about behavior are. However, the last one, I’m not so sure.

As a therapist and a mum, I’ve read a lot of parenting books, watched a lot of programs, and been to a lot of parenting workshops, and consistency is always promoted, especially in relation to discipline.


Podcast: Let’s Talk About Sex Therapy

Sex therapy. The very term is one that produces a flush of embarrassment in many people and is also prone to being misunderstood. But sex therapy is like most other psychotherapy, focusing on how to fix your issues. In this episode, our guest sex therapist talks about what his work consists of, dispelling a few of the misconceptions. He talks about the three main hallmarks of arousal, discusses common problems, such as erectile dysfunction and partners with extremely different libidos, and introduces practices such as “simmering” and “lazy sex.” He also offers some thoughts on polyamory, including the main factors leading to it failing.


Feelings: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This was a title of a popular Western movie in the 60s, and indeed in life we will encounter situations we may consider good, bad, or ugly. It’s just the way our mind works. Our mind is an expert evaluator of feelings. When individuals are asked what feelings they would consider good, bad or ugly, they can readily create a list for each category.

Feelings are neither good nor bad. They are simply emotions that arise depending on situations we encounter. They can run their course if we allow them to do so. Society and our upbringing influence the way we look at our feelings. As we get older our mind becomes our own judge and tells us whether a feeling is good, bad, or ugly. “You should not be anxious. You are a mess!”


How to Declutter When You Don’t Have the Time or Energy

You have a hard time finding important items--umm like your keys, driver’s license, birth certificate, that stack of bills, and those old family photos. Maybe you also have stuff in all sorts of nooks, crannies and corners, and much of this stuff overshadows the significant stuff. And it's largely become invisible.

As writer Brooke McAlary noted, “We don’t see it, we don't use it, we don’t like it, and in many cases, we don’t even remember that we own it. And yet it takes up physical, mental, financial and emotional space.”

You know you need to declutter. Desperately.

Ethics & Morality

The Not So Golden Rule

I am willing to wager that you've heard of the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. In other words, treat others the way you would wish to be treated.

This "ethic of reciprocity" has been expressed in many moral maxims and religious and spiritual traditions. It has even become a part of many formal educational systems.


5 Essential Communication Tips for Couples

Many couples make this mistake: They expect and assume that harmony will automatically happen in their relationship. But the opposite is true: “What appears automatically in human relationships is friction,” said Chris Kingman, LCSW, a psychotherapist and couples expert in Manhattan.

That’s because partners have different preferences, styles, expectations and needs, he said. Harmony actually happens when we deal constructively and effectively with the inevitable frictions inside our relationships (and our lives).

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