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World of Psychology


The Persistence of Memory: Are Negative Events Easier to Recall?

This brief interview with MIT neurobiologist Matt Wilson, posted on the TIME website a few days ago, is an interesting addition to a long-standing debate about memory: do people recall good or bad events more easily?

Convincing research exists for both arguments, but according to Professor Wilson it’s much easier for people to recall negative occurrences: “We think of memory as a record of our experience. But the idea is not just to store information; it's to store relevant information. [The idea is] to use...

Help for Children with Mental Illness

Today's Boston Globe has one of those feel-good editorials that calls for more of this and more of that aid for children in Massachusetts who have a mental illness. But their insight into this problem is limited, their solutions naive, and they inadvertently continue...

Forgo the Brain Training, Drugs, Vitamins & Meditation and Just Get Some Exercise

Earlier this month, PsyBlog wrote a brief summary and synopsis of the current research findings for cognitive enhancers -- you know, those things that are supposed to help us improve our minds and our memories. He looked at the commonly cited brain aids: brain training games, drugs, vitamins, medication and physical exercise.

And his conclusion isn't all that surprising if you've kept up in this area over the past few years. Physical exercise is by far the most evidence-based intervention you can engage...

Breaking Down the Breakdown

As a mental health writer from Canada I'd be remiss if I didn't link to The Globe and Mail's feature series Breakdown: Canada's Mental Health Crisis. They present over a dozen articles and videos on stigma, workplace issues, information on some disorders, and the newspaper is also publishing many reader stories (which they are still welcoming). During the weeklong series, there are also online Q&A sessions with a handful of experts.

The series began with an interview and Q&A with Dr....

Exposure Therapy for Acute Stress Disorder

Before someone is diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), they are often diagnosed with a disorder called acute stress disorder. Why? Because PTSD is considered more of a longer-term, even chronic, disorder, while acute stress disorder occurs more immediately and generally doesn't last as long, especially if it's treated. Left untreated, acute stress disorder often turns into posttraumatic stress disorder.

So what kinds of treatments are most helpful with acute stress disorder (ASD)?

There are no medications approved for the treatment of ASD (although...

Distracted While Driving

Anybody who's driven a car knows there's been an instant or two where they've become distracted. The vast majority of the time such distractions don't result in any problems. But once in awhile, the distraction can cause an accident, resulting in injury and even...