World of Psychology

Brain and Behavior

Cultural Content of Schizophrenic Delusions

People who have schizophrenia often experience delusions, false beliefs about some aspect of the world. While we may all carry around an occasional false belief ("rush hour traffic won't be so bad today"), someone with schizophrenia has false beliefs that seriously impact their ability to function in their life. "My boss is out to kill me," is going to make holding down a regular job a challenge.

What you may not know is that a lot of people with...
Brain and Behavior

Weather Can Change Your Mood

I was browsing a blog the other day and saw an undated (recent?) entry suggesting that research shows that "weather has little effect on our mood." The entry relied heavily on a recent study (Denissen et al., 2008) that shows that although a correlation between mood and weather does exist, it's a small one (not nearly as large as conventional wisdom might suggest). The entry quotes almost exclusively and entirely from the one study.

I'm familiar with this area...

Self-Checkout: A Consumer’s Rant

What is the impact of the convergence of technology and removal of previously provided human-based transactional services?

It happened to us first with the advent of the automatic teller machine in the 1980s. This was introduced as an example of "added convenience," although everyone...

A Thousand Cuts

We go through our everyday lives with the pain of a thousand cuts.

They started when we were as young as 2, being told "No" when we asked our mom for more candy. Cut one. Then again when we wanted to play in the dirt....

Can Doctors Be Happy? Part 2

In Part 1, Can Doctors be Happy?, I discussed the various challenges facing doctors nowadays, and explored some of the possible reasons for physicians' unhappiness in life.

In this article, we'll discuss three specific skills to practice to raise your happiness level: reducing unnecessary misery by learning mindfulness, experiencing more joy, and finding greater life satisfaction through strategic goal setting.

Learn to be More Mindful

Much unnecessary misery comes from mindlessness: the frantic, hypervigilant frame of mind that has us always rushing to cross to-dos...

Can Doctors Be Happy? Part 1

I don’t think I know any doctors who are happy in their work.

Time magazine tells us that 44 percent of physicians say they are “very happy,” a significant difference from the 67 percent of clergy who say they are happy. Doctors are...

Friends with Benefits

One of my dearest female friends is in a relationship with a friend of her own. It's not an unhealthy relationship, but the man has made it clear to my friend that it has a definite ending as he needs to move away for...

CBT + Zoloft = Best Treatment for Childhood Anxiety

I hadn't yet written about the New England Journal of Medicine study by Walkup and colleagues (2008) that found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and Zoloft (sertraline) are an effective combination to help treat childhood anxiety disorders. The results are robust and the study was one of the best designed in recent years.

CL Psych and Furious Seasons were both happy to see an extensive side effects table was included (and CL Psych noted how CBT has some more disturbing side effects...

How Well Do Psychiatrists Involve Patients?

Not very, according to recently published research.

Goss and her colleagues (2008) wanted to test how much psychiatrists involve patients in therapeutic decisions and to determine whether there were any defining characteristics (on either the patient's or the psychiatrist's part) that contributed to patient involvement....

John the Voter

During this election, the presidential candidates trotted out the overly simplistic story of "Joe the Plumber." Once the media looked a little bit into the background "Joe the Plumber," it turned out that maybe he was a little too good to be true.

I am...