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Psychology Around the Net: April 23, 2016


Earlier this week, a recently unemployed friend of mine began a round of several interviews for a new job that, if all goes well, potentially could be the perfect fit for him. During the first interview he was asked, “What is your strongest attribute and how would it benefit our company?”

My friend is a quick thinker and delivered an answer that, after talking about it later, we both decided indeed summed up his strongest attribute; however, the interviewer’s question made us both start thinking more deeply about our attributes — especially as they relate to employment and personal relationships.

While this story isn’t much related to the stories within today’s Psychology Around the Net, it is something you might want to ponder about yourself. What are your strongest attributes? How do they play roles in your professional and even personal lives? How can you further foster them to boost your performance and relationships even more?

Several years ago (more than a decade ago, actually, but I feel it’s still relevant), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) published Seven Must-Have Attributes That Get You Hired! and, as the title suggests, it’s mostly geared toward employment; however, I think it’s worthwhile to look at these attributes and their descriptions and do some thinking about how they may reflect your strengths and weakness and how you can apply them to expand your professional and personal growth.

Ah, now, back on track! It’s time to dive in for the latest on a current lawsuit involving a sperm donor’s mental health history, how live music can help manage anxiety, ways you can “spring clean” all your relationships, and more.

Sperm Donor’s Profile Hid Mental Illness and Crime, Lawsuits Say: Although “Donor 9623” was described as a healthy, extremely intelligent man working toward his Ph.D., donor recipients have since discovered his criminal past and history of mental illness (specifically, schizophrenia, which is sometimes genetic) wasn’t revealed. One mother states, “There needs to be measures in place by these companies to make sure that the people that are coming through the door are safe options for donor-conceived children,” but also claims she wouldn’t object to her son meeting his father because “[h]e is not a bad man; he is a person who has an illness […] He helped to create the love of my life.”

Treating Prenatal Depression May Cut Adverse Birth Outcomes: Even though some research suggests taking antidepressants during pregnancy poses a risk to the baby’s health, a new study conducted by Kartik K. Venkatesh, MD, PhD, and colleagues and published in Obstetrics & Gynecology states “treating depressed mothers-to-be with antidepressants may reduce the odds” of delivering babies preterm or by cesarean, as well as delivering “small-for-gestational-age babies.”

Here’s How Seeing Live Music Could Help With Anxiety: Raise your hand if you weren’t aware that music can greatly impact your mental health? Anyone? *crickets chirp* Well, now researchers from the Centre for Performance Science at the Royal College of Music in London have taken it a step further, stating that live music performances specifically (rather than just popping in your iPod’s earbuds) help, too — especially with lowering cortisol, the hormone related to stress and anxiety. According to the research, study participants “[…] showed lower levels of the “stress” hormones after seeing the [live music] performances.” However, don’t rush off to buy your Bonnaroo tickets just yet; so far the study includes only live performances of classical music.

This 7-Day Detox Will Spring Clean All the Relationships In Your Life: Forget the green smoothies and juice cleanses. The folks over at Shape teamed up with relationship expert and therapist Rachel Sussman for tips on how to reevaluate the most common relationships in your life (think family members, romantic partners, and co-workers or employers) and develop a plan for getting rid of those toxic relationships and all the stress that affects your mental and physical health.

Maine Could Be First State to OK Medical Marijuana to Treat Addicts: While medical marijuana has been prescribed in other states (such as California and Massachusetts) for opiate addiction, Maine could be the first state to actually include opiate addiction as a qualifying condition, according to the Maine Medical Association. Dozens of medical marijuana caregivers and patients have stepped forward and shared personal stories on how they’ve seen (or experienced themselves) how marijuana has helped beat addiction, but some medical professionals, such as Leah Bauer, a psychiatrist and medical director at the Addiction Resource Center at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick aren’t in agreement, stating “using marijuana may be like pouring gasoline on the fire.”

What Does Your College Major Say About Your Personality? Research shows that not only does your college major say a lot about your IQ score, but also a lot about your personality (even including who you end up hanging out with on campus). Various studies based their research on the “Big Five” (personality traits including neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness); however, experts advise students against choosing majors based solely on their personalities: “As interesting as the personality group differences are, it is important to note that this type of research is based on averages […] Large variation within the groups exists, and many individuals will not, of course, ‘fit the personality pattern’ of their academic major,” says psychologist Anna Vedel, from Aarhus University in Denmark.

Psychology Around the Net: April 23, 2016

Alicia Sparks

Alicia Sparks is a freelance writer and editor and the creator of, where she blogs to help new freelance writers get their quills in the pot, so to speak. Among animal rights, music, and physical wellness, her passions include mental health and advocacy. Here at Psych Central she works as Syndication Editor as well as authors Your Body, Your Mind and World of Psychology's weekly "Psychology Around the Net."

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APA Reference
Sparks, A. (2018). Psychology Around the Net: April 23, 2016. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 23 Apr 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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