This week’s Psychology Around the Net covers tech companies using persuasive design to get kids racking up more screen time, a new startup designed to help people find mental health care more quickly and affordably, how dating apps have the potential to be both helpful and hurtful, and more.
Tech Companies Use ‘Persuasive Design’ to Get Us Hooked. Psychologists Say It’s Unethical: A new technique known as persuasive technology or persuasive design looks at how computers can change the way we thing and act, and big tech companies are employing mental health experts to use it — especially on kids.
Autism and DDT: What 1 Million Pregnancies Can—and Can’t—Reveal: An analysis has found that women who are exposed to the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) are more likely to give birth to children who develop autism. The study’s authors stress that their findings don’t prove DDT causes autism, but it is the first association using a direct measure of exposure to the pesticide.
How to Use Dating Apps Without Hurting Your Mental Health: While research shows many people believe dating apps and websites are great ways to meet people, they also have a way of hurting your self-esteem, setting you up for rejection, and overall overwhelming you. Experts weigh in on how you can get the benefits of dating apps while avoiding any blows to your mental health.
5 Tips to Wake Up from a Sleep Paralysis Episode [INFOGRAPHIC]: Sleep paralysis is a nightmare (I don’t even know if I’m using that figuratively or literally, but it doesn’t matter — it’s that horrible). Learn more about what causes sleep paralysis — also known as “Old Hag Syndrome” — and how you can can snap yourself out of an episode. (Trust me, if you’ve ever experienced sleep paralysis, you want this information.)
How Retail Mental Health Could Be Medicine’s Next Frontier: Dr. Tamir Aldad has developed Mindful Urgent Care, an award-winning startup staffed by a variety of mental health professionals and designed to help people find access to mental health care faster and more affordably.
Typical Kid Behavior Or a Mental Health Problem? It Can Be Hard to Decide: Mood swings, changes in behavior, personality traits you didn’t recognize before — for teens, these can be mental illness warning signs or, frankly, just some stuff they’re going through as they work out the teen years. Mental health professionals advise that the first steps parents can taking in recognizing what might be mental illness and not just a mood swing are to be familiar with the child’s normal habits and patters, pay attention when the child starts moving away from them, and making sure the child has a comfortable environment in which to talk to them.