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Psychology Around the Net: August 27, 2016


The latter part of August is when most kids are headed back to school in America, and while many parents take this time to post first-day-of-school photos (as well as jokingly posting a few thoughts on their kids heading back to school!), there’s one topic that’s even more serious: bullying.

(Of course, I realize this is a major issue for kids around the globe.)

According to, children who are often at risk for being bullied are “perceived as different from their peers,” “depressed, anxious, or have low self-esteem,” or “antagonize others for attention,” while children who at risk for becoming bullies are often “overly concerned about their popularity,” “do not identify with the emotions or feelings of others,” or “have less parental involvement.”

For more information on topics like who is at risk for bullying, the warning signs of bulling, and ways to prevent bullying, visit the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website,

Now, let’s take a look at some of the latest in mental health and wellness! Read on for information about Instagram filters and depression, how to prevent self-help strategies from backfiring, research findings regarding Tinder users and self-esteem, and more.

Choosing This Instagram Filter Could Mean You’re Depressed: Okay, while it might seem a bit cliche to assume people who prefer darker colors or a decreased brightness suffer from depression (and really, there’s no way this could be 100% accurate), new research from Harvard University and the University of Vermont correctly identified 70% of study participants as people who have depression…based on the fact that those people chose Instagram filters that showcased “[p]hotos with decreased brightness, decreased saturation and increased hue […].” The biggest culprit Instagram filter? Inkwell (which turns colored photos to black and white).

When Self-Help Becomes Self Hell — 6 Tips to Stay Focused: Many people strive to improve their lives through some sort of self-help process, whether it’s attending conferences or webinars, reading books, or following motivational speakers who have — in some way or another — been where they’ve been. However, it is possible to become too wrapped up in the self-help process. For example, what happens when you focus on more than one improvement at a time? Try to commit to too many self-help formats? Compare other people’s success stories to your own journey? The simple answer: self-help hell.

Lack of Sleep Increases Breast Cancer Risk: Study: According to new research from Michigan State University, melatonin (a hormone associated with the synchronization of circadian rhythms including sleep timing) “seems to stop the growth of breast cancer tumors.” However, because our brains produce melatonin at night — and so many of us are sleep-deprived, for various reasons — lots of folks could be suffering from a low supply of melatonin. Developing treatments based on this science is still years away, but the National Sleep Foundation provides several tips for creating healthy sleep habits.

Digital Forms of Dating Violence Are On the Rise: What School Nurses Need to Know: “Many teens experience physical or sexual abuse within their romantic relationships and now dating violence can also be perpetrated digitally by harassing, stalking or controlling a romantic partner via technology and social media. School nurses are often some of the first to identify such problems and play an active role in preventing them from happening in the first place.”

The Psychology Behind Erectile Dysfunction: What’s Really Causing It: While it’s widely known that physiological reasons such as problems with blood vessels (which hinder blood flow to the penis) can contribute to erectile dysfunction, mental health problems — such as mood problems, high stress levels, anxiety, and even more extreme illnesses such as schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder — are often overlooked causes of erectile dysfunction (and often, harder to treat).

Tinder Users Have Lower Self-Esteem: Study: According to a new study presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association involving 1,300 “mostly college kids” who use the popular dating app Tinder don’t have particularly high levels of self-worth, tend to think of themselves as sex objects, and constantly monitor their physical appearances (among some other fairly unhealthy behaviors and values).

Psychology Around the Net: August 27, 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: August 27, 2016. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 29, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 27 Aug 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.