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Psychology Around the Net: December 8, 2018

Do you know what a psychiatric advance directive is? How mental health apps make money from your information? Why you need to fail before you can succeed?

Don’t worry! This week’s Psychology Around the Net has these answers and more!

Giving Patients a Voice in Their Mental Health Care Before They’re Too Ill to Have a Say: Could psychiatric advance directives help transform the mental health system? Specifically, how mental health patients are treated when their symptoms overwhelm them? A psychiatric advance directive (PAD) allows a patient with serious mental illness to specify the kinds of treatment he wants if he becomes too ill to communicate it. The PAD then goes in the hospital’s patient medical records and, unless the doctors feel the treatment isn’t in the patient’s best medical interest, doctors are expected to follow them.

Spoiler Alert! The Psychology of Surprise Endings: “In recent years, some scientists have begun to ask, can stories serve as a kind of brain scan? If a plot twist works by exploiting our biases and mental shortcuts, can observing the mechanics of a good story reveal something important about the contours of the mind?”

Why Many Scientists Don’t Trust Evolutionary Psychology: Ah, the ol’ “nature vs. nurture” argument — with a twist.

The Mood Apps Profiting from Your Mental Illness: There are currently 3,114,708 mental health apps in existence (I’m exaggerating…sort of). A number of studies report these apps help a lot of people. However, how are these apps profiting? By selling your data, “which can include details of mood fluctuations, exercise records, and information about how long the app has been used,” according to health technology expert Rosie Collington.

The Most Important Workplace Conversation: Our Mental Health: Meditation, peer support teams, and more — Drew Aversa, founder of Aversa Strategies and Heal Men, recommends taking these actions so you can foster a workplace culture where everyone can thrive. (Speaking of workplace issues, take time to check out this new study on how having a bad boss could make you a good boss.)

How to Fail (With Comedians Chris Gethard and Akilah Hughes): Can you ever succeed without having first failed? How do you actually get over those embarrassing inevitable failures and keep going so you can succeed? (Hmm, seems like this is just in time for those of us setting goals for the new year!)

Psychology Around the Net: December 8, 2018

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: December 8, 2018. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Dec 2018 (Originally: 8 Dec 2018)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 4 Dec 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.