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Psychology Around the Net: February 23, 2019

This week’s Psychology Around the Net has the latest on a new website providing professional and unbiased reviews of mental health apps and other digital tools, what optimists do differently (and the changes you can make to become more optimistic), how setting realistic goals affects your well-being, and more.


PsyberGuide Seeks to Provide Unbiased Reviews of Mental Health Apps & Digital Tools: Mental health apps and other digital tools have been on the rise for several years now, and at first glance they seem like great options — especially for mental health consumers on a budget, those who don’t have insurance, and those who live in areas where either the wait to see a doctor is extremely long due to overcrowding or plain lack of resources. However, how can you tell which mental health app is right for you? Or, if it’s even safe? PsyberGuide (cool name), a new website funded by One Mind, provide unbiased reviews of these apps and tools based on three criteria: credibility, user experience, and transparency.

Be a Little More Optimistic: 6 Things Optimists Do Differently: Sometimes, being an optimist — or, telling people to “be optimistic,” especially during a tough situation — gets a bad rap. However, what many people don’t understand is that optimism isn’t just deciding to blindly float around in sunshine and rainbows. Being optimistic is a choice like any other choice and these six strategies can help you get on the road to optimism.

Reality Check: Can Cat Poop Cause Mental Illness? Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), a brain parasite carried by cats that infects roughly one in three people, carries with it many contradictory headlines. Even though scientists have long hypothesized T. gondii plays a role in mental illness such as schizophrenia, and even though there are more than 100 studies that find a correlation, none of the studies have shown the parasite actually causes mental illness. So, what’s the deal? What kind of measures should we humans take? Or, should we even be worried?

The Naked Professors Podcast: Stripping It Back for Mental Health: It’s no secret that, overall, men are more reluctant to come forward and seek help regarding their mental health than are women. Enter Matt Johnson and Ben Bidwell and their podcast, The Naked Professors, with which they seek to make compassion, love, and empathy “cool” and offer a platform for men to speak opening about their feelings, their fears, their emotional experiences, and more.

High-Stress Companies Need to Invest in Employee Mental Health: Uber’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU) is responsible for handling serious incidents reported by passengers — a highly demanding job, as you can imagine. Now, on the heels of a recently released internal memo commissioned by Uber — one that found SIU employers were dealing with conditions such as being overworked, underpaid, and experiencing emotional trauma and citing a “serious level of stress and anxiety of team members” — author and business leader Brian Fielkow provides tips on how employers and employees can succeed in high-stress, high-consequence environments in healthy ways.

Live Better with Attainable Goals: Psychologists from the University of Basel conducted a study involving more than 970 people who were required to assess the importance and the perceived attainability of life goals in 10 areas: health, community, personal growth, social relationships, fame, image, wealth, family, responsibility/care for younger generations, and work. Among other things, the researchers found that people who set realistic goals are more likely to achieve a higher level of well-being.

Psychology Around the Net: February 23, 2019

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. (2019). Psychology Around the Net: February 23, 2019. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 19 Feb 2019 (Originally: 23 Feb 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 19 Feb 2019
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