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Psychology Around the Net: November 9, 2019

This week’s Psychology Around the Net dives into why (and how much) failure helps you learn, how sociosexuality affects committed relationships like marriage, whether church positively affects mental health, and more.

To Learn Best, Psychologists Say You Need to Fail 15% of the Time: “The 85% Rule” states we do our best learning when we only get it right 85% of the time; if we fail 15% of the time, we’re learning our fastest. Says Robert Wilson, Ph.D., a cognitive scientist with the University of Arizona: “These ideas that were out there in the education field—that there is this ‘zone of proximal difficulty,’ in which you ought to be maximizing your learning—we’ve put that on a mathematical footing.”

Hidden Brain: Does Going to Church Improve Your Mental Health? Many studies show that going to church regularly and/or being part of a religious community is good for your mental health. Whether that’s because of religion itself or some other factor influencing your mental health is cloudy. For example, research shows people coming from a stable home environment make up a large part of the church demographic. So, is it church and religion that’s responsible for their healthy minds, or is it their stable home environments? Also — and especially when you’re looking at adolescents — you have to take into account the Peer Effects.

How Food Prep Has Helped Me Fight My Bipolar Disorder: From feeling proactive to reducing stress and guilt, find out how meal prepping helps one blogger battle her bipolar disorder symptoms.

New Psychology Research Indicates Your Sociosexual Orientation Could Make Your Marriage More Difficult: Researchers interested in the importance and public-health impact of mental health conditions such as depression tied to difficulties with romantic relationships decided to study why some relationships thrive and others suffer. They were particularly interested in sociosexuality, “the willingness to engage in sexual activity outside of a committed relationship,” and found that people who have a restricted sociosexuality prefer extended bonds with a romantic partner while people with unrestricted sociosexuality lean toward uncommitted sexual relationships with not much emotional entanglement — which, as you can imagine, can pose some hurdles in a marriage.

Screen-Based Media Associated With Structural Differences in Brains of Young Children: New research out of the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center documents structural differences in the brains of preschool-age children related to screen time. The study — which involved 27 girls and 20 boys between the ages of 3 and 5 years old — shows that kids who rack up more screen time have lower structural integrity of the white matter tracts in the areas of the brain that deal with language and other literacy skills including imagery and executive function (mental control and self-regulation). These kids also score lower on language and literacy tests.

Setting Healthy Versus Unhealthy Boundaries in Toxic Relationships: With the latest article in his series An Introduction To Boundaries and Why We Need Them, author and certified coach Darius Cikanavicius takes a look at healthy boundaries and unhealthy boundaries and examples of setting each.

Photo by Jose Silva from Burst.

Psychology Around the Net: November 9, 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: November 9, 2019. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 7 Nov 2019 (Originally: 9 Nov 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 7 Nov 2019
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