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Psychology Around the Net: October 8, 2016


If the image didn’t give it away…today is my birthday!

I’ve been celebrating since last night — not because I’m a person who likes a big deal made out of her birthday, but because I have family members and friends who love me and want to celebrate life with me.

I’m blessed, and I’m eternally grateful for it.

So, while I take a break this morning and check out What Science Has to Say About Being in Your 30s (much of which I’m pretty used to at this point, I’m sure), why don’t you check out some of this week’s latest in mental health news such as how psychology explains our fear of clowns, how we’re sabotaging ourselves during the pursuit of happiness, how our personalities can help us choose the best careers, and more!

The Psychology Behind Why Clowns Creep Us Out: What’s with all the clown sightings in the U.S.? They’ve been spotted in at least 10 states with reports of trying to lure people (women and children, especially) into wooded areas, chasing folks with weapons, and even just, oh, you know, lounging about in cemeteries. Such news might make it obvious as to why so many people are afraid of clowns, but true coulrophobia (the fear of clowns) has a completely different origin. According to Cornelia H. Dudley Professor of Psychology, Knox College, Dr. Frank T. McAndrew explains his research on “creepiness” (which heavily involves ambiguity) and why clowns set off our creep alarms.

You’re Surgeon Is Probably a Republican, Your Psychiatrist Probably a Democrat: Researchers at Yale have compiled data showing that in certain medical fields, many physicians share the same political ideologies of their colleagues — ideologies that could affect some treatment recommendations.

Americans Obsessed With Their Own Happiness Overlook the Key Ingredient to a Good Life: British journalist Ruth Whippman explains that after moving from England to America, she became interested in America’s obsession with happiness when she observed “a real anxiety around ‘happiness’.” According to Whippman, “I learned that not only are Americans among the least happy people in the developed world, they also report the highest levels of anxiety. So here’s this country that prioritizes and values happiness — it’s there in the nation’s founding documents — but the people are not particularly happy. That was the starting point for the book [America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness Is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks].” (EDITOR’S NOTE: Psych Central is in no way affiliated with this book or the author and doesn’t stand to make any financial gain if you buy it.)

Rock Solid Careers For 6 Major Personality Types: Find Your Calling and CareerBuilder recently teamed up to create a list of five “in-demand careers” for five career personality types (emphasis on career): creators, thinkers, organizers, doers, persuaders, and helpers. Do these suggested careers line up with how you view your career personality type? Are you already on what this list considers the right path?

Why Bruce Springsteen’s Depression Revelation Matters: Bruce Springsteen’s new memoir, Born To Run, is garnering a lot of attention and it’s not just because he’s, you know, The Boss. Within the book, which debuted at the top of The New York Times Best Sellers list for nonfiction titles, Springsteen’s reveals his struggles with depression — a revelation that surprised many. Could it be because his image doesn’t quite line up with the stereotypes surrounding depression? (EDITOR’S NOTE: Psych Central is in no way affiliated with this book or the author and doesn’t stand to make any financial gain if you buy it.)

Sleep-Training Wearable Promises to Give You a Better Night’s Shut-Eye: Based on peer-reviewed research, Leon Lack, a world-renowned professor of sleep psychology at Flinders University in Australia, has developed Thim — a small device you can wear on any finger and which will “train” you to get a better night’s sleep.

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