Social Psychology: The Basics is now written!

Social Psychology: The Basics is on it’s way!

As regular readers will know, this last year I have been writing a lot – this blog (which I admit has been a little hit and miss) but also papers (some of which I have posted about!) and another short e-book (Understanding and Managing Stress). However, one of the projects I am most proud of is the completion of my first ever textbook – Social Psychology: The Basics. I’m really excited to say that it has now been sent to the publishers! This mid-length book outlining the history of social psychology and the methods it uses and covers the theory and evidence that makes up the field. Along the way it explores the conflicts and controversies (including the recent replication crisis) which have, and continue to, shape it’s future. It also explores the application of the science of social psychology in the real world. If your a student or just interested in the field, you should definitely check it out!

I’m really excited that is has entered pre-production, and I am looking forward to telling you more about it as things develop :-).

Social Psychology: The Basics will be out later in the year, published by Routledge. Sign up for updates to get the latest news!

Like this? Check out the BookStore for more things I have written 🙂

A little bit more about the Basic’s series

The Basics series is published by Routledge, and aims to provide accessible, authoritative introductions to many many fields of study. Other titles in the ‘Basics’ series include Internet Psychology, Semiotics, Research Methods and about a zillion other topics – check out the full range here. I’m looking forward to joining such a great series!

Are you a member of AA? Research opportunity!

As you may know, a big part of my ‘day job’ is research – you may also know I have an interest in the psychology of addiction recovery. It’s an exciting time onthat front for me at the moment, as we are just about to launch a new study. Specifically, I’m running a study looking at the social processes which underpin the functions of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s an online survey and it will take about 10 minutes. If you are in AA,  you would be more than welcome to take part (in fact, I wold be really grateful!).

The study takes 10 minutes. You will be asked to read a short story and answer a questionnaire telling us what you think of it, and also asking you about your recovery journey to date, feelings about AA and your confidence about the future.

Want to take part? Just click here
Or, why not forward this post to a friend who may be interested?

Student? Exams on the way?

Exam season cometh!

 

Across the country, exam time is coming up – here are some of PsychologyItBetters best posts to help you survive and thrive during this stressful period…. I hope you find them useful!

 

Better performance

What predicts performance differences in two people with equal aptitude and prep?

Reducing procrastination

Hitting deadlines

Better stress reduction

Understanding stress responses

Feeling a bit overwhelmed?

Humour and stress reduction

Stress and exercise

And, when it is all over….

The psychology of holidays

 

Good luck in your exams and  with your courseworks!

Low alcohol wine? You may just neck the whole bottle!

Why low alcohol messages may not be the answer…

Over the last few years a lot of the alcohol research I have been involved in has been looking at helping people make better decisions about their alcohol consumption. Drinking too much has massive implication for society – it contributes to a generally high prevalence of people being overweight (alcohol is highly calorific) and people consuming alcohol takes a toll on society – both in terms of long term health care costs (i.e. people being at increased risk of heart and liver disease) but also in terms of alcohol related violence. Public health campaigns encouraging us to drink responsibly have met with limited success, and it’s not a problem that will go away. One possible way we could be approach this is by making low alcohol wines and beers more widely available – giving people a choice of a less calorific, less intoxicating drink. But would this work? Me and some colleagues from LSBU’s Centre for Addictive Behaviours Research teamed up with Cambridge University’s Behaviour and Health Research Unit to start finding out out…

Continue reading “Low alcohol wine? You may just neck the whole bottle!”

Feeling blue? We’re testing a new psychological help app – ‘Tomo’

Help us test the efficacy of Tomo!

If you are currently feeling low / blue and live in London, you may be interested in some research I am involved in. We are currently recruiting people to take part in trial of a new app – ‘Tomo’ which may help improve mood and psychological wellbeing.

Find out more here

Continue reading “Feeling blue? We’re testing a new psychological help app – ‘Tomo’”

Should big tobacco be involved in harm reduction?

Smoking amongst people with mental health problems

I recently attended a fascinating talk on the topic of smoking cessation amongst people with mental health problems.The argument the presentation made was (as I understood it) that for many people with mental health problems, nicotine is actually a fairly helpful psychoactive substance – in that it can allow people to experience a reduction in anxiety, increase cognitive focus and help them structure their lives. The presenter also argued that e-cigarettes appear to be a low harm way of delivering nicotine and, as such, we should consider ways of encouraging uptake amongst this population. What did I think of  the ideas?

Continue reading “Should big tobacco be involved in harm reduction?”

Understanding and Managing Stress

Exciting news – Understanding and Managing Stress now out!

PsychologyItBetter is all about making the insights of psychology clear to people in useful, accessible ways. Part of of how I try to do this is the range of ‘PocketBooks’ – concise, informative volumes which hlp translate research into pratice. I’ve some news on this front- The latest PsychologyItBetter.com PocketBook – ‘Understanding and Managing Stress‘ is out now.

What inspired ‘Understanding and Managing Stress’?

The last couple of years have, for me, been marked by a lot of stress. I’ve had some great life events (welcoming my second child into the world being a highlight) and some challenging ones (competing professional pressures being a big feature). Through all the ups and downs I have experienced high levels of stress that were, personally, unprecedented. I didn’t always react well. In fact, I sometimes reacted in ways that left me disappointed with myself, and worried about how to carry on juggling my life.

I managed change my bleak outlook on the world. But I didn’t (couldn’t) do it alone. I was lucky to have an incredibly supportive partner. My work colleagues also helped, and I formed a number of new social relationships which were (and are) a source of invaluable support. I also realised that, as a researching and teaching psychologist, I had access to another amazing resource – the body of scientific evidence which attempts to understand how stress functions and how we can best manage it. I threw myself into this literature. The strategies and ideas you will find in this book represent some of the areas I found insightful and of the most use. ‘Understanding and Managing Stress’ is my attempt to crystallise these key findings. Importantly, it also tries to translate the (sometimes abstract) ideas into real, actionable suggestions. It provides information you can use to help understand the reasons why we become stressed and also actions you can take to manage it. There is no such thing as a quick fix for stress, and I don’t think many of us will ever be 100% stress free. But a good grounding in the theory and practice of stress management has helped me enormously, and I am confident it will help you to.

What’s in the book?

Whilst we may not be able to remove the sources of stress in our lives, we all have the potential to better manage how we respond to them. However, to do so effectively, we must also understand how stress operates. Drawing on a combination of decades of scientific evidence and his own personal experience, I have attempted to explains the processes which underpin our responses to stressful situations. The book also also outlines clear, effective ways to translate theory to practice – methods you can use starting today.
This book comprises 10 sections, each of which concisely and clearly describes a psychological concept which is relevant to understanding and managing stress. Each ends with a ‘how do I use this?’ segment which presents one or two realistic ways your new insight will help you. How our biology and psychology interact when we are stressed, the role of time perception, and the effects of mindfulness and self-affirmation are just some of the topics discussed. We all want to reduce the amount of stress we experience in our lives – and this book will be an invaluable aid in doing so.

Where can I get it?

I have found writing this PocketBook enormously beneficial – I hope you find reading it a helps you better understand and manage the stress in your life too.You can find the Amazon UK edition here, and the US/World editions here. Check it out today! It is also available via KOBO, Apple, Barnes and Nobel (NOOK) and many other retailers – just search ‘Daniel Frings’.

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Social connections and social prescribing

The power of social connections and the rise of social prescribing

One way of dealing with stress is to draw on the positive social identities in our lives. A growing body of research suggests that the social connections we have can buffer us from the effects of traumatic events, improve mental health and also let us bounce back from physical ailments more quickly. In the guise of ‘social prescribing’, this idea is also increasingly being used to find ways to replace or compliment medicine.

Continue reading “Social connections and social prescribing”

The psychology of stress and exercise

Stressed? Just go for a run?

We all know that exercise is good for us physically, but it also has dramatic effects on our psychological motivation, focus and wellbeing. And you don’t have to run marathons to benefit from it. But what are the exact mechanisms of these effects, and how much exercise do we need to do to achieve them?

Continue reading “The psychology of stress and exercise”

Time perspectives and wellbeing

The psychology of time perspectives

Have you ever thought about the psychology of time? Some of us think a lot about future, constantly planning and wondering ‘what if’. Often, we worry about what will happen tomorrow or next week. Others are more focused on the past, replaying and ruminating on the same event over and over. We are always hearing it is good to be ‘in the present’. But what does the study of the psychology of time tell us about all this?

Continue reading “Time perspectives and wellbeing”