An end to physical punishment of children.
Should anyone, ever, hit their children? The weight of evidence from the psychological literature has leaned increasingly in the direction of ‘no’, but recent research presents the strongest case yet. A recent review pulls the vast body of work in this area together and makes strong case against physical punishment – likening it’s effects to straight-up physical abuse. The scale of this issue is staggering: in 2012, amongst 11,000 US families surveyed, 30% of mothers of pre-schoolers admitted hitting their children in the last week, and 80% said they believed in it as a parenting tool . Large numbers of health care professionals also think physical punishment can be, in moderation, a useful (or at least harmless) parenting tool.
But how do these beliefs stand up in front of the evidence? And what other parenting options are there?
Continue reading “You should not hit your kids.”
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”
Dog eats dog? Or a fellowship of mutual endeavour?
Academia is a funny old game – you need to work collaboratively with other people to get on, but you are also competing with them for a fairly small pool of resources (such as grant funds and journal space). But the academy isn’t unique in this respect, and I suspect it is similar to many occupations in this way. This has got me thinking a lot about what these ‘professional friendships’ mean, and what they look like…
Continue reading “Professional Friendship circles”
In the media aftermath of the shooting scare at Oxford Street, two social psychologists,Stephen Reicher and John Drury, ask if it is right to say people caught in a terror scare ‘panic’? Their conclusion? Panic suggests irrationality which isn’t really accurate…
Check out the full story here on the BBC website
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Busy, busy, busy?
I’ve decided to (try) and stop saying I am busy all the time. When people ask me, I will try and stop say ‘ too busy’, ‘so busy’ or ‘you know, busy’ or any variation of the ‘busy’ theme. No idea if I will manage it, but we’ll see how it goes!
Read on to find out why…
Continue reading “Why I am going to (try and) stop saying I am busy”
Feeling a bit overwhelmed? Why does sometimes, it all feel like a little too much, and a little too challenging?
Like everyone, I sometimes feel a little overwhelmed by those little everyday stressors (note the lack of posts earlier this year!). Competing demands of deadlines, work life balance and the general too and fro of life can sometimes seem a little much. Why? And what can we do about it?
Continue reading “Feeling a little bit overwhelmed?”
Psychology of Horror Films
What is the psychology behind why horror films are scary? And why do some like or loathe them? PsychologyItBetter finds out… Are you brave enough to join us (and dodge the curse)?
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Books to change the way you look at the world. Part 1.
In this post I am going to sum up why you should read a books which will change the way you interact with the world psychologically. That’s right – PsychologyItBetter is having a go at “sort-of” book reviewing! If I enjoy writing it, and you all read it, there are a bunch more to follow! We start with the classic ‘7 Habits Of High;y Effective People’ by Stephen Covey.
Continue reading “PsychItBetter on 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”
At this time of year students return to university. This is an exciting time as you get to catch up with last year’s student and see what they been up to over the summer. Of course, we also welcome a new cohort of students to the University and, for many of them, help them get used to a new way of life. For some of these new faces, the transition between their old lifestyle and becoming a student is easy. For others it is more difficult. What causes these differences and what does the study of psychology tell us about situations where our identities don’t really fit together, or are just plain incompatible? Read on to find out.
Continue reading “University students and identity incompatibility”
Do we think better in groups? Groupthink and group polarisation psychology in action.
Way back in my first post on cognitive biases I mentioned that a couple of the projects I am working on are quite high pressured, and involve a small, tight knit team. I love working in a small group, and currently our little band is on a roll, producing lots of good research and making some great contacts. For these particular projects, the team is made up of four people, each bringing their own strengths and differing areas of expertise. This sounds like a dream come true right? I’m very lucky, but also quite aware that our small, slightly insulated group brings its own risks, Indeed, the combination of a high pressure environment, a small team and high (in academic terms anyway!) stakes are all characteristics of situations which a psychologist named Janis1 suggest can encourage a phenomena called Groupthink.
Continue reading “Everyday Groupthink and Polarisation”