background preloader


Facebook Twitter

Vigilance (psychology) 7 Practical Strategies to Overcome Emotional Pain. Life is filled with emotional bumps, bruises, illnesses, and strains. In Psychology Today blogger Guy Winch’s new book, Emotional First Aid, you can gain insight into why such experiences as rejection, loss, and failure hurt so much and how you can overcome the psychological injuries these can create. We can all benefit from self-help books with a solid empirical basis that translate technical jargon into practical advice, and Winch’s book definitely falls in that category. He analyzes the 7 most difficult situations we face in our lives and provides remedies for each. Carrying the injury and illness metaphor throughout, he shows how we can repair our emotionally broken bones to recover from the poison of guilt, and overcome other common deficiencies of our emotion repair system. article continues after advertisement Let’s take a look at these 7 sources of emotional injury and briefly examine their cures or antidotes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Cognitive dissonance. Psychological stress resulting from multiple contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values held at the same time Coping with the nuances of contradictory ideas or experiences is mentally stressful. It requires energy and effort to sit with those seemingly opposite things that all seem true. Festinger argued that some people would inevitably resolve dissonance by blindly believing whatever they wanted to believe.

Relations among cognitions[edit] To function in the reality of society, human beings continually adjust the correspondence of their mental attitudes and personal actions; such continual adjustments, between cognition and action, result in one of three relationships with reality:[2] Magnitude of dissonance[edit] The term "magnitude of dissonance" refers to the level of discomfort caused to the person. The importance of cognitions: the greater the personal value of the elements, the greater the magnitude of the dissonance in the relation. Reduction[edit] Selective exposure[edit] Smoking[edit]

The Dunning-Kruger effect, and how to fight it, explained by psychologist David Dunning. David Dunning, a psychology professor at the University of Michigan, has devoted much of his career to studying the flaws in human thinking. It has kept him busy. You might recognize Dunning’s name as half of a psychological phenomenon that feels highly relevant to the current political zeitgeist: the Dunning-Kruger effect. That’s where people of low ability — let’s say, those who fail to answer logic puzzles correctly — tend to unduly overestimate their abilities. Here are the classic findings from the original paper on the effect in graph form. The explanation for the effect is that when we’re not good at a task, we don’t know enough to accurately assess our ability.

An obvious example people have been using lately to describe the Dunning-Kruger effect is President Donald Trump, whose confidence and bluster never wavers, despite his weak interest in and understanding of policy matters. Why? This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Brian Resnick David Dunning Yes. I agree. I’ve Been Committed To A Psych Ward Three Times — And It Never Helped. With Level One privileges at the psychiatric hospital where I was involuntarily committed in 2002, the patient was allowed off the ward for breakfast. Because I spent my first half day hidden in my room’s wardrobe, sobbing, no one knew that I was not a danger to myself or others, and so I ate the first breakfast without any designation, stowed away near the nurses’ station at a round plastic table.

I chose raisin bran from a selection of preschool-sized boxes. I ate the cereal under supervision with a plastic spoon. I drank apple juice, which came in a plastic container with a foil top and a straw. There were patients who had been there longer, were well behaved, and yet also ate breakfast on the ward; signs hung on the doors of their rooms indicated that they received electro-convulsive therapy, and thus could not eat before their morning treatments. We did not serve ourselves. Instead, we told the servers what we wanted. Where to sit? “How are you doing?” The nurse smiled. The Two Faces of Suicide. On April 14th, 2014, around four o’clock in the morning, Victoria McLeod, a seventeen-year-old from New Zealand, stood on the roof of a Singapore condominium building, texted a curt farewell to her friends (“Love you all, sorry guys”), and leaped ten floors to her death.

Some weeks later, Victoria’s mother spotted a long scuff mark on the building’s façade, which suggested that her daughter had tweaked the trajectory of her fall, insuring that she landed between parked cars on a narrow parcel of tile. “She was so focussed,” Linda McLeod said, “even when she jumped.” In the months leading up to her death, Victoria (or Vic, as she was called by friends) kept a journal in which she meticulously recorded the torsions of her darkening headspace. According to Jesse Bering, a research psychologist at the University of Otago and the author of the new book “Suicidal: Why We Kill Ourselves,” Vic’s journal is an “extraordinary” portrait of cognitive unravelling.

- The Washington Post. Fixed vs. Growth: The Two Basic Mindsets That Shape Our Lives - Brain Pickings - Pocket. “If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve,” Debbie Millman counseled in one of the best commencement speeches ever given, urging: “Do what you love, and don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can, imagine immensities…” Far from Pollyanna platitude, this advice actually reflects what modern psychology knows about how belief systems about our own abilities and potential fuel our behavior and predict our success. Much of that understanding stems from the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, synthesized in her remarkably insightful Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (public library) — an inquiry into the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, and how changing even the simplest of them can have profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives.

One of the most basic beliefs we carry about ourselves, Dweck found in her research, has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality. Becoming. Future - Is there a link between mass shootings and mental illness? In Stephen King’s The Shining, the character Jack Torrance epitomises the popular horror trope of crazed killer who can no longer distinguish reality from hallucination. As Jack slowly descends into madness, he befriends a number of murderous spirits who eventually convince him to kill his wife and son – or die trying. The audience may conclude that Jack fell victim to an evil, supernatural force occupying the story’s famous hotel. Or they may interpret his downward spiral in a very different way: that Jack was a mentally ill man – likely schizophrenic – in the grips of a violent psychotic episode. The Shining is clearly a work of fiction. You may also like That assumption is further reinforced each time a new mass shooting takes place, inevitably followed by calls for mental healthcare reform.

If social media and sensationalist headlines are a guide, the fear of extreme violence from the mentally ill is common. Why are we surprised that therapy has its downsides? | Oliver Burkeman | Life and style. ‘Get help and get happy!” Runs a tagline for one of the new generation of e-counselling services, offering psychotherapy by text, phone and video chat. Except it turns out that getting happy is by no means guaranteed to be therapy’s only outcome. One recent paper (which I found via the excellent Research Digest blog) estimates that, when it comes to cognitive behavioural therapy, 43% of clients will experience unwanted side-effects like distress, a deterioration in their symptoms, or strained family relations.

“Psychotherapy is not harmless,” the paper’s authors conclude. It’s useful research. But that conclusion highlights a widespread belief about therapy that gets stranger the longer you dwell on it: why on earth would anyone assume it was harmless in the first place? There are echoes, here, of the surprise that greets media revelations that mindfulness meditation – another seemingly guaranteed path to happiness – has its perils. Read this Since you’re here … Suicide Survivors and How They Coped - Suicide Prevention and Help. The Peculiar Story of the Schizophrenic and the Shaman. It starts without warning—or rather, the warnings are there, but your ability to detect them exists only in hindsight. First you’re sitting in the car with your son, then he tells you: “I cannot find my old self again.” You think, well, teenagers say dramatic stuff like this all the time.

Then he’s refusing to do his homework, he’s writing suicidal messages on the wall in black magic marker, he’s trying to cut himself with a razor blade. You sit down with him; you two have a long talk. A week later, he runs home from a nighttime gathering at his friend’s apartment, he’s bursting through the front door, shouting about how his friends are trying to kill him. Up until this point, your son, Frank, has been a fully functional kid, if somewhat odd. Had Frank been living someplace else, things may have turned out differently. Dick and his son tried a variety of treatments over 15 years, some more effective than others. “Don’t take my devils away, because my angels may flee, too.” References 1. Why Do People Kill Themselves? New Warning Signs.

The beeper next to my bed went off at 1:30 a.m. When I called the number, my supervisor said that my client was trying to kill herself. She was on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls where she deliberately climbed over a railing, walked down a few feet and stood there, 100 feet above the Niagara River. Police cars, firefighters, ambulances, and a crowd of people stood in the dark, watching to see what happens. Does somebody save her? Is she willing to jump? Will she climb back up? She was a librarian, intelligent, with a dark sense of humor colored by an unremitting, depressive episode lasting over a decade.

Suicide is newsworthy because life is precious. There are a couple of instrumental studies that have helped make a dent in this problem. 1. What they found deserves your undivided attention. In general, people do not commit suicide because they are in pain, they commit suicide because they don't believe there is a reason to live and the world will be better off without them. 2. How knowledge about different cultures is shaking the foundations of psychology. The academic discipline of psychology was developed largely in North America and Europe. Some would argue it’s been remarkably successful in understanding what drives human behaviour and mental processes, which have long been thought to be universal.

But in recent decades some researchers have started questioning this approach, arguing that many psychological phenomena are shaped by the culture we live in. Clearly, humans are in many ways very similar – we share the same physiology and have the same basic needs, such as nourishment, safety and sexuality. So what effect can culture really have on the fundamental aspects of our psyche, such as perception, cognition and personality? Let’s take a look at the evidence so far. Experimental psychologists typically study behaviour in a small group of people, with the assumption that this can be generalised to the wider human population.

However, this isn’t the case. Thinking styles The self Mental health. The Psychology of Cheating. A few years ago, acting on a tip, school administrators at Great Neck North High School, a prominent, academically competitive public school in Long Island, took a closer look at students’ standardized test scores. Some of them seemed suspiciously high. What’s more, some of the high scorers had registered to take the test well outside their home district. When the Educational Testing Service conducted a handwriting analysis on the suspect exams, they concluded that the same person had taken multiple tests, registering each time under a different name. In November, 2011, twenty students from schools in Nassau County were arrested and accused of cheating. The arrests, combined with the social prominence of the school and its students, made the case one of the most prominent cheating scandals in recent history. When a student sits down at a test, he knows how to cheat, in principle.

We also cheat more when we’re feeling tired, either physically or mentally. The bright side of sadness. Thomas Jefferson defended the right to pursue happiness in the Declaration of Independence. But that’s so 237 years ago. Many modern societies champion everyone’s right to be happy pretty much all the time. Good luck with that, says psychologist Joseph Forgas of the University of New South Wales in Sydney. A lack of close friends, unfulfilled financial dreams and other harsh realities leave many people feeling lonely and forlorn a lot of the time. But there’s a mental and social upside to occasional downers that often goes unappreciated. “Bad moods are seen in our happiness-focused culture as representing a problem, but we need to be aware that temporary, mild negative feelings have important benefits,” Forgas says. Growing evidence suggests that gloomy moods improve key types of thinking and behavior, Forgas asserts in a new review paper aptly titled “Don’t worry, be sad!”

Vertes Edmond Mihai/Shutterstock Feelings as information Individuals aren’t slaves to their moods, Schwarz cautions. What Enrico Gnaulati's new book about psychology and diagnosis gets wrong. When clinicians write books leavened with patient vignettes, they often highlight the drama of making diagnoses. But in his new book, “Back to Normal,” the clinical psychologist Enrico Gnaulati explores the opposite preoccupation—undoing or avoiding diagnoses such as A.D.H.D., biopolar disorder, and autism-spectrum disorders. Too many children get too many psychiatric labels, he argues, often to no good end at all. At one point in the book, Gnaulati introduces readers to Joseph, a hot-tempered thirteen-year-old who often raged against his mother, one night hurling expletives and bashing the wall, only to ask, a half hour later, for a grilled-cheese sandwich. Although a child psychiatrist determined that the boy was bipolar and prescribed medication, Gnaulati saw him and insisted otherwise.

To him, Joseph was just struggling with normal developmental issues, such as “ambivalence young adolescents feel about growing up,” and did not need drugs. Well, maybe. Psychotherapy’s Image Problem. When Work Becomes A Haven From Stress At Home. Abstract Speaking's Power: When Communication's Not in the Details. Charles Darwin's Evolution: Did His Anxieties Shape His Science? How to Help Kids Cope with Irrational Fears. Self Tests by Psychology Today.