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OUPblog » Psychology



OUPblog » Psychology



Last Build Date: Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:30:59 +0000

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Are you the favorite child? The science of favoritism

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 11:30:59 +0000

We are frequently asked why we spend our professional careers studying favoritism, after all, parents don’t really have favorites. Or do they? A woman recently approached us after a lecture we gave and told us about caring for her aging mother. Her story captures the importance of this issue. She visited her mother daily in the final year of her mother’s life to feed, bathe, and care for her.

The post Are you the favorite child? The science of favoritism appeared first on OUPblog.




“Thank you for your service” isn’t enough [excerpt]

Sat, 11 Nov 2017 08:30:34 +0000

On this Veterans Day, we honor those fallen and herald those still fighting. We also examine what more can be done in terms of listening and understanding those who have seen the perils of war firsthand. In this excerpt from AfterWar: Healing the Moral Wounds of our Soldiers, author Nancy Sherman shares with us her time spent with a veteran of Afghanistan and his feelings on those who expect so much from soldiers and can only offer thanks in return.

The post “Thank you for your service” isn’t enough [excerpt] appeared first on OUPblog.




On burnout, trauma, and self-care with Erin Jessee

Fri, 10 Nov 2017 18:00:37 +0000

Last week, Erin Jessee gave us a list of critical questions to ask to mitigate risk in oral history fieldwork. Today, we’ve invited Jessee back to the blog to talk more in-depth about her recently published article, “Managing Danger in Oral Historical Fieldwork,” spotting signs of trauma during interviews, and dealing with the sensitive nature of oral history.

The post On burnout, trauma, and self-care with Erin Jessee appeared first on OUPblog.




Pain medicine and addiction: A reading list

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 11:30:54 +0000

On the 10 August 2017, President Donald Trump declared a ‘national emergency’ in the United States - the cause: the country’s escalating opioid epidemic. This drug crisis has rapidly become one of the worst in American history, with data showing that in 2016 up to 65,000 people died from drug overdoses. Officials state that for citizens under 50 they are the leading cause of death, and opioid-specific overdoses make up two-thirds of all those recorded.

The post Pain medicine and addiction: A reading list appeared first on OUPblog.




Six questions to ask before you hit record

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 09:30:41 +0000

Erin Jessee’s article “Managing Danger in Oral Historical Fieldwork” in the most recent issue of the OHR provides a litany of practical advice about mitigating risk and promoting security. The entire article is well worth a read, but for the blog we’ve asked Jessee to provide us a list of some of the most important questions for oral historians to think about in evaluating and limiting exposure to risk.

The post Six questions to ask before you hit record appeared first on OUPblog.




The origins of performance anxiety

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 08:30:51 +0000

Noted psychologist and educator Erik Erikson has written about human development from a biological, psychological, and social perspective encompassing the entire life cycle. His famous chart “The Eight Stages of Man” is in his book Childhood and Society (1950). I have found his ideas particularly helpful to understanding the importance of development in musicians, particularly so since children begin to study musical instruments at very young ages.

The post The origins of performance anxiety appeared first on OUPblog.




Workplace bullying and the law

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 08:30:57 +0000

Is the law able to offer any assistance to victims of workplace bullying? Let me recite an example, which is all too commonplace. Daniel* worked in an office in local government in the UK. When he was bullied by his manager he didn’t even realise it at first. The conduct was subtle. He would be given more than his fair share of the unpopular tasks. Everything he did was criticised, not aggressively, but constantly.

The post Workplace bullying and the law appeared first on OUPblog.




Balancing compassion and self-care in a troubled world

Wed, 18 Oct 2017 08:30:43 +0000

Originating from the Latin “compatī,” (to suffer together), compassion can lead to a greater understanding of human suffering. However, the vulnerability that comes along with compassion can often lead to increased feelings of stress and anxiety. In the video below, psychologist Robert J. Wicks describes the consequences of inordinate compassion.

The post Balancing compassion and self-care in a troubled world appeared first on OUPblog.




The point of depression

Sun, 15 Oct 2017 11:30:33 +0000

There has been a great deal of speculation about the evolutionary significance and origins of depression. What selective advantage does it confer? Does it allow the patient to concentrate on complex and important problems? Is it a type of pain that, like physical pain, causes us to pull back from danger? Is it a type of behavioral quarantine, causing us to hole up in a safe place while dangers stalk around outside?

The post The point of depression appeared first on OUPblog.




Wielding wellness with music

Thu, 12 Oct 2017 11:30:24 +0000

The intersection between music and health occurs on a continuum of care ranging from the personal use of music to “feel better”, to professional music therapy work. While music therapists may work more often in the professional end of the continuum, our experiences and knowledge as clinicians and scholars provide us a unique perspective on […]

The post Wielding wellness with music appeared first on OUPblog.




A twenty-first century reinterpretation of dreams?

Wed, 11 Oct 2017 10:30:21 +0000

But, on this occasion, it is also thanks to a certain Donald Woods Winnicott—perhaps most of all—that this commemorative moment in history takes place. Winnicott, as President of the British Psychoanalytic Society, was instrumental in raising awareness and funds in the 1960s for getting this same statue by Nemon cast and put up in North London for the first time.

The post A twenty-first century reinterpretation of dreams? appeared first on OUPblog.




Cognitive biases and the implications of Big Data

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 09:30:22 +0000

Big Data analytics have become pervasive in today’s economy. While they produce countless novelties for businesses and consumers, they have led to increasing concerns about privacy, behavioral manipulations, and even job losses. But the handling of vast quantities of data is anything but new.

The post Cognitive biases and the implications of Big Data appeared first on OUPblog.




World Mental Health Day 2017: History of the treatment of mental illness

Tue, 10 Oct 2017 07:30:25 +0000

The tenth of October marks World Mental Health Day. Organized by the World Health Organization, the day works toward "raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health." Mental health has been a concern for thousands of years, but different cultures have treated mental illnesses very differently throughout time.

The post World Mental Health Day 2017: History of the treatment of mental illness appeared first on OUPblog.




A short walk per day: a look at the importance of self-care

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 11:30:47 +0000

“What have you been doing that has been especially important over the past several years?" In the following video and shortened excerpt from Night Call, Robert J. Wicks explains how this question helped him realize the importance of striking a balance between compassion for others and self-care.

The post A short walk per day: a look at the importance of self-care appeared first on OUPblog.




Avoiding World War III: lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 10:30:06 +0000

An American president, recently made aware of a new potential nuclear threat to US cities, declared that any nuclear missile launched against any nation in the western hemisphere would require “a full retaliatory response.” The chair of the House Armed Services Committee argued that the United States should strike “with all the force and power and try to get it over with as quickly as possible.”

The post Avoiding World War III: lessons from the Cuban Missile Crisis appeared first on OUPblog.




Why do so many people believe in miracles?

Fri, 06 Oct 2017 07:30:21 +0000

Belief in miracles is widespread. According to recent surveys 72% of people in the USA and 59% of people in the UK believe that miracles take place. Why do so many people believe in miracles in the present age of advanced science and technology? Let us briefly consider three possible answers to this question. The first possible answer is simply that miracles actually do take place all the time.

The post Why do so many people believe in miracles? appeared first on OUPblog.




An American Kaiser?

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 11:30:15 +0000

Despite differences in historical era and social background, the Kaiser who ruled Germany from 1888 to 1918 and the American president who parlayed a real-estate empire into electoral (if not popular) victory displayed remarkably similar temperament. As Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen suggested, “Germany used to have a leader like Trump,” adding that “it’s not who you think.”

The post An American Kaiser? appeared first on OUPblog.




Seven reasons to get your memory evaluated

Thu, 21 Sep 2017 11:30:57 +0000

A question that I am often asked by family members, friends, and even by other physicians and nurses that I work with, is “Should I get my memory evaluated?” Partly, the question is asked because they have noticed memory problems, and are struggling to sort out whether theses lapses are an inevitable part of normal aging versus the start of something more ominous, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

The post Seven reasons to get your memory evaluated appeared first on OUPblog.




How a failed suicide affects the brain

Sat, 16 Sep 2017 11:30:50 +0000

The numerous factors that induce someone to think about suicide, the “ideators,” are often different from those who actually attempt suicide, the “attempters.” For example, the traditional risk factors for suicide, such as depression, hopelessness, many psychiatric disorders, and impulsivity, strongly predict suicide ideation but weakly predict suicide attempts among ideators.

The post How a failed suicide affects the brain appeared first on OUPblog.




Can narcolepsy research help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the 20th century?

Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:30:13 +0000

In late 1916, while the world was entrenched in the Great War, two physicians on opposing sides of the conflict started to encounter patients who presented with bizarre neurological signs. Most notably, the patients experienced profound lethargy, and would sleep for abnormally long periods of time. One of the physicians, Constantin von Economo, was at the Psychiatric-Neurological Clinic at the University of Vienna.

The post Can narcolepsy research help solve one of the greatest medical mysteries of the 20th century? appeared first on OUPblog.




The dangerous stigma behind military suicides [excerpt]

Sun, 10 Sep 2017 09:30:57 +0000

Terms such as “Soldier’s Heart,” “shell shock,” and “Combat Stress Reaction” have all been used to describePost Traumatic Stress Disorder in the military. War and PTSD have a long history together, as does the stigma behind mental health within military culture.In the following excerpt from The Last and Greatest Battle John Bateson discusses the dangers of underreported PTSD and the steps we can take to help prevent military suicides.

The post The dangerous stigma behind military suicides [excerpt] appeared first on OUPblog.




What hearing voices reveals about hallucination and speech perception

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 10:30:18 +0000

Hearing things that other people do not – in other words, an auditory hallucination – is something that approximately 5-15% of the population experience at some point in their lives. For people with a psychiatric disorder such as schizophrenia, the experience of auditory hallucinations can often be bewildering and upsetting. However, for some people unusual sensory experiences can be an important and meaningful part of their lives.

The post What hearing voices reveals about hallucination and speech perception appeared first on OUPblog.


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What causes psychogenic amnesia?

Tue, 29 Aug 2017 10:30:18 +0000

The media love it. Films and novels fictionalise it. TV and newspapers want to follow a real patient around. They virtually always get it wrong (and the worst thing you can do for such a patient is put him/her on television). Psychogenic amnesia (also known as dissociative or functional amnesia) still intrigues and fascinates. In 1926, Agatha Christie, the acclaimed novelist, disappeared for 11 days.

The post What causes psychogenic amnesia? appeared first on OUPblog.




Sandy Denny and Schubert

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 10:30:33 +0000

I have written elsewhere about how music, in a way that spoken language rarely does, can affect arousal, stimulate our emotions and memories, and move our bodies. It can even subtly alter our physiological state, both internally by altering heart rate, levels of hormones and so on, and externally – resulting in goose bumps, chills, tears, etc. This is the universal power of music

The post Sandy Denny and Schubert appeared first on OUPblog.




Is advocating suicide a crime under the First Amendment?

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 12:30:00 +0000

Two different cases raising similar issues about advocating suicide may shape US policy for years to come. In Massachusetts, Michelle Carter was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for urging her friend Conrad Roy not to abandon his plan to kill himself by inhaling carbon monoxide: “Get back in that car!” she texted, and he did. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has already ruled that prosecuting her for involuntary manslaughter was permissible

The post Is advocating suicide a crime under the First Amendment? appeared first on OUPblog.