Friday, 10 May 2013

Link feast

In case you missed them - 10 of the best psychology links from the past week:

1. Love this - "Neuroscience may be sexier than psychology right now, and it certainly has a lot more money and celebrity. But they really cannot get along without each other." Alison Gopnik in the Wall Street Journal on How The Brain Really Works.

2. New Scientist has started a new column written by people with "mysterious neurological conditions". The first is by Heather Sellers who has a severe form of prosopagnosia (AKA face blindness).

3. There's been lots of coverage this last week about NIMH director Thomas R. Insel's announcement that his organisation - the world's largest funder of mental health research - will be moving away from US psychiatry's DSM categories, just as the profession is about to publish the latest version of its diagnostic manual. My favourite round-up of the affair was by Christopher Lane for Psychology Today. Other bloggers pointed out that the big news isn't really that surprising at all. (also, check out this measured response from the chair of DSM5).

4. "Probably the most boring book in the world" - that's how Prof Sir Simon Wesseley described the DSM on the latest edition of BBC Radio 4's All in the Mind as he told presenter Claudia Hammond that the diagnostic code really isn't that relevant here in the UK. The programme also covered recent research that looked at rates of crying by therapists in therapy (check out my coverage of the research earlier this year).

5. The Guardian covered the psychological tricks that restaurant menu-compilers use to influence your dinner order.

6. Newly posted TED talk by positive psychology researcher Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit.

7. A new play on tour in the UK "Mess" sets out to demystify anorexia and it's getting rave reviews. It's written by and stars Caroline Horton, who has first-hand experience of the condition. (There's also a new book out soon about anorexia: Ministry of Thin, How the Pursuit of Perfection Got Out of Control).

8. I enjoyed this charming account of the decades-long research relationship between Suzanne Corkin and amnesiac Henry Molaison. (Corkin's new book about Molaison is out now in hardback and Kindle).

9. Nathan Azrin, the psychologist who pioneered the use of "token economies" on psychiatric wards has died aged 82. "It would be difficult to name a population that wasn’t affected by his work," said Alan Kazdin in this NYT obituary.

10. Bad news for "Tiger" parenting enthusiasts - "Children of parents ... classified as “tiger” had lower academic achievement and attainment—and greater psychological maladjustment—and family alienation, than the kids of parents characterized as “supportive” or "easygoing.”

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Looking ahead to the weekend and beyond. There's a workshop this Saturday and Sunday in London on Havening Therapy, which promises to cure trauma in minutes. Here's why I won't be going. Later in the week in Oxford, there are still tickets available for three Pint of Science brain-related events.

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Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.

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