Richard Erskine talking about his new book on Script. Richard Erskine has influenced Transactional Analysts and Integrative Psychotherapy.
Tom Stafford writing for Mindhacks asks ”Are you reading this because you chose to? Or are you doing so as a result of forces beyond your control?”
There have been recent studies to suggest that those people who believe that things happen randomly in life actually behave less well than those people who have a different perspective. So when we think about free will, it’s what we believe about it that affects how we actually behave. This is a very new area of research but studies have taken place in the US and in Italy that are researching this fascinating subject.
Researchers have now found a way to connect our brains together via the internet. The stuff of sci-fi movies is becoming reality. Experiments from the University of Washington have shown that brains can communicate across distance when connected up to the experimental equipment which is used in electroencephalography (measuring brain activity from the scalp).
A simple experiment was carried out University of Washington where researcher Rajesh Rao, left, played a computer game with his mind. Connected up across campus, researcher Andrea Stocco, carried out the commands instructed by Rajesh by involuntarily pressing keys on a computer keyboard.
Read on to find out the implications of this fascinating research.
Steadily emerging from the research of neuroscience are new approaches and new treatments for mental illness. The use of psychiatric drugs could be replaced in the future. Rather than developing new medicines there is more focus on research that looks at how the neural circuits in the brain can be altered by physical intervention into the brain itself.
This new research focuses not only on how each network of the brain works but also how it interacts with the other neural networks within the brain. The idea is that by researching into these neural networks more specific treatments for mental illness can be created.
Jeremy Dean pyschologist and author of psyBlog says that despite having little to gain, petty cheaters feel happier and more self-satisfied than those who follow the rules.
A study carried out by the University of Washington confirmed that the reasons people sometimes cheat even when there is little to be gained from it is because it feels good. Interestingly in their research and studies they carried out this ‘cheaters high’ was only experienced if the cheating did not directly involve someone else. In these studies participants were just cheating at numeracy and logic problems.
Why is a broken heart so painful?
Another fantastic short YouTube video from Asap-SCIENCE about the science behind a ‘broken heart’. So is a broken heart an abstract concept then?
Studies on the brain have shown that the same area of the brain called the Anterior Cingulate Cortex is stimulated when we feel physical pain and emotional pain. So why would these very different experiences elicit the same response in the brain? The narrator goes on to explain that it’s all about survival. It was important for our ancestors to feel physical pain to protect them from danger. As humans developed and the importance of relationships for the survival of the human race became more and more significant so the feelings of being socially alone were also experienced as pain.
The video ends with ideas of how you can alleviate the pain of a broken heart. Take a look and let me know what think!
Jan Hoffman states in this article that ”Those who enjoy inflicting at least moderate pain on others, directly or vicariously, mingle with us daily”. These are not extremes such as Hannibal Lecter or Marquis to Sade but ‘everyday sadists’ such as mean girls at school or college who taunt their peers, or a teacher who constantly bullies a student in lessons. You may. i am sure, be able to come up with your own examples of people from your own life experience.
There is apparently very little research on sadism. Dr Paulhus who has made some headway with studies in this area, describe sadists as those people who look for opportunities to hurt people and prolong it for their own pleasure. Studies also indicate that sadists will choose to hurt people without provocation, even if the act takes time and effort — the only reward being the pleasure of inflicting cruelty.
So why are some people so chronically mean? Take a look at this most recent study and see what you think.
In this video
Any ideas? Could it be Roosevelt, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton or Bush?
Jeremy Dean writing for PsyBlog previously looked at which professions displayed the most psychopathic tendencies such as a limited fear response and endless confidence. These included CEOs, lawyers and salespeople to name but a few.
So how about presidents then? Theodore Roosevelt and JFK are at the top the list of US presidents with highest ‘positive’ psychopathic tendencies. These ratings were based on one aspect of psychopathy called ‘fearless dominance’ which relates to having no fear, to being charming, bold and taking charge.
The authors of the study investigated whether this aspect of psychopathy called ‘fearless dominance’ was associated with better presidential performance. An intriguing study with interesting conclusions.
When you set yourself a goal do you start out determined to succeed? Goals can be anything from losing weight, getting fit or saving for your retirement or even paying your taxes on time. However Scott Sleek writing for Psychological Science says ‘ habit, convenience and temptation get in the way of the most conscientious of goals’.
Wouldn’t it be good if you could have a nudge in the right direction to keep you on track?
So have you heard of the ‘nudge’ unit? It was set up by the government in 2010. They are a team of behavioural scientists called the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) who cue us to act in our own self interest and as a consequence lessen the burden that bad habits place on our society.
Read on to find out where the name ‘nudge unit’ comes from, the work they do and how the United States is looking to adopt similar model.