Archives for Psychology

General

Can You Believe Findings from Psychology Studies? New York Times Casts Doubt

The New York Times caused a stir with its article, "Many psychology findings not as strong as claimed, study says." It quickly climbed to the top of the "most emailed" list. Should you be concerned? Can you really believe the results of all the studies you read about here at Psych Central and in so many other places?

I wrote about this issue previously, when similar questions were being raised at the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Columbia Journalism Review. I'm sharing that article here. (See below.) As you will see, I'm less concerned with researchers who try to do the same study and come up with different results (that can happen for reasons that are not at all nefarious or troubling) and much more concerned with the reporting and interpretation of research findings in wildly inaccurate ways.

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General

How Should I Live?

Have you found your "lifespace" – your place, your space, and your people? Are you living where and how you most want to live? Are you living with or in connection with the people you care about the most, or on your own if that's what feels most authentic to you?

Regardless of how you feel about how you are living now, do you fantasize about (or worry about) how you will live in the future?

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General

Who Changed Your Life?

In the Community of Single People, we have been trying to come up with a list of movies that do not feature a romantic plot or end with a wedding. It is amazing how challenging it can be to do so. The same is true of fiction. When I have the time to read a novel, I don't want to get sucked into the same trite story of two people meeting, facing obstacles, and ending up together in the end. My list of relevant titles is never long enough. On TV, even shows that should be safe from the typical matrimaniacal themes rarely are. It is as if the most creative minds in screenwriting and in literature are sapped of all imaginativeness when it comes to fashioning a plot or a sensibility that is not a romantic cliché.

We need ways of thinking about life that are bigger and broader than marriage and romance. So when I find someone who has burst out of the box of boredom, I like to give some credit. Those people are showing us the way to recognizing and celebrating lives that are not all about marriage and romantic relationships.

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General

Why Are Millennials Still Living with Their Parents Now that the Recession Is Over?

Millennials have been the targets of a lot of bashing lately. They have been described as basement kids, nest dwellers, generation stuck, the go-nowhere generation, and the "failure-to-launch" group, all because they have been living with their parents at numbers that have been increasing since 1980.

Not everyone engaged in the sport of mocking millennials, but even among those who did, there was one silver lining they foresaw: Part of the problem was the lousy economy. Once that improved, millennials would be on their way out of their parents' places and into their own.

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Love & Affection

Can You Know You Want to Be Single If You’ve Never Had a Serious Romantic Relationship?

A reader emailed me, telling me about some of the ways she fits the profile of people who are single at heart. For example, she loves solitude and can go for days at a time without seeing anyone else and not feel lonely. But she has never had a serious romantic relationship – for example, she's never lived with a romantic partner. So can she really know if she is single-at-heart if she has not experienced an intense romantic involvement with another person?

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General

Radically New Families and How They Are Becoming More Ordinary

Family. It used to seem so simple: mom and dad, married, with their kids, all living under the same roof. That's the nuclear family model. It is our idea of tradition, even if "it was dominant only for a brief period and only for some people."

Now all the standard criteria for what counts as family have become optional. Families do not need married parents (they can be cohabiting), families do not need one mom and one dad (there are same-sex parents), families do not need two parents at all (there are single-parent families), and families do not need to live in the same household (after divorce, separate households are often set up but the people in the different households still consider each other family). Even households that do not include kids are often perceived as family by other people, especially if the households are comprised of a married couple.

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Love & Affection

The Good News No One Ever Tells You about Single Parents and Their Children

I have been scrutinizing the research on single parents and their children for more than a decade. I've learned lots of things, but perhaps the most important one is this: all those predictions you hear about how the children of single parents are doomed are grossly exaggerated or just plain wrong.

I included a chapter on the topic in Singled Out and have continued to write blog posts and other articles after the book was published. I thought that was sufficient. But the wording of the recent Supreme Court ruling sent me over the edge. While trying to make a positive case for same-sex marriage, Justice Kennedy egregiously put down families that do not include married parents. The claims he made were not just derogatory, they were inaccurate.

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