Archives for Studies
C.R. writes: The Washington Post reports that "Over the course of nine months in 2009 and 2010, six Palo Alto teenagers committed suicide. Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 20 children and young adults killed themselves annually in Santa Clara County, where Palo Alto is located." To put these grim statistics in context, "The deaths in the city constitute two recent “suicide clusters” (multiple suicides within a short time frame); there are an average of five in the entire country each year. Having two in the same city in less than a decade is extremely rare." (Washington Post) Several teenagers have committed suicide by stepping in front of trains, jumping off roofs or overpasses, or by hanging themselves.
Drugs There were 46, 471 deaths from drug overdoses in the United States in 2013, the latest year for which there is data. About half of those were from prescription-drug overdoes. Another 8,000 were from heroin. (Painkillers are being abused more than heroin, cocaine, PCP, methamphetamines, and MDMA all combined.)
Richard's off, C.R. writes: "Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 75% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test." So states a Guardian article about a recent study in the journal, Science, "which saw 270 scientists repeat experiments on five continents, [and which] was launched by psychologists in the US in response to rising concerns over the reliability of psychology research." Why is this important and why should you care?
We're more than a year away from the Presidential election, but the debates are heating up. No, not that kind of debate, but the debate about the psychology of liberals vs. conservatives. Spoiler alert: We think the answer to the question of who is smarter, kinder, and more moral TOTALLY depends on the political affiliation of the one running the study or giving the answer. :) Seven must-read posts; fun and unique insights and opinions:
Trauma Can Change Us There is no doubt trauma changes us. When I (C.R.) was beginning graduate studies, my main focus was on what I call "legacy trauma." Personal interviews and experience has shown me that the children of those who are not spiritually and emotionally healed from traumatic experiences seem to be likely to pass down a legacy of trauma through the generations. This legacy affects every aspect of their children's and grandchildren's lives, from how they respond to positive or negative "news" to how they show their love for each other. I've seen this primarily with families of Holocaust survivors and this was to be my main research, but certainly other traumatic, national and personal events (my focus was on national, ethnic, etc.), from war in places like Sudan and Syria, to the Japanese earthquakes, to the Ring of Fire Tsunami, appears to leave survivors with a broad range of reactions, ranging from feelings of helplessness to developing suddenly acquired but abiding belief in God. But are there actual physiological changes that lead to a genetic legacy?
Just as some medical doctors aren’t in tune with the importance of recommending psychotherapeutic evaluations, some psychotherapists aren’t aware of the importance of recommending medical evaluations. Sadly, I would say this is often the case. Illnesses that should be treated medically can sometimes masquerade as emotional problems. For example, a condition such as mitral- valve prolapse (a common disorder where the valve between the heart's heart’s left upper chamber and the left lower chamber doesn't doesn’t close properly) can cause symptoms of anxiety, including heart palpitations.
Do psychiatric medications do more harm than good or is the answer more complex than a simple yes or no? Peter Gøtzsche, professor and director of the Nordic Cochrane Centre in Denmark, is making waves with his British Medical Journal statement that each year, over 500,000 people aged 65 die from psychiatric drugs.