What Is Cognitive Dissonance?

Cognitive dissonance

Originally proposed by Leon Festinger, cognitive dissonance theory suggests we experience an unpleasant and uneasy state of mind whenever we become aware of major conflicts between our values, thoughts, attitudes, behaviors, etc. Cognitive dissonance can occur in many situations, especially when we need to choose among important options.


How Do SSRI Antidepressants Work?

In today’s post, I discuss the workings of one particular group of antidepressants. Specifically, I focus on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are antidepressants commonly prescribed to treat depression and sometimes anxiety disorders. Please note that what follows is a simplified version of complex biological events, so if you like to learn more about a particular aspect of this process, leave me a comment and I will try to direct you to a helpful resource that provides more detailed information (e.g., article, book, video).


What Is Folk Psychology?

In my last post, I asked what readers of my Psych Central blog would like me to discuss in my future posts. I received a couple of responses on my personal website (which were regarding topics I had covered already) and two on my blog here, which are new topics; I address one of these two subjects in today’s post (folk psychology) and the other in next month’s (the psychology of science/religion debates).


What Would You Like Me to Write About?

I have been writing for Psych Central for over a year, and I want to hear from you now. Are there any topics you would like me to write about? Any topics that interest you, are personally relevant to your situation—anything in the world of psychology or mental health that you would like to learn more about?


Treatment for OCD: Are You Willing to Face Your Fears?

People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) have obsessions mostly related to the fear of being harmed or harming others. To neutralize such fears, people with OCD perform compulsions (i.e. repetitive actions, like checking or cleaning). In my previous two posts, I talked about the following: The need for control in OCD, why compulsions appear to work, and possible reasons individuals with OCD are motivated to believe compulsions work.


Two Possible Reasons People with OCD Perform Compulsions

This is my second post in the series on obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)—a mental disorder associated with obsessions (recurrent intrusive urges) and compulsions (mental rituals or repetitive behaviors).¹ In my previous post, I described the nature of obsessive-compulsive disorder, the relationship between obsessions and compulsions, and the consequences of performing compulsions. I also explained the first of three aspects of OCD I was planning to discuss: The need for control.


OCD and the Need to Be in Control

In my previous post, I discussed 6 common themes in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Starting with today’s entry, in a series of 5 posts, I will be discussing additional aspects of obsessive-compulsive disorder, and will end with reviewing one of the most effective treatments for this condition.