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Archives for March, 2011


Your Body Through the Eyes of Beholders

The language of scientists can be a sort of poetry; combinations of words with nuance of meaning that exactly capture something about how we think or behave.

In a paper titled The Acceptance Model of Intuitive Eating: A Comparison of Women in Emerging Adulthood, Early Adulthood, and Middle Adulthood, (read about the research here), I came across the phrase “observer’s perspective.”

Observer’s perspective: The way most of us understand our bodies, as a...
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Figuring Out the Rules as Facebook Changes the Meaning of Friends

Who are these people and why do they want to be my friend?

Deciding where to draw the line on Facebook friend requests is a modern-day sticky wicket.

ID Analytics, Inc. an online risk management firm, surveyed 387 people who are on social networks, and nearly nine out of 10 people said it was not rude to refuse or ignore a friend request.

But according to other new research, denied or ignored friend requests...
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Brain Function

Does All Research Have a Point? (Should It?)

I’m a big fan of scientific and behavioral research. It’s interesting and useful and fun to read (well, not fun fun) and I believe it usually matters even when it doesn’t seem to.

Even so, sometimes I read a study and think, “Yeah, and….?”

Like this research on fear, in which researchers used a computational model of a rodent amygdala, taught fear to their model (I don’t know, maybe showed it really scary equations), and caused...
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Getting It Right: A Research Tool For Writers

I’ve never read Pat Conroy’s novel Prince of Tides nor seen the movie because I find the premise of a relationship between therapist and client objectionable, both ethically and as a plot point. It's wrong in so many ways, and I simply could not suspend disbelief.

Not that it hurt Conroy on the marketplace; the book and movie were smash hits. Nobody cared or they just didn't know. There’s a lot about psychology—both...
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Looking for the Loopholes in Research on Age

I cringed reading this story about how older people are worse at crossing the street while talking on a cell phone than younger people. I thought, “Ah geeze. Here’s another reason we’ll be considered lame.”

This aging thing? Not so much fun. Especially in a culture that worships youth.

Sure, there are benefits. I’m calmer and happier at 52 than I was 25. I’m more confident. According to  research published in...
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How Can Psychologists Help Immediately After Trauma?

Along with everyone else, I have been watching with horror and heartbreak the news from Japan. The images grow increasingly startling: cars, trucks and buildings swept away by the powerful wave, people on roofs watching, stunned, as the water rises, an elderly woman being rescued after days trapped in a car.

But I am stopped by a photograph on the CNN website of a young woman wrapped in a pink blanket and standing amid rubble. (You...
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Can You Make Regrets Disappear?

Do you have any regrets?

A couple of friends and I were talking about this the other day. One friend said she has no regrets, that if she does anything that makes her feel bad, she fixes it.

Yes, I try to do the same. I’m fine with apologizing and/or making amends when my behavior warrants it.

But what if you can’t fix it? What if it’s too late, if it’s something like letting love slip through your...
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Developmental Psychology

A Meaningful Life Cannot Be Quantified (But Still I Try)

Every morning I check the number of views my five blogs received the previous day.

Then I go to Google Analytics and look at my blog numbers for the past week and month.

Then I look at which specific posts got the most number of views.

Then I check how many books I’ve sold through my Amazon Associates account and how many pennies that has earned me.

Then I look at my Twitter stats to see how...
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