Archives for Psychology - Page 2

Cognition

World Mental Health Day: A Cognitive Therapy Toolbox

I’ve been a science project since I was a troubled teen sitting across from my first shrink.

I’ve warmed a lot of therapists' office chairs since then, and experimented with various strategies at different times. I've journaled and created rituals and signed contracts. I talked to the empty chair and my inner child. I've projected and rejected and introspected. It's been a lifeline and hobby.

My therapists all dabbled in an array of theories and...
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General

A Question of Spontaneity

I am not a spontaneous person.

When a surprise invitation or opportunity appears, there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll pass it up. Maybe even 60/40. Maybe even more, but I don’t want to admit that to myself.

Spontaneity is a good thing. I know this because in romance movies, guys always dump their tightly-wound girlfriends for kooky, devil-may-care, spontaneous girls.

And I can see for myself that spontaneous people lead colorful lives full of surprise.

My life is pretty...
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Anthropology

Research Happens: “Post Secret” As An Archive Of Our Id



Since I wrote this post, Frank Warren has had to withdraw the Post Secret app because people just couldn't play nicely. 

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When Frank Warren launched the Post Secret blog in 2004, it was a lark. “A creative prank,” he calls it. He gave out 3,000 postcards to strangers around Washington , and asked each person to write a secret on it and mail it to him. And they did....
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Books

Three Wishes For My Daughters

Today’s guest blogger is Lara Mayeux, PhD, a developmental psychologist and associate professor at the University of Oklahoma. Lara studies peer relations among children and adolescents. Her specialty is popularity, which is a hot field of research; she co-edited a book of theory and analysis titled Popularity in the Peer System. The book is aimed at academics, but Lara is also a mother who here connects research and mother love.

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Addiction

Fear of Going Off the Grid

I’m going on vacation next week. A real, total-veg-out vacation at an all-inclusive beach resort. I’m shutting down my office and my brain. I haven’t taken a vacation like that in 20 years.*

The resort has in-room WiFi, but I’ve decided to cut myself off and leave my computer at home. No working. No googling, no Facebook, no Twitter, no blogging (look for guest posts next week). Radio silence.

It sounds great, right?

Then why does...
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General

Nostalgia As A Drug

Woody Allen’s most recent film, Midnight in Paris is a perfect story.

Not the romance stuff so much. All that’s OK. As always, the Woody Allen character (played by Owen Wilson) is found irresistible by young and beautiful women. Ho hum. Right. It's his movie, he can do whatever he wants with that.

But the way Allen handled the premise of longing for the past dazzled me. Yes, of course. That’s exactly how...
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General

What If Not Being Picked For The Team Is Good For You?

Here’s comforting news: When crappy things happen to us, it appears there’s a something deep inside us—so deep it’s beneath our consciousness—that says, “Cheer up, little soldier. Things aren’t that bad.”

An article in the journal Emotion details nine experiments conducted by a team of six researchers, including a couple who have caught my attention before: Roy Baumeister, who taught me how to put down a torch, and Jean Twenge, who writes...
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General

The Two Faces of Envy (And Which One Trumps Admiration)

In my last post, I wrote about what happens when I compare myself to other authors. To quote myself (how uncool is that?):
I can be demotivated in my writing by reading something really, really excellent. I get all hopeless and Eeyore about my own talent. And bad writing isn’t motivating. Being better than terrible is too easy. I get most fired up by mediocre writing, which gives me a just-right goal to shoot...
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Personality

Why Does Criticism Carry More Weight Than Praise?

I’m not starved for praise. I do a few things pretty well, and enough people have told me so to keep my ego reasonably healthy.

Why is it, then, that ten instances of praise can be completely canceled out (in my head) by one good criticism?

And by good, I mean on the mark and not stupid. Because, of course, the criticism that hurts the most is the criticism that we know, deep down, is accurate.

Praise is...
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General

Don’t Worry, Be Unhappy

New research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that sharing negative views of a third party brings two people closer together than sharing positive views.

It seems that expressing a mildly negative opinion will make another person feel that he or she knows you—perhaps because positivity is a default in polite society and may or may not be the truth. A little negativity seems like a peek inside your private...
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