Plants actually know when they are eaten and send distress signals

Just because plants do not have brains it doesn't mean they cannot have feelings. Plants can feel distressed as in a way they have a type of nervous system. Plants Warn Each Other If They Are Attacked Biologists have found out that if the leaf of a plant starts to get eaten it is able to give off a warning to other leaves. They do this by using similar signals to animals in distress. Biologists are continuing to study the mystery of how plants are able to take to each other. ...

Read More

Five revelations for finding your true calling, according to psychology

"Look. You can't plan out your life. What you have to do is first discover your passion-what you really care about." Barack Obama, as quoted by David Gergen (cited in Jachimowicz et al, 2018). Last Saturday, the first of two BPS career events took place - "perfect for anyone looking to discover where psychology can take them in their chosen career." A second follows in London on Dec 4. If, like many, you are searching for your calling in life - perhaps you are still unsure whether psychology is for you, or which area of the profession aligns with what you most care about - here are five digested research findings worth taking into consideration: There's a difference between having a harmonious passion and an obsessive passion If you can find a career path or occupational goal that fires you...

Read More

The prolonged suffering of avoidant grievers

A new study between published in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience demonstrates that avoidant grievers unconsciously monitor and block the contents of their mind-wandering, constantly protecting themselves from thinking about their loss. People who are grieving a major loss, such as the death of a spouse or a child, use different coping mechanisms to carry on with their lives. Psychologists have been able to track different approaches, which can reflect different clinical outcomes. One approach that is not usually successful is avoidant grief, a state in which people suffering from grief show marked, effortful, repeated, and often unsuccessful attempts to stop themselves from thinking about their loss. While researchers have shown that avoidant grievers consciously monitor their external environment in order to avoid reminders of their loss, no one has yet been able to show whether these grievers also monitor...

Read More

A lovely but pernicious story: How the self-esteem myth has damaged society

Will Storr is an award-winning journalist and novelist. His work has appeared in outlets such as the Guardian, the Sunday Times, the New Yorker, and Esquire. His latest book is Selfie: How We Became so Self-Obsessed and What it's Doing to Us. As a psychologist who studies the self and related topics, I was excited to read the book and was not disappointed. I highly recommend it. Below is an interview I conducted with Mr. Storr about Selfie. Clay Routledge: What made you interested in researching and writing a book focused on the self? Will Storr: My previous book, The Unpersaudables, was an investigation into how intelligent people come to believe crazy things. It focused on the ways we become intellectually stuck. I concluded that we don't really choose the things we believe-at least not those things that are core...

Read More

SOTT FOCUS: The Truth Perspective: The Myth of Symptoms: Why Most People Are Actually Mentally Ill

For many people the term mental health is synonymous with the absence of symptoms. With this outlook our mental health rests in positive emotion, our ability to cope, maintain emotional balance, and adjust to the world and society. Viewing mental health in such a way leaves little room for good or evil, high or low, or better or worse ways of adjusting, or of experiencing certain symptoms. So what would a psychology of value look like, and how mentally healthy are we when viewed through that psychology? These questions were the subject of Kazimierz Dabrowski's formidable intellect over the course of his entire career. So join us today, on the Truth Perspective, as we use Dabrowski's Theory of Positive Disintegration to explore and add real depth to the concept of mental health, also utilizing insights gained from our discussions on...

Read More

Couples show more humor and tenderness toward each other as marriage progresses

A new UC Berkeley study shows those prickly disagreements that can mark the early and middle years of marriage mellow with age as conflicts give way to humor and acceptance. When it comes to several health indicators and risks, marriages have been proven to offer considerable benefits according to a large population-based studies. Married individuals usually have lower levels of the stress hormones than those who never married or were previously married. Exactly how marriage works its magic remains mysterious. Perhaps a strong personal relationship improves mental health and helps the individual to ward off physical illness. Married couples who have well over a decade together typically become more tolerant and compassionate towards the needs of each other. Although this may not be directly evident to casual observers, researchers have found the behavior consistent at levels revealed after investigation. Researchers...

Read More

The mental side of physical exercise: Nick Goolab tackling self doubt head on

British international tells Euan Crumley about why he had to take a break from athletics and how a change in mindset has been crucial to rediscovering his love of the sport. Nick Goolab was no longer enjoying his running. Even though he won the Ipswich 5k in May, he spent the entire race inwardly berating and criticising himself. The Belgrave Harrier knew his mindset was not doing him any favours at all and that something had to change. He took a two-month break from the sport and during that time began to work with Wendy Hilton, a life coach who is also a masseuse with British Athletics. ...

Read More

Why children are ready to shift toward more independence around age 4

My earliest clear memories of events I experienced, which are not simply memories of stories told to me about my childhood, are from when I was 4 years old. I know, because those memories are clearly situated at and near the apartment in Minneapolis where we lived when I was 4, from which we moved about the time I turned 5. One of those memories, which would have occurred when I was about 4 years and 4 months, is the following. On a hot summer day, my grandmother told me that it was time for me to take an adventure by myself. We lived on a busy street with traffic lights, and I'm sure that my grandmother had already explained to me how to cross streets at lights as we took walks together. But this day, she told me, I...

Read More

The scents of heaven: Frankincense and myrrh

Frankincense and myrrh have long links to the sacred. Why has Christianity viewed them with both fascination and suspicion? In the traditional Christmas narrative, wise men from the East brought gifts of frankincense, myrrh and gold for the infant Christ. Many explanations exist for the choice of these three items. Most centre on the idea that frankincense was for the birth of a divinity, myrrh was for his embalmment after death, and gold was a recognition of his status as king. I find the plant extracts - frankincense and myrrh - to be particularly interesting. How is it that they existed as both medicinal and ritual substances, and endured as such despite the profound shifts in culture and science over the ensuing centuries? What is it about frankincense and myrrh that caught the imagination of early Christians, and how have...

Read More

Clean your room! The problem with completing household chores in a timely manner

Chores are the worst. I'm trying to construct an alternative theory of myself in which I'm a tidy person. It's not going well. Walking my recycling from my apartment to the trash room down the hall takes me anywhere from two minutes to a month. I hate looking at broken-down boxes and empty LaCroix cans in my apartment, but studies say humans are bad at prioritizing long-term goals over instant gratification, and I apparently find doing anything else much more gratifying. It doesn't take a scientist to explain why I might put off other things, such as doing my dishes. Those are annoying and kind of gross, and the primary reward is just being able to use them in the future. Still, at a certain point, the anxiety of not having done these tasks surpasses the annoyance of doing them...

Read More