Articles on Psychology

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Critics contend that psychology amounts to scant more than “common sense”. h.koppdelaney

Is psychology a science?

As a psychologist – I received my PhD in clinical psychology – I have long been concerned by the problematic reputation of psychology in the public eye. Our besieged public standing has made it difficult…
A slump in well-being is common to all middle-aged great apes. Tom Holbrook

Do chimpanzees and orangutans really have midlife crises?

Knowing that chimpanzees and orangutans have personalities, feel emotions and are “almost human” comes as no surprise to most people. However, linking the term “midlife crisis” to chimpanzees and orangutans…
Protesters march against the torture at Abu Ghraib; we use social psychology to help understand why people commit such acts. Shrieking Tree

Rethinking long-held beliefs about the psychology of evil

Social psychology addresses many of the important questions that concern us as human beings. It’s also the subject of newspaper editorials on most days: why is there conflict between groups? How can it…
Worrying about the future is bad for your survival - have we evolved to prefer optimism? Vassilis Galanos

How we evolved to reject climate science

Is it any wonder so many people turn their back on climate science? Who wants to hear - as the World Bank told us today - we’re heading for a four-degree-warmer world, with more heatwave deaths and life-threatening…
What makes a fear a phobia? jasonbolonski/Flickr.

Explainer: what are phobias?

A life without fear sounds idyllic but it would be no paradise. Fear protects us from present danger, alerts us to future threat, sharpens our minds and blunts our selfishness. Friedrich Nietzsche once…

Fear makes things appear closer

Fear can alter our perception of distance, making the object of our fear appear closer than it is. Psychologists found that…
The cosy relationship between the psychiatry and Big Pharma has come under increasing scrutiny. Hannah Nicole Aspire

Depression, drugs and the DSM: a tale of self-interest and public outrage

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. In Australia, antidepressant…
It’s normal to have recurring waves of grief after the loss of a loved one but prolonged, severe grief requires treatment. white ribbons

Why prolonged grief should be listed as a mental disorder

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. Grief is one of the most universal…
As an adolescent and child psychiatrist, I dispense all sorts of labels – but what do they mean? emildom

Psychiatric labels and kids: benefits, side-effects and confusion

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. As a child and adolescent psychiatrist…
Overall, there will be fewer symptoms and disorders listed in the new psychiatry manual. Axel Buhrmann

Redefining autism in the DSM-5

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. For autistic people and their…
The inclusion of hoarding on the DSM-5 will drive an integrated response to this complex problem. Hoarding Grap Wikimedia Commons

When stuff gets in the way of life: hoarding and the DSM-5

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. We’ve all got boxes of old letters…
Many non-western cultures recognise states of mind that look like mental illness but don’t fit DSM categories. Todd Huffman

Strange or just plain weird? Cultural variation in mental illness

MATTERS OF THE MIND – a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. There’s an old saying that psychology…
Criteria for mental health disorders have been formulated by expert committees. But are they right? Psychiatry image from shutterstock

Explainer: what is the DSM and how are mental disorders diagnosed?

Welcome to Matters of the Mind, a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. The Diagnostic and…
The symptom-based approach of the current DSM does not take life events into account. Woman image from shutterstock.com

Forget talking, just fill a script: how modern psychiatry lost its mind

Welcome to Matters of the Mind, a series which examines the clinician’s bible for diagnosing mental disorders, the DSM, and the controversy surrounding the forthcoming fifth edition. You’re feeling down…
There was absolutely no evidence that reading bad news led to immediate increases in stress responses for either sex. Dani/Flickr

Forgettable study sparks sexist headlines about women remembering

Attention women of the world: according to a flood of recent news headlines (78 at last count), it’s time to stop watching the news because negative news stories stress you out more than they do men. These…
Why would someone want to step outside of their own body? mandymama

Body swapping and out-of-body experiences – a how-to guide

During an out-of-body experience (OBE) a person finds his or her centre of consciousness displaced from their physical body. Research suggests around 10% of people have had an OBE, where they have experienced…

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