Tag: Psychology

Enjoy this strange new audiovisual illusion from Caltech scientists

Caltech researchers developed the illusion above to illustrate postdiction, a sensory phenomenon “in which a stimulus that occurs later can retroactively affect our perceptions of an earlier event.” From Caltech Matters: “Illusions are a really interesting window into the brain,” says first author Noelle Stiles (PhD ’15), a visitor in […]

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Loving vs. Being in Love: Jane Welsh Carlyle on Navigating the Heart’s Contradictions

Like Alice James — the brilliant diarist who lived and wrote in the shadow of her brothers, Henry and William James — Jane Welsh Carlyle (January 14, 1801–April 21, 1866), unpublished and shadowed by her famous husband, was a literary genius whose private letters stand as masterpieces of prose in their own right. Virginia Woolf […]

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How to Break Up with Integrity: Rilke on Unwounding Separation and the Difficult Art of Recalibrating Broken Relationships

We speak of love as a gift, but although it may come at first unbidden, as what Percy Shelley called a “speechless swoon of joy,” true intimacy between two people is a difficult achievement — a hard-earned glory with stakes so high that the prospect of collapse is absolutely devastating. When collapse does happen — […]

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“Panacea” by Benjamin Garcia

New works by Venezuelan artist Benjamin Garcia (previously featured here). Delving into the various impulses competing within any single identity, Garcia highlights his subjects in a state of transformation or becoming. Rife with tension, distress and disorder, the “Panacea” Garcia offers can be seen as the healing work of the paint or the act of […]

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The Difficult Art of Giving Space in Love: Rilke on Freedom, Togetherness, and the Secret to a Good Marriage

“Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls,” the great Lebanese-American poet, philosopher, and painter counseled in what remains the finest advice on the secret to a loving and lasting relationship. Our paradoxical longing for intimacy and independence is a […]

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Against the Illusion of Separateness: Pablo Neruda’s Beautiful and Humanistic Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech

The great Chilean poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904–September 23, 1973) was only a small boy, just over the cusp of preconscious memory, when he had a revelation about why we make art. It seeded in him a lifelong devotion to literature as a supreme tool that “widens out the boundaries of our […]

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Epictetus on Love and Loss: The Stoic Strategy for Surviving Heartbreak

“Future love does not exist,” Tolstoy wrote in contemplating the paradoxical demands of love. “Love is a present activity only. The man who does not manifest love in the present has not love.” It is a difficult concept to accept — we have been socialized to believe in and grasp after the happily-ever-after future of […]

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Van Gogh on the Beauty of Sorrow and the Enchantment of Storms, in Nature and in Life

Chance doesn’t deal happiness with an even hand — some lives are more weighed down by sorrow than others. It can be easy, and misguided, to romanticize suffering — despite Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s superb admonition against it, we have a long cultural history of perpetuating the “tortured genius” myth, the reality behind which is far […]

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When Teen Depression Eases With Treatment, So Does Parent’s

New research shows that when a teen’s depression improves through treatment, so did depression experienced by the parent. “More young people today are reporting persistent feelings of sadness and hopelessness and suicidal thoughts,” said Kelsey R. Howard, M.S., of Northwestern University, who presented the findings at the 2018 annual convention of the American Psychological Association. […]

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Bluets: Maggie Nelson on the Color Blue as a Lens on Memory, Loneliness, and the Paradoxes of Love

“We love to contemplate blue,” Goethe observed in his theory of color and emotion, “not because it advances to us, but because it draws us after it.” This particular color — or, rather, this universe of hues — seems to have drawn after it more minds than any other, inking the body of culture with […]

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“Meaningless rituals” boost self-control

Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (paywalled, no Sci-Hub mirror) describes a fascinating experimental outcome in which subjects were asked to enact “meaningless rituals” (“knocking the table with their knuckles, closing their eyes and counting, among other things”) before being confronted with a self-control challenge (eating two carrots, then deciding […]

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Political and Social Differences Can Encourage Paranoid Thinking

Interacting with someone of a higher social status or opposing political beliefs may increase paranoid interpretations of the other person’s actions, according to a new UK study by researchers at University College London (UCL). Paranoia is the tendency to assume other people are trying to harm you when their actual motivations are unclear. “Being alert […]

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Many Psychopaths Unable to Detect True Fear or Sadness in Others

Individuals with high levels of psychopathic traits tend to have difficulty detecting genuine expressions of fear or sadness in others, according to a new study by researchers at The Australian National University (ANU). Psychopathic traits may include lack of empathy, a grandiose sense of self-worth, lack of remorse or guilt, superficial charm, a high need […]

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Intensive Outpatient Program Shown to Ease Vets’ PTSD Symptoms

A three-week intensive outpatient therapy program (IOP) has been found to significantly reduce post-traumatic stress disorder and depression symptoms among military veterans. The intervention adds to the growing evidence that suggests providing several hours of therapy over several consecutive days is an effective method to address the unmet mental health needs of military veterans. Over […]

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Tip-Dependent Female Workers May Be at Greater Risk for Depressive Symptoms

Female hospitality workers who rely on tips in addition to base pay are more likely to report symptoms of depression compared with those who work in non-tipped positions, according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The analysis is based on data from a nationwide health study that tracked thousands of individuals […]

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9 in 10 Family Caregivers of Dementia Patients Suffer from Lack of Sleep

A new study finds that nine in 10 individuals caring for a family member with dementia experience poor sleep. Researchers from the University at Buffalo (UB) School of Nursing found that most caregivers in the study got less than six hours of sleep each night, exacerbated by frequent awakenings as often as four times per […]

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How To Absolutely KILL Your Smartphone Addiction

“One last video before I go to bed”. “Let me just scroll through Facebook real quick.” “I’m just going to take a five minute Instagram break.” If you’ve ever had a “five minute Instagram break” turn into a two-hour procrastination session, you’re not alone. According to a study released by Deloitte, people between the ages […]

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Alzheimer’s Research Targets Variants of Sticky Brain Proteins

Emerging research has discovered that not all forms of amyloid-beta (Aβ) protein, the protein thought to initiate Alzheimer’s disease, contribute equally to the progress of the disease. In two new studies, investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston  developed a new way of preparing and extracting the protein as well as a new technique […]

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Study Probes How ADHD Meds Improve Cognition & Behavior in Kids

Although stimulants have been used for years to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in school-aged children, just how they reduce symptoms and improve behavior hasn’t been clear. A new study from researchers at the University of Buffalo now fills critical gaps about the way in which stimulants enhance cognitive functions. “This is the first study to demonstrate […]

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For Many with Severe Mental Illness, Spirituality Plays Role in Well-Being

A majority of young adults with severe mental illness, such as major depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, consider religion and spirituality relevant to their mental health, according to a new study published in the journal Spirituality in Clinical Practice. For the study, researchers from Baylor University interviewed a racially diverse sample of 55 young adults […]

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