Posted by & filed under Careers, Introduction To Psychology, Professional Organization, Psychology Website of the Week.

PSYCHOLOGY WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

 

APS:  Association for Psychological Science

 

 

URL      

https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news

 

DESCRIPTION

“APS is the premiere international organization solely dedicated to the advancement of psychological science. APS works diligently to increase support for psychological research and to promote the use of science-based psychology in the development of public policy.”

The APS site provides a wealth of information about the field that will prove invaluable to teaching (“teaching tips”) and for Psychology majors.  The Teaching Page will provide professors at all levels with a treasure trove of teaching resource

Posted by & filed under Introduction To Psychology, Personality, Psychological Disorders and Therapy, Psychology Update, Stress and Health Psychology.

TITLE

Pandemic Anxiety Is Fueling a Rise in OCD Symptoms

 

DESCRIPTION

This is a very long and extremely comprehensive article that not only discusses Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the causes and treatments, but also, more importantly, how the pandemic has increased the incidence of the disorder.  The article begins with an anecdotal case about Roasalyn.   “Rosalyn (from the case) is one of the 2.3% of American adults diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. OCD is caused principally by excessive activity in the amygdala, a walnut-sized structure at the base of the brain that processes fear, danger and the fight-or-flight response. The disorder can manifest as compulsive, repetitive behaviors; an anxiety about getting ill or spreading germs; or an excessive sense of responsibility, and an intense fear of causing risk to others, as in Rosalyn’s case. Even people without an official diagnosis are affected; about 25% of Americans will exhibit at least some obsessive-compulsive behavior at some point in their lives, according to a 2008 study published in the journal Nature.  The pandemic has made life much worse for people with OCD symptoms. New research shows that OCD symptoms have gotten more severe for many people during the pandemic, and new diagnoses have increased. More and more people are turning up in doctors’ offices with new cases of the condition. “Studies have consistently shown that people without OCD have scored higher on our OCD assessments than they did before the pandemic,” says Andrew Guzick, a clinical psychologist at the Baylor College of Medicine. “They are exhibiting more OCD-like behaviors and reporting more intrusive fears characteristic of OCD.”  

The article discusses the difficulty with treatment of this type of contamination OCD and the problems with the usual successful treatment of ERP (exposure and response prevention).   The article goes in depth about the issues and also presents a brief 2-minute video.   For students who want to understand OCD and treatments, this is a great resource.   For the professor, the article provides many examples that can be used in teaching.

 

SOURCE

Time, January 20, 2022, by Jeffrey Kluger

 

LINK TO RESOURCE

https://time.com/6140256/ocd-covid-19-anxiety/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email-share-article&utm-term=health_covid-19

 

(Tiny URL)  https://tinyurl.com/2p85scn9

 

CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

•First, what is OCD?  

•According to professionals, how has OCD manifested during the pandemic?  Please give at least three examples.

•What are the usual effective treatments for OCD?  Why have professionals found that treating sufferers of OCD been more difficult during the pandemic?

 

Posted by & filed under Addiction, Brain Structure and Function, Introduction To Psychology, Nervous System, Psychological Disorders and Therapy, Psychology Video of the Week, Ted Talk.

TITLE

TEDMED – Talk Details – Why do our brains get addicted?

 

DESCRIPTION

From the TedMed Talk Site

This includes a 16 minute Ted Talk by Dr. Volkow.

“Neuroscientist Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the NIH, will apply a lens of addiction to the obesity epidemic.

“We already have the tools to address the problems of obesity and addiction.” — Nora Volkow

“Nora Volkow is a world leader in the neurobiology of diseases of reward and self-control such as addiction and obesity. Nora was born in Mexico City, where she lived until she completed medical school. While training as a psychiatrist in New York City, she started doing research with brain imaging technologies to study how drugs affect the human brain. Nora’s research has been instrumental in demonstrating that addiction is a brain disease that undermines the function of circuits that underlie reward, motivation and self-control—and in identifying overlapping circuitry disruptions in obesity. Nora is currently the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at NIH, which oversees most of the world’s research on drug abuse and addiction.”

 

SOURCE

TedMed (July 23, 2014) (see link below)

 

 

 

LINK TO RESOURCE

https://www.tedmed.com/talks/show?id=309096

 

CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

•Simply, from the TedTalk Video:  Why do our brains get addicted?

•What is the relationship between the reward centers of the brain both drug addiction and obesity?

•Should obesity be considered an addiction disease?

 

Posted by & filed under Psychology Podcast of the Week.

 

 

PSYCHOLOGY PODCAST OF THE WEEK

NAME

The Psychology Podcast

ICON

 

 

 

Available in the iTunes Store

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-psychology-podcast/id942777522?mt=2

 

Available from the website

https://scottbarrykaufman.com/podcast/

ABOUT

This podcast focuses on creativity, the mind, brain, and behavior. Hosted by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, each episode has a different guest expert speaking on the topic at hand. Topics they’ve covered include masculinity, charm, making good decisions, peak performance, power, and high-performance habits.

Posted by & filed under Professional Organization, Psychology Website of the Week.

PSYCHOLOGY WEBSITE OF THE WEEK

 

TITLE

American Psychological Association

 

URL      

http://www.apa.org

 

DESCRIPTION

This is the official website of the American Psychological Association.

It is listed here for teaching purposes to fulfill the APA guidelines for teaching Introductory Psychology.  Students should be directed to the site for an understanding of what the field is about, careers, applications of Psychology, and so on.  The site should be incorporated into a lecture and used as part of the initial introduction to the course.

Posted by & filed under Brain Structure and Function, Motivation and Emotion, Nervous System, Personality, Psychological Disorders and Therapy, Psychology Update, Stress and Health Psychology.

3 Articles Related to Eating Disorders, Food Addictions, & Stress Eating

(Though these articles are a recent few years old, they are more relevant now than ever through the pandemic.)

 

ARTICLE #1

TITLE

Here’s Why You Stress Eat — And How to Stop Doing It

 

DESCRIPTION

This interesting article details a number of reasons why we stress eat, and these include brain and hormone biology, environmental factors, developmental/cultural issues. “It should come as no surprise that Americans are stressed. A 2017 survey by the American Psychological Association (APA)  found that money, work, crime, violence, the political climate and the future of the nation are all significant stressors for Americans, each plaguing more than half of the survey respondents.” [add the covid pandemic to the list]  “While stress is bad for the body, the ways people deal with it can be just as unhealthy. The APA found in a different survey that almost 40% of adults reported overeating or consuming junk food in response to stress during the prior month. And of those people, about half said they did so weekly….What is it about food — particularly junk food — that calls to so many of us during stressful times?”  The article details a number of reasons why we stress eat and these include brain and hormone biology, environmental factors, developmental/cultural issues.  

The last part of the article focuses on ways to both recognize and control stress eating.  The article also includes a short interesting video.

 

SOURCE

Time, July 31, 2018, by Jamie Ducharme

 

LINK TO RESOURCE

https://time.com/5347612/how-to-stop-stress-eating/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email-share-article&utm-term=health_dietnutrition

 

(Tiny URL)  https://tinyurl.com/2tnmu22c

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ARTICLE #2

 

TITLE

Food Addictions Are Real Addictions—And More and More People Are Getting Hooked

 

DESCRIPTION

What an interesting article that speaks to our impulsive habits of everyday life.  The article describes how foods, especially ones that combine “the trifecta” of sugar, salt, and fat, affect the various regions of the brain.  The effect is often explained as impulse eating and for some the lack of control that is similar to addiction.  “But that doesn’t mean that the life-sustaining substances we come into the world loving and couldn’t survive without—the sugars and salts and fats and proteins, the fruits and vegetables and breads and meats—can’t get us into every bit as much danger as the deadly, often illegal substances that cause so much suffering. You can eat compulsively, just as you can smoke or drink or do drugs compulsively. And in all those cases, compulsions can become full-blown addictions, as repeated exposure plays the pleasure centers in the brain, creating a feedback loop of craving, indulging, consuming, regretting—and doing it all over the next day and the next.”  The article discusses how the reward centers of the brain along with dopamine are affected by certain foods, and the resultant compulsion to eat even when it is against our own best biological/medical interests.   Students interested in the area of eating disorders, neurophysiology of hunger, and the topic of motivation will find this article to be a useful resource.

 

SOURCE

Time, November 6, 2019, by Jeffrey Kluger

 

LINK TO RESOURCE

https://time.com/5718798/food-addiction/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email-share-article&utm-term=health_addiction

(Tiny URL)  https://tinyurl.com/y4tdu53d

 

=================================

 

ARTICLE #3

TITLE

Searching for a Better Treatment for Eating Disorders

Cognitive behavioral therapy appears to be the best treatment for many eating disorders

 

DESCRIPTION

THIS IS A COMPREHENSIVE ARTICLE REGARDING THE TYPES OF EATING DISORDERS, CAUSES, AND THERAPIES!   IT IS UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST DATA AND TREATMENTS.

The article begins with a discussion of the types of eating disorders.  

“The three most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder. Anorexia is characterized by severely restricted eating and/or over-exercising. It also has the highest mortality rate — up to 20 percent if left untreated — of any psychiatric illness.  Bulimia shows a pattern of binge eating followed by compensating behaviors, such as vomiting or using laxatives. And binge-eating disorder is defined as recurrent episodes of overeating without compensating behaviors. These three disorders share similar psychological patterns — such as a preoccupation with weight and shape — that lead to a loss of control around eating. Although they have different behaviors and physical symptoms, they are treated in therapy in similar ways.”  The article discusses the complexity of understanding the causes of eating disorders through the bio-psycho-social lens.  This means that the article looks at the biology of eating, the psychological reasons we eat, and the social/cultural reasons that contribute to eating disorders.  The article does a fabulous analysis of the different treatment interventions that include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), other “talk therapies”, and  social interventions. 

 

Though the article is long it is well-worth reading and keeping as a book marked reference source.

 

SOURCE

Knowable Magazine, December 16, 2021, by Kendall Powell

 

LINK TO RESOURCE

https://knowablemagazine.org/article/mind/2021/searching-better-treatment-eating-disorders

 

(Tiny URL)  https://tinyurl.com/4j3s5s4p

 

==================================

CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

•What is an eating disorder?  Under what circumstances would it be compared to an addiction?

•What are the three major classifications of eating disorders?

•What brain mechanisms are believed to be involved in eating certain foods made up of combinations of salt-sugar-fat (such as a doughnut or other similar snacks) ?

•What are the causes of “stress eating” ?  What actually explains why junk food is so satisfying when we are under stress?

•If you were giving a lecture about the treatment for eating disorders, what therapies would you discuss and why?

 

 

Posted by & filed under Introduction To Psychology, Sensation and Perception.

TITLE

The best optical illusions of the year 2021

DESCRIPTION

What a great contest that challenges our sensation, perception, and cognitive functions.  This yearly contest provides absolutely phenomenal optical illusions.  The illusions are explained in terms of our perceptional and cognitive understandings.  “The annual illusion contest is run by the Neural Correlate Society, an organization devoted to promoting awareness of the science behind perception and cognition. For 17 years the annual contest has consistently delivered an assortment of compelling illusions, frequently underpinned by fascinating scientific principles.”  Check out the illusions for study at home and great illustrations in class.

 

SOURCE

New Atlas, December 29, 2021, by Rich Haridy

 

LINK TO RESOURCE

https://newatlas.com/science/best-optical-illusions-year-2021-contest-winner/?fbclid=IwAR35FhvPgZKSedttI9GvG81cVsmzonfz3T7YPtVNwPzbIZTRwXTTvj0jEJIundefined

 

(Tiny URL)  https://tinyurl.com/4x5cc9bb

 

CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

•What is an optical illusion?  Why are optical illusions of interest in the field of Psychology?

•How do these illustrate how our perceptual and cognitive functions operate together?

•What is the neuroscience involved in understanding how an optical illusion fools us?

 

Posted by & filed under Brain Structure and Function, Psychology App of the Week, Stress and Health Psychology.

PSYCHOLOGY APPs OF THE WEEK

TITLE

Life-Changing Apps for People with Brain Injury

 

 

URL      

https://www.brainline.org/article/life-changing-apps-people-brain-injury

 

DESCRIPTION

From the website:

“Some of these apps have proven to be especially helpful for people with brain injury. The phone can be used to remind you of an upcoming appointment or to take medication, or it can be used like a traditional paper notebook to keep all your addresses, telephone numbers, calendar items, lists, and ideas.”

HOW TO USE THIS SITE:

This site provides many resources for individuals with Concussion (and athletics), traumatic brain injury, PTSD, and so on.  Not only is this site a resource in terms of websites and apps, it will help students understand the issues and challenges faced by those who struggle with these injuries — psychological, cognitive, emotional, and daily life activities.

Posted by & filed under Introduction To Psychology, Motivation and Emotion, Psychology Update, Research Methods, Sensation and Perception, Stress and Health Psychology.

TITLE

How Disgust Explains Everything

For psychologists who study it, disgust is one of the primal emotions that define — and explain — humanity.

 

DESCRIPTION

This is one of the most fascinating articles that you will ever read:   THE TOPIC OF DISGUST!   The article primarily focuses on the work of Paul Rozin.  “Paul Rozin is known for many things — he is an eminent psychologist who taught at the University of Pennsylvania for 52 years, and he has gathered honors and fellowships and published hundreds of influential papers and served on editorial boards and as chairman of the university’s department of psychology — but he is best known for his work on the topic of disgust. In the early 1980s, Rozin noticed that there was surprisingly little data available on this universal aspect of life. Odd, he thought, that of the six so-called basic emotions — anger, surprise, fear, enjoyment, sadness, disgust — the last had hardly been studied….Disgust shapes our behavior, our technology, our relationships….The more you read about the history of the emotion, the more convinced you might be that disgust is the energy powering a whole host of seemingly unrelated phenomena, from our never-ending culture wars to the existence of kosher laws to 4chan to mermaids. Disgust is a bodily experience that creeps into every corner of our social lives, a piece of evolutionary hardware designed to protect our stomachs that expanded into a system for protecting our souls.”   

The article is rich in stories and anecdotes of the absolutely fascinating research done on the topic of disgust.  Additionally, the article discusses cultural and social aspects along with religion, politics, geographical references.  The studies are fascinating!!!  

The article is very lengthy and also provides a 41 minute audio reading.   This paper can serve as a great resource in the understanding of a real life phenomenon and how Psychologists can do research.

 

SOURCE

New York Times Magazine, December 27, 2021, by Molly Young

 

LINK TO RESOURCE

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/27/magazine/disgust-science.html?smid=em-share

 

(Tiny URL)  https://tinyurl.com/2p845y2p

 

CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

•According to Rozin, what is “disgust”?  How does it shape our lives?

•How is disgust demonstrated in the following areas:  food preferences, bodily functions, politics, religious practices?

•If you were to discuss this paper with your classmates, which studies (at least two) would you cite?  Why did you pick these in particular?

 

Posted by & filed under Introduction To Psychology, Nervous System, States of Consciousness & Sleep, Stress and Health Psychology.

TITLE

Why Dreaming (Rem Sleep) May Be Important for Your Health

 

DESCRIPTION

What a great article that describes how and why we sleep and the functions of dreaming.  The article specifically has a focus on problems arising from not getting enough “regular sleep” and REM sleep (the dream stage).  “Doctors have warned for years that Americans are not getting enough sleep, with health consequences ranging from drowsy driving and irritability to an increased risk of dementia, heart disease and early death. Now, a recent study suggests that one particular type of sleep may be especially important when it comes to how the brain responds to stressful situations.”  

The article provides a detail description of the stages of sleep, the REM stage and its possible functions, as well as what happens when sleep is disrupted.  The article is a must to be paired with the “states of consciousness” and health/stress section of the text book and lectures.

 

SOURCE

Time, October 27, 2017, by Amanda MacMillan

 

LINK TO RESOURCE

https://time.com/4970767/rem-sleep-dreams-health/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email-share-article&utm-term=health_research

 

(Tiny URL)  https://tinyurl.com/2rnv9yew

 

CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (taken directly from the article):

•Why is dreaming considered important to your health?  

•What happens during REM sleep?  What are the hypothesized functions of REM sleep in relation to the overall sleep cycles?

•What causes a disruption of REM Sleep?  And what are the hypothesized consequences?  What does the article recommend regarding getting more REM Sleep?