Psychologists

The Iowa Caucuses and the Psychology of Impatience

If there’s one thing a democracy needs to get right, it’s an election. And, in that respect, Iowa failed Monday night. Due to an apparent software problem, the nation did not get the results of the Iowa Democratic caucus Monday night, as planned. Nor did they get the results Tuesday morning. It wasn’t until Tuesday evening that any results were released — and even then only 60% of the votes had been tallied and a…

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ACA Celebrates School Counselors

The American Counseling Association celebrates professional school counselors and their work in schools across the nation, in recognition of National School Counseling Week, Feb. 3 – 7, 2020. School counselors have a profound effect on the future of the United States. In the current school year, they are mentoring 56.6 million learners enrolled in elementary, middle and high schools in the U.S. and 19.9 million students attending U.S. colleges and universities. Professional school counselors focus…

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Brain Connectivity Fluctuates Based on Exercise Intensity

A new study reports that low-intensity exercise (walking on a treadmill) stimulates brain networks associated with cognitive control and attention. In contrast, the researchers found that high-intensity exercise (running on a treadmill) activates brain networks involved with emotional processing. Both low- and high-intensity physical activity (walking or running) on a treadmill are associated with an uptick in positive mood, according to the researchers. These findings (Schmitt et al., 2019) were recently published in a special issue of Brain Plasticity dedicated to “exercise and cognition.”…

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Deconstructing anxiety

I have always found it tremendously frustrating that our rational minds can’t convince us that most of our fears and anxieties are nothing to be afraid of. Many of my clients express the same frustration. As philosopher Michel de Montaigne said, “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened.” Sadly, this is true for many of us, and no amount of positive thinking, affirmation or even cognitive transformation will touch…

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It May Be Time for You to Do a Body Image Checkup

As a component of people’s identity, body image forms a central focus. Body image is defined as your internal representation of your physical self, and includes such features as self-perception of your height, age, weight, attractiveness, and functionality or your body’s ability to perform actions of importance to you. Along with these cognitive components are the emotions attached to these internal representations. Do you feel too heavy, old, unattractive, and weak or are you happy with most aspects of…

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Ricky Gervais teaches Hollywood what speaking truth to power really means

If you had “host Ricky Gervais becomes a conservative darling” in your office Golden Globes pool, congratulations, because you must have won a bundle. The rest of us will continue our slow, astonished blink as we contemplate the fact that this year’s most talked-about speech slammed not oil companies or gender inequality, but Hollywood hypocrisy: “You say you’re woke,” said Gervais, “but the companies you work for — I mean, unbelievable: Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started…

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Poor mental health ‘both cause and effect’ of school exclusion

Children with mental health needs require urgent support from primary school onwards to avoid exclusion, which can be both cause and effect of poor mental health, new research concludes. The research, led by the University of Exeter, and published in Child and Adolescent Mental Health, concluded that a swift response is needed, finding that young people with mental health difficulties were more likely to be excluded and also suffer ill-effects from exclusion. The research, which was…

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It May Not Be Your Fault that You Can’t Lose Weight. Here’s Why.

If you’re like most people, you took the optimism and opportunities that come with a new year and thought about improving your eating and exercise habits with the aim of weight loss and improved health. Perhaps, you even made a firm commitment to “get in shape” or “lose X amount of weight” in 2020. But now, as January slips away, you may find yourself grappling with the familiar realization that this new year’s resolution feels less than resolute. It’s…

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Alcohol Consumption Worsens Global Burden of Disease

Study results published in Lancet Public Health underscores the significant worldwide burden of disease attributable to alcohol. Alcohol-attributable death rates were highest in Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, and countries with low human development indices (HDIs). Across countries, alcohol use disproportionately affected young people and men.   Kevin Shield, PhD, led study efforts to investigate global trends in the alcohol-related burden of disease. The investigators conducted a comparative risk assessment for 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2016 using alcohol exposure…

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Largest Ever Genome-Wide Association Study Finds Genetic Risk Factors for Anxiety

The largest study ever conducted on genetic risk factors for anxiety, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 200,000 participants recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found significant associations between self-reported anxiety and specific single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Daniel Levey, PhD, from the department of psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, and colleagues pulled data from one of the largest biobanks in the world, the Million Veteran Program. To assess anxiety and related…

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