Navigating Media

From the ever-expanding Googleverse to the snarky payoff of celebrity gossip, life is splintered and refracted in a million ways by contemporary communication tools. The media has a profound impact on how we perceive ourselves and our world. The smart media user will learn to consume information judiciously and employ social networking tools to enhance one's goals and complement one's personality, rather than being drowned in the Internet's flood of information.

Recent Posts on Media

Depression Army™ Strong

I’m telling you that if I was able to talk about my depression, you can talk about yours. It feels good to finally drop the mask

What Can You Learn About People from Facebook?

As anyone who uses Facebook knows, different people post updates about different things: Your high school friend sharing photos of her kids, your colleague opining on politics, your friend posting funny animal videos. But what drives people to post what they do? A new study examines how our personality relates to the type of content we present on Facebook.

Out of the Darkness Walk II

Crossing the finish line, I had but one wish – that people with serious mental illness would be treated with respect and given the compassionate care Dorothea Dix and President Kennedy envisioned so that far fewer people would take their own lives in the coming year.

The Family Values of Penelope Spheeris and Anna Fox

By Michael Friedman Ph.D. on July 02, 2015 in Brick by Brick
Penelope Spheeris and her daughter, Anna Fox, share how The Decline of Western Civilization movies have impacted their lives.

The Golden Ages of Television

As the baby boomer generation moves increasingly into old age, it is gratifying and inspiring to see older actors performing on television into their eighties – and beyond.

Digital Dementia

By Susan Greenfield Ph.D. on July 01, 2015 in Mind Change
Action video games improve low level attention and visuospatial memory, but is there a link between gaming and a more global loss of memory reminiscent of dementia?

"Afraid of Dark": Film Explores Stereotypes About Black Men

By Kyle D Killian Ph.D. on June 30, 2015 in Intersections
"Afraid of Dark" documentary begins a conversation about the stereotypes African American males face on a daily basis.

The Truth Behind Your Rainbow Profile Picture

By Andrea Bonior Ph.D. on June 29, 2015 in Friendship 2.0
In a spontaneous and beautiful display of support, many people rainbow-tinted their profile pics to celebrate marriage equality. What many did not know was how much cold, hard data analysis goes on about their decision to do so.

What Does 'Girl Power' Really Mean?

In what ways is street harassment against women a larger indicator of rape culture in America?

Myths and Facts About Psychopaths

Psychopaths have gotten popular, but where can we find info we can trust?

Groupies, Deviants, Devils and Flourishing

Should we blame wild music, or outlandish art, or the over-the-edge theater for adolescent deviance, or can it be helpful?

Seven Reasons We Are Captivated by the Number Seven

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on June 27, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
Why do we find the number 7 so alluring and fascinating? It turns out seven is our favorite number for a broad variety of reasons--seven of them.

Inside Out—A Major Emotional IQ Picture

The voices in our heads are real—and these distinct personalities can learn to get along.

The Healing Power of Forgiveness

The families of slain church members teach us a lesson in forgiveness.

Will Valuable Lessons Continue with Violence?

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on June 26, 2015 in Screen Time
See the Mocking Jay's World Before it Rest - The Hunger Games: The Exhibition will open on July 1. The exhibit will provide fans with an insider's view of Panem everything from costumes to hands-on interactions. The level of violent content within is cause for discussion on its continuance. Will a similar level of violent now become commonplace in young adult media?

The Angelina Jolie Effect

Angelina Jolie's decision to go public with her surgeries to prevent ovarian and breast cancer influenced women around the world to get tested for BRCA mutations.

Violent Humans Are Animals, but Not Behaving Like Animals

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Each time there's a violent incident involving a human animal ("human") there are many snippets in various media claiming something like, "He's an animal." The use of the word "animal" always refers to nonhuman animals and this is a radically misleading and dismissive claim because while humans are animals science shows we are not really behaving like other animals.

Social Media in a Successful Psychotherapy Practice

By Kristi Pikiewicz PhD on June 24, 2015 in Meaningful You
Learning how to navigate the new terrain of social media in a professional manner is integral to the success of a psychotherapy practice.

What I Would Like to Like, but Don't Like

By William Irwin Ph.D. on June 24, 2015 in Plato on Pop
There are lots of bands, books, shows, and movies that I unapologetically dislike. But then there are those I don’t like or dislike. I would like to like them, but I don’t. Is this category revealing of likes more honest and revealing?

"Inside Out": Emotional Truths by Way of Pixar

Pixar's "Inside Out" proves to be impressivley accurate to cognitive, developmental, and clinical psychology. Five of the six scientifically validated universal emotions demonstrate what it might be like in the mind of an 11-year-old girl who struggles with having to move away from her friends and to a different city. The film sends a message and has therapeutic value.

Ladies and Gentlemen

While these days I don’t think we’re hearing “lady” (and “ladies”) as much as “gentleman” (and “gentlemen”), when we do hear “lady,” it still carries an aura of goodness. But this association with goodness seems to be much more the case for lady than for gentleman. “Gentleman” is still widely used simply as a synonym for “man," sometimes even the perpetrator of a crime.

Inside Out Thinking

Inside Out thinking is the secret to success and a happier life. It makes learning a joy and not a chore—a good lesson for both adults and children.

Is the Rachel Dolezal Controversy Much Ado About Nothing?

In lieu of the Dolezal controversy, can we have an informative dialogue about racial identity in America?

Pope Francis' Environmental Message

Pope Francis' encyclical on the ecological crisis strikes a blow to climate science deniers everywhere. He tells the truth about global warming and environmental decline using the combined powers of ecclesial authority, the scientific consensus, and a well-established communication network. Let's hope world leaders meeting in Paris in December follow his lead.

Infinitely Polar Bear: Rare Portrayal of Bipolar Disorder

By Suzanne Lachmann Psy.D. on June 19, 2015 in Me Before We
Infinitely Polar Bear is the story of how love can provide the incentive to get better. Mark Ruffalo’s performance is gritty, believable and most certainly Oscar-Worthy.

Francis Underwood: Classic Sociopath?

An analysis of Francis Underwood from House of Cards.

Infinitely Dad

Insight into how confusing and paradoxical mental illness can be for the rest of the family.

The Simple Solution to Income Inequality

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on June 18, 2015 in Hidden Motives
It is a no-brainer, basically: a progressive rate in income taxes, along with estate taxes that target the super wealthy.

AI vs AI with Humanity on the Sidelines

By Jay Richards Ph.D. on June 18, 2015 in The Violent Mind
Predictions of the future destructive malevolence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs have really heated up in this second half of 2015. But as daunting a prediction as that may be, in his new book Christoph Türcke argues that even more concerning is the severe damage that seemingly intelligent machines have already done.

The Psychology of Common Sense

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on June 18, 2015 in A Sideways View
For many years psychologists seem troubled by the accusation that psychological findings were little more than "common sense"; that psychology was a waste of time in that it revealed very little that we did not already know. This blog reviews some of those early studies