Essential Reads

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

Clinicians can miss diagnoses, and patients can keep diagnoses private.

Sex in the Head

What may look like pure physical arousal is usually much more complicated.

Unnaturally Good: The Plight of the Goody Two-Shoes

Don’t be fooled—not all virtue is the same.

Peter Singer Argues for "Effective Altruism" in His New Book

"The Most Good You Can Do" is a very thoughtful book about charitable giving.

Recent Posts on Ethics and Morality

Being Misunderstood

By Lynne Soraya on March 30, 2015 in Asperger's Diary
Looking back at my life, if I were to identify a common theme, it is feeling misunderstood. It sounds so much like a cliché, that many roll their eyes when hearing the phrase. “Everyone feels misunderstood,” they say. But what’s interesting is that those in my life who have said that, have gradually come to realize that it is true.

Mental Health Screening Wouldn't Have Saved Germanwings 9525

By Jean Kim M.D. on March 30, 2015 in Culture Shrink
Screening must balance concerns of rare high-risk cases versus the vast majority of functional people with mental illness trying to overcome stigma and judgment

Advocacy or Privacy?

By Liza Long on March 30, 2015 in The Accidental Advocate
Is it oversharing to talk about your child's mental illness? What if your child has cancer?

The Facts of (Business) Life

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on March 30, 2015 in A Sideways View
Is the Business School degree the ideal passport to health, wealth and happiness?

Say ‘No’ to the Fiction of Brain Diseases

During my lifetime I have witnessed the fall of Freudian psychiatry and the ascension of molecular psychiatry. Unfortunately, we have gone from the frying pan into the fire. We need to restore psychiatry where it belongs. The psychotherapy of character is an art and a science that bridges the old divide between psychotherapy and the brain.

After the Germanwings Crash, 7 Lessons About Mental Illness

By Carrie Barron M.D. on March 30, 2015 in The Creativity Cure
Not all depressions are alike. Severe depression with psychotic features may elude a clinician as they are well masked or not present at the time of the exam. Symptoms ebb and flow, troubled people can be high functioning and we have much to uncover about the conditions of the Germanwings co-pilot.

10 Things You Can Do as a Bystander

Many schools, corporations and organizations offer ‘leadership training’ courses and seminars, yet they fail to teach the skills and strategies required for ‘bystander intervention.’ Here are a few concrete things that bystanders can do:

Nausea Unto Death?

Responsibility

Changes in the Family: Impact on Sexual Development

In modern times, the family unit has been dramatically reconstructed. Regardless of the family’s formation, the behaviors observed by children of both single and two-parent families significantly impact children’s sexual development.

Suicide or Mass Murder? : The Deliberate Downing of Flt 9525

By Stephen A Diamond Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Evil Deeds
What motivates suicidal mass killings like the deliberate downing of Germanwings Flt. 9525?

Murder in a Locked Room:

By Kirby Farrell Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in A Swim in Denial
In a paradox worthy of Greek tragedy, the fortified cockpit door to Germanwings Flight 9525 invited the mass murder it was meant to prevent. Can we make sense of a co-pilot’s rampage?

Do You Work in a Hostile Environment?

If you're feeling stressed at work, mindfulness may be the answer

“Having Guts” to Harden Parents’ Hearts

By Darcia Narvaez Ph.D. on March 29, 2015 in Moral Landscapes
“Do you have the guts? You’re chicken if you don’t!” Remember such taunts to do stupid things in childhood? Apparently they are common in adulthood too—most recently with a doctor advising new parents. Destructive and unethical, let’s take a look.

Where's the Line Between Acceptance and Narcissism?

A commenter to an earlier post about loving yourself asks important questions: "Where does one draw a line between acceptance and narcissism? How does one begin to accept themselves when doing so feels wrong and narcissistic?” In my latest post, I try to offer an answer.

No Substitute for “Real” Relationships

Studies confirm that things, money, material riches are not the solution to human longing. Despite unprecedented affluence, health care, and technological advances, few--even among the best off elites--claim to be truly satisfied. What really matters requires riches of the heart, riches of the spirit.

What do Children Think about Love?

A group of over thirty preschoolers and kindergarteners were asked what they thought of the word “love.” While younger children were primarily focused on an external conceptual line of thinking, the older children had moved to one that was more internally based.

Are We Losing Our Need for Physical Touch?

By Ray Williams on March 28, 2015 in Wired for Success
Has our hi-tech, media-socialized world lost something critical to our species—non-sexual human physical touch? Hasn't human physical contact set us apart from other animals, and has helped us develop complex language, culture, thinking and emotional expression?

Contrarian Advice on Succeeding in Your Career

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on March 28, 2015 in How To Do Life
For those with doubts about the effectiveness of conventional career advice.

Changing the ‘No Casserole’ Response to Mental Illness

A mother of two who is active in the International Bipolar Foundation shared a story the other day. When her youngest daughter was diagnosed with diabetes, friends called, sent cards and flowers, brought food, and posted encouraging Facebook messages.

Tweeting As Therapy

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on March 27, 2015 in Ambigamy
A lot of therapy focuses on "what's wrong with you?" but eventually graduates to what's up with us?," an embrace of the human condition in all its details. One way to play with "what's up with us?" is to take notes like a social scientist. Observe, reflect, jot share.

The Real Reason People Think Promiscuity Is Wrong

Why do many people think promiscuity is morally wrong? STDs may sound like the simplest explanation, but it's probably not the correct one.

Don't Just Be a Man; Be a Good Man

We can help boys to live happier, healthier lives by helping them to preserve their integrity and relationships.

The Case of the Incentivized Applicant

How much is a job interview worth?

Why Laughter Is Contagious

By Rob Kendall on March 26, 2015 in Blamestorming
How does laughter work? Who laughs more when telling a joke - the speaker or the listener? Are there different types of laughter? And do we laugh randomly or not?

Brian Williams, Journalism, and Celebrity Culture

When journalists start living in a celebrity bubble, bad things can happen. Just ask Brian Williams. His downfall reminds us of the malleability of memory, and it also poses a cautionary tale to all journalists, particularly to the trend in journalism education to promote "entrepreneurial" journalism -- teaching aspiring journalists to cultivate their own "brand".

Sex in the Head

What is sexual desire? Is it raw, animal instinct? Or is it something more mindful?

Unnaturally Good: The Plight of the Goody Two-Shoes

There’s authentic virtue, and then there’s a kind of chronic, not-quite-credible virtue that doesn’t—and can’t—reflect the individual’s true nature. Their righteous words and actions, though perceivable as virtuous, may not come from their heart but their head. And what they say may belie what they’re really thinking—may not, in essence, “capture” who they truly are.

Peter Singer Argues for "Effective Altruism" in His New Book

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on March 25, 2015 in Animal Emotions
Renowned philosopher Peter Singer's new book called "The Most Good You Can Do" is a very thoughtful discussion about charitable giving. Whether you agree or disagree with Professor Singer's arguments I guarantee they will make you think deeply about what you do with your money and if your donations really do the most good you can do. This book also left me hopeful.

One Key to a Good Marriage

By Michael W Austin on March 25, 2015 in Ethics for Everyone
For a good marriage, focus on being the right person.

Is Euthanasia Just Another Pet Service?

Euthanasia is often listed alongside nail trimmings and flea treatment, as if it were one among a series of “services” a pet owner might seek out on a given day. Isn’t the killing of a pet a far more serious proposition, morally speaking, than a mere “pet service” like a vaccination or a quick shampoo?