Essential Reads

The Importance of Evidence-based Practice

Identifying evidence-based practices can be tricky, but well-worth the effort.

Happy Birthday Edward Gibbon

On the Decline and Fall of Britain

Our Children's Children's Children*

Would we recognize our 26th Century descendants as human?

Moving Beyond Science vs. Religion

Ignorance underlies most claims about the conflict between science and religion

Recent Posts on Politics

Should Anonymous Comments Be Banned on Blogs?

Would banning anonymous comments keep Internet trolls away? What are the arguments for and against a ban?

The Importance of Evidence-based Practice

By APA Division 15 on June 02, 2015 in PsychEd
In virtually every professional field, a research-to-practice gap exists in which some practices shown to be effective by scientific research are seldom used in applied settings, but some commonly implemented practices are not empirically validated and may be ineffective or even harmful. Thus, great opportunity exists for those who employ research-based practices.

Happy Birthday Edward Gibbon

227 years ago this month, the last installment of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire came out. Gibbon was wrong about Roman emperors, and he was wrong about the Church. But he was right that democracy depends on the ability to sail away from a tyrant.

Disease by Any Other Name

The World Health Organization, aka the W.H.O, recently decreed to great fanfare that new diseases no longer should be given a name linked to any person, place, or human activity. The stated rationale was the need to avoid stigma, but sub rosa, this was as much about financial sensitivity as it was consideration of potential victims.

Manifesting an Authentic World

If we live from our authentic selves, we will ultimately act in the best interest of the world.

Our Children's Children's Children*

On top of old worries about whether humankind will survive the next few centuries come new concerns about whether our descendants will even be human in a sense that we would recognize. The centuries ahead could be very interesting, indeed.

Play, Primates, Jealousy, Work, and Losing Deliberately

By Peter Toohey on May 27, 2015 in Annals of the Emotions
Gorillas like to play games and when they do, they sometimes lose deliberately. Why? “Self-handicapping” encourages their playmate to keep on with the game. Jealousy can be very like play—there are triangles, winners and losers, and feelings run high. This is very true of workplace jealousy. Does self-handicapping have a role to play in mitigating workplace jealousy?

The Science of Predicting the Future

By Mark Travers Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in The Sports Mind
Some people are surprisingly good at predicting the future. Are you one of them?

Invading Privacy in the Name of Safety

Whether or not we allow parents and governments to invade our privacy depends on how the question is framed - is it a safety or moral concern or is simply an issue that concerns only ourselves.

3 Facts Everyone Needs to Know About Couples and Affairs

By Guy Winch Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in The Squeaky Wheel
How would you respond if a friend or loved one decided to stay with a partner who had cheated?

Moving Beyond Science vs. Religion

Ignorance underlies most claims about the conflict between science and religion

High Stakes Testing in America

“Thank God it’s over.” That’s what my high school educator friend in Florida says. The fattening-the-pig-by-weighing-it, over-the-top testing, happened almost every day from March to mid-May and impacted every student in his school. Everyone’s overwrought with this mess, most likely including the guy who started it, Jeb Bush.

On the Battlefield of the Psyche

By Pythia Peay on May 25, 2015 in America On The Couch
Decker said, "I once had an interview with the Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama. When I asked him for his advice on how to work with veterans he said . .first, they had to have some kind of spirituality. And secondly, they had to know that it was their job—their duty—to kill people.He also made a distinction between having to kill during war, and committing murder."

Why Are Christian Numbers Dropping?

By David Niose on May 23, 2015 in Our Humanity, Naturally
The rise of religiously unaffiliated 'Nones' is sometimes explained as a reaction to the religious right, but there's more to it than that.

Privatization Has Been A Colossal Flop

By Allen J Frances M.D. on May 23, 2015 in Saving Normal
Privatization is no more than a cover story for tax evasion by those who don't need public services and would greedily deny them to those who do.

Beyond Bread and Butter

Progressive political activists are too fixated on economic inequality and justice, reflecting a narrow and incorrect view of what people really need.

Fourteen Dead Men: Link or No Link?

Recent book provides comprehensive overview of Smiley Face incidents, offering unique serial murder theory.

The Drama of the Drone Warrior

By Yosef Brody Ph.D. on May 21, 2015 in Limitless?
The new drone warfare movie starring Ethan Hawke may be fiction but ironically it gives a better sense of the workings and effects of our actual drone program than has been offered so far by government officials.

Flying Home From Home (Part 2)

During the Combatants For Peace event, families from both sides speak their grief and tell their stories of loss, in all the wars, translated into Hebrew, Arabic, and English. Knowing that despite fierce and vicious criticism of this alternative ceremony there are more and more people who attend feeds my hope that there may yet be a collaborative future.

The Uses of Shame

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on May 20, 2015 in Shame
In different ways, the religious right and the liberal left both make use of shame to enforce their values.

The Juggernaut of C.E.O. Compensation

By Ken Eisold Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Hidden Motives
All efforts to rein in CEO pay seem to have failed. One has to wonder why

Fugitive Facts Escape from APA Headquarters

By Roy Eidelson Ph.D. on May 18, 2015 in Dangerous Ideas
As they wait for an investigator’s report, APA leaders claim that they’ve already refuted allegations of collusion in the Bush Administration’s abusive “enhanced interrogation program.” Such pretense is a disservice to APA members, to the profession as a whole, and to the public at large.

Democracy and the Pro-social Impulse

Governments answerable to the people can exist only due to the fact that we’re emotional, social creatures, not isolated, rational, strictly selfish individuals. A better appreciation of human nature can help us secure a democratic future.

The Delusion of a Savior Nuclear and Otherwise

By David P. Barash Ph.D. on May 17, 2015 in Pura Vida
It's a common delusion: there exists a potential savior that/who will swoop in and rescue us. This error is depicted in a fascinating new sci fi novel, even as it is acted out in today's nuclear policies.

Did Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Deserve the Death Penalty?

By Joe Pierre M.D. on May 15, 2015 in Psych Unseen
How did jurors decide Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's fate?

Shocking Pseudoscience

By Amy S.F. Lutz on May 15, 2015 in Inspectrum
In their quest to ban ECT, protesters ignore thousands of studies that support the safety and efficacy of this treatment to ameliorate the symptoms of debilitating and intractable psychiatric illnesses.

A Workover: "I Want to Create Social Change"

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 15, 2015 in How To Do Life
Advice I gave to a caller to my NPR-San Francisco radio program.

The Extreme Humanity Of Napalm Death’s Marc Greenway

Napalm Death’s vocalist Marc “Barney” Greenway shares his core humanitarian message and commitment to bring attention to when people are not treated with respect and dignity.

Flying Home from Home (Part 1)

In the eyes of many people in the US, Israel is, primarily, a local superpower that is making the lives of Palestinians a grinding daily misery. Only a marginal minority of Israeli Jews have a similar awareness

Protecting Mental Health Research from the War on Terror

Have we done enough to prevent government officials from forcing mental health professionals to act unethically?