The Theory of Knowledge Blog is now 7 years old and consists of almost 300 blogs and has been visited just under 5 million times. When the blogs were organized by content (see here), the following ten categories emerged: 1) Describing the Unified Theory/Unified Approach; 2) Reflections on Philosophy and Science; 3) Human Values, Morality, and Well-being; 4) Politics, Religion, Culture, and Evolution; 5) The Discipline and Problem of Psychology; 6) Mind, Consciousness, and the Self; 7) Personality, Perception and Emotion; 8) Relationships, Gender, and Sex; 9) Psychopathology; and 10) Psychotherapy.

Here is a list of the top 10 blogs, counting down in order of popularity. Each had over 100,000 hits, with the most popular coming in at just under 350,000 views.

10. The Biopsychosocial Model and Its Limitations. If there is a standard, general view in the field of psychology, it is the “biopsychosocial” view. This blog explains why, although an important big-picture view, the biopsychosocial view has some serious limitations. One such limitation is that folks don’t know where the “lines are” between biology and psychology and psychology and the social.

9. What is the Mind? Psychology lacks an effective way to describe its key terms (i.e., behavior, mind and consciousness). This blog spells out how the Unified Theory/Unified Approach defines the mind. See also here

8. Three Kinds of Depressive Episodes. Depression is (or should be considered) a description of someone who is in a state of mental behavioral shutdown (also, see here and here). Once this is recognized, then one can move to questions about the cause of that shutdown. This blog explains that three broad classes of causes are apparent. There are: (1) depressive reactions to major stressors (e.g., loss of a child; chronic abuse); (2) depressive disorders arising from maladaptive psychosocial patterns (e.g., anxious avoidance followed by self-criticism); and (3) depressive diseases where the shutdown is pervasive and seems independent of environmental or psychosocial patterns. For a more detailed breakdown, see here. 

7. Perceptions and Perceptual Illusions frames the experience of perceptions and how they “pop” onto the screen of our subjective awareness as being a function the intersection and matching of bottom-up sensory input with top-down schematic templates. The process is made clear via examples of perceptual illusions.

6. The “Is Psychology a Science?” Debate. The field of psychology still struggles with its status as a science. The correct answer to the question is that “it’s complicated.” This blog explains what science is, what psychology is, and why this is the correct answer.  

5. On Making Judgments and Being Judgmental. A discussion in our family raised the question, what is the difference between making judgments and being judgmental? This blog outlines eight key dynamics that go into differentiating the two.

4. Anxiety and Depression are Symptoms, Not Diseases. This blog explains why we (i.e., the populace and mental health professionals) should think of anxiety and depression, first and foremost, as negative affect and mood states that are symptoms and signals of distress and why thinking of them primarily as disease syndromes is misguided.  

3. The College Student Mental Health Crisis. There have been massive increases in demands for services the general population and college students especially. As these supporting blogs suggest (here, here, here), this change is likely a function of both shifts in attitudes, such that folks are more willing to report difficulties and use services, and genuine increases in levels of stress, depression, and anxiety in the younger generation.

2. Why It is Hard for Some Men to Share Their Feelings. I originally titled this blog “Normative male alexithymia,” which, in retrospect is a bit embarrassing. (Yes, men can learn talk about their vulnerable feelings). I thank the editors for the change in the title. Watching this blog take off (it got over 100,000 in the first 48 hours) was an important lesson for me on the importance of trying to communicate in as straightforward language as possible.  

1. (When) Are You Neurotic? This blog explains that there is a trait meaning of the term (tendency to experience negative emotional states relative to others) and the character meaning (our coping tendencies that reduce stress in the short term but result in maladaptive problems and greater suffering in the long term). It also implicitly argues we should embrace the term (see here for the explicit argument).

I have enjoyed generating these blogs and appreciate Psychology Today providing me the platform. I hope that readers it have found it to be illuminating. I appreciate all the helpful comments, kind words, insightful criticisms, and connections this blog has afforded me over the years.