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Alumnus John Carlton-Foss, PhD '81 on the Threat of Global Warming

08/24/2009
The impacts of energy use continue to threaten our society, forcing social transformation. Despite ignorance and denial, the facts of Global warming and demand for energy are crowding their way into our reality. The current concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere are higher than they were during the Pliocene Era, 2-5 million years ago. The global temperatures then were 7 to 10 degrees...

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Alumni Messenger

Tenure Track Faculty Position Available in Population and Health

08/13/2009
Dear Colleagues: I am pleased to announce the following faculty position involving Cells to Society (C2S): The Center on Social Disparities and Health, Institute for Policy Research, and the following Schools at Northwestern University: Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education and Social Policy, and Feinberg School of Medicine. I would appreciate your sharing this with your...

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Alumni Messenger

Correction to Recent Blog Entry

08/12/2009
There was a recent, improper blog entry that announced that Bill Bruff had been licensed as a psychologist. This was erroneous and entered the blog without being edited by a member of the Alumni Association blog committee-please forgive the error.

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Alumni Messenger

Saybrook at the APA, Day 3, Saturday the 8th

08/11/2009
Access to abstracts: http://forms.apa.org/convention/index.cfm?convention=Names Saturday the 8th, Saybrook at the Toronto APA Convention Saybrook's day at the APA began at 9 AM with a talk by Art Bohart, Ph.D., Saybrook Faculty Member titled, Psychotherapy Is Art Because Life Is Art, in the Psychotherapy as Art--- Humanistic Perspectives on Creative Practice symposium. At 10 AM Dr. Bohart...

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Alumni Messenger

Day 4, Saybrook at the APA

08/09/2009
Access to abstracts: http://forms.apa.org/convention/index.cfm?convention=Names At 11 AM on the final convention half-day, there were 4 events by Saybrookians. Faculty member, Ruth Richards, Ph.D., was the discussant for L. Sundararajan (Chair): A process model of creativity: Theory, research, and live demonstration. Art Bohart, Ph.D., Faculty member gave a very powerful and important...

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Alumni Messenger

SECOND DAY, APA CONVENTION, TORONTO, AUGUST 7

08/07/2009
Access to abstracts: http://forms.apa.org/convention/index.cfm?convention=Names The second day started early with a 7 AM Div 52-200 Fellow Speakers Reception, with Rivka Meir, Ph.D., Saybrook Alumna. This event was held at the Division 52 International Suite. At 11 AM, Ruth Richards, Ph.D., M.D., Saybrook Faculty member received the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in...

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Alumni Messenger

FIRST DAY OF THE APA CONVENTION, TORONTO, Thursday August 6

08/06/2009
Access to abstracts: http://forms.apa.org/convention/index.cfm?convention=Names The first slot of the first day, this symposium was very well attended: Anisah B. Bagasra, M.A., Saybrook Doctoral Student Paper: Muslim Americans' Beliefs and Attitudes Regarding Mental Health Issues Symposium: Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Religion Division(s): 36, 17, 19, 45 In the first two-hour slot and...

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University

Facebook Diplomacy means harder work - fewer wars

07/28/2009

Recently Robert Faris, research director at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, made a distressing prediction to the National Endowment for Democracy:  international diplomacy is going to get harder than it used to be.

The reason?  Not terrorism (though sure) or fighting over increasingly scarce resources (though yet):  but rather, social media like Facebook.

As more people in different countries get on social media, Faris said, more people in different countries talk directly to each other, and this virtual citizen diplomacy makes it very difficult for diplomats to control the conversation.

"The role of diplomacy given social media is going to be more complicated than it used to be," Faris said.

Nor are diplomats the only ones trying to figure the implications of the new technology out.  Gail Ervin, a Saybrook PhD student in Human Science who works as an environmental mediator, says that “at this point, most mediators are just learning the basics of social media, and we are far from experiencing the promise of it regarding reducing conflicts.”

“I think we are at the dawn of a grand global experiment regarding these questions,” Ervin added, “and there are only inquiries at this point, no answers.”

However, according to Joel Federman, who directs Saybrook’s concentration in Social Transformation, there is reason for optimism.  More people talking to each other directly means more people reacting to actual human beings, instead of crude stereotypes and propaganda.  Diplomacy might get harder, but more human relationships across borders means it might get better.

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University

That sudden, awful, impulse you just had might mean something after all

07/28/2009

Let’s admit it: we’ve all had some really bad impulses. 

Shouting at a lecturer, running in traffic, stealing an inadvisable kiss … who hasn’t had a sudden, mad, urge to do the unthinkable? 

It’s a basic fact of human life, and once again evolutionary psychology is claiming to have explained it.  Turns out, it’s a survival mechanism.  Who would have guessed?

In a recent paper published in Science, Harvard researches say these urges are “ironic processes of control” that help us tame our anti-social impulses. 

“These monitoring processes keep us watchful for errors of thought, speech, and action and enable us to avoid the worst thing in most situations,” the authors write.

In a post on the New York Times’ “Mind” blog, author Benedict Carey expanded on the idea that these self-destructive impulses evolved as a way of helping us manage our anti-social tendencies.

Perverse impulses seem to arise when people focus intensely on avoiding specific errors or taboos. The theory is straightforward: to avoid blurting out that a colleague is a raging hypocrite, the brain must first imagine just that; the very presence of that catastrophic insult, in turn, increases the odds that the brain will spit it out.

“We know that what’s accessible in our minds can exert an influence on judgment and behavior simply because it’s there, it’s floating on the surface of consciousness,” said Jamie Arndt, a psychologist at the University of Missouri.

So there you go, question answered, problem solved, right? 

Maybe – unless you actually want to actually understand what’s going on in your mind, with your thoughts, and your impulses.  Then this theory has absolutely nothing to tell you.

In fact, says Saybrook faculty member Kirk Schneider, it’s a classic example of what Rollo May, in his book Psychology and the Human Dilemma, called "turning mountains into mole hills."

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University

Don Moss new President-Elect for the APA's Society on Hypnosis

07/28/2009

Don Moss, Saybrook’s Mind-Body Medicine program director, has been elected President of Division 30 of the American Psychological Association for the term of 2010 – 2011. 

Division 30 is the Society of Psychological Hypnosis.

The election is one more example of Saybrook’s long leadership in the American Psychological Association’s divisions as well as in the field of mind-body medicine and  hypnosis. 

The current President of Division 30 is Saybrook faculty member Eric Willmarth, whose term expires in 2010.  Willmarth also received the American Society for Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis’ Presidential Recognition Award this year. 

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