It matters that people have a way to use the latest findings in psychology beyond buying a pill for depression. It matters that people have a way of looking at their lives that lets them ask the big questions and determine how they want to live – and that this is supported by therapists and mental health professionals.

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Posts tagged with the category Benjamin Wachs

Photo by Charlotte S. H. Jensen.
Those lucky enough to have jobs are spending more and more time at them—so it matters more than ever to our mental health and psychological well-being what makes people happy on the job. A recent poll asked Americans what it is that makes them happy at work, and the answers aren’t really surprising to anyone with an existential bent. A...
Photo by Christopher Schwarzkopf.
It was said we were in a “post-racial era” after President Obama was elected … just like it was said we were reaching a “post-racial era” when Bill Clinton was “Americas first black president.” Remember that? Seems awfully embarrassing in hindsight. It is one of the most confounding aspects of Americans...
An illustration of the Milgram experiment.
The infamous Milgram experiments in 1960 were loosely based on the experiments in conformity of Stanley Milgram’s mentor, Professor Solomon Asch. Since that time, similar experiments have been performed, and largely validated again and again: most recently in 2005 at Eindhoven University of Technology (this time using a robot instead of a...
No one who pays attention to the tech industry should be surprised that it has what The Atlantic Monthly recently dubbed “a depression problem.” Why wouldn’t it? It’s a hyper-competitive environment in which people work tremendously long hours, fail often, and judge their self-worth by their earnings and status in an often...
25 years ago, the forces of historical determinism made a bold prediction: history had ended. Liberal Capitalism, according to Francis Fukuyama and his allies, was the only model of governance that made sense and served humankind’s self-interest—and therefore the only organizing principle of society that would remain in just a few...
EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the APA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, there will be no post on Friday, August 8, 2014. The New Existentialists will resume its regular posting schedule on Monday, August 11, 2014. Thank you for your understanding. This week in hubristic neuroscience: *  Researchers at the University College, London, say that...
“All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone,” wrote Blaise Pascal. If that’s true, then what are we to make of a recent study showing that people—men especially—so hate being alone with their thoughts that they’ll shock themselves on a battery rather than spend 15...
Illustration by Alejandro Zorrilal Cruz.
June has been the cruelest month for Artificial Intelligence. This month, a computer program beat the Turning Test—and thereby invalidated the Turing Test. The Turing Test, for those who don’t know, is a test based on a premise by Alan Turing, the computational godfather. The idea: if a computer can be mistaken for a human being, by...
Erik Werenskiold's The Funeral (1883-85).
Much in the way that some families only see each other at funerals, America only seems to have a conversation about mental health when somebody dies. These are the worst times to have such a conversation, because the needs of the survivors are at odds with the needs of a “national discussion about” anything. The result is a kind of...
If there is an “original sin” to intellectual culture of the last 500 years, it is the Big Data fallacy—the idea that if we can just gather up enough raw data, we can finally understand everything we need to know about the world. Is someone not happy? All you have to do is develop a better set of metrics for personality tests. Is...
Photo by Kazemaru Zen.
What does the clinical literature say about how to treat someone whose avatar was sexually abused online? To my knowledge, it doesn't really say anything—but 20 years of reportage from online cultures suggest not only that this experience happens, but that some people experience it as quite traumatizing. Such a violation is the tip of a...
David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times, may be the only major conservative media figure today covering the “evolutionary psychology” beat—along with the “neuropsychology” beat, and the occasional writings of biophysicists and theorists of mind. His writing of the past few years has sought to expose the way...