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

The scandal de jour rocking the world of experimental psychology is a serious one:  not just that one prominent researcher faked his data, but that statistical sloppiness and bad protocols may be rampant across the board.  Obviously the field needs to retrench and learn a valuable lesson here.  But the question is:  which...
Smile and the world clicks “like” with you. New research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science suggests that the degree to which people smile for their Facebook photo is a good predictor of long-term well-being.  The researchers examined the Facebook profile photos of incoming freshmen, and had them fill out...
One of the key tenants of Existentialism – and one of the key lessons of life – is that you have to accept the consequences of your actions. Ducking responsibility can only last so long, and inevitably makes things worse. Even if you “get away” with it socially you’re scarred by it psychologically, living with a sense...
Okay, America, what’s our problem? According to a recent article in the Atlantic, “More Americans Suffer From Mental Disorders Than Anyone Else.”  Check out these sobering statistics: “Over a 12-month period, 27 percent of adults in the U.S. will experience some sort of mental health disorder, making the U.S. the...
Questions about work are ubiquitous in Western culture because in many ways we equate “work” with “self.”  We don’t ask children “who do you want to be when you grow up?” we ask them “what do you want to do when you grow up?”  Similarly, when we first meet someone we are more likely...
From crushing unemployment to multiple global conflicts – 2011 is a year that desperately needs a psychology that helps people tap their inner reserves and find their sense of purpose.  Yet too often academic psychology seems to have set everything human about humanity in its crosshairs.  Evolutionary Psychology tries to tell us...
The problem with psychology is that it doesn’t keep up with the latest fads.  That was the conclusion of a panel discussion covered by the APA Monitor.  Recommendations for the future of psychology included the inevitable “pay more attention to key markets,” “embrace technology” like Twitter (maybe you...
Immortality
America’s obsession with health can easily be seen as a fear of death – but is also a sign that we’re forgetting how to live? The intriguing premise of an essay by English professor Mark Edmundson is that health consciousness can be the flip side of nihilism – what one does when nothing matters.  Because, Edmundson...
King Solomon in old age
The first American baby boomer reached retirement age this year.  By 2030, one-in-five Americans will be a Boomer past 65.  This "silver tsunami" as it's been called, will carry much of what we know about American culture with it:  when one-in-five people are over 65, our economy is just one aspect of society that will...
Four Horseman of the Apocalypse
 In response to several studies showing that empathy has declined significantly among the young, and that social media is correlated with narcissism, a new group of educators are hoping to counter the trend by teaching empathy in college classes.  Previous research, some by Saybrook University’s Joel Federman, has shown this...
Munch's classic painting "The Scream"
In 2009 a major study (pdf) showed that women were increasingly unhappy in the modern world – and a host of pundits, psychologists, and sociologists asked “What’s happened to the fairer sex?” Was it feminism that was making women less happy? Economic inequality? Higher expectations? Loneliness? Feminism? (That one came up a...
Don Quixote (Woodcut by Gustave Dore)
In an extraordinary article in Poetry Magazine, poet Joshua Mehigan examines the popular link between “poetry” and “madness.”  After all, aren’t poets visionaries and eccentrics?  Aren’t they taken over by the muse and privy to the depths of the human experience? Well, maybe those last two.  But...