Posted by & filed under Adult Development and Aging, Health Psychology, Intervention: Adults-Couples, Long-Term Care, Successful Aging.

Description: Consider these statements. The number of elderly people who are living alone and who do or will need some support to remain on their own is growing very quickly. The costs of providing this care can be prohibitive and finding enough people to provide what care can be paid for is also becoming increasingly difficult. What to do? How about using (where appropriate) robots (Robo-pets) and apps to check in with or keep tabs on solo-dwelling elderly people? What could go right about this? What could go wrong? Most importantly, what research and what ethical thinking would we need to do to even begin to address these questions? Once you have thought a bit about this give the linked article a read to see what its author has been thinking about in this area.

Source: Loneliness and Robo-Pets, Arthur Dobrin, Am I Right? Psychology Today.

Date: October 8, 2021

Image by Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) from Pixabay

Article Link: https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/am-i-right/202110/loneliness-and-robo-pets

So, will robot pets or robot companions de-humanize us or re-humanize us? It may seem like an easy to answer question but it is early in the development trajectory so we may not be in a position yet to decide and deciding early might foreclose on possible big advances. Perhaps a better question is how should we proceed and, relatively, what sorts of things should we be tracking and researching along the  way?

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What could some of the advantages be of using robots or robo-pets in elder care?
  2. What could some of the disadvantages be of using robots or robo-pets in elder care?
  3. What steps or processes should we be taking or preparing to take in this area moving forward?

References (Read Further):

Pike, J., Picking, R., & Cunningham, S. (2021). Robot companion cats for people at home with dementia: A qualitative case study on companotics. Dementia, 20(4), 1300-1318. Link

Lazar, A., Thompson, H. J., Piper, A. M., & Demiris, G. (2016, June). Rethinking the design of robotic pets for older adults. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (pp. 1034-1046). Link

Jung, M. M., van der Leij, L., & Kelders, S. M. (2017). An exploration of the benefits of an animallike robot companion with more advanced touch interaction capabilities for dementia care. Frontiers in ICT, 4, 16. Link

Ananto, R. A., & Young, J. E. (2020). Robot pets for everyone: the untapped potential for domestic social robots. Link

Poulsen, A., & Burmeister, O. K. (2019). Overcoming carer shortages with care robots: Dynamic value trade-offs in run-time. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 23. Link

Bradwell, H. L., Winnington, R., Thill, S., & Jones, R. B. (2020). Ethical perceptions towards real-world use of companion robots with older people and people with dementia: survey opinions among younger adults. BMC geriatrics, 20(1), 1-10. Link

Posted by & filed under Abnormal Psychology, General Psychology, Intervention: Adults-Couples, Legal Ethical Issues, Psychological Disorders, Treatment of Psychological Disorders.

Description: Can Psychologists prescribe drugs? Mainly no, only in a few jurisdictions. Should Psychologists be given limited prescribing privileges? Now that is a rather hotly debated question. There ARE examples of situations where non-doctors have been granted limited prescription authority. Dentists, for example, can prescribe pain medications (good thing too!). So, what about psychologists? What about psychologists in areas where psychiatrists (who CAN prescribe) are very and very far between and what if the psychologists are the point of initial contact with suicidal people who might have to wait weeks to gain in to see a psychiatrist, if at all, to get meds? Sort out your own thoughts on this question and then read the article linked below to see some of the “in favor” argument. There rae some opposed arguments in the References/Further Reading section further down.

Source: Why States Should Allow Psychologists to Prescribe Medication, Alicia Plemmons, USNews and World Reports.

Date: September 22, 2021

Image by HeungSoon from Pixabay

Article Link: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2021-09-22/allowing-psychologists-to-prescribe-medication-reduces-suicide

Where do you stand now? Should psychologists have limited prescription authority? Certainly, the argument focusing on saving lives is a string one. Bu what about an argument suggesting a team approach is needed with psychologists and general practitioners working together (the GP’s can prescribe). What other arguments are there and are there ways of looking at this that do NOT see it a turf war between physicians and psychologists? There ARE jurisdictions where psychologists have limited prescription authority (with significant additional training) and it will be interesting to see where this issues goes from here.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What sorts of situations might make the consideration of granting limited prescription authority to psychologists seem sensible?
  2. What are some arguments against this?
  3. What is your opinion on this matter and how do you back it up?

References (Read Further):

Bray, M. J. C., Daneshvari, N. O., Radhakrishnan, I., Cubbage, J., Eagle, M., Southall, P., & Nestadt, P. S. (2021). Racial differences in statewide suicide mortality trends in Maryland during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. JAMA psychiatry, 78(4), 444-447. Link

American Psychological Association. (1996). Model legislation for prescriptive authority. Washington, DC: Author. Link

Choudhury, A. R., & Plemmons, A. Deaths of Despair: Prescriptive Authority of Psychologists and Suicides. Link

Lavoie, K. L., & Fleet, R. P. (2002). Should psychologists be granted prescription privileges? A review of the prescription privilege debate for psychiatrists. The Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 47(5), 443-449. Link

Robiner, W. N., Tumlin, T. R., & Tompkins, T. L. (2013). Psychologists and medications in the era of interprofessional care: Collaboration is less problematic and costly than prescribing. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 20(4), 489. Link

Posted by & filed under Abnormal Psychology, Anxiety OC PTSD, Clinical Psychology, Health Psychology, Intervention: Adults-Couples, Neuroscience, Stress Coping - Health, Treatment of Psychological Disorders.

Description: Evaluate the usefulness of the following two statements. People who are worried about what is going on with the Covid pandemic shous watch movies like Contagion (about a run-away pandemic). OR, people who are trying to deal with anxiety and nightmares should watch Zombie films or televisions shows (e.g., The Walking Dead) before bed. What do you think? Do you think the statements might actually represent valid, useful advice? In turns out that viewings of the film Contagion skyrocketed during the Covid Pandemic related shutdown. Would that happen if doing so made feelings of anxiety worse? If that helps and if watching zombie films or shows before bed reduces nightmares, why might that be? Once you have an hypothesis or two sorted out read the article linked below to see what psychological research suggests.

Source: How horror movies can help mental health, according to science, Kim Wong-Shing, CNet, Health and Science.

Date: October 1, 2021

Image by socialneuron from Pixabay

Article Link: https://www.cnet.com/health/how-horror-movies-can-help-mental-health-according-to-science/

So, horror you have the power to press pause on seems to be a part of the key to what seem like paradoxical effects. A little “rest and digest” after a scripted fright might be part of the positive effects too. A horror film also captures your attention and stops you from ruminating (a BIG part of uncontrolled anxiety). The finding that horror fans were MPRE resilient during 2020 is a finding that IS hard to ignore. Perhaps some Walking Ded therapy is not such a weird thing to try?!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What evidence is there indicating a large increase in anxiety over the past pandemic year?
  2. Way might watch horror films or shows before bed be a good thing?
  3. What else might help or where else might horror therapy help?

References (Read Further):

Hudson, M., Seppälä, K., Putkinen, V., Sun, L., Glerean, E., Karjalainen, T., … & Nummenmaa, L. (2020). Dissociable neural systems for unconditioned acute and sustained fear. Neuroimage, 216, 116522. Link

Javanbakht, J. and Saab, Linda (2017)  What Happens in the Brain When We Feel Fear? Smithsonianmag.com. Link

Abbott, A. (2021). COVID’s mental-health toll: how scientists are tracking a surge in depression. Nature, 590(7845), 194-195. Link

Scrivner, C., Johnson, J. A., Kjeldgaard-Christiansen, J., & Clasen, M. (2021). Pandemic practice: Horror fans and morbidly curious individuals are more psychologically resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic. Personality and individual differences, 168, 110397. Link

Posted by & filed under Consciousness, Persuasion, Sensation-Perception, Sensory-Perceptual Development.

Description: It used to be that you could tell that Halloween was approaching because boxes of small candy bars would start appearing in n grocery stores (in late August). While this is still true, the other indicator of the pending arrival of Halloween is are the grand announcements of the return of pumpkin spiced everything, but especially coffee and muffins. The trend is so pronounced and persistent year over year it cannot simply be driven by seasonal marketing but must also be supported by significant consumer traction. So, the question is, what is the deal with people’s regular huge positive (buying) reactions to pumpkin spice? Are we wired for it? What else might it involve? Once you have a thought or two in mind have a read through the article linked below to see what research has to say on this.

Source: Why are we addicted to pumpkin spice? Perception Researchers stress the power of fall scents, Wyatte Grantham-Philips, USA Today.

Date: September 22, 2021

Image by Capri23auto from Pixabay

Article Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2021/09/22/pumpkin-spice-addiction-science-behind-fall-flavor-obsession/5785384001/

So, were you surprised that there is no pumpkin in the spices that make up pumpkin spice smell and taste? The associative connections between taste and smell are very very powerful. The associations connected with pumpkin spice are fall related, comfort related and socially grounded (e.g., Thanksgiving). The habits that are wrapped up in the liking of pumpkin spice are much deeper that Halloween.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. If you like pumpkin spice, what is it about it that you like?
  2. What sorts of things contribute to the HUGE sales of pumpkin spice stuff?
  3. What other sorts of things might benefit from a marketing campaign like that used for pumpkin spice?

References (Read Further):

The Science Behind the Appeal of Pumpkin Spice Link

Legg, S. (2004). Memory and nostalgia. Cultural geographies, 11(1), 99-107. Link

Barrett, F. S., Grimm, K. J., Robins, R. W., Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., & Janata, P. (2010). Music-evoked nostalgia: affect, memory, and personality. Emotion, 10(3), 390. Link

Waskul, D. D., Vannini, P., & Wilson, J. (2009). The aroma of recollection: Olfaction, nostalgia, and the shaping of the sensuous self. The Senses and Society, 4(1), 5-22. Link

Holbrook, M. B., & Schindler, R. M. (2003). Nostalgic bonding: Exploring the role of nostalgia in the consumption experience. Journal of Consumer Behaviour: An International Research Review, 3(2), 107-127. Link

 

 

Posted by & filed under Abnormal Psychology, Consciousness, Emerging Adulthood, Human Development, Motivation-Emotion, Stress Coping - Health.

Description: Does Instagram present its users with a valid perspective on the world – on their world? Well, the answer to that question according to a lot of peer reviewed research and, apparently also according to internal research by Facebook, the owners of Instagram, is a clear NO. If you have not heard about or read any of this research, think for minute about why it might be that Instagram use is associated with a number of problems or issues, especially for teen-aged girls. Once you have your hypotheses in order have a read through the article linked below that discusses some of this research and some of it possible implications.

Source: Facebook has known for a year and a half that Instagram is bad for teens despite claiming otherwise – here are the harms researchers have been documenting for years, Christia Spears Brown, The Conversation.

Date: September 16, 2021

Image by Thomas Ulrich from Pixabay

Article Link: https://theconversation.com/facebook-has-known-for-a-year-and-a-half-that-instagram-is-bad-for-teens-despite-claiming-otherwise-here-are-the-harms-researchers-have-been-documenting-for-years-168043

Social comparison plays a central role both in teen development and in social functioning in general. The balance between upward (comparing yourself to those who are “better” than you) and downward (comparing the other way) social comparisons is important as it plays a huge role in building or deconstructing self esteem and self-image. Instagram, with its filters and other image tweakers riggs the comparison system so that almost all comparisons, even with peers, are turned into upward social comparisons. How do you feel about yourself when it seems that virtually everyone in your world is better than you? That is a big part of the Instagram experience. So, what to do? Certainly discussions about differences between appearance and reality are important but figuring out how to support more positive engagement with Instagram will likely involve more than just that and THAT is worth more thought!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What doe Instagram do that other social media platforms do not do (as much of)?
  2. Who is responsible for the effects that Instagram seems to have?
  3. What can or should be considered in order to address these fairly consistent findings (if anything)?

References (Read Further):

Pew Research, (2018) Teens, Social Media and Technology 2018. Link

Weber, S., Messingschlager, T., & Stein, J. P. (2021). This is an Insta-vention! Exploring cognitive countermeasures to reduce negative consequences of social comparisons on Instagram. Media Psychology, 1-30. Link

Posted by & filed under Higher-Order Cognitive Functions in Aging, Memory, Neuroscience.

Description: I know the answer to this question is yes but consider it anyway. Have you ever run into a smell that immediately took you back into your memory to another time or place? Maybe it was the lovely smells coming out a bakery that remained you of your grandmother’s kitchen or perhaps the smell of BBQ reminded you of your favourite uncle who sent hours out by his smoker. Those sorts of memories are called associative memories and the connections they help us make across time space and sensory modalities are vital parts of the richness of human memory. Think about how many times you have had memories…. rich memories… brought to mind by a tiny bit of a smell. Given how often it happens would it surprise you to read that research has, until now, not been ale to identify the ways in which those associations are processed in the brain. This is important because memory is essentially associationalistic and we need to understand how those connections are made. As well, understanding those connections may help us in many, many areas (recall, reflection, Alzheimer’s etc. etc).

Source: New research ‘sniffs out’ how associative memories are formed, ScienceDaily.

Date: September 22, 2021

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Article Link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/09/210922133058.htm

All right, what memories have you had triggered by smell lately? If you ever (and you may not ever) want to remember what elementary school was like go to an elementary school in winter after a cold snap when it has been closed up tight for a while. Go to the office and let them know what you are doing (and get their permission) and then take a few deep breathe smells. I promise you that the combination of old lunches, sweaty boots, construction paper and white glue will take you right back to your early days! And the finding that associative memories are processed with dopamine (reward) pathways fits in with the rewarding nature of smell induced nostalgic memories!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What are associative memories?
  2. What is rewarding about associative memories?
  3. What sorts of things (applications) might a better understanding of the nature of associative memories help us with?

References (Read Further):

Lee, J. Y., Jun, H., Soma, S., Nakazono, T., Shiraiwa, K., Dasgupta, A., … & Igarashi, K. M. (2021). Dopamine facilitates associative memory encoding in the entorhinal cortex. Nature, 1-6. Abstract Link

Wang, J. H. (2019). Searching basic units in memory traces: associative memory cells. F1000Research, 8. Link

Naveh-Benjamin, M., & Mayr, U. (2018). Age-related differences in associative memory: Empirical evidence and theoretical perspectives. Psychology and aging, 33(1), 1. Link

Enke, B., Schwerter, F., & Zimmermann, F. (2020). Associative memory and belief formation (No. w26664). National Bureau of Economic Research. Link

Wang, J. H., & Cui, S. (2017). Associative memory cells: formation, function and perspective. F1000Research, 6. Link

Rubiño, J., & Andrés, P. (2018). The face-name associative memory test as a tool for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Frontiers in psychology, 9, 1464. Link

Horn, M. M., Kennedy, K. M., & Rodrigue, K. M. (2018). Association between subjective memory assessment and associative memory performance: Role of ad risk factors. Psychology and aging, 33(1), 109. Link

Posted by & filed under Abnormal Psychology, Anxiety OC PTSD, Psychological Disorders, Stress Coping - Health.

Description: If you have a serious (phobic) fear of spiders you are probably NOT reading this because the title or the picture has caused you to move along quickly. If you have such a fear and have taken an introductory psychology course you have likely heard about systematic desensitization which is the standard, classical conditioning-based approach for treating basic phobias and you may have decided that they are not for you because they typically involve getting closer and closer to real spiders as part of the treatment process. However, what if it were possible to treat spider phobias (arachnophobia) without using real spiders (or Halloween props). Would that be of interest to you (or to your friend who refused to read this post for the reasons just presented)? Think about what that might involve and then read the article linked below to see how Swiss researchers have studied this very approach.

Source: Augmented Reality Helps Tackle Fear of Spiders, Neuroscience News.

Date: September 26, 2021

Image by RitaE from Pixabay

Article Link: https://neurosciencenews.com/augmented-reality-spider-fear-19361/

So, are you ready to try a free meeting with Phoby? Or perhaps you can convince your acrophobic friend to give it a try. As with virtually all treatments for psychological issues or disorders the most important two steps include admitting the there is a problem and then committing to taking steps to address the issue. The second step is typically the most challenging, especially with phobias, as those struggling with them work Very hard to avoid situations that might result in their being exposed to their fear inducing situation, object, or animal. The results of the Phoby research are promising and, perhaps by utilizing more complex virtual reality systems such as Facebooks Oculus system it may be possible to devise accessible phobia treatments for phobias that are rather difficult or expensive to address directly such as fear of airplane travel.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Why might the people who would benefit the most from the treatment described in the linked article NOT even become aware of it?
  2. Why might the treatment with Phoby work when classic desensitization procedures not work when treating arachnophobias?
  3. What other phobias might be treatable using more sophisticated virtual reality systems? How would such treatment be structured?

References (Read Further):

Zimmer, A., Wang, N., Ibach, M. K., Fehlmann, B., Schicktanz, N. S., Bentz, D., … & de Quervain, D. J. (2021). Effectiveness of a smartphone-based, augmented reality exposure app to reduce fear of spiders in real-life: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 82, 102442. Link

McGlynn, F. D., Weiner, I. B., & Craighead, W. E. (2002). Systematic desensitization. Editors-in-Chief. Link

Côté, S., & Bouchard, S. (2008). Virtual reality exposure for phobias: A critical review. Journal of CyberTherapy & Rehabilitation, 1(1), 75-91. Link

Hodges, L. F., Kooper, R., Meyer, T. C., Rothbaum, B. O., Opdyke, D., Graaff, J. J. D., … & North, M. M. (1995). Virtual environments for treating the fear of heights. IEEE computer, 28(7), 27-34. Link

Herdiansyaha, M., & Sumampouwb, N. J. (2017, September). Systematic Desensitization for Treating Specific Phobia of Earthworms: An In Vivo Exposure Study. In 1st International Conference on Intervention and Applied Psychology (ICIAP 2017) (pp. 381-390). Atlantis Press.  Link

Beauchamp, M., Greenfield, M. D., & Campobello, L. Treatment of Flying Phobia: Comparative Efficacy of Two Behavioral Methods. Link

Posted by & filed under Clinical Psychology, Emerging Adulthood, Health Psychology, Motivation-Emotion, Student Success, The Self.

Description: There is a palpable sense (if you pause quietly and look for it) that we are all very close to getting a restart opportunity. While we will have to wait a bit for the Delta variant to rage, we will be able to get back to things again soon. We could simply breathe a heavy sigh and say Ah, normal returned! BUT it is not really clear that what we move into next WILL be normal. We have a rare opportunity to reflect on what our personal worlds and experiences will, can, or might look, feel and be like in the near future. Wouldn’t some research looking at moments like this be helpful? (Yes, please!). So, if we are all taking stock and reflecting and sorting options for moving forward with our very lives, what sorts of things should we be considering? Well, of course, you can do whatever you like but if you would like some broader options consider this question. Looking forward would you prefer a life that is happy? A life that in meaningful? Or a life that is rich (in experiences but not necessarily money)? I am NOT going to pose this as a research question because I think you should think about you own personal answer to the question first. After you have done that THEN have a look at the wonderfully rich article linked below that will, among other things, suggest a third path for moving forward in your life (that if richness of experiences). And, the research the author discusses provide data of this question!

Source: Perspective-changing experiences, good or bad, can lead to richer lives, Sujata Gupta, Science News

Date: September 1, 2021

Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Article Link: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/good-life-happy-meaning-richness-change-experiences-psychology

So, what do you think of the “Third Road” that you can set out along in life? Happiness is an option but it is tied to many things. Meaningfulness if also tied to many things. Either can definitely be viable life pathway options. But what of a rich life? Many who are trying to understand what is involved in building a sense of personal identity suggest that focusing upon and pursing interests and curiosities can be very productive ways of finding personal pathways forward in times and spaces of uncertainty, change and novelty. If THAT sounds like the way the world is looking like in the near to foreseeable future than perhaps including some, or a LOT, of richness search and focus in your post-Covid game plan would be a wonderful way to move into the new normal (whatever THAT is going to involve)!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How are happiness and meaningfulness considered in research looking at life direction choices?
  2. What does a focus on life richness involve?
  3. Of the three pathway options, happiness, meaningfulness and richness which do you think you are most likely to pursue over the next few years? How might you at least dabble in the richness stream?

References (Read Further):

Wilson, T.D. et al. Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind. Science. Vol. 345, p.75. Link

Oishi et al. Happiness, meaning and psychological richness. Affective Science. Vol. 1, June 23, 2020, p.107. Link

Oishi et al. The psychologically rich questionnaire. Journal of Research in Personality. Vol. 81, August 2019, p.257. doi: 10.1016/j.jrp.2019.06.010. Link

Oishi et al. Experiences associated with psychological richness.” European Journal of Personality. Posted December 2, 2020, Link

R.F. Baumeister et al. Some key differences between a happy life and a meaningful life. The Journal of Positive Psychology. Vol.8, p.505, Link

Sacks, O. (2015)  My own life. New York Times. Posted Feb. 19, 2015. Link

Posted by & filed under General Psychology, Group Processes, Industrial Organizational Psychlology, Industrial Organizational Psychology, Persuasion, Research Methods, Social Influence, Social Psychology.

Description: Is there a home field advantage in professional sports? Regardless of your opinion (or hypothesis) on this question think about this: How could we possibly set up an experiment that would address this question? And if we could, what would be the results? Well, have you already come up with the natural experimental o[opportunity in relation to this question provided by Covid? The European professional leagues played many games over the past year and a bit without any fans in the stands. Yes, of course, there may be MORE to home field advantage that fans in the stands but what would your predictions be for a research question regarding home teach performance with (pre-covid) and without (during covid) fans in the stands at home games? Oh, and how do you think referees would respond? Get your hypotheses in order an then have a look through the article below that talks about recently published research looking at this question.

Source: ‘Ghost games spotlight the psychological effect fans have on referees, Nikk Ogasa, Science News.

Date: August 20, 2021

Image by David Mark from PixabayPixabay

Article Link: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/sports-soccer-ghost-games-psychology-fans-referee-pandemic

So, were you surprised by the results of the research reported upon? The presence of hometown fans at soccer games makes a significant difference in BOTH win and loss percentages and in referee behaviour. The sample used for the research was large and so the results are likely valid and robust. So, when you are allowed again, get out and support your local team!

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How did the of presence of local fans in the stand (and their absence) affect the performance of the home team in European soccer?
  2. How were the actions of game referees affected by the absence of local fans?
  3. Given this data, should profession sports leagues make any adjustments as we move into the post Covid world?

References (Read Further):

Leitner, M. C., & Richlan, F. (2021). No Fans–No Pressure: Referees in Professional Football During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living, 221. Link

Entine, O. A., & Small, D. S. (2008). The role of rest in the NBA home-court advantage. Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, 4(2). Link

Nettleton, D. (1998). Investigating home court advantage. Journal of Statistics Education, 6(2). Link

Price, M., & Yan, J. (2021). The Effects of the NBA COVID Bubble on the NBA Playoffs: A Case Study for Home-Court Advantage. arXiv preprint arXiv:2103.02832. Link

Kotecki, J. (2014). Estimating the effect of home court advantage on wins in the NBA. Link

 

Posted by & filed under Consciousness, Sensation-Perception, The Self.

Description: Lets’ start with a quick definition (we will not hold ourselves to it). Let’s say that our consciousness involves our mind’s awareness of, and internal model for keep track of, the outside world. Make sense? I bet that is pretty close to how you currently think about your consciousness, if you think about it much at all. Now, would it surprise you to consider the following 2 things? First, that Psychologists have worked rather hard to NOT spend a lot of time trying to figure out the nature of human consciousness (it seems to be too complicated, perhaps even too magical to get hold of for research purposes). Second, it may very well be that your consciousness (your mind) does NOT map the world very well as it actually is but, instead, works on the basis of a sort of theory about what the world is like based a little bit on past experience. How does that sound? And in the face of those statements how do you feel about your ability to know yourself and to know the world you are living in? know yourself and to know the world you are living in? Yes, I know, that sounds a bit like voo doo philosophy but …. Read the article linked below to see an overview of where the consciousness questions are at and a little bit about what that might mean.

Source: Being You by Professor Anil Seth review – the exhilarating new science of consciousness, Gaia Vince, The Guardian.

Date: August 25, 2021

Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

Article Link: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/aug/25/being-you-by-professor-anil-seth-review-the-exhilarating-new-science-of-consciousness

So, how are you feeling about being you now? At some level it should not be a surprise as there is quite a bit of research evidence that people see (or believe) what they expect to see (or expect to be true) and often miss it when reality either does not quite match up with expectations. However, it does create some issues with advice like “to thine own self be true” (so says, Polonius in Hamlet). The coming years of consciousness research will be fascinating but while we wait for it to arrive it may help to reflect on Anil Seth’s suggestion that we have some mental influence in the model of the world we have in our brain and that we live in. Perhaps we need to try and be more aware of and take more advantage of this authorial role.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. How accurately do our minds map the world we live in?
  2. If this mapping is less than perfect what does that mean for our thoughts and theories of consciousness?
  3. What are some questions (research or just hypotheses) about consciousness that need to be address in the near future?

References (Read Further):

Seth, A. (2021). Being you: A new science of consciousness. Penguin.

Grof, S. (2019). Psychology of the future: Lessons from modern consciousness research. Suny Press. Link

Grof, S. (2013). Revision and Re‐Enchantment of Psychology: Legacy from Half a Century of Consciousness Research. The Wiley‐Blackwell Handbook of Transpersonal Psychology, 89-120. Link

Pereira Jr, A., & Ricke, H. (2009). What is Consciousness?: Towards a preliminary definition. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 16(5), 28-45. Link

Cicero, D. C., Cohn, J. R., Nelson, B., Gawęda, Ł., Cicero, D. C., Cohn, J. R., … & Gawęda, Ł. (2021). Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice. Link