Monday, December 19, 2011

Psychology: Best gifts for child don’t come in a box

Many of us are aware of the joy that gifts can bring to children, as they are at a stage in their psychological development when presents elicit much anticipation and excitement. If given with the proper perspective in mind, gifts can be a healthy part of their holidays.

But there is another side of giving: the gift of healthy parenting.

Let’s look at these gifts:

The gift of unconditional love means love that endures despite unfavorable circumstances. You might not approve of their behavior, you might not like their attitude or their lifestyle, and it might be necessary to take tough stances. But let your children know that you love them despite difficulties.

Initiate physical contact. Hold them, kiss them, and provide warmth and closeness as further demonstration of your affection and your love for them.

The gift of active listening means not trying to communicate with your child while you are preoccupied with something else, such as a phone call, dinner preparations or watching television. Instead, give them your full attention and show genuine interest in what they are talking about.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Psychological Facts on Colors and Moods - Color Psychology, Chromology

Study of the psychology of color, technically termed as chromology delves into the influence of colors on the relationship between body and mind.

Life is indeed colorful, with different strokes and beautiful tones. If variety is the spice of life, the color is added to the flavor! Our partnership with the color, perhaps from birth began when we were dressed in a particular color was thought best suited to us!

Undoubtedly, the colors come into play every day in our lives - in homes, workplaces, shops, wardrobe, or just the magnificent nature that surrounds us.

Birth of Color

Color originates from light which is a form of energy. In 1666, the famous English scientist Sir Isaac Newton found that, if we pass pure white light through a prism, it splits into seven visible colors. These rainbow colors are called Heptathlon Spectrums, and have a unique vibration and energy.

Can color really impact ones mood?

Energy scientists believe that colors have a unique signal which can influence the neurological system and therefore impact the psychological state. Since colors are light energy at certain wavelengths, this energy is translated into color by the photoreceptors in the retina, called cones. Colors have a direct influence on our thoughts, moods and behaviors because when the energy & color enters our bodies, it stimulates the pituitary and pineal glands to secrete certain hormones. It is said that red color stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, while white and blue color stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.

Color Psychology or Chromology - Impact of Color on Moods

Study of the psychology of color which is technically termed as chromology delves into the influence of colors on the relationship between body and mind. The research has brought to the fore several attributes of each color, its energy and vibrations that have formed the basis of the science of chromology.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Psychologist says being smart is already part of your mental toolbox

Intelligence and smart thinking are not the same, according to University of Texas at Austin psychologist Art Markman, who studies how best to apply knowledge for smarter thinking at work and home.

Drawing on his work at a top multinational corporation and his scholarly work, Markman says science confirms that smart thinking is not an innate quality but rather a skill to be cultivated. Humans are not born with a particular capacity to do smart things. "Each of the components of being smart is already part of your mental toolbox," he says.

"I have always had an interest in how to bridge the gap between research and the application of that research in the world," says Markman, director of the Human Dimensions of Organizations program at The University of Texas at Austin. The program is a new type of executive education focused on an understanding of the people inside and outside organizations that drive performance in today's diverse global marketplace.

Synthesizing research from many areas of neuroscience and psychology, Markman gives examples of great thinkers such as James Dyson, industrial designer and founder of the Dyson company, to illustrate his core concepts such as the importance of understanding how things function.

To read more about this article, please click here.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Study finds relationship between faith in god and cognitive style

There is a correlation between an individual's belief in God and in their cognitive style, suggests a study by Harvard researchers published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General on Monday.

The researchers found that those with an intuitive cognitive style tend to have a strong belief in God than those with a more reflective cognitive style. As defined in the study, intuitive thinkers quickly make judgments based on automatic and instinct. Reflective thinkers prefer to pause and critically examine the initial trials before making a decision.

The study was conducted by three researchers from the Department of Psychology, Harvard University doctoral student Amitai Shenhav, Human Biology Professor David G. Rand, and Social Sciences Associate Professor D. Joshua Greene.

"Our study shows that although there's certainly a role for [cultural influence], that's not the only thing going on," Rand said.

The study found that not only intuitive thinkers tend to believe more firmly in the existence of God, but faith also becomes more certain over time. Moreover, reflective thinkers increasingly confident of God's existence through time.

To confirm their findings, the researchers controlled for age, sex, and IQ and still found a positive correlation between cognitive style and belief in God.

To read more this study about relationship between faith in god and cognitive style, please click here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unrealistic expectations have mental health costs

Many Australians are being impacted by their unrealistic expectations of themselves; with a leading Australian psychologist suggesting "unhealthy perfectionism" is resulting in mental health issues.

Professor Tracey Wade of the School of Psychology at Flinders University said some people feel they’re worthless if they fall short of their goals, or make mistakes in attempting to achieve them.

These high standards, combined with brutal self criticism, comes at a significant cost, with Professor Wade saying it is often identified in the sufferers of conditions such as depression, anxiety and even eating disorders.

"There is nothing wrong with perfectionism, which is striving for high standards, but when people get caught in a cycle of self-blame and criticism when those ambitions are not met, and really feel that they are worthless because they have failed, it can be extremely damaging. It can also prevent them seeing that mistakes present an opportunity to learn, which is hugely valuable in itself," Wade said.

To read the article in detail, please visit Unrealistic expectations have mental health costs.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Studying Generosity

Imagine you're dining at a restaurant in a city you're visiting for the first - and, most likely the last - time. Chances are slim to none that you'll ever see your server again, so if you wanted to shave a few dollars off your tab by not leaving a tip, you could do so. And yet, if you're like most people, you will leave the tip anyway, and not give it another thought.

These commonplace acts of generosity - where no future return is likely - have long posed a scientific puzzle to evolutionary biologists and economists. In acting generously, the donor incurs a cost to benefit someone else. But choosing to incur a cost with no prospect of a compensating benefit is seen as maladaptive by biologists and irrational by economists. If traditional theories in these fields are true, such behaviors should have been weeded out long ago by evolution or by self-interest. According to these theories, human nature is fundamentally self-serving, with any "excess" generosity the result of social pressure or cultural conformity.

Recently, however, a team of scientists at UC Santa Barbara conducted a series of computer simulations designed to test whether it was really true that evolution would select against generosity in situations where there is no future payoff. Their work surprisingly shows that generosity - acting to help others in the absence of foreseeable gains - emerges naturally from the evolution of cooperation. This means that human generosity is likely to rest on more than social pressure, and is instead built in to human nature. Their findings appear in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"When past researchers carefully measured people's choices, they found that people all over the world were more generous than the reigning theories of economics and biology predicted they should be," said Max M. Krasnow, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSB's Center for Evolutionary Psychology, and one of the paper's lead authors. "Even when people believe the interaction to be one-time only, they are often generous to the person they are interacting with."

Please click here to read the article in detail, Studying Generosity

Monday, July 11, 2011

You can run but you can not hide

In the middle of India’s anti-corruption agitation fueled by ‘civil society’, one is reminded of the theory of information-blitzing and opinion-building that underwrites the practice. Much of politics, apart from media, marketing, advertising and public relations, runs on these very tracks. We have to invoke Herbert Marshall McLuhan, the famous Canadian professor, who made a considerable impact when he published The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects in 1967. This book was about the effect of different media on the human sensorium. Media, such as TV with its visual content in addition to audio, radio, music on vinyl, even “noise”, were not only “hot” and “cool” on the senses, said Prof McLuhan, but were “extensions” of human personalities, their emotions and thoughts.

Prof McLuhan not only anticipated the ability of the various mediums of communication to witness, record, influence, but actually chronicle the inevitability of change. Through the 1970s, hip media types toted Prof McLuhan’s books around because it was loaded with futuristic phrases such as “global village” and “surfing”, meaning the very same as what we do today with keyboard and mouse, and not what beach boys do at Malibu or Bondi Beach. Prof McLuhan, who died in 1980, also visualised the “world-wide-web”, still called “www” in his very own phrasing, even though the Internet was not even fashionable till the 1990s.

Prof McLuhan anticipated the freedom of information and action the Web would bestow on the ordinary member of the public. Still, he didn’t foresee the ubiquitous cellphone in every pocket, and the apexing and convergence of various abilities on this platform of great portability. In the relatively simple 1960s and 1970s, technologically if not culturally speaking, people were exploring sexual freedom with the advent of the contraceptive pill — minus the scourge of HIV and AIDS. They were also much troubled by the Vietnam War in a time when Left-liberalism, even socialism, in certain quarters was thought to be fashionable.

Any place can be infiltrated, anything can be streamed and/or recorded with spy cameras, on cellphones, or be conveyed, via MMS/SMS message or e-mail, almost simultaneously, with reasonable anonymity. It gives a new meaning to the notion of ‘live’ reporting because this kind does not need the services of a professional journalist, except perhaps to contextualise and distribute the information. No Cabinet meeting, notwithstanding the Ministers’ vow of secrecy, is safe anymore. Besides, 24x7 news channels have ample time and space to give blanket coverage to opposing points of view, and newspapers specialise in merciless analyses.

To read the article in detail: please click here.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Loose link from mental health to homeless

Mental illness is not as big a pathway to homelessness as many believe, a study suggests.

Australian researchers said despite a perception that people with mental disorders are at risk of ending up homeless, most homeless people actually develop disorders after sleeping on the streets.

Factors like family breakdowns and financial difficulties are more likely to contribute to homelessness in Australia.

"Most people when they think of homelessness, they make a connection with mental illness," said Guy Johnson, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

"There's no doubt there's disproportionately high rates of mental illness amongst the homeless population.

"(But) we thought that a number of papers that had estimated the rate had high estimates."

Dr Johnson and Professor Chris Chamberlain examined the case notes of nearly 4300 people living on the streets of inner-city Melbourne.

Their results, released this week, reveal just over 30 per cent had a mental disorder.

To read the full article, please click here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mental illness is not a convenient excuse

It is little wonder that the stigma surrounding mental illness persists (''Mum's the word'', April 20). Such is the media-cultivated perception of those who suffer from a mental illness that many of my friends struggle to believe I have a bipolar spectrum disorder. Quite simply, because I don't behave like a moron.

Too often when a crime or act of stupidity is committed, a defence of mental illness is proffered.

Most recently, Todd Carney and Anthony Watts from the Sydney Roosters were , respectively, caught drink-driving and charged with assault before their depression was broadcast by media outlets. The same has applied to the actor Matthew Newton, and the footballers Ben Cousins, Andrew Johns, Brendan Fevola and Wayne Carey to name only a few. That these men have become the public faces of depressive-related illnesses is an insult to those who suffer from and battle the dreadful symptoms with dignity. Even more so because it could easily be argued that these celebrities have made choices which create, worsen or exacerbate their respective conditions.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some info in reducing weight

Obesity occurs when you eat calorie and fats food and not exercise. There are many people who misunderstand that only by dieting you can reduce weight. If you think that way then it doesn’t help in reducing weight. So it is important to exercise and eat healthy foods. You can try this at home but you won’t reduce your weight as in weight loss retreat. The retreat helps you in choosing balanced food and reduces your weight by planning a workout schedule.

The workout provided by the weight loss camps are cardio sections, ab sections, muscles strengthening section, bike ridding, hiking and many more. The workout given here are different everyday so that you don’t get bored. There are people who get bored at gym and so they never join for any weight loss program. You always have an option for joining the weight loss retreat where the exercises are not repeated. Another reason for gaining weight is people have forgotten to walk. Due to advance in technology people prefer to go in vehicle. One of the techniques for losing weight is water. This can be tried out at home also.

If you are really very eager to lose weight in a month then you can join the weight loss boot camp. They give you a military training along with other workouts. The main merit of this is they provide you an accommodation and also food. The food is prepared by their chef with the instruction of nutrition. When you enroll here a trainer, therapist and nutritionist is specially assigned for your training. The dietician helps you in choosing the best balanced food for you. Another merit of this place is you can have steam bath anytime you need. You can also take advantage of spa and sauna after a long tiring workout. You can have fun and reduce your weight at boot camp. The atmosphere at boot camp is like you are on vacation and having an adventurous trip.

One of the biggest benefits in joining this camp is saving money and time. The time and money you spend at gym are not worth it plus your efforts for losing weight are not beneficial. Where as the weight loss boot camp accommodates a place for you and provides foods in lesser price than gym. These camps are specially designed for over weight adults. Like wise you have fits camps for children. These help in losing weight and choosing healthy food. Apart from reducing weight and healthy food they teach discipline and manners to behave in public places.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Study on Breastfeeding: Mothers seen as less competent

Breastfeeding might be better for babies, but it might be murder on Mom's career.

New research from Montana State University, published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, suggest people hold lower opinions of women who breastfeed.

The researchers conducted three experiments. In one, subjects rated actress Brooke Shields as less competent - but warmer and friendlier - when given biographical information saying she breastfed, rather than bottle-fed, her children.

Breast Feeding

Another test showed women were judged less competent and not as capable in the workplace after being shown in a magazine advertisement endorsing a breast cream to treat nipples after breastfeeding.

The competence scores for women in the ad were higher when the breast cream was described as a product to "refresh nipples before intimacy" or to treat nipples chafed by jogging.

The third experiment put subjects in a situation where they overheard a woman's voice-mail messages. Some of the messages addressed a situation in which the recipient would go home to breastfeed her baby. Others mentioned the woman going home to give her baby a bath. In another manipulation, meant to sexualize the breast, the message talked about the woman going home to put on a strapless bra. A fourth message was considered neutral.

In the cases where the messages addressed breastfeeding, the woman involved was ranked more negatively.

Significantly, the researchers found no appreciable difference in the way males and females responded in the experiments. All of the subjects were childless.

Breastfeeding rates are higher in Canada than the U.S., but one expert said it's possible a similar bias exists in Canada.

"A lot of the gender research and stereotypes don't show many differences between Canada and the U.S.," said Jennifer Berdahl, a psychology professor with the University of Toronto.

To read full article, please click here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bipolar Disorder Affecting Families

by James Rowland

Family dynamics are always very complex. Add to the equation a mentally ill person and families often disintegrate under the stress and pressure of managing the patient. There are several mental disorders which can affect people. Of these, mood disorders like Bipolar disorder not only affect the individual but have serious consequences for the entire family.

A human being with ailment classically swings between mania and depression. These mood fluctuations come nigh on and can each episode can last for up to days, harmfully moving the frame's and conduct. In severe example of mania the party skill hallucinations and misbelief and in severe depression there is cheerless. In each of these site, the becomes very trying to accomplish and there is an itemization in communication and relationships.

If someone has bipolar disorder, it affects families to a very large degree because the person's behaviour is abnormal and not what is accepted in society. This takes a toll on the families. For example, a depressive episode will make the person lethargic, uncommunicative, and withdrawn, lose confidence and self worth, and become irritable and even suicidal. Since these people avoid meeting anyone, or if they do, seem disinterested and very sad, they make other people uncomfortable. In a manic episode the person becomes socially inappropriate by becoming overly aggressive, talking loudly and very fast, becoming reckless with the spending of money and risk taking behaviours, becoming argumentative, engaging in inappropriate sexual behaviour, etc.

Bipolar disorder seriously affects families because there is an added emotional, mental and physical stress that comes along with taking care of an ill person. It is very taxing to see a loved one go through the hell of a mental disorder. This becomes especially difficult when the families don't completely understand the disorder and are caught unawares.

If there is a domestic limb with bipolar illness, type are posh negatively also because of the whole dishonor emotionally involved to conceptual condition. Families live with fear and guilt of the order of how others will look at them. A by-product of what society thinks approximately rational affliction is also superficial in the services and structure provided for those unnatural by them and their nearest and dearest. This adds to the anxiety of taking care of someone with bipolar malady because there is no real ordinary help away from each other from hospitalisation which is a last option and pricey at that.

Families are also unnatural badly if an earning delegate has bipolar illness. This form may end up manufacture bad evaluation as a grade of the condition, like rashly walk out a well paying job, or conclusive to sell the house, and thus assume the whole household.

More Information:

Learn more about Bipolar Disorder. Stop by James Rowland's site where you can find out all about Bipolar Disorder and what it can do for you.