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Archive for the 'Personality Psychology' Category

March 11, 2006

Self-Help Resources – Anxiety

The pressures of academic deadlines, worry about grades, juggling relationships and part time jobs can keep you “on your toes”. Throw in angst about figuring out who you are and where you’re heading in life and it’s a lot to deal with. A certain amount of anxiety can be expected for most students. For this kind of situational and developmental anxiety, paying attention to self care (adequate sleep, exercise and eating from food groups other than “fast food”) and learning self help skills such as time management, diaphragmatic (belly) breathing, meditation, positive self talk and clear communication may be enough to help manage the anxiety.

But for 15% of the population, anxiety reaches the point of a disorder that may require professional help. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, anxiety disorders as a group are the most common mental health concern in America. They affect 19 million adults each year .

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February 2, 2006

Marriage Math

In the world of relationships, the most important numbers to learn are: five to one. That is the ratio of positive interactions to negative ones that predicts whether a marriage will last or become one of the sad statistics of divorce.

It isn’t that you can’t argue with your spouse. But the couples that make it also manage to deliver positive emotional messages even when they don’t see eye to eye.

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Psych out: Psychology research experiments test students’ patience

Patty Canale didn’t know what to think when she signed her name to a list of participants for an upcoming psychology experiment.

“I thought maybe I was performing an experiment,” said Canale, a freshman in The College of Arts and Sciences. I didn’t know that I’d be hooked up to electrodes and have to fill out a waiver when I got there. I thought I’d be looking at pictures.”

Like Canale, many students taking PSY 205 and PSY 209 don’t know what the individual experiments they sign up for will entail and how researchers are able to take advantage of this student requirement. Students have questioned the extent to which their participation in other peoples’ experiments has educational value for them.

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The Psychology of Desperation

Filed under: Clinical Psychology,North America,Personality Psychology — Admin @ 11:31 pm

Our newspapers and televisions are rife with stories of crisis, violence and crime, echoing common concerns across the nation. As first responders and primary caregivers we are often confronted with situations calling upon personal skills and coping abilities which may be taxed by an onslaught of competing demands. Navigating those incidents which challenge our abilities and training can produce stress related disorders likely to manifest in psychological and/or physical symptomology resulting in burnout.

A review of the literature suggests that there is limited understanding of the role which desperation plays in the precipitation or expansion of crisis situations. As casual observers we are all familiar with newsworthy events concerning incidents which became unmanageable and explosive when participants became desperate subsequently losing the ability to focus and/or make effective decisions. Once the line of desperation has been traversed it is likely that the crisis has been elevated in an exponential fashion. The resulting shifts in perceptions are likely to promote decisions which are largely ineffectual and may produce life-threatening situations for those involved.

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The Psychology of Desperation

Filed under: Clinical Psychology,North America,Personality Psychology — Admin @ 11:30 pm

Our newspapers and televisions are rife with stories of crisis, violence and crime, echoing common concerns across the nation. As first responders and primary caregivers we are often confronted with situations calling upon personal skills and coping abilities which may be taxed by an onslaught of competing demands. Navigating those incidents which challenge our abilities and training can produce stress related disorders likely to manifest in psychological and/or physical symptomology resulting in burnout.

A review of the literature suggests that there is limited understanding of the role which desperation plays in the precipitation or expansion of crisis situations. As casual observers we are all familiar with newsworthy events concerning incidents which became unmanageable and explosive when participants became desperate subsequently losing the ability to focus and/or make effective decisions. Once the line of desperation has been traversed it is likely that the crisis has been elevated in an exponential fashion. The resulting shifts in perceptions are likely to promote decisions which are largely ineffectual and may produce life-threatening situations for those involved.

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Why I Hate Beauty??

Poets rave about beauty. Brave men have started wars over beauty. Women the world over strive for it scholars devote their lives to deconstructing our impulse to obtain it. Ordinary mortals erect temples to beauty. In just about every way imaginable, the world honors physical beauty. But I hate beauty.

I live in what is likely the beauty capital of the world and have the enviable fortune to work with some of the most beautiful women in it. With their smooth bodies and supple waists, these women are the very picture of youth and attractiveness. Not only are they exemplars of nature’s design for detonating desire in men, but they stir yearnings for companionship that date back to ancestral mating dances. Still, beauty is driving me nuts, and although I’m a successful red-blooded American male, divorced and available, it is beauty alone that is keeping me single and lonely.

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Women and Sex

I know it says “women and sex.” This area, though, is really for women who want to know more about men and sex. This is our little insight into how you guys work.

If you’re a man and you want to know how we women work, go to men and sex. I’m happy to clue you in.

Now that “they’re” gone ladies, here are a few truths about men. Many of us “older” ladies have probably already figured this out, but for you younger ones…

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Emotional Programming To “Fall in Love”

Most of us emerged from childhood
believing that romantic love is a natural phenomenon.
When we ‘fall in love’, we seem to be possessed
by an irresistible passion, filling our hearts.
So, how could these romantic feelings be a cultural creation,
invented only 800 years ago?

Before the Middle Ages, some people probably experienced
exaggerated, fantasy feelings close to what we now call “romantic love”.
But such accidental eruptions of personal, deluded feelings
did not become the passion of the masses
until the French troubadours refined and spread the emotional game of love.

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The Love Hate Flip-Flop

One of Freud’s early disciples, Melanie Klein, took up the task of applying the techniques of psychoanalysis to children. She considered her work a natural extension of Freud’s theories, rather than any sort of innovation in psychoanalysis; still, she met considerable criticism from her psychoanalytic colleagues. And rightly so, for her work is characterized by speculative and fantastic explanations of, well, infant fantasy.

Nevertheless, Klein did bring to light the “ugly” side of infant development, for she saw in infants a mass of angry and hostile impulses toward the mother when the infant did not get its needs met. In essence, the infant constantly flip-flops between love and hate: love when its needs are met, and hate when its needs are ignored or frustrated. In her work, Klein tried to explain the process by which the infant seeks to repair the damage of its hostility to its mother. In fact, the titles of two of her most significant collections of works, Envy and Gratitude and Love, Guilt, and Reparation, tell the story almost as well as the writings themselves.

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Fear of Love

Believe it or not, most of us are brought up in modern culture to fear love. This is a radical statement, so pause a bit and consider it.

How often were you, as a child, criticized and laughed at for expressing your honest feelings? How often are you now used, in our culture of merchandising, as an object to be manipulated in order to satisfy some other person’s desire for profit and power? How often do you shape yourself—with diets, implants, workouts, jewelry, tattoos, makeup, hair dye, and clothing—to meet the expectations of someone’s desire?

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