A History of Mindfulness

Buddhist Man Meditating / Photo by Jakub Michankow, Wikimedia Commons ‘Mindfulness’ has become a household word, standing for inner peace, wellbeing, and cutting-edge healthcare. For four years, I researched how it’s become such a compelling force in Western culture. By Dr. Matt Drage / 02.22.2018 Researcher in Mindfulness and Meditation as Biomedical Inrtervention Introduction “Well I think[…]

The Rise and Fall of a 19th-Century Medical Mesmerist

The story of a flamboyant doctor whose famous fans included Dickens. But his experiments with hypnosis eventually met with establishment disapproval. By Wendy Moore / 04.23.2018 Journalist and Medical Historian We think of libraries as places of quiet solitude where information is reassuringly organised, ordered and catalogued. Yet for me one of the best things about[…]

Mesmerising Science: The Franklin Commission and the Modern Clinical Trial

Detail from a coloured etching after C-L. Desrais depicting people gathered around the “baquet” at one of Franz Mesmer’s group animal magnetism sessions / Wellcome Collection, Creative Commons Benjamin Franklin, magnetic trees, and erotically-charged séances — Urte Laukaityte on how a craze for sessions of “animal magnetism” in late 18th-century Paris led to the randomised[…]

Kurt Freund: The Beginning of the End of ‘Gay Conversion Therapy’ in the 1950s

In the 1950s, many psychiatrists thought that homosexuality could be reformed. Czech psychiatrist Kurt Freund found that it couldn’t – and his discoveries led to a change in the law.      By (left-to-right) Dr. Charlie Williams, Dr. Sarah Marks, and Dr. Daniel Pick / 09.20.2018 Williams: Postdoctoral Researcher, Hidden Persuaders Project Marks: Postdoctoral Researcher, Hidden[…]

After the Great War: Nationalism, Degenerationism, and Mass Psychology

Mass psychology and nationalism as as a form of degeneration, or a barbarous and cruel regression after the Great War. By Dr. Juan García-García Professor of Business Management and Sociology Universidad de Extremadura Abstract This article explores the influence of psychological language and discourses on the contemporary view of nationalism, an issue that has only begun to be[…]

The Historical Development of the Interface between Law, Medicine, and Psychiatry

From the Guild-Book of the Barber-Surgeons of the city of York / British Library, Public Domain Medicine and law were related from early times. This relation resulted as a necessity of protecting communities from the irresponsible acts of impostors. By Magdaleen Swanepoel, LLB, LLD Professor of Law University of South Africa (UNISA) History, despite its wrenching[…]

Historical Techniques of Lie Detection

Polygraph amplifer / Photo by glacial23, Wikimedia Commons A general overview of the literature and thinking to date about the evolution of lie detection techniques. By Dr. Martina Vicianová / 08.20.2015 Research Psychologist Pavol Jozef Šafárik University, Slovakia Abstract Since time immemorial, lying has been a part of everyday life. For this reason, it has[…]

From Mythology to Psychology: Archaic Psychology in Greek Myths

The Triumph of Civilization / Photo by Grizzli, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Wikimedia Commons The enormous contribution of ancient Greeks to the progress of philosophy, natural sciences and arts, can’t be contested. Unfortunately, the role they played in the history of psychology is hardly mentioned. By Dr. Vlad Petre Glăveanu Associate Professor of Psychology Webster University Geneva[…]

Sacred Psychiatry in Ancient Greece

John W. Waterhouse, “A Mother Bringing Her Sick Child to the Temple of Asklepios”, 1877 (Image in public domain) From the ancient times, there are three basic approaches for the interpretation of the different psychic phenomena: the organic, the psychological, and the sacred approach.   By Georgios Tzeferakos, MD, PhD (left) and Athanasios Douzenis, MD,[…]

Theory of Mind

Relativity by M.C. Escher, 1953 / Wikimedia Commons One of the most remarkable human capacities is to perceive and understand mental states. This capacity, often labeled “theory of mind,” consists of an array of psychological processes that play essential roles in human social life. We review some of these roles, examine what happens when the[…]

Everything in Its Place

By Rob Horning / 06.28.2017 Lately I have been reading Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. I think it is best enjoyed if read as a novel with a classic unreliable narrator; it’s about an obsessive woman who lives in a world where belongings can spark joy but people cannot, and who copes with her alienation by[…]

Conspiracy Theories as Part of History: The Role of Societal Crisis Situations

Nero didn’t really fiddle while Rome burned – he wasn’t even there. Examining the link between societal crisis situations and belief in conspiracy theories.    By Dr. Jan-Willem van Prooijen and Dr. Karen M. Douglas / 07.01.2017 Prooijen: Associate Professor of Psychology, VU Amsterdam Douglas: Professor of Social Psychology, University of Kent Abstract In the present contribution, we examine[…]

Propaganda in the Russian Revolution

Wikimedia Commons Looking at the various forms of propaganda in circulation during the Russian Revolution. By Dr. Katya Rogatchevskaia Lead Curator, East European Collections British Library Is there such a thing as ‘good’ propaganda? Over the 20th century, the word ‘propaganda’ acquired predominantly negative connotations and to many, it is associated with totalitarian regimes. Back in 1928,[…]

A History of Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt founds the first formal laboratory of psychology at the University of Leipzig, Germany. / Wikimedia Commons The historical development of the science and practice of psychology in America.    By Dr. David B. Baker and Heather Sperry Baker: Professor of Psychology, Margaret Clark Morgan Executive Director of the Center for the History of Psychology Sperry: Graduate[…]

Memory: Biology, Types, and Processes

Photo by ores2k, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction to Memory 1.1 – Introduction to the Process and Types of Memory Memory is the ability to take in information, store it, and recall it at a later time. In psychology, memory is broken into three stages: encoding, storage, and[…]

Watching for Signs of Suicidal Thought Instead of Seeing Them in Retrospect

After his son’s suicide aged 18, Steve Mallen sees the world differently. Along with a growing number of mental health experts, he wants to reduce the rate of suicide across the world, and is aiming for zero. By Simon Usborne / 08.01.2017 Steve Mallen thinks the signs first started to show when his son stopped playing the[…]

Why are We So Sleep Deprived, and Why Does It Matter?

As many as 70 million Americans may not be getting enough sleep. Men get fewer hours of sleep than women. Akos Nagy/Shutterstock.com By Dr. Michael S. Jaffee / 03.07.2018 Vice Chair, Department of Neurology University of Florida As we prepare to “spring forward” for daylight saving time on March 11, many of us dread the loss[…]

How the Idea of ‘Oneness’ Can Help Us in the 21st Century

By Gilbert Ross / 02.03.2018 Reconnecting with Our Natural State Individuality, diversity and uniqueness are celebrated and lauded as the highest achievements in our Western society. We admire individualism, initiative, free thinkers and those who chart new courses. But, what if all this rugged individualism and diversity is leading us further apart; is fracturing the[…]

Why Mister Rogers’ Message of Love and Kindness is Good for Your Health

Image via PBS Rogers’ emphasis on kindness and love is proving to be very important to good health. Here’s why. By Dr. Richard Gunderman / 06.08.2018 Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis The release of the Mister Rogers documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” calls to mind the essential message of Rogers’ long-running children’s program, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Fred McFeely Rogers, who died in[…]

Is It Yanny or Laurel? It’s Your Brain, Not Your Ears, That Decides

You heard it say what? Roman Stetsyk/Shutterstock.com Where you come down on the latest internet hullabaloo depends on how your brain fills in gaps in the sounds you hear. By Dr. Jennell Vick / 05.16.2018 Assistant Professor of Communication Sciences Case Western Reserve University As a speech scientist, I never thought I’d see so much excitement on social media[…]

The Stowaway’s Story Chimes with the Explorer in Us All

Stowaway Perce Blackborow and Mrs Chippy aboard Shackleton’s Endurance, 1914-1917. Photo courtesy Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge By Laura Gwen Shapiro / 04.01.2018 Novelist and Documentary Filmmaker Whatever currency drives adventure, whether fame or fortune, a stowaway trying to cash in on glory often features in the story. Sometimes, they’re escaping a bad situation; sometimes, they’re wannabe[…]

Our Dreams Have Many Purposes, Changing Across the Lifespan

Photo by stephentrepreneur, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Patrick McNamara / 03.09.2018 Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry Boston University School of Medicine Although radically different in terms of their content and feel, the rangeof dream states are just as complex as waking states. If we look across an individual’s lifetime, we find that children’s dreams are very different[…]

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee – It’s Why Your Cuppa Tastes So Good

The smell of freshly brewed coffee is hard to beat. Michael Yan/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND By Don Brushett / 10.20.2014 Research Associate Southern Cross University Most of what we taste we actually smell. The only sensations that we pick up in our mouth are sweet, sour, bitter, umami and salty. Without its smell, coffee would have only a sour or[…]