Blog Archives

From conspiracy theories to climate change denial, a cognitive psychologist explains

From conspiracy theories to climate change denial, a cognitive psychologist explains

Conspiracy theories Under what conditions do conspiracies spread? What can one do to convince people to be more sceptical of extraordinary claims in conspiracy theories? In societies that are not transparent and less democratic, conspiracy theories flourish because the government cannot be trusted. In general, the people who believe in conspiracy theories are low on … learn more→

Ice age: who has used crystal meth – and why?

Ice age: who has used crystal meth – and why?

If you’ve listened to the news lately, you might think that Australia is overrun with uncontrollably violent people on crystal methamphetamine. This may be true of those in crisis, but the bigger picture of meth use is much more varied. Australia has one of the highest rates of illicit methamphetamine use in the world and … learn more→

This is not an illustration of the advantages of or the need for a well-armed citizenry

This is not an illustration of the advantages of or the need for a well-armed citizenry

In several instances in the recent past, mentally disturbed individuals in China have gone of rampages that have left more than one person dead and a larger number wounded. In all of these instances, these individuals have been armed not with guns but with knives–or, in one instance, an ax–and the toll in human lives … learn more→

Really, someone should ask some questions...

Really, someone should ask some questions…

The founder and CEO of American Title Services in Centennial was found dead in his home this week, the result of self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun, according to the Arapahoe County coroner….They said Talley died from seven or eight self-inflicted wounds from a nail gun fired into his torso and head. –from The Denver … learn more→

Mum and dad are fighting – what should I do?

Mum and dad are fighting – what should I do?

Resolving conflict with your partner in front of children can be a harrowing business. My parents were happy to have a domestic in front of my sister and I. When the dust settled, my parents would inevitably deny they had been fighting at all. “It was only a discussion” my mother would say. They sure … learn more→

Alcohol and violence: a complex issue in search of leadership

Alcohol and violence: a complex issue in search of leadership

The start of 2014 has seen a tragic, but sadly predictable discussion around Australia about lives lost or hanging in the balance due to violence. All of the high-profile cases involved alcohol. These are the tip of a horrifying iceberg. Family violence, intimate partner violence, child abuse, gang violence, sexual assault, bullying and many other … learn more→

What we can learn from the world's long-lived people

What we can learn from the world’s long-lived people

I really feel for the public today. Constantly bombarded with conflicting nutrition messages and sensationalist health warnings about particular foods or nutrients. Sugar is toxic. Wheat is the devil incarnate. We are designed to eat like our Palaeolithic ancestors. Glycaemic index is the key to health. Intermittent fasting is the best way to lose weight. … learn more→

The happiness agenda makes for miserable policy

The happiness agenda makes for miserable policy

How happy do you feel today? How satisfied are you with your life? Do you think your life has any worth? These are the kind of questions increasingly put to survey respondents as academics and politicians pick up the baton of raising the population’s subjective well-being. What was once perhaps the preserve of self-help gurus … learn more→

Kids with low self-esteem respond worse to overpraise

Kids with low self-esteem respond worse to overpraise

Overly positive, inflated praise such as “terrific!”, “you did incredibly well!”, “perfect!” is very common in western countries. At first glance this might not seem a bad thing; heaping praise can only make people do better – right? Parents often give such praise to children with low self-esteem, in an effort to boost their esteem. … learn more→

Smug couples patronise singles to feel better about themselves

Smug couples patronise singles to feel better about themselves

People tend to see their own lifestyle as being the ideal lifestyle. A single person may question why anyone would choose to shackle themselves to one partner rather than live it up with the single life. Then there is that smug married couple who pushes for other couples to also tie the knot, so they … learn more→