“The phraseology of “clinical psychology” and “psychological clinic” will doubtless strike many as an odd juxtaposition of terms relating to quite disparate subjects. While the term “clinical” has been borrowed from medicine, clinical psychology is not a medical psychology. I have borrowed the word “clinical” from medicine, because it is the best term I can find to indicate the character of the method which I deem necessary for this work. Words seldom retain their original significance, and clinical medicine, is not what the word implies,-the work of a practicing physician at the bedside of a patient. The term “clinical” implies a method, and not a locality. When the clinical method in medicine was established on a scientific basis, mainly through the efforts of Boerhaave at the University of Leiden, its development came in response to a revolt against the philosophical and didactic methods that more or less dominated medicine up to that time. Clinical psychology likewise is a protestant against a psychology that derives psychological and pedagogical principles from philosophical speculations and against a psychology that applies the results of laboratory experimentation directly to children in the school room.” —

Clinical psychology by
Lightner Witmer, 1907.

People are always confused when I say “clinical psychology”, they always think it must be something related to medicine, when instead clinical psychology is the most common face of psychology, clinical psychology is, in simple words, just anything a psychologist do when he work with people.

(via scipsy)

Most of the relevant mental machinery is not consciously accessible. People’s explicitly held, con- sciously accessible beliefs, as in other domains of cognition, only represent a fragment of the relevant processes. Experimental tests show that people’s actual religious concepts often diverge from what they believe they believe […]

Religious believers and sceptics generally agree that religion is a dramatic phenomenon that requires a dramatic explanation, either as a spectacular revelation of truth or as a fundamental error of reasoning. Cognitive science and neuroscience suggests a less dramatic but perhaps more empirically grounded picture of religion as a probable, although by no means inevitable by-product of the normal operation of human cognition.

” — Religious thought and behaviour as by-product of brain function (2003) by Pascal Boyer. (via scipsy)

“We found the reluctance to share data to be associated with weaker evidence (against the null hypothesis of no effect) and a higher prevalence of apparent errors in the reporting of statistical results. The unwillingness to share data was particularly clear when reporting errors had a bearing on statistical significance.” — Willingness to Share Research Data Is Related to the Strength of the Evidence and the Quality of Reporting of Statistical Results by Wicherts, Bakker and Molenaar (2011)

» Java Man


by Malcolm Gladwell

One of the things that have always made drugs so powerful is their cultural adaptability, their way of acquiring meanings beyond their pharmacology. And there is no drug quite as effortlessly adaptable as caffeine, the Zelig of chemical stimulants.

“Many animals seem to have a capacity for some form of episodic recall, retrieving specific information about the ‘what, where and when’ of past experiences […]. Humans (and perhaps
other animals) also engage in what has been called ‘mental
time travel’ (MTT), a form of recall that allows one to reexperience, albeit in an attenuated form, situations previously encountered […].
Under what conditions would natural selection favor the appearance of a capacity to re-experience the past and experience the future? […]
Various aspects of human cognitive functioning seem to derive increased efficiency from knowledge of past episodes. In these functional accounts episodic memory and counterfactual imagination are two aspects of the same capacity to engage in off-line inferences as an aid to present decision making, for instance, by maintaining a store of exemplars against which to compare present situations and select the most beneficial course of action. This would suggest that MTT is a recent adaptation whose emergence is connected with the sudden increase in behavioral variety and flexibility that prepared the transition to Homo ergaster and sapiens.” — Evolutionary economics of mental time travel?, 2008 by Pascal Boyer [pdf] (via scipsy)

posted: 2 years ago, with: 39 notes
via: scipsy +
# psychology # queue

“What is the self? How does the activity of neurons give rise to the sense of being a conscious human being? Even this most ancient of philosophical problems, I believe, will yield to methods of empirical science. It now seems increasingly likely that the self is not a holistic property of the entire brain; it arises from the activity of specific sets of interlinked brain circuits. But we need to know which circuits are critically involved and what their functions might be. It is the ‘turning inward’ aspect of the self — its recursiveness — that gives it its peculiar paradoxical quality.” — V.S. Ramachandran, neuroscientist best known for his work in the fields of behavioral neurology and psychophysics, a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, The Neurology of Self-Awareness, Edge, Aug 1, 2007 (via amiquote)


The psychology od climate change communication [pdf]

Attention blindness is the fundamental structuring principle of the brain, and I believe that it presents us with a tremendous opportunity. My take is different from that of many neuroscientists: Where they perceive the shortcomings of the individual, I sense an opportunity for collaboration. Fortunately, given the interactive nature of most of our lives in the digital age, we have the tools to harness our different forms of attention and take advantage of them. It’s not easy to acknowledge that everything we’ve learned about how to pay attention means that we’ve been missing everything else.

It’s not easy for us rational, competent, confident types to admit that the very key to our success—our ability to pinpoint a problem and solve it, an achievement honed in all those years in school and beyond—may be exactly what limits us. For more than a hundred years, we’ve been training people to see in a particularly individual, deliberative way. No one ever told us that our way of seeing excluded everything else.

I want to suggest a different way of seeing, one that’s based on multitasking our attention—not by seeing it all alone but by distributing various parts of the task among others dedicated to the same end. For most of us, this is a new pattern of attention. Multitasking is the ideal mode of the 21st century, not just because of information overload but also because our digital age was structured without anything like a central node broadcasting one stream of information that we pay attention to at a given moment. On the Internet, everything links to everything, and all of it is available all the time.

Unfortunately, current practices of our educational institutions—and workplaces—are a mismatch between the age we live in and the institutions we have built over the last 100-plus years. The 20th century taught us that completing one task before starting another one was the route to success. Everything about 20th-century education, like the 20th-century workplace, has been designed to reinforce our attention to regular, systematic tasks that we take to completion. Attention to task is at the heart of industrial labor management, from the assembly line to the modern office, and of educational philosophy, from grade school to graduate school.

” —

Cathy Davidson, Collaborative Learning for the Digital Age

(ht wildcat2030)

“Brain volume abnormalities have been associated with a large variety of mental health diseases and conditions and have typically been a key topic in the discussion of the pathophysiology of mental disorders for the past 25 years. […]
A considerable number of meta-analyses have already been published that try to summerize the results from these studies of brain volume abnormalities. The meta-analyses identify significant associations for specific brain volumes and structure for almost any disease and condition assessed, including schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, and personality disorders.
The large number of statistically significan associations could have several explanations. One possibility is that all major mental conditions have genuine correlates with brain volumes. […] Another possibility is that reporting bias is operating in the literature. […]” —

Excess significance bias in the literature on brain volume abnormalities by John P.A. Ioannidis. (via Guardian)

An interesting article in which Ioannidis claims that:

[…] the literature on brain volume differences is probably subject to a considerable bias.

(via scipsy)

» Don’t show, don’t tell?

Suppose someone showed you a novel gadget and told you, “Here’s how it works,” while demonstrating a single function, such as pushing a button. What would you do when they handed it to you? You’d probably push the button. But what if the gadget had other functions? Would it occur to you to search for them, if your teacher hadn’t alluded to their existence? Maybe, maybe not. It turns out that there is a “double-edged sword” to pedagogy: Explicit instruction makes children less likely to engage in spontaneous exploration and discovery. A study by MIT researchers and colleagues compared the behavior of children given a novel toy under four different conditions, finding that children expressly taught one of its functions played with the toy for less time and discovered fewer things to do with it than children in the other three scenarios. […]