Psychology

Neurontic

Category archives for Psychology

In Search of Synergy

Charlie Rose recently ran a show billed as “A discussion about the legacy of Sigmund Freud.” I’d urge anyone interested in the impact of neuroscience on psychotherapeutic practice to take the time to watch it. The title is a bit misleading. It’s less a discussion of Freud’s contributions than it is a free wheeling conversation…

Anatomy of a Monster

For those of us with even a passing knowledge of psychology, Virginia Shooter Seung Cho’s plays read like a fictionalized retelling of DSM IV, the bible of psychiatric disorders. The characters exhibit signs of everything from paranoia, to pedophilia, to anti-social personality disorder, and psychopathy. Lucinda Roy, one of Cho’s English professors was so alarmed…

Mind Over Matter

Because I am a sucker for the bizarre case study, I can’t help but use The Frontal Cortex’s recent entry on false pregnancy as an excuse to share an extreme example of the phenomenon with the readers. In Phantoms In The Brain, V.S. Ramachandran relates a tale set down by Philadelphia physician Silas Weir Mitchell…

Finding Happiness

The dark days of winter are upon us, folks, and as you know, wintertime has been shown to make many of us SAD. Luckily, experts in a variety of disciplines have been working feverishly to come up with strategies to stave off the blues and enhance happiness. Below, you’ll find a sampling of some of…

How We Rate Phantom Spaghetti

Okay, clearly Neurontic does not attract the carb-averse. Spaghetti was pretty high up on everyone’s list. Answers ranged from a respectable ’6′ to a lip-smacking ’10.’ I contacted a few of you to get the specs on your dinners and here’s what I learned: Yez, a reader after my own heart, gave the meal a…

Thought Experiment

I’d like to replicate an experiment I recently read about in Harvard Psychologist Daniel Gilbert’s new book Stumbling On Happiness, a philosophical tract masquerading as a self-help book. Despite residing in the nose bleed section of the ivory tower, Gilbert is a lucid, common-sense thinker with some truly worthwhile insights regarding the human temperament. We’ll…

I have spent most of my life losing keys, driver’s licenses, cigarette lighters–even the occasional car. I couldn’t tell you which direction is west to save my life. My math skills are abysmal. I’m clumsy, forgetful, and utterly useless when it comes to names. I can, however, tell you that Elizabeth Barrett Browning was anorexic…

The anatomy of conformity

In the wake of World War II, stunned by the German peoples adoption of Hitler’s horrific vision of Aryan purity, psychologists set out to discover the mechanisms of social control. One of the most famous studies to emerge during this period was conducted by Gestalt Therapist Solomon Asch. In the early 1950s, Asch designed a…

You are getting very sleepy

As a born skeptic, I was always convinced that hypnosis was quack science. Then I reached the end of my tether. I’d promised myself I would quit smoking before I turned 30. In the months approaching my birthday, I still found myself sucking down a pack a day. I tried self-control. I tried tapering. I…

The Introvert Advantage

Introversion is a loaded word. Just look it up in the dictionary and here’s what you’ll find: Introversion: The state or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life (Mirriam-Webster Online) Doesn’t sound so good, does it? Sounds downright narcissistic. And this is no accident. Sigmund Freud coined…