Botox to aenethetise patients from disgust or sadness

12 April 2013
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In an update on our recent post about the social and health impact of smiles, Cardif University has just released a paper at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference in Harrogate which has confirmed that the use of Botox to reduce facial lines has a significant impact on the feelings associated with the facial expressions which are impacted by the treatment. For example, where crows feet were treated with the toxin, subjects were less able to produce an intense smile, as a result of they reported being more depressed. The same facial feedback loop that effects us when we smile...

Seeing a smile is a reward in itself.

11 April 2013
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Many studies have shown that smiling is ‘contagious’ in both humans and monkeys, to the extent that when presented by a smiling face some test subjects not only naturally smiled, but found it difficult to form a frown. This empathic and automatic social response offers many social and health benefits. Smiling releases endorphins, which can in turn reduce stress, heart rate and blood pressure as well as giving us a feeling of well being. A recent study at the Wayne State University analysed the intensity of smiles of professional baseball players in a 1952 yearbook and compared their...

A wake for the five stages of grief myth.

21 February 2013
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Several recent studies have undermined popular acceptance in the idea of their being five stages in our grieving for loved ones: a theory originating in the 1960s by the work of John Bowlby. A Yale University study highlights the greater importance of acceptance and depression and an overall lack of a recognisable sequence in these feelings. A Columbia University study of elderly, bereaved spouses surprisingly demonstrated that some of the sample showed a marked improvement in mental health and that 45% experienced little distress. Read more here 

The psychology of natural disasters

31 October 2012
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The recent storms to hit the US are a reminder to think about the psychological consequences of natural disasters and how they effect children and families.  Survivors tend to look for leadership and stability in the wake of this sort of shocking change to their environment. Children need to understand the event and be returned to a reassuring routine. Read more about disasters in the school context here Read more from the American Psychology Association

What’s it like to have ADHD?

30 October 2012
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A recent study, by biomedical ethicist Dr Ilina Singh, asking children how they feel about ADHD and possible treatment has identified that the children feel that their medication helps them control their reactions and gives them time in which to think before acting. The children also said that they wanted additional treatment options, however: long waiting lists for children’s behavioral treatments means that there is currently little alternative by rely on prescribing drug treatments. “One of the messages that children have is that they want more treatment options outside of medication,...

Parents overestimate their children’s happiness

26 October 2012
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  It has long been recognised that parents tend to exaggerate their children’s intellectual, social and sporting abilities but a recent study indicated that parents are also inclined to see their children as less anxious and more optimistic  than they really are. Kristin Lagattuta’s research indicates that adult’s interpretations of children’s happiness can not be trusted but hopes that it will lead parents to be better attuned to their children’s emotional difficulties. Read more here

Mental health workers depressed by discrimination from managers

07 October 2012
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Findings from the study, funded by the UK Department of Health, shows that mental health workers suffer higher levels of anxiety, depression and emotional exhaustion from prejudiced interaction with managers, and to a lesser extent from patient visitors, than from discrimination from patients. “Aggression from relatives and other visitors is, like aggression from managers, viewed as reflecting badly on the procedures and fairness of the organisation. However, aggression from patients is not readily attributed to failings in the organisation,”  Professor Stephen Wood, University of...

The hedonic adaptation

20 August 2012
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Psychologists call this phenomenon hedonic adaptation – the idea is that no matter how good something makes us feel (or, for the record, how bad), most of the time we drift back to where we started, emotionally-speaking. As showed in various studies showed that despite their initial euphoria, lottery winners were no happier than non-winners eighteen months later.  The same tendency to return to “baseline” has been shown to occur after marriage, voluntary job changes, and promotions – the kinds of things we usually expect to change our happiness and well-being for the better in a permanent...

Children lack of self-control linked to extra weight

18 August 2012
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Children who had less patience and worse self-control while waiting for treats in a classic behavior study ended up weighing slightly more as adults, a new analysis shows. Does it mean emotional intelligence might be a factor in weight gaining? Read more…