New DSM criteria for schizophrenia

Many exam specifications require students to be familiar with the clinical characteristics of the mental disorder they study. The new DSM 5, published in May this year, has changed the criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. However, the good news is, the changes are fairly small from the point of view of A level students. […]

Near death experiences

There was a radio program on NDEs on BBC Radio 4 yesterday (Monday 9 September), an episode of the Beyond Belief series. This discussion presents a balanced discussion of views. Skeptic psychologist Professor Chris French presents the rational view and talks about research evidence. Dr Penny Sartori  has written a soon-to-be published book on NDEs and promotes the […]

Swearing and stress

I have always wondered why people swear. The September issue of  The Psychologist has provided some insights. It’s obviously about emotion but here’s some evidence to support this. Richard Stevens (the author of the article in The Psychologist) put participants in a painful situation – placing their hand in a bucket of ice cold water. He […]

A cure for jet lag … and schizophrenia?

It has always been a puzzle as to why the main body clock doesn’t reset itself more quickly when you travel. After all the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus – the master clock) does use light signals to help entrain biological rhythms. Researchers at Oxford University think they have found an answer (Jagannath et al., 2013). First […]

The Strange Situation

I came across  this diagram which I thought might be useful (you can see it more clearly in the when you press ‘continue reading’). It is from Ainsworth et al. (1978) page 34. Ainsworth designed the Strange Situation to be conducted in a very specific environment, as shown in this picture. It was a room […]