Germany announces third ‘gender’

Think for a minute about the forms you fill in. You are asked to give your name and then, the second most common question is about your gender – are you male or female? This seemingly innocuous question overlooks the fact that some people do not have a clear sense of being male or female. […]

Linking EWT and multiple personality disorder

What is the link? When considering the accuracy of eyewitness testimony, a key explanation is the malleability of memory – for example leading questions may alter what is remembered. The same explanation can also be applied to multiple personality disorder (more recently called ‘dissociative identity disorder’, DID). The experience of multiple personalities may be explained […]

The testicular effect

Nothing like a catchy title! Some of you will be familiar with the idea that males who have to compete with other males for mates need to produce more sperm and hence larger testicles through the process of natural selection. Animals who are relatively promiscuous have compete with mates so we would expect them to […]

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 […]