Find Hot Psychology Topics here

Listening

This article from Psychology Today is about listening being sexy. Use it at your peril:))

But it is also about engaging people if you read between the lines. Nice read.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/em/113558


Neuroscience and Leadership

There is an emerging field of leadership research that will provide some meat to the bones about what we understand about leadership behaviour. It is the area of neuroscience.

You'd have to agree that there is a lot of twaddle written about leadership and we need some real science rather than anecdotes to understand what differentiates good leaders from bad.

A good start to reading about this is at:

 http://www.strategy-business.com/article/06207

or

http://www.psychologytoday.com/em/56854


The Power of Introverts

This is a great TED talk about introversion. Great for extraverts to watch too.

http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts.html

The Power of Meditation

This is a very powerful article and really commend this to you.

http://www.fastcompany.com/3016649/work-smart/from-om-to-omg-science-your-brain-and-the-productive-powers-of-meditation

Difficult People

There is a very good article at:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/office-diaries/201308/difficult-people-and-how-handle-them/

that concerns difficult people and looks at personality issues. Certainly worth a read.

I've made it a point of staying away from noxious people. But sometimes you can't avoid them, especially in workplaces. Sometimes they work for you or are even your boss. On those occasions it is handy to have some techniques to handle them. The mindfulness material at the bottom of this page helps as does some of the methods described in positive psychology. What these approaches tell us is that we can control how we feel and how we respond.

Being A Leftie

Well, it's international lefties week so a post on left handedness might be in order. There is some evidence that left handedness might be associated with creativity and giftedness. Whether this is a genetic trait associated with brain wiring or learnt because one does things differently and are treated differently is an interesting question.

Have a look at the site below to read an interesting article on the topic.

http://th
bit.ly/14r1jqC 
A more comprehensive list of resources on left handedness can be found at:

http://www.anythinglefthanded.co.uk/research/left-handed-research-current.html#sthash.ve3Mu87a.dpbs/


Resilience: the science of being prepared

It has been know for some time that children who are allowed to try, risk (within reason), and fail, become much more resilient adults compared to children that are over protected. It seems that we need to learn how to cope with adversity.

Some recent research had confirmed that adults, as well as children although this all applies to them too, can learn to become more resilient. Recent research has shown that engaging in the behaviours described below has an effect on our brain and certain chemicals and hormones in our body. Some of the key points of this are:

1. Learning how to deal with stress. There are myriad techniques that we can learn that enable us to confront, and defeat, things that are stressful. Some people are more prone to anxiety and stress than others due to genetic and biological reasons and these people are exactly those that need to acquire ways to manage their stressors. Avoidance is not the answer.

2. Regulate emotions. There are also ways that we can control our emotions. This involves learning how to be self-aware and then self-regulate.

3. Thinking positively and being realistically optimistic. There is a wealth of information in the area of positive psychology about this skill. Elite sports people know these techniques well.

4. Being physically fit and exercising to our capacity.

5. Having friends to support us.

If you'd like to know more have a look at these sites and related links or contact me on stewart.hase@gmail.com or below.

The top two sites have a number of links to techniques on how to be more resilient so read beyond the article if you want to learn more.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/resilience

http://psychology.about.com/od/crisiscounseling/a/resilience.htm

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/road-resilience.aspx


Use it or Lose it

It seems that the 'use it or lose it' adage has some basis in fact. However, it is not quite what it seems. Previously it had been thought that using the brain as we got older would assist in preventing dementia and it appears that there is some truth in that. The brain plasticity research has shown that the brain can develop and improve even into old age (see http://psychology.about.com/od/biopsychology/f/brain-plasticity.htm).

However, a survey of a large sample of older adults showed that a lifelong habit of cognitive effort or using mental muscles meant a more nimble mind later in life. This was true for people who were cognitively active even when very young. Mental nimbleness was independent of any physical decline found in the brain after death.

So, the lesson seems to be. Use it now or lose it later, rather than waiting for when we have a rocking chair and a place in the sun to sit and read.

See http://www.dementiatoday.com/exercising-your-brain-preserves-memory/


Personality and Genes

You may, at some time or another, completed a personality profiling test. These are often used as screening tools for employment, career guidance, individual development and team building exercises. They can be useful for thinking about your behaviour and how others see you, and for learning how to be more influential in various contexts.

A hot topic in psychology at the moment is whether or not personality is genetic. This nature-nurture debate has been going on for as long as Freud was a boy and has become a bit of a ho-hum. That is until recently when scientists are finding out a lot more, at an exponential rate, about how genes work.

There is a neat article at the following site about the topic that is worth a read:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/under-the-influence/201307/do-genes-influence-personality/

My personal sense is that we'll find that genes are in fact drivers of personality but that environmental factors and individual physical development will be found to be responsible for turning genes on and off. The latter factor of individual physical events is a new line of thinking. So, now the nature-nurture debate has turned into a nature-nurture-physical events debate. But it will be one in which all three are implicated not just one.....I think.

Mindfulness:

Mindfulness has been a focus in psychology for quite a time now and there is increasing evidence of its benefits. It is based on Buddhist philosophy that involves being in the moment. That means quietening the mind and focusing on the present. Psychologists have been using the technique to help people who are anxious and depressed, with some success as it seems to enable people to control their negative thinking.

But there is evidence that being mindful can have a number of health benefits:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mindfulness-can-improve-your-attention-health/

And it is easy to learn:

http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/mindfulness/

Have fun with mindfulness and let me know if you have any questions

Stewart


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