Psychology

Schizophrenia is among the most severe forms of mental illness yet some people are as happy as those in good mental health and happier than many, according to a paper in Schizophrenia Research.

In a survey of people with the disease, researchers found that 37 percent of patients reported being happy all or most of the time.


In Psychological Science, results from 7,752 pairs of identical and non-identical twins (a total of 15,504 children) from the Medical Research Council (MRC) funded Twins Early Development Study (TEDS) showed that how 4-year old children draw pictures of a child was an indicator of intelligence at age 14 - and the link between drawing and later intelligence was influenced by genes.


There are positive aspects of work but some people are unable to detach from it – they work excessively and compulsively. They are workaholics; not like the kind of people who use the term because they work a lot and self-diagnose with psychological fads on an annual basis, but truly compulsive


Actor comedian Robin Williams committed suicide after his wife went to their bedroom for the evening and he went to a guest room - there were no rumblings of trouble in the relationship so presumably he was being considerate and his poor sleep would have kept her awake. He had suffered from bouts of depression for decades but even without that, the poor sleep quality could have been a warning sign, finds a new paper.

Poor sleep quality, independent of a depressed mood, appears to be associated with an increased risk for suicide in older adults, finds a study written by Rebecca A. Bernert, Ph.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine, California, and colleagues.


 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is triggered by a terrifying event, either witnessed or experienced, and the symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. 

Not everyone who experiences trauma develops PTSD but it has become a far more common psychiatric and psychological diagnosis, so the search is on for a science basis to know who has it and what it means - including a search to identify biomarkers that could better measure each person's vulnerability to the disorder. 


Celebrity promotion of charities is ineffective at raising awareness, but can make the stars more popular with the public, according to two papers. This will be a surprise to both celebrities and charities, since campaigning for worthwhile groups has always been done by celebrities and charities seek them out because of the belief that people will donate after endorsements when they otherwise might not.

Or so it seems. It may be that organizations are biased toward success stories and don't see how often it does little.


Diversity in the workplace has been a contentious issue for many employers and their critics. In May 2014, Google disclosed that 70% of its employees are male and the company is 61% White, 30% Asian, 3% Hispanic and 2% Black. Sacramento, California was named Time magazine's most diverse city but a basketball player, Chris Webber, claimed it was not diverse enough - he moved there from Detroit, a city that is 83% black.

America is only 5% Asian so clearly they are a minority, and America's most diverse city is not diverse to someone who moved from a city where they were the overwhelming majority. 


Brief, acute psychological stress promoted healing in mouse models of three different types of skin irritations, according to a study
the Journal of Investigative Dermatology

The scientists found that healing was brought about by the anti-inflammatory effects of glucocorticoids – steroid hormones – produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress.


A paper in Frontiers in Psychology says that 70 percent of faculty are non-tenure-track academics and they experience stress, anxiety, and depression due to their insecure job situation - in other words, they are stressed out about the exact same job situation everyone without a job for life that everyone in the world faces.

Adjunct titles, lecturers and instructors work under short-term contracts and have limited or no health and retirement benefits. Sometimes they are part-time and at different institutes simultaneously. 


Psychologists say they have developed and validated a new method to identify which people are narcissistic: just ask them.

In a series of 11 experiments involving more than 2,200 people of all ages, the researchers found they could reliably identify narcissistic people by asking them this exact question (including the note):

To what extent do you agree with this statement: "I am a narcissist." (Note: The word "narcissist" means egotistical, self-focused, and vain.)

Participants rated themselves on a scale of 1 (not very true of me) to 7 (very true of me).

How narcissistic are you? Take the test.