Psychology

Perceptions of racism may cause loss of sleep and perhaps loss of sleep may also impact perceptions of racism.

A new study has found that self-reported sleep disturbance correlated to perceived racism, which was increased by 61 percent after adjusting for socioeconomic factors and symptoms of depression. A similar relationship between perceived racism and daytime fatigue was no longer significant after additional adjustment for depressive symptoms.
Simon Baron-Cohen "sat down with me" this week via email and graciously took the time to answer my questions stemming from my review of  his new book, The Science of Evil, that appeared on my blogs last week. What follows is a response that is every bit as thorough as my original review; between the two (and I recommend you read both as a complete piece), there's 15 single spaced pages of material. I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity and I think readers will, too. There's even dueling databases, which I absolutely loved, below!


My questions are in italics; SBC's in regular font.
Just after Satoshi Kanazawa once again trashed the reputation of fringe field evolutionary psychology, independent psychology researcher Darrel Ray wants to tank clinical psychology.

His method for its destruction?  An online survey of people with a 'religious background' who left religion, of course.   14,500 people responded and, not surprisingly, the results skewed toward exactly what an atheist-who-was-raised-fundamentalist-Christian wants them to skew toward; that atheists have better sex lives.

Simon Baron-Cohen is best known for his research into autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and his theories on the origins of ASDs, from a failure of theory of mind, to fetal testosterone levels, to the latest formulation of a low empathizing/high systemizing theory. In his newest work, The Science of Evil: On Empathy and The Origins of Cruelty, Baron-Cohen moves beyond his decades long work in autism to look at empathy in general and what a deficit of empathy in people can lead to. The result is a slim volume aspiring to greater things.

Astrology, like everything else from the 1970s except "The Godfather" movies (and maybe "Star Wars") is better left to the past.   It can't realy tell you anything at all about another person.

However, a study in the Journal of Politics last month says a mate's politics might tell you a lot, at least in regards to how well you will get along in the future, so forgot horoscopes or folk wisdom about opposites attracting - if you are holed up in a compound in Montana, you should find a mate who is a militant kook too, likewise if you are convinced your Prius is saving the environment, you should find someone who is also educated by advertising.
You'd think if you were adjusted to the horrors of war you'd be immune to concerns about seeing a therapist but some with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can't bring themselves to deal with it face-to-face.
The opposing concepts of optimism and pessimism have a long history. Domino and Conway (2002) note that philosophers who viewed the cosmos as generally hospitable to life were optimistic, while those who viewed the cosmos as indifferent or hostile were pessimistic. Descartes was essentially an optimist who viewed human beings as creative participants in the improving of conditions of human life (Domino&Conway). Other philosophers, though, like Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, contributed to pessimistic explanations of the world and human beings‘ place in it, although occasionally offering glimpses of optimism. According to Peterson (2000), Nietzsche believed optimism only served to extend human suffering.
How much are 1 million visitors worth?  In the midst of my bake sale for science, I am verifying the 1% rule.  Greg Stolze noted, why have 94 people 'liked' my fundraiser on Facebook, but only 30 people actually contributed?  I am 3/4th through the time left on my fundraiser, with only 1/2 of my goal reached.  Let's talk about how one million can become 100 very quickly.
A community survey in England identified people with autism or asperger's syndrome  and found none of them knew they have it.    And autism turned out to be more prevalent in males with lower education and in government housing.

Is autism causing people to have lower education and jobs or has the umbrella gotten so large it has become a blanket diagnosis for everyone not successful?

The results from the first ever general population survey of autism in adulthood. They are based on a two phase epidemiological survey in England (7,461 screening interviews; 618 diagnostic) carried out in 2007. The findings are in the Archives of General Psychiatry.
In my American Literature course this semester, I worked to weave Joseph Campbell’s vision of the purpose of mythology throughout the pieces we read, to get students to consider the role that literature, in its many mediums, plays in providing the bedrock on which we live our lives and derive meaning. In a world in which religion no longer dominates our culture and for many people no longer lives and breathes, providing the answers for all life’s mysteries and meanings, the stories we listen to, watch, or read often become the essential framework on which we hang our own life narratives. Even when we maintain a religious belief structure, it is often not the dominant feature of our lives, and the stories we enjoy are often much more immediate and relevant.