Psychology

Feeling stressed?  The scent of a lemon or any other fragrant plants will help you feel better, say scientists in Japan who report the first scientific evidence that inhaling certain fragrances alters gene activity(!) and blood chemistry in ways that can reduce stress levels.

Their study appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

People have inhaled the scent of certain plants since ancient times to help reduce stress, fight inflammation and depression, and induce sleep.   Aromatherapy, the use of fragrant plant oils to improve mood and health, is a popular form of alternative medicine and linalool is one of the most widely used substances to soothe away emotional stress, the authors say.
Ever say someone's actions were 'in their genes'?   That's not only a simplification, according to a group of University of Iowa scientists, scientists who have debated nature versus nurture for centuries are guilty of 'intellectual laziness.'

They support evolution but not the idea that genes are a one-way path to specific traits and behaviors. Instead, they argue that development involves a complex system in which genes and environmental factors constantly interact.
According to a recent poll by the National Sleep Foundation, 27 percent of Americans say economic concerns are keeping them awake at night.

But it may not be just stress.  According to the poll, 47 percent of the sleepless are very likely to use caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and sodas during the day to compensate for their sleepiness and the use of artificial stimulants and insomnia are correlated. The majority of people who have difficulty sleeping report using those substances. 

“Stress and anxiety can definitely impact sleep,” says Sunil Mathews, M.D., medical director of the Sleep Center at Baylor Medical Center at Irving. “And unfortunately, insomnia can turn into a vicious cycle.”
British young men aren't regarded as all that even-tempered in the best of circumstances; England, Wales and Scotland are the top three most violent developed countries.   Among those, young men who stay at home with their parents are more violent than those who live independently, according to new research at Queen Mary, University of London.

The new study indicates that men still living at home in their early twenties have fewer responsibilities and more disposable income ... and they spend it on alcohol.  These young men make up only 4 percent of the UK's male population but they are responsible for 16 percent of all violent injuries in the last five years.
I was born in the latter half of the 1950s, which means I'm old enough to remember a lot of stuff but still young enough to be taken semi-seriously.  I remember watching our neighbors build bomb shelters, duck-and-cover drills in elementary school, and air-raid sirens.  Growing up for me then included the very real possiblity of nuclear annihilation.

Thinking that my generation's attitudes were influenced primarily by events, I decided to investigate this phenomenon with a Jungian emphasis.  A small study was performed, the results of which I will offer here at the conclusion of any discussion.  What follows is my reasoning and "evidence".  Please share your thoughts with me.

Evidence in Support of a Cataclysmic Archetype
The phrase 'like herding cats' resonates with people for a reason; it's difficult to get them to do anything they don't already want to do.

But they have no problem getting humans to do their bidding, according to a report published in Current Biology, which shows that even biologists are concerned about future feline-human relations.

It seems crafty felines accelerate the filling of food dishes by sending a mixed signal: an urgent meowing coupled with an otherwise pleasant purr.  Humans find it annoying and difficult to ignore.   It's not April 1st or December so calibrate your belief accordingly. 
How do you feel about assisted suicide?  Would you choose it for yourself?  Would you choose it for a family member?   What would be your criteria for making such a decision?

Two cases from my early days as a paramedic immediately come to mind about this subject, and though seemingly tangential, they have served to form my opinions.

The first was a woman who had jumped in front of a train and had been brought to the ER for pronouncement.  Her body was so mangled that it was only from identification papers that we discovered her age and gender.  Her suicide was very hard on all of us – even for my battle-hardened friends from the fire department.  I remember mentally asking, “Why didn’t you just come to see us?”
Nothing makes biologists happier than psychologists declaring things a product of evolution.   Now it turns out even social constructs like 'taking turns' have gotten some benefit from evolutions' 'invisible hand'.

How so?   It spans across species so it must be evolution, say University of Leicester psychologists professor Andrew Colman and Dr Lindsay Browning, who carried out the simulations due to appear in the September issue of Evolutionary Ecology Research which they say helps explain the evolution of cooperative turn-taking.
In the 1980s, a popular hypothesis was that any number of people were suffering from trauma they knew nothing about; dissociative amnesia, or repressed memories.

At issue is how to prove whether memories of trauma, such as childhood sexual abuse, could be repressed and then resurface later in life.  Overzealous therapists and willing victims led to any number of false allegations and the resulting damage to families can't be overstated.  Even a hint of child abuse is guilt in the minds of many.
A Science Of Human Language - Part #10

In this part of the series, commenced here, I give some concrete examples from various languages of how words can cue the category from which other words were, or are to be selected.
"Can the Saussurean definition of grammar as a structured system of SIGNs be reinterpreted as a structured system of code + information?"
Huang, Chen and Gau1, Institute of Linguistics,
Academia Sinica.