Using cognitive psychology in the classroom: approach with caution

I’ve always thought it interesting how, as a profession, we teachers find the ideas of cognitive psychologists so beguiling and persuasive. I first heard of developmental psychologist Howard Gardner at an inset day in the early 1990s. We were told that Gardner’s definition of intelligence – multiple intelligences – along with various other discoveries, were going to revolutionize teaching and learning. Schools were to become nirvanas where each class would be transformed into an optimal-learning Read More

Psychology’s answer to trolling and online abuse

Do we each harbor a dark passenger? A malevolent psychopath? A fragile narcissist? Contrary to popular belief, decades of psychological research shows that anyone is capable of aggression, cruelty and violence. The “self” is a murky mixture of light and shade. Lately the dark side seems to be winning. On Thursday, Downing Street called for a boycott on the website ask.fm following the tragic death of Hannah Smith. Meanwhile, the barrage of threats directed at Read More

Where is the Self in Treatment of Mental Disorders?

A lot of treatment for mental health concerns is focused on the disorder. Medications for the symptoms, cognitive-behavioral therapy for the irrational thoughts. Professionals always asking “How’re you doing?” “How’s the week been?” “How’s your depressive mood this week?” They look at your eye contact, monitor your lithium levels. The focus for most treatment professionals is on a patient’s symptoms and the alleviation of symptoms. Few professionals delve into how a disorder — like bipolar disorder Read More