Psychology


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Addiction Ageing and death Childhood and adolescence Cognition and intelligence Consciousness and altered states Family life Gender and identity Language and linguistics Life stages Love and friendship Mental health Mood and emotion Neurodiversity Neuroscience Personality Pleasure and pain Psychiatry and psychotherapy Self-improvement Sex and sexuality Sleep and dreams Social psychology Spirituality Teaching and learning Technology and the self Wellbeing

The First Cloud (1888) by William Quiller Orchardson. Courtesy the Tate Gallery/Wikipedia

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Love and friendship
Forgive and be free

Hurts – your own or those done to you – keep you stuck. Forgiveness therapy can help you gain perspective and move on

Nathaniel Wade

Pope Benedict XVI, despite rumours, did not wear Prada. ‘The pope, in summary, does not wear Prada, but Christ,’ said the official Vatican newspaper in 2008. Papal footwear has traditionally been red and is regarded as the colour of martyrdom. Photo by Giampiero Sposito/Reuters

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Design and fashion
What do shoes do?

Partly of the earth, partly of our body, the shoe sits on the edge of an ontological threshold. Where can it transport us?

Randy Laist

Photo by Richard Kalvar/Magnum Photos

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Language and linguistics
The space between our heads

Brain-to-brain interfaces promise to bypass language. But do we really want access to one another’s unmediated thoughts?

Mark Dingemanse

Malibu, California, 1957. Photo by Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos

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Gender and identity
Sexual dinosaurs

The charge of ‘feminist bias’ is used to besmirch anyone who questions sexist assumptions at work in neuroscience

Cordelia Fine

Laugharne, Wales, 1959. Photo by Philip Jones Griffiths/Magnum

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Language and linguistics
Hand to mouth

If language began with gestures around a campfire and secret signals on hunts, why did speech come to dominate communication?

Kensy Cooperrider

Photo by Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg/Getty Images

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Work
The flexible work fallacy

Breaking free of the 9-to-5 was originally a feminist project. So how did it become part of oppressive 24/7 work culture?

Sarah Stoller

The Blue Boat (1892) by Winslow Homer. Courtesy the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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Neuroscience
Nostalgia reimagined

Neuroscience is finding what propaganda has long known: nostalgia doesn’t need real memories – an imagined past works too

Felipe De Brigard

Photo by George Georgiou / Panos Pictures

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Illness and disease
On Matthew’s mind

An operation to remove a brain cyst changed Matthew’s identity. Who will he become after the next round of surgery?

Ben Platts-Mills

Photo by Martin Roemers/Panos

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Mental health
Unboxing mental health

Our system for diagnosing mental disorders doesn’t work. The transdiagnostic model offers a humane, clinically sound alternative

Melissa Black

Joan Miller in labour. Chicago, 19 September 1946. Photo by Wayne Miller/Magnum

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Pleasure and pain
The hysteria accusation

Women’s pain is often medically overlooked and undertreated. But the answer is not as simple as ‘believing all women’

Elizabeth Barnes

Pupils in a science class at Summerhill School in Suffolk, England. Summerhill will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding in 2021. Photo by In Pictures Ltd/Corbis/Getty

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Education
Education, unchained

Rousseau’s child-centred ideals are now commonplace but his truly radical vision of educational freedom still eludes us

James Brooke-Smith

Two girls with their Cabbage Patch dolls. New York City, 1986. Photo by Leonard Freed/Magnum

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Mood and emotion
The bittersweet madeleine

It is a guilty pleasure and undergirds nationalist bombast, yet nostalgia for the past can help propel us into the future

Elizabeth Svoboda

Photo by Werner Bischof/Magnum Photos

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Self-improvement
Beware of lateral thinking

De Bono’s popular theory is textbook pseudoscience: unsound, untested and derivative of real (unacknowledged) research

Antonio Melechi

Prisoner-patient William Porter, convicted of housebreaking and theft. From the Perth Criminal Lunatic Department Prison Register. December 1898. Crown copyright, National Records of Scotland, HH21/48/3

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Human rights and justice
Criminally insane

The insanity defence offends the conscience, has no basis in modern psychiatry, and penalises poor and black defendants

Susan Vinocour

Photo by Mayr/Flickr

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Consciousness and altered states
Consciousness regained

After years of deep therapeutic pessimism, emerging therapies offer hope for patients trapped between coma and wakefulness

Aurore Thibaut

From Le Petit Journal, 18 February 1912. Photo by Getty

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Ethics
The trolley problem problem

Are thoughts experiments experiments at all? Or something else? And do they help us think clearly about ethics or not?

James Wilson

From Piers Plowman (1427) by William Langdon. Bodleian Library MS. Douce 104. Courtesy the Bodleian Library, Oxford

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Language and linguistics
On gibberish

Babies babble, medieval rustics sing ‘trolly-lolly’, and jazz exults in bebop. What does all this wordplay mean for language?

Jenni Nuttall

Photo courtesy Wellcome Images

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Neuroscience
Frames of consciousness

Can electrical impulses in the brain explain the stuff that dreams are made on? What a new consciousness-detector reveals

Joel Frohlich