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Category Archive: psychology

Jul 09 2013

[guest post] Harry Potter and the Fuzzies of Altruism

Here’s a guest post from Robby Bensinger about the psychology of altruism with a little bit of Harry Potter thrown in.  Effective Altruists are do-gooders with a special interest in researching the very best ways to do good, such as high-impact poverty reduction and existential risk reduction. A surprising number of them are also Harry …

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Jul 04 2013

Living With Depression: Hope

[Content note: depression and suicide] This is my series on depression and what it’s actually like beyond the DSM symptoms. It’s not meant to reflect anyone’s experience but my own, although I’m sure plenty of people will identify with it. If things were completely different for you and you feel comfortable sharing, the comments section’s all …

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Jun 22 2013

The Letter I Didn’t Write

Photo Jun 22, 15 47 55

[Content note: depression, suicide, self-harm, eating disorders, sexual assault] This is a long and intensely personal post about college, which I graduated from today. I’m writing it more for myself than for you, so feel free to skip it if you come here mainly for the political rants and psychological babble. A few weeks ago …

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Jun 12 2013

Depression and the Lie of the “Real Self”

[Content note: depression and suicide] Mitchell of Research To Be Done has a fantastic post up about this idea that when you’re on psychiatric medications, you’re not “the real you.” I’ll shamelessly quote about half the post: This is just a for the record, for everyone, whether you’re talking about antidepressants or any other form …

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Jun 11 2013

Harassment Is Not An Isolated Incident

The reason it’s so hard to get people to take harassment seriously is because it looks so different from the outside than from the inside. Here’s an example many of us are probably viscerally familiar with. There’s a group of kids at school who don’t like you. They try to trip you every time you …

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Jun 06 2013

Guy Leaves Internet For A Year, Finds That That Doesn’t Solve All His Problems

A writer named Paul Miller has done what most people could probably only dream of–he completely unplugged from the Internet for an entire year, hoping to find out “what else there was to life.” A year later, he returned, only to tell us this: I was wrong. One year ago I left the internet. I …

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May 26 2013

Small Things You Can Do To Improve Mental Health In Your Community

[Content note: suicide, mental illness] A few weeks ago Northwestern lost yet another student to suicide. There’s been pressure building all year for improved mental health services on campus, and I think that pressure will soon culminate in real, helpful changes on campus. At the same time, some have been saying that what we need …

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May 17 2013

[#wiscfi liveblog] The Mattering Map: Religion, Humanism, and Moral Progress

I’m liveblogging Rebecca Goldstein’s talk, “The Mattering Map: Religion, Humanism, and Moral Progress.” Goldstein is a novelist and professor of philosophy at Barnard College. Follow along! 4:18: “Amanda just said in her wonderful talk that she wasn’t going to bore you with philosophy. That’s my job.” I agonized over this talk. Should I publicly address …

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May 12 2013

Richwine and the Inherent Goodness of Intelligence

[Content note: racism] In news that should surprise absolutely no one, conservatives have once again embarrassed themselves by attempting to “prove” with “science” that people of color are stupider than white people. Yup, again. You’ve probably read this story elsewhere so I’ll make my recap brief: It has come to light that Jason Richwine (I’m …

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May 10 2013

Self-Diagnosis and Its Discontents

There’s a certain scorn reserved for people who diagnose themselves with mental illnesses–people who, based on their own research or prior knowledge, decide that there’s a decent chance they have a diagnosable disorder, even if they haven’t (yet) seen a professional about it. I understand why psychologists and psychiatrists might find them troublesome. Nobody likes …

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