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Tag Archive: psychology

Mar 31 2013

How To Get People To Care When It’s Not Personal: On Rob Portman

I’m going to talk about Rob Portman now even though that bit of news is pretty old at this point. (Hey, if you want to read about stuff in a timely manner, go read the NYT or something.) Brief summary: Portman is a Republican senator from Ohio (yay Ohio!) who used to oppose same-sex marriage but changed …

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Mar 14 2013

Does Telling People to “Think Positive” Actually Help? An Informal Survey and Some Protips

Positive thinking is the bane of my existence. Not because I can’t do it, but because I’ve so often been exhorted to do it in the most unhelpful of ways. I’m someone who prefers to talk mostly about the neutral or negative aspects of my life to friends and family because I don’t want to …

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Mar 12 2013

On “Sincerely Held Religious Beliefs” and Being a Counselor

Via JT, here’s a new bill that recently passed in the Tennessee State Senate Education Committee by a 7-2 vote: Republican state Sen. Joey Hensley encouraged fellow senators to pass SB 514 to “prevent an institution of high education from discriminating against a student in the counseling, social worker, psychology programs because of their religious beliefs.” Hensley’s bill …

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Feb 01 2013

Feminism and Victimhood

What’s this I keep hearing about feminism promoting “victimhood”? Anti-feminists often suggest that feminism encourages women to “see themselves as victims,” that feminism is actually insulting to women because it suggests they need “special rights” in order to be able to compete with men. The concept of programs that encourage women to pursue STEM professions …

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Jan 15 2013

The Supposed Virtue of Not Being Offended

Alternate title: YEAH WELL I’M NOT OFFENDED SO WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE OFFENDED BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY IF I’M NOT OFFENDED IT’S NOT A BIG DEAL AND WHY CAN’T WE JUST HAVE THE EXACT SAME FEELINGS ABOUT EVERYTHING I often encounter people who are Not Offended by bigotry or microaggressions and are very proud of that …

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Jan 11 2013

“Love Yourself”: A Beautiful But Flawed Idea

Ever since the 1990s, we–especially women–have been hearing about the importance of self-esteem. It’s associated with better mental health, relationship outcomes, academic achievement, career success, you name it. It’s part of what it means to be a mature and emotionally developed person. Much time and resources have been expended on the development of children’s self-esteem–I …

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Nov 30 2012

HoboJacket’s Casual Classism: Ethical Humor and Objectifying the Homeless

Elite college students being snobby and idiotic isn’t really newsworthy, but a group of MIT students went above and beyond the standard this past week. The students thought it’d be funny to give local homeless people jackets from Caltech, MIT’s rival, in order to “show the true value of a Caltech degree.” And then, to …

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Nov 15 2012

“Women just need to learn to say no.”

Every time people talk about coercive sex–you know, the kind where someone manipulates someone into having sex with them as opposed to physically forcing them–the concern trolls come out in droves.

“You can’t expect men* to only ask once!” they prattle. “Women* just need to learn how to keep saying no! It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there! If you don’t learn how to stand up for yourself you’ll get screwed over!”

Nov 14 2012

More On Depression Origins and Parenting

Last week I wrote a piece called “Onset,” in which I described the way I first became clinically depressed about nine years ago. That was the first time I’d ever written about that or told anyone other than a few close friends, so the many positive responses I got were really encouraging. One commenter responded …

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Oct 17 2012

[guest post] The Tradeoff Between Ambition and Happiness

A fellow blogger has provided me with this guest post about the psychology of ambition and happiness. Enjoy! Imagine there’s a big project at work and you decide to come in on the weekend. The length of you stay is entirely up to you, but you’ll get paid overtime for each hour. After six hours …

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