Kate Donovan

Author's details

Date registered: September 2, 2012


Kate is a psychology student at Northwestern University who runs on coffee and snark. At some point she'd like to make people sit on couches and tell her about their feelings, but right now she writes on the internet and makes silly faces when she doesn't know what to say. An incorrigible optimist, she likes to knit, juggle, and will devour any book in reach. Questions? You can reach her at donovanable[at]gmail[dot]com.

Latest posts

  1. Home is Where The Redirect Link Leads — June 23, 2014
  2. Teen Attends University, Can Now Tell You Her Experience Fits Erikson’s Developmental Model for Early Adulthood — June 2, 2014
  3. Monday Miscellany: New Data, Negative Results, Innate Differences — June 2, 2014
  4. Optimism, Priming — May 29, 2014
  5. Can Can Can — May 27, 2014

Most commented posts

  1. In Which Our Narrator Strikes Out On Her Own — 35 comments
  2. In Which Scary Things Happened, Decisions Were Made, And I Didn’t Blog — 24 comments
  3. Falling in Love With People — 21 comments
  4. Some Thoughts for The Therapist I’ll Be (Part 1) — 18 comments
  5. The Social Psychology of Sportsball — 17 comments

Author's posts listings

May 07 2014

A Post That’s Not About Precognition

…but you knew that already, didn’t you? There have been a few posts about Daryl Bem recently that I’ve either written or linked to. In short, psychologist seems to believe precognition (aka, ESP) exists, publishes a lot of papers about it, generally upsetting social psychologists. Actually, I didn’t know the name Bem from this first …

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May 05 2014

Monday Miscellany: Cutting Boards, Clerics, Campus Sexual Violence Reports

1. This article actually gave me a very different argument against the death penalty: it might be harming medical science in other domains. Yet even if executions are not medical, they can affect medicine. Supplies of propofol, a widely used anesthetic, came close to being choked off as a result of Missouri’s plan to use …

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May 01 2014

Housekeeping Note

I’m trading the freezing hellscape of Chicago for the Bay Area today through Sunday, and likely won’t be minding comments or answering questions at all. Apologies if your thoughtful rebuttal gets caught in moderation. Monday Miscellany may occur on time, but this depends heavily on how well I adapt to the time changes and such. …

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Apr 29 2014

Aversive and Achievement Goals

[Related to The Cockroach of Motivation. If you're here and generally consider yourself part of the rationality community, check out the quick note first.] In psychology, especially the subsector focused on motivation and identity, there’s this idea of future possible selves: the ways you imagine yourself being as you go forward. You can have lots …

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Apr 28 2014

The Cockroach of Motivation

[Draft-clearing again. Quite old, somewhat updated for clarity.] Today, as I have several times this year, I told someone that I had gone on a date with that I would prefer not to see them again. Then I gave a presentation I thought could have gone better and proceeded to be horribly unproductive all day. …

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Apr 28 2014

Monday Miscellany: Corgwn, Childhood Immunizations, Challenges

1. Drop everything you’re doing and read this Reddit AMA with Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler. And if you haven’t read A Series of Unfortunate Events, clear a space in the debris from the stuff you just dropped and read a while. Q: What should I name my new cat? A: “The Plague.” Has anyone seen The …

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Apr 27 2014


There’s a new set of readers over here, and I wanted to stick a quick “wave, smile, and offer a nice hot dish” post up. I’m Kate! I write Gruntled & Hinged. Many? Possibly most? of you seem to have come over from Slate Star Codex, but there was a recent influx of people from …

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Apr 26 2014

Please Stop Talking About All Those Babies Waiting To Be Adopted

This post was inspired and cobbled together from an internet comment that accidentally grew into a novel.  I’ve attempted to include citations where possible, but the majority of this information comes from working in adoption services research at the Fabulous Unspecified Internship last year and is not easily accessible for citation. Add salt as necessary.  …

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Apr 25 2014

The Therapeutic Alliance and Just….Not ‘Getting It’

No, I didn't spend lots of my afternoon creating a logo for a fictional, crime-fighting Therapeutic Alliance. What makes you ask such a thing?

[Related to Some Musings on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Counterintuitive Underreactions and Overreactions] There’s a lot of talk in my clinical classes about who and what succeeds in therapies. Does it matter if you’re a matched or unmatched gender from your client? (Probably not, except maybe for teens. ) What about matched ethnicity? (Maybe for …

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Apr 23 2014

Some Musings on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

 Robby Bensinger told me to finish a post on CBT, so hark! A post on CBT. Many, many thanks also to Miri for critiques and help with the composite example in Part Three.  Recently, I’ve been on this kick where I read books about therapy and self-help not because I think they’re going to be …

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