Category Archive: General Ranting

May 27 2014

Can Can Can

[Somewhat more rambly post, still frantically packing and finishing finals] I’ve noticed something recently, about this phrase: Can you do something for me? There are two ways this phrase can go. Can you do something for me…[by never doing this thing that I hate that you've been doing?] and Can you do something for me? …

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May 21 2014

On ‘Bad Media’ and Bingeing

[Content note: eating disorders] I still think about this article on writing about eating disorders: Ginia Bellafante put it well a few years ago, in a book review for the New York Times:“Anorexia is a disease of contradiction: it demands both discipline and indulgence …. The anorexic disappears in order to be seen; she labors to self-improve as …

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May 14 2014

Falling In Love With People

[One of my most popular posts from early in the creation of this blog.] I think one of my favorite things about people is how they light up when you find exactly the right thing that they love to talk about. Sometimes it’s people–the friends who accomplished something, the family that’s visiting in a few …

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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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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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Apr 13 2014

No, You Probably Don’t Want ‘Peer Reviewed Evidence for God’

I have a story to tell you about Daryl Bem. Daryl Bem is known for a variety of things–in part for, along with Sandra Lipsitz Bem, raising his children in as gender-neutral a household as possible. He’s a professor at Cornell, and has authored papers on, among other things, group decision making and psi. You …

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Apr 12 2014

Measles and the Inoculation Effect

I gave a talk at Illinois-Wesleyan earlier today about marketing, persuasion, and pseudoscience. As part of the notes, I mentioned that I had heard recently, but wasn’t sure of the veracity, that the measles outbreaks that were getting so much skeptic attention, were being wrongly blamed on anti-vaxxers. A few hours later, my RSS feed …

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Mar 30 2014

Psychology For Gryffindors

This should work if you’ve read canon Harry Potter or Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality, and is some blending of the two. You can probably make sense of it with one or the other, but let me not fail to remind you that Methods is here and you should read it. Psychology for …

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Mar 27 2014

Counterintuitive Underreactions and Overreactions

The quality of not reacting in an upset way to new information has been on my mind recently. People seem to tell me things regularly—a driving force, if not the initial impetus behind my career choice–and something I’ve noticed as a skill is knowing when to react strongly to emotionally-loaded information…and when to treat an offhand …

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