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Psychology and Psychiatry Ebooks

The Heart Of Darkness: A Journey Into Chronic Sexual Addiction And The Quest For Recovery

The processes that are involved in sexual addiction and recovery were explored in this research. A phenomenological-hermeneutic method was employed in interviewing five male recovering sexual addicts. Themes of sexual addiction and recovery were then extrapolated from the words the participants used to express their life experience. Eleven themes characterizing the addiction process emerged from the transcriptions of the participant's in- depth interviews, as well as six themes relating to recovery. It is hoped that a deeper understanding of the sexual addict's internal and external motivations for the use of sex, will be achieved by depicting several addicts' experiences in an unfolding story. It is up to readers of this research to draw their own conclusions and to take what is relevant to them from the words of the sexual addicts and the researcher's interpretation of those words. There is no one absolute interpretation of the participants' life experiences. This research only suggests possibilities to illuminate interpretations of the lived experiences of the five participants involved.

Foundations of cognitive psychology

How does memory work? How do we understand language, and produce it so that others can understand? How do we perceive our environment? How do we infer from patterns of light or sound the presence of objects in our environment, and their properties? How do we reason, and solve problems? How do we think?

These are some of the foundational questions that cognitive psychology examines. They are foundational partly because each concerns the nature of a basic psychological ability, abilities that we often take for granted, yet which are vital to our normal, healthy functioning and are key to our understanding of what it means to be human. And they are foundational partly because they are important for psychology as a whole, and not just cognitive psychology. For instance, how can we hope to understand completely the behaviour of employees in an organization unless we first understand their perceptions and memories, and how they reason and attempt to solve problems? How can we understand the way in which people interact to shape one another’s opinions if we do not understand how people understand and process language, and how they make judgements?

Executive control and emotional processing biases in depressive patients

Depressed patients show cognitive deficits along with mood disturbances. Growing evidence suggests an impairment at the level of executive control, which might account in part for patients' difficulties in everyday activities and cognitive performance. Furthermore, there is evidence that depressive patients show information processing biases for emotional information which are thought to play a role in the etiology and maintenance of the disorder. Attentional bias occurs in an early stage of information processing, while memory bias occurs in a later stage of processing (strategic elaboration). The goal of this study was to investigate executive control (the Stroop test) and information processing biases for emotional information in an early stage of processing (the emotional Stroop test) and in a later stage of processing (memory recognition test) in healthy subjects and depressive patients. A further objective of this study was to compare the performance of melancholic and non-melancholic depressive patients in the Stroop test, in the emotional Stroop test and in the memory recognition test. Last, we wanted to investigate the relationship between the performance in an executive control task (the Stroop effect) and information processing bias measures for emotional information. This study is the first to investigate the Stroop test, the emotional Stroop test and the memory recognition test in the same healthy subjects and depressed patients. Furthermore, this is the first study investigating information processing biases for emotional information in the melancholic and non-melancholic patients.

Executive control was investigated using the Stroop task, which has been extensively used to study executive control. The emotional Stroop task has widely been used to investigate attentional biases in anxiety and depression and was therefore employed also in this study. Memory bias was examined with the memory recognition test since it allowed us to study both “pure” memory and response bias. Response accuracy d’ and response bias beta were calculated according to the signal-detection model. Twenty-three depressive patients and 27 healthy subjects performed computerized mixed trial
Stroop and emotional Stroop tests. Afterwards, the subjects performed the memory recognition task. Depressive patients were divided according to DSM-IV diagnosis into melancholic and non-melancholic subgroups. Furthermore the level of anxiety and depression was assessed in all subjects.

Psychology of Terrorism

In the current national security environment, there is little question that terrorism is among the gravest of threats. Massive resources throughout the government and private sectors have been allocated and re-allocated to the task of preventing terrorism. These efforts, however, often lack a conceptual - let alone empirically-based – foundation for understanding terrorists and their acts of violence. This void creates a serious challenge at many levels, from policy-level decisions about how a state should respond to terrorism, to individual-level decisions about whether a given person of interest, who espouses extremist ideas, truly poses a serious threat to U.S. personnel, assets, and interests.

The purpose of this paper is to analyze and synthesize what has been reported from the scientific and professional literature about the “psychology of terrorism.” This focus is not intended to suggest that the scientific discipline of psychology provides the only, or even necessarily the best, analytic framework for understanding terrorism. Like all approaches to understanding or explaining human behavior, a psychological approach has advantages and limitations. Nevertheless, as psychology is regarded as “the science of human behavior,” it seems a reasonable, and potentially productive, line of inquiry.

The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes A Terrorist and Why?

In the 1970s and 1980s, it was commonly assumed that terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) would be counterproductive because such an act would be widely condemned. “Terrorists want a lot of people watching, not a lot of people dead,” Brian Jenkins (1975:15) opined. Jenkins’s premise was based on the assumption that terrorist behavior is normative, and that if they exceeded certain constraints and employed WMD they would completely alienate themselves from the public and possibly provoke swift and harsh retaliation. This assumption does seem to apply to certain secular terrorist groups. If a separatist organization such as the Provisional Irish Republic Army (PIRA) or the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (Euzkadi Ta Askatasuna—ETA), for example, were to use WMD, these groups would likely isolate their constituency and undermine sources of funding and political support. When the assumptions about terrorist groups not using WMD were made in the 1970s and 1980s, most of the terrorist groups making headlines were groups with political or nationalist-separatist agenda. Those groups, with some exceptions, such as the Japanese Red Army (JRA—Rengo Sekigun), had reason not to sabotage their ethnic bases of popular support or other domestic or foreign sympathizers of their cause by using WMD.

Trends in terrorism over the past three decades, however, have contradicted the conventional thinking that terrorists are averse to using WMD. It has becomeincreasingly evident that the assumption does not apply to religious terrorist groups or millenarian cults (see Glossary). Indeed, since at least the early 1970s analysts, including (somewhat contradictorily) Jenkins, have predicted that the first groups to employ a weapon of mass destruction would be religious sectswith a millenarian, messianic, or apocalyptic mindset.

10 Esoteric Psychology

The title of this essay indicates that it is not about a psychology in the Western sense. That kind of psychology walks the path of induction using experiment and analysis. Just as all the other Western disciplines, it can of course ascertain a lot of interesting and important facts. It can also discover much using the introspective method. Its most serious limitation, however, is its stubborn adherence to physicalist views and its refusal to consider the superphysical factors.

It is characteristic of esoterics that it preeminently applies the deductive method. Deduction alone affords axiomatic certainty. Esoterics can be deductive because it possesses factual knowledge of the factors that are required for this.

Happiness and Productivity

There is a large economics literature on individual and economy-wide productivity. There is also a fast-growing one on the measurement of individuals’ mental well-being. Yet economists know little about the interplay between emotions and human productivity. Although people’s happiness and effort decisions seem likely to be deeply intertwined, we lack evidence on whether, and how, they are causally connected.

This paper seeks to make two contributions. First, it attempts to alert economists to a psychology literature in which happiness (or more precisely what psychologists describe as positive affect) has been shown to be associated with higher human performance. Here the work of the psychologist Alice Isen has been particularly important. The second contribution of the paper is to design and perform an empirical inquiry that has not been done in the psychology literature. It addresses a question of particular interest to economists (and perhaps to policy-makers). Does happiness make people more productive in a paid task? We provide evidence in a standardized piece rate setting with otherwise fairly well-understood properties that it does.

The Happiness Paradox: A Formal Explanation From Psycho-Economics

The paper has two main aims: to explain the happiness paradox, and to propose an economic approach which draws from psychology crucial arguments. By the ‘happiness paradox’ is meant a phenomenon that has become apparent in the US and other advanced countries during recent decades. Well-being, as measured by a self-reported rating of one’s happiness, or by other objective indices of mental health, does not improve, or it even deteriorates, whilst income per head, which is the main proxy for material well-being, displays a distinct rising trend. The paradox is reinforced by the fact that people still strive to earn more income by working harder and for longer hours. These facts are paradoxical because economists would expect higher income to mean greater well-being, and that more wealth would enable people to exploit technical progress in order to reduce their working time.

In order to explain the paradox, this paper both adopts the economic approach, which assumes that individuals attempt to maximise their well-being under resources constraints, and draws crucial arguments from social, clinical, and cognitive psychology. This deep integration between economics and psychology can be coined with the term psycho-economics. In this paper, in fact, economics does not simply borrow stylised facts on the human decision process from psychology and use them as starting hypotheses for analysis of the economic consequences, as ‘behavioural economics’ attempts to do. Psychology will also contribute to explanation of the origin of the human decision process, and of the motivations, even outside unconsciousness, that underly it (Pugno 1994). Psycho-economics thus undermines the representation of homo economicus, but it also opens the way for new research that combines depth of understanding with viable prescriptions.

CHARISMA by Charles Lindholm

In 1969 the brutal murders committed in Southern California by the followers of Charles Manson riveted the attention of the American public. The apparently senseless killings of ten people were explained by the media as the result of the strange hypnotic power exercised by Manson, who had convinced the disciples that he was Christ incarnate. Manson, in response, argued that he was nothing more than a mirror, reflecting society's own dark fantasies.

Nearly ten years later, the residents of Jonestown, a commune isolated in the jungles of Guyana, killed a visiting member of the United States House of Representatives and some of his entourage. Then, at the request of their leader, Jim Jones, nearly all of the hundreds of men, women and children of the Temple drank cyanide-laced kool-aid and died in the greatest mass suicide of modern history. At first it was assumed that the suicides were forced, but evidence indicated instead that these people willingly killed themselves and their children in order to accompany their beloved leader, whom they worshipped as a god on earth.

Madness of Psychiatry

When I was growing up, people got most of their information about psychiatry from cartoons of patients lying on couches talking to a psychoanalyst, usually about sex (Illustration 1.1). After more than a quarter century in the profession, I have never seen a psychoanalyst’s couch. Nor, by the way, have I seen a padded cell or a straight jacket. Either my training and experience are lacking, or there was something wrong with the common stereotypes.

This is not a textbook, but we do need to look briefly at the classification of the mental disorders. The purpose of classification, the putting of apparently related material into boxes or categories, is to simplify and to help us understand large amounts of complicated information.

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