Psych stuff round-up – June 2022

Psych Stuff - resources

Here’s my quarterly round-up of resources, research and snippets focused on psychology. 

Do elections cause stress? Research has reported increases in anxiety and stress after an election result. It seems that ‘anticipatory stress’ and negative mood can be found in the run-up to an election. Something to bear in mind… 

Q: Can anxiety work for us? A: Yes. A psychology professor has published a new book on the topic that helps us. What stuck with me in this article was “Anxiety is an emotion that doesn’t need fixing. It’s not broken. It’s doing its work for us.

‘’Laziness is…a sign that you need to slow down” Those words made my morning. Seriously, there’s a reason why the conductor leaves the stage at the interval. 

Lost in social media? You’re not alone. Social media could have a healthy, meaningful place in people’s lives. But that’s just not the way it’s being designed right now.” A recent grad student’s project studied the impact of social media, such as reduced self reflection and narrowed attention – which psychologists call ‘dissociation’. That can be positive, taking a break for example. The flip side can be harmful – gambling, for example. I found this an enlightening read; hope you do too. 

Tips from the top may trip us up Have you ever paid a fortune to learn from an expert? How did that work out? Several studies report that  the best advice doesn’t always come from the best performers. Frustratingly, the researchers suggest the expertise might have helped if only the recipients had been able to absorb and act on the experts’ advice. My take-away: do some digging before handing over the hard cash. 

Team leaders may need to develop two key traits ‘Employee voice’ is a problem in some workplaces. An extensive study with approximately 300 employees found that managers who experience more gratitude are more likely to seek feedback, act with more humility and foster a more innovative work environment. Caveat: the study was conducted in China, where I imagine workplace culture might differ from other places. However, developing gratitude and seeking feedback can only be a good thing. 

How to get people from inter-departmental bickering to energised for the task? Who can forget the Apple 1984 ad? (OK, if you weren’t born then, fair enough). ‘How Steve Jobs reframed the competition to rally the troops’ tells the story of how it came about. I think it’s fair to say we’re looking at a very different workplace culture here…well worth a read all the same.

How and when are our personality and health related? Long-term studies were examined to investigate; no surprise that ‘reciprocal effects’ between changes in traits and health. Memo to self: do the exercises, dammit.

Food and mood I like the way Psyche’s articles’ sections are labelled ‘need to know’ , ‘what to do’ , ‘key points’ and ‘learn more’. in this article, the key points focus on ‘How to use food to help your mood’.

How to get a well-being boost? Go to an art gallery An uplifting study from the team at the Positive Psychology Center in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences. Works for me; hope it works for you too.

I hope you find these articles useful and helpful. You can catch up on previous Psych stuff posts here.


Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book

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