Psychology stuff round-up

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Thought I’d try a different approach this week: rather than me wittering on, here’s a brief round-up of my favourite recent psychology articles. Let me know what you think.

Mental health in the news

Mental health has been in the news a great deal lately, notably thanks to Prince Harry’s recent podcast/interview with The Telegraph, winning the approval of Time to Change’s Director, Sue Baker.

There’s also the World Health Organisation’s recent revelation that more than 300 million people globally are affected by depression, and the sad news that those who live in England’s deprived coastal towns are particularly affected. GPs are prescribing nearly double the amount of antidepressants compared to the rest of the country, as reported in The Guardian with comments from British Psychological Society President Peter Kinderman.

Workplace frustration, leadership and productivity

Hands up if you’ve ever felt frustration at work – OK. So is it better to vent that frustration or be a good sport? New research may surprise you, courtesy of the BPS Research Digest.

Leadership – what have eminent psychologists got to say? Less recent but highly relevant, I really like the 10 tips compiled by The Psychologist’s Ella Rhodes based on interviews with psychology luminaries.

Productivity is a perennial hot topic – and one where psychology can help. I like the 8 tips offered by Strengthscope’s James Brooks; and if it’s gurus you’re after, Cal Newport and Adam Grant should fit the bill. Read on for best-selling Newport’s assessment of how best-selling Grant manages to be super-productive, in his piece for Wharton.

Compulsion and choices

Delayed gratification – the choice to defer a small reward now in order to get a bigger one later – shows up in many areas of our lives, from handling money to what we choose for lunch. Which would best support you to make better choices – visualisation or relaxation? Must admit this recent University of Pennsylvania study seems counter-intuitive, but it’s a good quick read and food for thought.

Which brings us neatly to… smartphones, where compulsive behaviour seems to rule. In his Forbes piece David DiSalvo asks if the ‘brain hackers’ have cracked our ‘addiction code’.


Finally, if you’re using the lighter evenings and forthcoming long weekends to spruce up your home, Carey Joliffe’s infographic, ‘The Psychology of Colour’ may be worth a look before you splash out.


Dawn is the author of ‘The Feedback Book’, available now at bookstores and on Amazon.

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