Source: Mohideen Abu Haniffa Wikimedia, CC 4.0 Love is extolled in song, philosophy , and by most people as core to the life well-led. On the other hand, love implies a measure of irrationality: caring more about a person than rational analysis would dictate, for example, amplifying their assets while downplaying their liabilities. Should we venerate such irrationality? After all, so many people fall in love only to break up and be bereft, often for a long time. Is Tennyson right, that it's "better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?" But averages don’t count here. What do you think is right for you ? What should the role of love be in your life? Reflecting on Love What is your potential to love? As with most human characteristics, people may vary in how deeply they can love. I’ve seen people who always put their romantic partner above themselves, even willing to give a kidney. On the other extreme, some people's love is pretty much … [Read more...] about What Kind of Love Is Right for You?
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Source: Photo by damedeeso 123RH When people adopt a puppy, they assume their new furbaby is going to bring joy to their lives. Usually, this is the case—but there are exceptions. Take Sarah and Ian Coe, a married couple I interviewed for a book I wrote on human-animal relationships. Their lives were going along just fine until they adopted a nine-week-old Shiba Inu puppy named Hiro. While he was adorable, Hiro was a handful from the get-go. Unless he got constant attention , he would shriek inconsolably, and he was unmanageable unless they exercised him for a couple of hours a day. Hiro’s bad behavior, and particularly his penchant for humping other dogs, got him banned from the local dog park. In desperation, Sarah and Ian consulted their veterinarian. She told them that they should get a second dog, that Hiro needed a playmate. Big mistake. That’s how they wound up with Nami, their new Shiba puppy. Unfortunately, she was even crazier than Hiro. Sarah described her … [Read more...] about The Problem of Loving Pets With Behavior Issues
Medically accurate illustration of the cerebellum (Latin for "little brain") in orange. Cerebellar means "related to the cerebellum." Source: SciePro/Shutterstock Earlier this year, researchers in Finland published a study ( Kekkonen et al., 2021 ) showing that heavy ("binge") drinking from adolescence to young adulthood was associated with an altered cerebellum . Now, another recently published study about alcohol and the brain puts the cerebellum front and center. The latest study ( Jin, Cao, Yang, et al., 2021) into how the brain metabolizes alcohol suggests that astrocytic ALDH2 enzymes in the cerebellum may play a previously unrecognized role in drunkenness (i.e., ethanol intoxication). These peer-reviewed findings were published on March 22 in the open-access journal Nature Metabolism . "We found ALDH2 was expressed in cells known as astrocytes in the cerebellum, a brain region that controls balance and motor coordination," co-author Qi Cao of the … [Read more...] about How Does Alcohol Make Someone Drunk?
Melancholy, Edvard Munch (circa 1895) Source: Public domain Do antidepressants really work? This has been a controversial question ever since the 2008 publication of a research study by Dr. Irving Kirsch and his colleagues that concluded that there was “little evidence to support the prescription of antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients.” 1 But now a new study, just published in The Lancet, indicates that yes, antidepressants do work for the treatment of depression after all. 2 With seemingly different conclusions, as is often the case in scientific inquiry, should we just let the findings cancel each other out and believe what we want to believe? Of course not. Instead, as we try to make sense of the data, let’s look at both studies with an eye towards where they might differ and where they might actually support the same conclusion. The 2008 study by Dr. Kirsch and colleagues was a meta-analysis of 35 randomized, … [Read more...] about Do Antidepressants Work? Yes, No, and Yes Again!
People, even those who report that they value morality, often act unethically and then put it out of their mind. Source: Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash A psychologist charged her usual fee of one hundred dollars for a session. After her patient paid cash and left, she rubbed the bill and noticed he had overpaid her with two crisp one hundred bills stuck together. The thought popped into her head that she could keep the extra hundred-dollar bill, and nobody would ever know. Psychologists are supposed to be the vanguards of ethical and moral conduct as they treat the public. And they are required to take annual continuing education credits to maintain their licenses. Yet, the most common ethical violations psychologists commit are breaking patient confidentiality, sexual misconduct, and insurance mismanagement. Many highly-reputable people claim to have lofty ethical standards and denounce others for dishonesty, while violating their own principles by cheating on their … [Read more...] about Is It Gaslighting or Unethical Amnesia?