Psychology Around the Net: September 1, 2018

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Happy September!

Let’s kick it off with the latest on a professor who created a Harry Potter college course to help her students better understand developmental psychology, why it’s so easy for the human brain to hold a grudge, how on-again, off-again relationships cause psychological distress, and more.

This Professor Uses ‘Harry Potter’ in a Magical Way to Teach Psychology: Professor Georgene Troseth of Vanderbilt University discusses how she came to create her college course “Harry Potter and Child Development” and how the course is designed to help students deepen their understanding of the science of developmental psychology — as well as other topics she says “students entering college must grapple with to be successful” such as depression, perfectionism, and tolerance — with the help of Harry, Ron, and Hermione as well as the adults in their lives.

Why Your Brain Can’t Let Go of a Grudge: Experts weigh in on why humans love to hold a grudge — and why it’s so important to let it go.

How to Lose 20 Pounds in 20 Minutes: The Psychology of Clickbait: How is clickbait able to suck us in so easily, so often? It all boils down to synaptic incongruity, confirmation bias, and how easy it is to understand clickbait articles compared to medical jargon.

Why You Should End That On-Again, Off-Again Relationship: You’re probably thinking “Because it’s not healthy, duh,” but “relationship cycling” — yes, falling in and out of love with the same person has a name — drains more of your emotional energy than you know, causing psychological distress and disorientation.

Open Science Is Now the Only Way Forward for Psychology: Over the past several years, things started, well, not going so well in the psychology field. The Diederik Stapel fraud case, the inability to replicate major research findings, and prestigious journals publishing a study claiming psychic powers exist (though, I’m going to leave that one up to your own beliefs…) are just a few examples. However, the community is moving forward in a number of ways including sharing more data and materials, working hard to eliminate bias and “cherry-pick” evidence, and welcoming a new generation of psychologists who believe the field must get its house in order if they expect anyone to want to pursue a career in the field or receive funding.

When God Is Your Only Friend: Religion and the Socially Disconnected: The University of Michigan has released a new study regarding research surrounding, simply put, lonely folks and God. According to the study, people who lack friends and a life purpose turn to God to fill the voids, BUT this doesn’t mean that socially disconnected people are more likely to become religious if they aren’t ready.

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