Milgram further reading and watching

To find out more about Milgram’s experiments click on the links below.

Read more at:


Watch a reconstruction of the experiment at:



Posted in Psychology in the news

What Is the “Bible of Psychiatry” Supposed to Do? The Peculiar Challenges of an Uncertain Science

What Is the “Bible of Psychiatry” Supposed to Do? The Peculiar Challenges of an Uncertain Science.

What Is the “Bible of Psychiatry” Supposed to Do? The Peculiar Challenges of an Uncertain Science

The American Psychiatric Association have just published the latest update of the draft DSM-5 psychiatric diagnosis manual, which is due to be completed in 2013. The changes have provoked much comment, criticism, and heated debate, and many have used the opportunity to attack psychiatric diagnosis and the perceived failure to find “biological tests” to replace descriptions of mental phenomena. But to understand the strengths and weaknesses of psychiatric diagnosis, it’s important to know where the challenges lie.

Think of classifying mental illness like classifying literature. For the purposes of research and for the purposes of helping people with their reading, I want to be able to say whether a book falls within a certain genre—perhaps supernatural horror, romantic fiction, or historical biography. The problem is similar because both mental disorder and literature are largely defined at the level of meaning, which inevitably involves our subjective perceptions. For example, there is no objective way of defining whether a book is a love story or whether a person has a low mood. This fact is used by some to suggest that the diagnosis of mental illness is just “made up” or “purely subjective,” but this is clearly rubbish. Although the experience is partly subjective, we can often agree on classifications.

Continue reading

Posted in Psychology in the news

Research challenge week winners

Well done to Faye, Zoe and Issy for winning the Learning approach research challenge cup!

The girls worked together on investigating whether TV and magazine adverts had an influence on the type of make up that people bought. They identified that different adverts had different age models in them and appeared to be aiming themselves at particular age groups.

They performed an observation in boots, estimating the age of customers and then noting down what make up they bought.

They were testing the hypothesis:

The type of advertising has a significant influence on the age of the buyer.

They performed their observation and analysed the data using a Chi squared test of difference. They found that there was no significant difference between the types of make up different age groups were buying suggesting that whatever influences people to buy certain types of make up, age targeting is not a large factor. In their evaluation they discussed the issues surrounding their observation and how confounding variables such as special offers or exposure to adverts might have clouded the results.

It was an insightful and well presented piece of research.

Posted in Psychology in the news

Research challenge week winners

Congratulations to Connor, Theo and Eddy for winning the Brain pokers research cup for their Evidence of practice research in the Biological approach.

A very scientific look at the differences in problems solving abilities of different genders. They used new technology to provide a standardised task and measurable data that would allow them to test their hypothesis:

Males would reach level 10 of a problem solving game significantly faster than females.

They used a controlled environment to reduce any variables that might confound the results and and identical task for all participants.

The group analysed their data with a Mann Whitney U test and found that there was no significant difference between males and females on the problem solving task.

Excellent work!

Posted in Psychology in the news

Study support sessions

Study support is now held in L1 on Wednesday after school.

Come along for any help, or even just for a place to work – AS or A2 and make the most of it!

See you there!


Posted in Psychology in the news

Autism – gaining a greater insight

For all of you who wish to get a greater understanding of our Biological key issue or child development (especially those re-taking Unit 3), or just because it looks really interesting…

Louis Theroux, Extreme Love – Autism. Thursday night, 9pm, BBC2.

Posted in Psychology in the news

Dream On: Lucid Dreaming? Want to give it a go?

The Dream:ON app looks to influence dreams by playing soundscapes designed to evoke pleasant scenes. Photograph: Mark Andersen/Getty Images/Rubberball

New iPhone app aims to sweeten dreams

A mass study into manipulating dreams hopes to turn participants’ iPhones into ‘dream factories’ using soundscapes

A psychologist plans to sweeten people’s dreams using their smartphones. Professor Richard Wiseman expects thousands of people to take part in an experiment in manipulating dreams.

Participants will download a specially designed iPhone app that turns their phone into a “dream factory”.

Placed on the bed, the phone can detect when a sleeper is not moving, which signifies the onset of dreaming. It then plays a carefully crafted “soundscape” designed to evoke pleasant scenes, such as walking in woods, or lying on a beach.

The idea is that this will influence dreaming, causing dreamers to conjure up situations and experiences inspired by the sounds they are hearing.

At the end of the dream the app sounds a gentle alarm to wake the dreamer, who submits a brief description of the dream to a “dream catcher” database.

Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, who is best known for his work on the paranormal, said: “Getting a good night’s sleep and having pleasant dreams boosts people’s productivity, and is essential for their psychological and physical wellbeing. Despite this, we know very little about how to influence dreams. This experiment aims to change that.”

Read the full story at

Find Richard Wiseman on Twitter – we follow him for some great experiment and magic updates! @RichardWiseman!/RichardWiseman

Posted in Psychology in the news

Brains: the mind as matter – a new exhibition at the wellcome collection

I know what I’m up to this holiday – and it’s free! Amazing. 

For details on how to get to the collection and to find out more click on the link below.

Posted in Psychology in the news

Scientists shocked to find antibiotics alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia

Chance discovery of link between acne drug and psychosis may unlock secrets of mental illness

A cheap antibiotic normally prescribed to teenagers for acne is to be tested as a treatment to alleviate the symptoms of psychosis in patients with schizophrenia, in a trial that could advance scientific understanding of the causes of mental illness.

Scientists believe that schizophrenia and other mental illnesses including depression and Alzheimer’s disease may result from inflammatory processes in the brain. Minocycline has anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects which they believe could account for the positive findings.



Read the full article here:

Posted in Psychology in the news

Reliability and Validity of tests.

The following videos are useful to watch for understanding the terms reliability and validity when it comes to tests. This will be good for students studying Unit 4 – Clinical Psychology in relation to the reliability and validity of the DSM.






Posted in Psychology in the news