Posts tagged "Psychology Today"

Another Year Ends: Evangelical Decline, more Les Mis, Tebow Absurdity, Anxious Parents, The Hobbit, Apatow in Crisis, Millenial Affirmations and A Muppet Family Christmas

1. An uncommonly insightful piece by John Dickerson appeared in The NY Times about “The Decline of Evangelical America.” Writing as an evangelical himself, Dickerson recites some jarring statistics before launching into a sympathetic and genuinely hopeful conclusion, ht SZ:

In 2007, the Institute for Jewish and Community Research, in a survey of 1,300 college professors, found that 3 percent held “unfavorable feelings” toward Jews, 22 percent toward Muslims and 53 percent toward evangelical Christians…

The core evangelical belief is that love and forgiveness are freely available to all who trust in Jesus Christ. This is the “good news” from which the…

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The Chimera of Contingent Self-Esteem

A few months old, but nonetheless a remarkable article from Psychology Today, “The Boom and Bust Ego” which details some recent reversals in self-esteem research, some of which bears a resemblance to certain dynamics we trumpet on this site. In particular, it seems that “contingent self-esteem” functions as a pretty terrific euphemism for “works righteousness.” And the various descriptions of how low self-esteem feeds on itself sounds quite a bit like living under a curse. That is, the scheme itself is pretty futile, with the attempt to establish esteem leading to either despair or (short-lived periods of) self-righteousness. The ego…

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Another Year Ends: Xmas Wars, Twitter Blues, Reznor’s Recovery, Hume’s Legacy, Bad Seeds, Scrooge Syndrome, and Mbird Subscriptions

1. You can’t blame Matt Zencey for trying to put the “war on Christmas” in perspective over at The Huffington Post, recalling the 18th century Puritan campaign against the holiday. While contextually more than a little glib – apples and oranges and all that (our cultural conflict has two equally doctrinaire opponents, theirs had one, and arguments could be made for casting the pilgrims as the corollary to either). Still, the historical details are undeniably interesting:

The Puritans who landed at Plymouth Rock knew how to wage war on Christmas: They banned it. As historian Stephen Nissenbaum documents in his 1997…

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Another Week Ends: NeuroLewis and NeuroClark, Common Enemies, Absent Fathers, Zombie Fiction, Jarvis Cocker, Noel Gallagher, Sacred Facial Hair and Pixar

1. Another superb volley in David Brooks’ crusade for a more compassionate view of human fallibility appeared in The NY Times this week, “Who You Are,” in which he salutes Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s invaluable contribution to social psychology. Brooks goes so far as to call Kahneman and his research partner Amos Tversky, “the Lewis and Clark of the mind.” Kahneman’s new book, which sounds like it has Mockingbird written all over it (wouldn’t that be the day!), Thinking, Fast and Slow comes out on Tuesday. In the meantime, I defy you not to issue an ‘are you kidding…

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Reactance and Wandering Eyes

Add it to the list of things we already knew but may not have had the hard data to back up: prohibition, however benign, really does provoke indiscretion. As reported by Psychology Today, a recent study out of the University of Kentucky and Florida State found that “Forbidding Makes The Heart Grow Fonder”, ht JD:

It’s no surprise that partners who are less interested in alternatives to their current relationship partners turn out to be more satisfied with those relationships. If you don’t think the grass is greener, then you won’t be as interested in hopping the fence. What might come…

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The (f)Utility of Free Will

Another update on one of our favorite topics: Free Will and the Lack Thereof. This time from a Psychology Today article published in May, entitled “Is Free Will Real? Better Believe It (Even If It’s Not)”. The article is less interested in contesting the fairly widespread agreement among scientists, philosophers and theologians that free will, at least in the “master of your own destiny” sense, is largely an illusion, and more interested in asking whether, real or not, such a belief is helpful to us personally or as a society. A recent study seems to suggest that it is.

If it…

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Don’t String Me Along: Love and Marriage and Attachment Theory

A very interesting and thorough look at the mechanics of love through the lens of Attachment Theory appeared in Psychology Today via the article “In The Name Of Love”. Rather than compatability or attraction, attachment theory puts security and threat at the center of romantic dynamics. We feel loved to the extent that we feel safe, and we feel unloved to the extent that we feel imperiled. Assurance being such a central part of the Good News, there are more than a few echoes of vertical, Winwood-esque “higher love”, not to mention a healthy dose of human bondage, even if…

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If People Only Knew That I Have No Idea What I’m Doing: Understanding Imposter Syndrome

A fascinating, not-so-recent article by Michael Bader over at Psychology Today titled “I Hope Nobody Finds Out,” dealing with the phenomenon known as Imposter Syndrome, AKA the deep, gnawing suspicion of one’s own fraudulence, particularly pronounced in executives of various stripes. I would be very surprised if this isn’t something that religious leaders don’t also suffer from – and for the same reasons that Bader points out in reference to “progressives.” Whatever the case, it represents a fascinating way of looking at the discrepancies between external and internal identity/reality, which plague all of us, leader or no. Discrepancies which we…

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