Mind the Brain

Headspace mindfulness training app no better than a fake mindfulness procedure for improving critical thinking, open-mindedness, and well-being.

The Headspace app increased users’ critical thinking and being open-minded. So did practicing a shame mindfulness procedure- participants simply sat with their eyes closed, but thought they were meditating.

Better days: When PLOS Blogs honored my post about fatal flaws in the PACE chronic fatigue syndrome follow-up study (2015)

The back story on my receiving this honor was that PLOS Blogs only days before had shut down the blog site because of complaints from someone associated with the PACE trial. I was asked to resign. I refused. PLOS Blogs relented when I said it would be a publicity disaster for PLOS Blogs.

“ACT: The best thing [for pain] since sliced bread or the Emperor’s new clothes?”

Reflections on the debate with David Gillanders about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy at the British Pain Society, Glasgow, September 15, 2017

Creating illusions of wondrous effects of yoga and meditation on health: A skeptic exposes tricks

The tour of the sausage factory is starting, here’s your brochure telling you’ll see.   A recent review has received a lot of attention with it being used for claims that mind-body interventions have distinct molecular signatures that point to potentially dramatic health benefits for those who take up these practices. What Is the Molecular … Continue reading "Creating illusions of wondrous effects of yoga and meditation on health: A skeptic exposes tricks"

Calling out pseudoscience, radically changing the conversation about Amy Cuddy’s power posing paper

Part 1: Reviewed as the clinical trial that it is, the power posing paper should never have been published. Has too much already been written about Amy Cuddy’s power pose paper? The conversation should not be stopped until its focus shifts and we change our ways of talking about psychological science. The dominant narrative is … Continue reading "Calling out pseudoscience, radically changing the conversation about Amy Cuddy’s power posing paper"

Jane Brody promoting the pseudoscience of Barbara Fredrickson in the New York Times

Journalists’ coverage of positive psychology and health is often shabby, even in prestigious outlets like The New York Times. Jane Brody’s latest installment of the benefits of being positive on health relied heavily on the work of Barbara Fredrickson that my colleagues and I have thoroughly debunked. All of us need to recognize that research … Continue reading "Jane Brody promoting the pseudoscience of Barbara Fredrickson in the New York Times"

Unmasking Jane Brody’s “A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health” in The New York Times

A recipe for coercing ill people with positive psychology pseudoscience in the New York Times Judging by the play she gets in social media and the 100s of comments on her articles in the New York Times, Jane Brody has a successful recipe for using positive psychology pseudoscience to bolster down-home advice you might’ve gotten … Continue reading "Unmasking Jane Brody’s “A Positive Outlook May Be Good for Your Health” in The New York Times"

Were any interventions to prevent teen suicide effective in the SEYLE trial?

Disclaimer: I’ve worked closely with some of the SEYLE investigators on other projects. I have great respect for their work. Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe was a complex, multisite suicide prevention project of historical size and scale that was exceptionally well implemented. However, I don’t believe that The Lancet article reported primary outcomes … Continue reading "Were any interventions to prevent teen suicide effective in the SEYLE trial?"