Mind the Brain

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"

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"

Will lessons in happiness solve the crisis in child mental health care?

Rome gave citizens bread and circuses. Is London giving citizens worthless randomized trials of inert interventions to solve the crisis of child mental health care without spending substantially more funds? The UK  Department for Education (DfE) issued an Expression of Interest [ What’s that? ] for a large randomized trial comparing three preventive mental health … Continue reading "Will lessons in happiness solve the crisis in child mental health care?"

Danish RCT of cognitive behavior therapy for whatever ails your physician about you

I was asked by a Danish journalist to examine a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) for functional somatic symptoms. I had not previously given the study a close look. I was dismayed by how highly problematic the study was in so many ways. I doubted that the results of the study … Continue reading "Danish RCT of cognitive behavior therapy for whatever ails your physician about you"

Why PhD students should not evaluate a psychotherapy for their dissertation project

Things some clinical and health psychology students wish they had known before they committed themselves to evaluating a psychotherapy for their dissertation study. A well designed pilot study addressing feasibility and acceptability issues in conducting and evaluating psychotherapies is preferable to an underpowered study which won’t provide a valid estimate of the efficacy of the … Continue reading "Why PhD students should not evaluate a psychotherapy for their dissertation project"