Quick Thoughts

The tyranny of self-care: this year’s model of compulsive happiness?

"Just like positive thinking, advocating self-care has become yet another way to blame women for not fitting into the cheerful, uncomplaining, compliant, utterly in control stereotype that keeps everyone else calm and happy."

Go ahead, former  member of the Journal of Health Psychology editorial board, make my day

After failing to intimidate the rest of the editorial board, one member resigned from the Journal of Health Psychology. I am providing a blind review of a paper submitted by her and encourage her to make the paper publicly available in a repository. I recently joined the editorial board of the Journal of Health Psychology. It […]

McDonaldization of Positive Psychology: On tour with Marty Seligman

Some scientist turn hucksters, making extravagant and seductive claims without sufficient corroborative evidence. Consumers are drawn in and pay the price, often without realizing that they have been had.

McMindful: Make money as a mindfulness trainer, no background or weekend retreat required.

A web-based training package promises to turn anyone quickly into a mindfulness trainer, regardless of background or previous training. Promoters of the package claim it is backed by more science than its competitors.

RCT of a positive psychology intervention for people with newly diagnosed HIV

Should investigators burden people newly diagnosed with HIV with cumbersome and ineffective interventions?

Did a study show expressing gratitude improves your physical health?

A brief probing of a study of practicing gratitude shows it did not demonstrate that being grateful benefits your health.

Maximize your productivity by controlling your breathing?

We need to learn to quickly dismiss click bait pitches by self-help gurus that flood into our social media news feeds.

Contemplating American hype: Donald Trump and Barbara Fredrickson

Draws similarities between a spoof of the self-promotion of Donald Trump and successful grant writing

Ellen Langer: genius or quack?

Ellen Langer: genius or quack –or master self-marketer? Another lesson we need to be wary of trustworthiness and authority established by awards or celebrity status. We need to be skeptical of the publicity machines that confer celebrity status on “scientists.’ We need to be skeptical about scientists who gather such recognition. It could be just […]

Psychologists get continued education credit for learning quack methods of mind control over aging and cancer

The scandal of useless and even harmful continued education credit Psychologists can get continued education credit for completing an online test concerning Ellen Langer’s book, Counterclockwise. The book explains how to reverse aging and fight cancer by getting people immersed in an earlier time by listening to older music and watching old television programs. Psychologists […]

Most positive findings in psychology false or exaggerated? An activist’s perspective

Abstract of a  talk to be given at the Australian National University (ANU), room G08, Building  39, 3pm September  11, 2014. UPDATE (October 24, 2014): Here is a link to the Powerpoint presentation and to a YouTube interview with ANU Research School of Psychology’s Professor Mike Smithson. A list of relevant links to James Coyne’s […]

Happyism: Nick Brown’s Attaining national happiness through chemistry

  Donald Trump: “I don’t pursue happiness, I pursue money.” Phil: “why?” Donald Trump: “Because money buys me the things I want, such as material goods, and pretty women.” Phil: “And why do you want to get these things” Donald Trump: “Because they make me happy.” In Happyism: The Creepy New Economics of Pleasure, Deirdre […]