Friday, February 3, 2023

Tag: environmental influences

Knowledge of Other Cultures is Changing the Field of Psychology

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From The Conversation: Human behavior and mental processes have long been thought to be universal. However, recent studies show that culture plays an important role...

How Your Germs Control Your Politics

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In this podcast for Cracked, Alex Schmidt and David Wong discuss how our fear of germs has shaped our politics, preferences, and personalities throughout history. "Stop...

Comments on Jeffrey Lieberman and Ogi Ogas’ Wall Street Journal Article...

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The March 3rd, 2016 edition of the Wall Street Journal featured an article by past President of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) Jeffrey Lieberman and his colleague, computational neuroscientist Ogi Ogas. The article was entitled “Genetics and Mental Illness—Let’s Not Get Carried Away.” In their piece, the authors started by expressing the belief that a recent study identified a gene that causes schizophrenia, and then discussed whether it is desirable or possible to remove allegedly pathological genes in the interest of creating a future “mentally perfect society.” The authors of the article, like many previous textbook authors, seem unfamiliar with the questionable “evidence” put forward by psychiatry as proof that its disorders are “highly heritable” In fact, DSM-5 Task Force Chair David Kupfer admitted that “we’re still waiting” for the discovery of “biological and genetic markers” for psychiatric disorders.

Why Screening Everyone for Depression is a Terrible Idea

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Too many people have come to view themselves as defective and powerless to change their life situations, when this may not be the case. Conversely, individual treatment with drugs or psychotherapy may cause individuals to reframe their problems in terms of neurochemistry or thinking styles – internalizing a belief that they are the problem, when their problems exist in a wider sociopolitical milieu.

Ernst Rüdin’s Unpublished Family Study of “Manic-Depressive Insanity” and the Genetics...

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Although it is axiomatic in psychiatry that genetic factors are involved in bipolar disorder (manic-depression), and that they play a predominant role, there currently exists little if any scientifically acceptable evidence that bipolar disorder and other “affective disorders” are caused by disordered genes. Given almost 50 years of gene discovery claims that were not confirmed by replication attempts, we must assume by default that current gene finding claims are false-positive results as well. In the 1920s, pioneering psychiatric geneticist Ernst Rüdin decided against publishing his large family study of “manic-depressive insanity,” most likely because the results did not fit his theories of Mendelian inheritance, and failed to support his advocacy of eugenic policies.

“Nature and Nurture: Human Brains Evolved to be More Responsive to...

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"We found that the anatomy of the chimpanzee brain is more strongly controlled by genes than that of human brains, suggesting that the human brain is extensively shaped by its environment no matter its genetics," said Aida GĂłmez-Robles, postdoctoral scientist at the GW Center for the Advanced Study of Human Paleobiology and lead author on the paper. "So while genetics determined human and chimpanzee brain size, it isn't as much of a factor for human cerebral organization as it is for chimpanzees."