A psychology summer

We set some challenges to keep you occupied over the holidays.

1    Send a friend, anonymously, something you think will brighten their day; plus a note encouraging them to do the same.

2    Take a walk to a street with a psychological name, and when you get there tweet us a photo.

3    Think about three novel uses for a white bear. And then stop thinking about it.

4    Tweet us a ‘news cliché photo’ related to your life in psychology: for example, you holding an oversized grant cheque, looking angryin front of the thing that’s making you angry, or leaping in the air with a group of your mates while holding your exam results.

5    Embrace your failures by writing a ‘negative CV’ (read Aidan Horner’s).

6    Write and post a letter of gratitude to someone who has helped you along the way in psychology.

7    Tweet us a photo of you ‘hadouken-ing’, ‘Vader-ing’, or achieving a perspective illusion using your copy of The Psychologist. (If you’re visiting Paris or Pisa this summer, this one’s for you).

8    Tell us what makes you laugh by adding a comment here.

9    Reimagine a chart hit as a journal article title, for example Michael, G. & Ridgeley, A. (1984). Living organ donation: recipient rejection predicts donor regret at one-year follow up. Journal of Christmas, 1a, 51.

10    Find and play a song in your musical collection which has a link to psychology.

11    Dig out the earliest piece of your own psychology writing you have, and marvel at the neatness of your handwriting.

12    Write us a cathartic letter saying how this is all frivolous nonsense and it would never have been allowed in the days of the Bulletin.

To share your progress on Twitter, please tag @psychmag and use the hashtag #PsySummer

Also, here's a more meaty challenge. What do you think is underrated / overrated in psychology? We're looking for authors for our new(ish) format, exemplified by Professor Elizabeth Meins in a January article which quickly became one of our top three most viewed pieces ever. The concept is simple: write 1500 words of engaging, informative and persuasive material on something in psychology / a psychological perspective on life which you think is underrated, and the same on something you think is overrated. Share your ideas for topics on Twitter @psychmag or email the editor on [email protected]

Pull up a chair

Matthew Pugh on the use and potential of chairwork.

Faces in the wild

Brian Parkinson (University of Oxford) reviews the evidence on interpersonal effects of facial expression.

Your summer reading

A round-up of some recent book extracts we've published here, with thanks to the publishers.

Around the house

An exclusive extract from 'Careful!', the new book by Steve Casner (published by Macmillan).


"This incitement to 'become different' can be both thrilling and terrifying"

Our editor Jon Sutton meets social psychologist Professor Paul Stenner (Open University).

Is slowness the essence of knowledge?

Eloise Stark looks at whether ‘slow and steady wins the race’.

July 2017

This month's issue, archive, digital editions and more: Your Psychologist, your way...