...features

To celebrate the 100th issue of the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, the editor Christian Jarrett asked some of the world’s top psychologists to put their thinking caps on – and cast practicalities and ethics aside.

Here we present a selection of the responses. For full versions, and for contributions from Alex Haslam, Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Richard Gregory and Society President Pam Maras, see...

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore's Spearman Medal Lecture

It has been known for many decades that the brain undergoes critical periods of development during the early years. However, only recently has it been discovered that brain development does not...

Paul V. Greenall and Melissa Marselle report on an issue of potential significance to any psychologist engaged in sensitive research

We went into his office and he had just picked up the phone to call his wife and there was a roar; I mean a roar! And we looked up and it was the aeroplane coming right at us, the second plane....

Chris Hackley feels that a modern understanding of the psychology involved in marketing can help us to critically engage with it.

Psychology is put to many uses beyond the discipline. In marketing, these can be especially controversial. In 1957 Vance Packard’s Hidden Persuaders described how the marketing industry used depth...

Mark Burton and Carolyn Kagan on how organised psychology should respond.

How can organised psychology best promote and protect human rights in relation to military occupation and the detention of terrorist suspects or insurgents?

Our journalist Christian Jarrett talks to people working at the forefront of neurochemical research.

With so much contemporary psychology preoccupied by a purely phrenological mission to map out which neural areas are active during which tasks, it’s easy to forget all those chemicals washing...

Mark J. Forshaw argues that it is time to…

As we are all aware, psychology has changed, throughout its short life. It is possible to identify trends in its history. It has been through periods dominated by introspection and philosophical...

Tom Farsides with a review of the evidence and how we might foster a more prosocial society.

Where’d all the good people go?
I’ve been changing channels;
I don’t see them on the TV shows.
Where’d all the good people go?
We got heaps and heaps of what we sow.
...

Lisa Henderson and Fiona Duff give a full account of the day.

Earlier this year, a Festschrift was held at the Royal Society in London to celebrate the outstanding contributions that Professor Uta Frith has made to Psychology over the past 40 years. A...

David Giles on the implications of the quest for health information online.

Something’s not quite right. You’ve been tossing and turning all night. It’s your knee… you drag yourself to the bathroom and there in the mirror, a ghastly sight confronts you. Your knee is not...

Stephen Joseph takes a look at psychology, social injustice and mental health, from a community psychology perspective.

We would all agree that psychology can be applied to health and social care. But what is more controversial is how psychology is applied. There are many that would argue that the profession of...

Oliver James argues that cross-cultural differences in emotional distress stem from a country’s governance.

In the last 30 years there have been hundreds of community surveys of mental illness prevalence, and over 200 of European samples (Fryers et al., 2004). Unfortunately, methodological differences...

The Midlands Psychology Group questions whether Lord Layard’s focus is all wrong. Perhaps unhappiness is one of our most precious assets?

Recent times have seen the science and politics of ‘happiness’ endorsed by commentators of all persuasions, including the Conservatives and New Labour, who have welcomed the proposals of Richard...

Jack Nissan, winner in the undergraduate category of our Student Writer Competition, on surprising findings surrounding the memory of people with Alzheimer’s.
Samuel R. Nyman, winner in the postgraduate category, on ways of preventing falls in older people without creating a stigma.

Judges’ report
This was the ninth annual Student Writer Competition, sponsored by The Psychologist, the Research Board and the Professional Practice Board. The number of entries was...

Former American Psychological Association President Ronald F. Levant on how he has mobilised members to promote the contributions of psychology to society
Also Graham Davey, former Society President and Chair of the Publications and Communications Board, responds to Ronald Levant

Making Psychology a Household Word was an overarching theme of my 2005 presidency of the American Psychological Association. As members of a learned profession, we have a great deal to offer...

Nigel Hunt and Sue McHale on the limited research and the need for more

Hair loss is usually thought of as something men start worrying about as they get older. But there are various forms of hair loss, often extensive and sudden, which can impact on anyone – male or...

Peter Halligan, winner of the Society's Presidents' Award, on the importance of societal and individual beliefs in understanding health

Despite improvements in many objective measures of health over the past decades, most Western countries have seen an increase in the number of patients with symptom-based illness without...

Dave Harper, John Cromby, Paula Reavey, Anne Cooke and Jill Anderson with some pointers

Don’t jump ship!
New approaches in teaching mental health to undergraduates
We hope that the articles in this special issue have convinced you of the need to move beyond diagnosis....

Rufus May on rethinking 'sanity', within a community psychology approach

Working outside the diagnostic frame
We cannot abandon the injured or the maimed, thinking to ensure our own safety and sanity. We must reclaim them, as they are part of ourselves.
...

Peter Campbell with a service-user's perspective on the impact of diagnosis

Psychiatric understandings dominate our view of mental illness. This has not always been so. It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that psychiatrists wrested control of asylums away from lay...

Mary Boyle on why we are still diagnosing, and the pitfalls. Also Richard P. Bentall shows that if you get to the bottom of the symptoms, there is no 'disorder' left to explain

The problem with diagnosis
Psychiatric diagnosis is fundamental to psychology not practising what it preaches. The idea that diagnosis identifies mental disorders which may become objects of...

John Cromby, Dave Harper and Paula Reavey introduce the special issue

Moving beyond diagnosis:
Practising what we preach
Despite years of well-founded criticism, psychiatric diagnosis is still widely used – not only by psychiatrists, but psychologists...

Susan Cartwright and Cary L. Cooper on causes and possible solutions

Despite the potential pressures of long hours, tight deadlines and performance targets, many aspire to the status and rewards of a job in the City of London. But perhaps few job applicants would...

David Lynch’s latest film, Inland Empire, takes us closer to the heart of his psychotic universe. Huw Green enjoys the journey.

The word ‘surrealist’ is frequently applied to the work of maverick American film director David Lynch (Bradshaw & Gilchrist, 2007). This automatically links his name with the art movement...

Carolyn Kagan on community practice

Working at the ‘edge’
Making use of psychological resources through collaboration
Carolyn Kagan, winner of the Society’s Award for Promoting Equality of Opportunity, on community...