Our February time machine

We delve into the archive to pick out some highlights from this month in past years.

At the beginning of each month, we will revisit some past issues. What did you miss? How have the ideas within the articles stood the test of time?

Let's set the controls for February…

In 2019, Ella Rhodes considered whether shadowy influencers are pulling our strings through psychological manipulation in advertising. Emily Hutchinson urged organisations to improve safety by understanding psychology. Elizabeth Valentine looked back at the career of Lucy G. Fildes, Parastou Donyai looked at medication non-adherence, and Mandeep Singh and Niamh Doody investigated ‘conscious rap’.

2018 saw Nicholas Wade look at the emergence of visual illusions in the 19th century. Hannah Potts considered the psychology of dating apps. Lee Rowland asked how to foster society’s golden chain – kindness, and Chris Timms looked at historical diagnosis. Margaret Stroebe and Henk Schut investigated the difference between healthy grief work and unhealthy rumination.

In February 2017 the downsides of positivity were investigated by Kate Sweeny, while Albert Bandura looked at the psychology that enables drone warfare. Philip Davis asked what poetry has to do with mental health and wellbeing. Line Caes and Abbie Jordan called for creativity in research with young people.

In 2016 we asked ‘can psychology find a path to peace?’ John Drury shared his work on the collective psychology of emergencies and disasters. John Launer challenged the image of Sabina Spielrein principally as Carl Jung’s mistress, and Karen Fingerman looked at the bonds between parents and their grown-up children.

Our February 2015 issue featured Jack Dutton with an exploration of synaesthesia, Jelena Martinovic on near-death experiences in the 1960s and 70s, and Michelle Lowe and Bob Balfour on service provision for male sexual abuse survivors. We heard from a brain injury survivor plus researchers and a practitioner working in this area. Magda Osman challenged the view that we are shaped by unconscious thinking. Laura Souslby and Kate Bennett considered how relationships help us to age well.

In February 2014 Don Harris discussed improving aircraft safety, Daniel Freeman and Jason Freeman considered men, women and mental health, and Anna Roberts made the case for improving mental health services in prisons. Keith E. Stanovich and Richard F. West argued that we need rationality quotient (RQ) testsas well as IQ tests, and Craig E. Stephenson looked back at the significance of the possessions at Loudun.

Robert J. Sternberg helped us search for love in our 2013 issue. Usha Goswami examined rhythm in dyslexia, Rachel Wu looked at lifelong learning, and David Pilgrim defended inclusive realism in psychology. Nick Wattie and Joseph Baker wrote about relative age and its influence on human development, and Narinder Kapur, Jonathan Cole and Tom Manly outlined some surprising enhancements of function following brain disorder.

In 2012, Roy F. Baumeister looked at willpower and ego depletion, Paul Ibbotson discussed a radical view of language acquisition, and Thom Baguley asked if we can be confident in our statistics. Clare Allely showed that we can feel the pain of others, and Oliver Robinson shared a history of the idiographic/nomothetic debate.

In February 2011, we considered the modern relevance of the seven deadly sins. We asked how to go from brain scan to lesson plan, and why the history of psychology is going global. We defined career and career success, and looked at the strengths associated with Asperger’s.

Our 2010 issue featured articles on how fluency affects judgement and the need for a physical education. We reflected on mirrors and the mind and on the importance of history. In 2009 we considered psychology’s contribution to combating climate change, individual green behaviours in the workplace, and the roots and branches of environmental psychology.

Our February 2008 issue looked at the psychology of orgasm. We had articles on illusions and forgiveness in romantic relationships, and we asked if you can learn to think like a psychologist. In 2007 we got bored at work, wondered if most psychology is just obvious, considered the effects of exercise, and looked at the artistic personality

Our ratio of female to male authors in the six years up to February 2006 varied between a measly 1:8 and 1:3. We looked at the education of children in care, discovered our strengths, and imagined being famous

Back in February 2005 we had a special issue focused on psychology in a global world, with articles on the indigenous movement, achievements and challenges in the internationalisation of psychology, and the hope for a universal psychology.

As we go further back through Februarys of the past we find articles on children’s eye gazeTourette’s,psychology in Vietnam, the reputation of teenage boys, the placebo effectblood disorders and illegal drug use.

In 2002 we had a special issue on judgement and decision making, including articles on rationalityjurors, and heuristics, and in 2001 we considered the integration of research and practice in clinical psychology. In our February 2000 issue we explored how computers help us understand creativity, why lecturing may not be an effective method of teaching, and whether methods sections in research reports tell the whole story.

We’ve reached the 90s, where we have articles on multiple personalityrecovered memoriessocial services, working with lesbian and gay clients, and the changing nature of IQ. The 1997 issue and those further back are available to download as whole PDFs… Find articles on sport psychologydeceptionpersonal relationshipscomputerphobiaMozart’s charactervery long term retentionpsychotherapy, and Cyril Burt.

And finally we’re in the 1980s, with just two issues: one on language choice, and our 1988 issue from the year of The Psychologist’s birth, on AIDS.

Remember, you can explore our complete archive via https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/archive or by using the search function.

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