Our January 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 January…

In 2019 John F. Cryan considered the relationship between our brains and our gut microbes, Alan Baddeley told us about his book ‘Working Memories’, and Joe MacDonagh looked back at the Hawthorne studies. We met Sarah Garfinkel who is interested in how bodily signals influence emotion and memory, Thea Fitch who works in a Recovery and Wellbeing College, and psychologist and author Tony Page. We said goodbye to our Assistant Editor Peter Dillon-Hooper who had been in post for over 20 years. 

Nick Heather was rethinking addiction in 2018, while Caomhán McGlinchey gave a personal take on his route out of problematic drinking. Graham Towl argued for urgent action on tackling sexual violence at universities, Gloria Luong considered why emotional experiences get better with age, Lucas Richert looked back at the pioneer of the human potential movement, and Gail Kinman told us about her work as an occupational health psychologist.

In January 2017 we relaunched our magazine. Ella Rhodes considered why magazines matter, and regular contributors gave their views on the benefits of engaging a wide audience. Elizabeth Meins felt that the predictive power of attachment was overrated, Stephen Joseph investigated authenticity, Diana Kwon considered the limits of empathy, and Marjory Harper looked back at migration and mental illness.

Our first ever Guide accompanied the January 2016 issue – The Psychologist Guide to you and your baby. Gillian Pepper, Lisa McAllister and Rebecca Sear asked why demography needs psychologists, and Olga van den Akker looked at reproductive health. Angela de Bruin and Sergio Della Sala considered bilingualism as an example of how biases inflate scientific evidence. Alice Violet looked back at the history of stereotypes around only children.

We started 2015 with Graham Pluck’s story of the ‘street children’ of Latin America. Edo Shonin, William Van Gordon and Mark D. Griffiths looked at the evidence around mindfulness. John Cromby and Vaughan Bell went head to head answering the question: are understandings of mental illness mired in the past? Freddy Jackson Brown and Duncan Gillard argued for radical behaviourism’s fundamental role in psychology making a difference, and Jolanda Jetten and Matthew J. Hornsey looked at Asch’s line-judgement studies

In January 2014 Narinder Kapur asked what psychology has to offer to understanding the Mid Staffordshire Hospital scandal. Sue Whitcombe looked at the damage caused by broken child-parent relationships, Emily Balcetis outlined research on how desires and motivations change perceptions in the eyes of the beholder, Mical Raz looked back at lobotomy, and Chris French described his journey to anomalistic psychology.

2013 started with a series on differential psychology, featuring a historical focus from Gerald Matthews and K.V. Petrides, a look at the field’s giants, the application of neuroscience to mental disorderintelligence and individual differences, and pro- and antisocial behaviour. We also had an interview with Dorothy Bishop on tweeting, blogging, and childhood disorders, and our editor Jon Sutton looked back at a quarter of a century of The Psychologist.

In January 2012, leading psychologists shared stories of when psychology came to their rescue. Carole Sutton argued for five praises a day for young children, David Horrocks investigated cognitive deliberate practice in footballers, Lucy Yardley told us about dizziness and falls, and Sue N. Moore examined adult-child feeding interactions. Peter Daggett looked at resistance to therapy amongst parents of children with impairment, and Jeremy N. Bailenson considered the consequences of seeing the ‘self’ acting independently.

Our 2011 January issue looked at psychology at the end of the world, with an examination of mind and behaviour in the Antarctic, the psychology and physiology behind staying alive, and survival psychology

In 2010, we had a special issue on social inclusion, covering mental health in both adults and teenagers,employment and policydisadvantage and social exclusionbouncing back as active citizens, and mental health services in prison.

January 2009 saw a debate about the role of physical activity in obesity, an interview with Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, a look at the socio-psychological functions of gossip, and an examination of the role of testosterone on human behaviour

We started 2008 with articles on the supposed banality of evilassertive outreach, growing up in poverty, the history of nostalgiawhen therapy causes harm, and the story of the 16 women who were members of the British Psychological Society in its early days.

In 2007 we looked at psychology in Romania, how to recruit a control group, and the research on gratitude. We had a special issue on sexuality in January 2006 – see part one on common misconceptions and sexual scripts here, and part two on prejudice, politics and more here. In our January 2005 issue we examined children’s relationships with their non-resident fatherspsychology in New Zealand, and whether psychology is failing the average patient.

We kicked off 2004 with articles on genetics researchstudent assessmentmaking foreign students’ experiences positivestudent debt and problem-based learning. In January 2003 we considered how to recognise good research, explored psychology in Finland, and heard from Peter Warr, winner of all three major BPS awards, on effectiveness and wellbeing at work. In 2002 we looked at face preference, psychological insights into religioneconomic psychology, and psychotic experiences

Find out what Society members in 2001 predicted was in store for psychology for the next 25 years in our issue which also includes a celebration of 100 years of the Societyclose relationships, and suicidal behaviour. As we zoom back through Januarys past, we find a special issue on clinical neuropsychology, a special on emotions at work, and a report on the development of psychology as a profession

When we reach 1997, we find that issues are available only as full downloadable PDFs… There are articles on the reconstruction of British psychology, the relationship between science and religionadoptiontesting in the workplace, and what has been gained in social psychology. See also articles on psychology in Eastern Europepsychology in Africa, and mental health care in India

In January 1989, on its first Birthday, The Psychologist is compared to a one-year-old child. Finally, take a look at our first ever issue, from January 1988, when the Bulletin metamorphosed into The Psychologist. It includes articles on the genesis of gender, the use of video in child abuse trials, and memory in two-year-olds.

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

BPS Members can discuss this article

Already a member? Or Create an account

Not a member? Find out about becoming a member or subscriber