Our May 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 May…

In our May 2020 issue, Caspar Addyman told us that 'babies really enjoy being babies'. We had Elian Fink and Jenny Gibson on the importance of play in early childhood, and Dave Neale on play in adults. Tim Anstiss, Jonathan Passmore and Paul Gilbert looked at compassion. Robert MacRory-Crowley and Kevin O’Malley examined 'heroism science'.

In 2019, Peter Hegarty asked how we ‘other’. Viren Swami considered the lack of research and support around postnatal depression in fathers. Laura Nicholson and Dave Putwain provided an overview of exam anxiety, and David Lewis-Hodgson looked at how both sides in World War I sought to explain and ‘treat’ its trauma.

Our May 2018 issue featured a special collection of articles on ‘unlocking the social cure’, introduced by S. Alexander Haslam. We had Jolanda Jetten on when groups are disadvantaged and stigmatised, Genevieve Dingle on taking a social identity route in and out of substance use, Tegan Cruwys on identifying with others for wellbeing, and Catherine Haslam on moving beyond social prescribing. Outside the special collection we had Michelle K. Ryan and Teri A. Kirby on why ‘Lean In’ is both underrated and overrated.

In 2017, Christian Jarrett and Ella Rhodes investigated why psychologists run. Michael S.C. Thomas looked at the cognitive neuroscience of socio-economic status, and Pam Jarvis considered adolescence on the social network. Narinder Kapur imagined an address by Gandhi on nonviolence, truth and political power. We also had Rachel Williams on a never-ending performance of gender and identity, and Natalie Bigbie and Nils Muhlert on the life of Tom Hatherley Pear.

In May 2016, Ella Rhodes asked if psychology punches its weight in the media and policy. Cliodhna O’Connor and Helene Joffe considered the ‘ripple effects’ when neuroscience leaves the laboratory, Chris Ferguson investigated the struggle between science and pseudoscience and Tom Farsides and Paul Sparks looked at bullshit in our discipline. Sandie McHugh and Jerome Carson described two happiness surveys from Bolton, 76 years apart, and David Carless and Kitrina Douglas made the case for arts-based research.

Our 2015 May issue looked at the intersection of politics and psychology, featuring Ella Rhodes on voter apathy, Jo Silvester and Madeleine Wyatt on training for politicians, and Sharon Coen on celebrity politics.

In May 2014, editor Jon Sutton sought psychological shortcuts to musical expertise, while Christopher J. Ferguson looked for a way out of the endless cycle of research and moralising over video game violence. Kathryn Evans and Khadj Rouf considered severe food allergy, and Lyn Ellett and Tim Wildschut presented evidence of paranoia in non-clinical populations. We also had Michèle Birtel on using psychotherapeutic techniques to fight prejudice and stigma.

In 2013, we asked why it’s so hard to quit smoking. We looked at reading and memorising in the internet era, and how research could better assess the impact of war on young people. We looked back at psychical research

Our May 2012 issue was a special on replication. We also looked at the evolutionary origins of the human cultural mind, and recounted a tragic tale of a mental hospital user in the 1960s.

Our 2011 cover feature was on the menopause. We considered mental imagery and searched for psychology’s lost boy, Little Albert. In 2010, we asked what makes a good politician. We looked at the puzzle of blushing, the concept of psychological trauma, and impostor syndrome. We featured a candid sketch of working with Jean Piaget.

Our May 2009 issue featured a collection of four opinion pieces on ‘improving access to psychological therapies’ – the challenge of the Layard initiative, moving beyond CBTthe role of psychoanalysis, and moving the agenda on.

In 2008 we asked what psychology can add to our understanding of wine. We considered speed-dating as a methodological innovation. We looked at the pioneer in mental health advocacy John Thomas Perceval. We also featured articles on maternal anxiety in pregnancyworking memory in the classroom and the benefits of a bedtime story.

Our May 2007 issue was a special on diagnosis, including:
-       The pitfalls of diagnosis
-       The foundations of psychiatry
-       A service user’s perspective
-       Rethinking ‘sanity’
-       New approaches in teaching mental health to undergraduates

In 2006 we examined the role of privilege in research and practice. We continued our international series with a look at psychology in Gaza and the West Bank, and dug deep into overgeneralised autobiographical memory in depression

In May 2005 we looked at same-sex marriage and equality. Our international series went to Vanuatu. Our small collection on food and children included a look at advertising, the psychosocial consequences of obesity, and sedentary behaviours.

Our May 2004 issue outlined the practical and ethical issues of using students in research. We had more from our international series with a look to psychology in Slovenia, in the month it joined the European Union. We asked how leaders can encourage loyalty and sacrifice.

In 2003 we discussed advances in our understanding of dementia. We looked at what’s been described as the ‘most cherished and most reviled of all psychological assessment tools’ – the Rorschach Ink Blot test. We summarised the research of Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman, and looked at the controversial electroconvulsive therapy.

Our May 2002 issue investigated the dramatic rise of alternative therapies, and EMDR for post-traumatic stress disorder. We considered the ins and outs of working with offenders.

In May 2001 we debated whether hearing voices is a sign of mental illness. We shared a brief history of the Society logo, looked at hidden deficits in children’s reading and language, and considered online therapy. Our May 2000 issue featured articles on siblingstalk-in-interaction, and the nature of human intelligence

In 1999 we had a special issue on learning disabilities and mental health, looking at inclusion, the visibility of morbiditycognitive therapy, and links between syndromes, phenotypes and genotypes.

Our May 1998 issue looked at embarrassmenthuman intuitionChronic Fatigue Syndrome, and sexual contact between patients and psychologists.

Now that we’ve reached 1997, the issues are available only as whole downloadable PDFs… Find articles on child sexual abuse, children with chronic illnesses, and an introduction to a ‘British theory with a strange name’: reversal theory.

Going further back, you’ll find child employment and models of disability in 1996, recovery of memories and a critique of the five factor personality theory in 1995, and the reliability of exam marking in 1994

Also find articles on physical punishment of childreninsomniaanimal experimentationexpert evidence in court, and an interview with Noam Chomsky. Our first ever May issue in 1988 was a special on child abuse.

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

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