Most Brief Personality Quizzes Are “Junk Science” -With One Exception

Online personality quizzes are increasingly popular, and you may have experienced a client/patient who takes one and wants to discuss the results as though they are meaningful and important. “Most Personality Quizzes Are Junk Science. I Found One That Isn’t” takes most of the online personality quizzes to task, particularly the Myers-Briggs (which can be taken online for $50). The article briefly points out the lack of evidence-based support for these tests-with the exception of one’s that are based on the Big Five personality assessment system.

Study: brain damage and religious fundamentalism

Study uncovers how brain damage increases religious fundamentalism  discusses a recent study that found that “lesions in a particular brain region, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex,  tend to increase religious fundamentalism.” To cut to the chase, the authors review the functioning of this brain part and conclude: damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex appeared to cause an increase in religious fundamentalism by reducing cognitive flexibility – meaning the ability to update our beliefs in light of new evidence – along with lowering the personality trait of openness. The article’s author concludes: “The new research helps elucidate the links between the functioning

Psychology in the public eye: Coffee table book about psych testing – weird, creepy and classics tests

Courtesy of the @info_Psicologos twitter feed, “The Beautiful Yet Twisted History of Psychological Testing” was published by Wired Magazine on 8-17-16. This article features pictures and commentary of some quaint tests, some scary tests, and even a few that are still in use, such as the Rorschach, based on a book that will be published soon, “Psychobook.”

Book review: “Myers-Briggs is a Crock,” says neuroscientist

“Myers-Briggs is a Crock” – review of “Idiot Brain,” by neuroscientist Dean Burnett.  Published by the Wall Street Journal on 8-5-16.  Includes interesting info, such as, “surprisingly, the brains of intelligent people use less power” and updates, from the perspective of neuroscience, on controversies about intelligence testing, personality research and how many books about neuroscience “cherry-pick a single hypothesis about the function of a brain area in order to fit a particular human-interest story.”  The review is informative, and the book sounds like an excellent update about neuropsychological issues with implications for mental health practice.

What research about tickling rats tells us about human motivation

The Wall Street Journal published “For Rats, a Good Tickling Can Change the World: A study of tickled rats shows how emotions can affect how we view the world” on 7-14-16.  This article reviews interesting research about how rats experience pleasure and how pleasure affects their motivation., and implications for human motivation. This research has found that there are naturally “optimistic” and “pessimistic” rats, like humans, and the pessimists respond to treatments, including both behavioral interventions, change in environment and antidepressant medication, and become more “optimistic.” The article discusses implications implications for human motivation, and uses the typical gambling casino