Category Archives: Behavior

New Developments in Psychopathy

Jennifer Skeem and her col­leagues have chal­lenged the sta­tus quo in recent con­tro­verises con­cern­ing the def­i­n­i­tion and mea­sure­ment of psy­chopa­thy. Is psy­chopa­thy a uni­tary entity (a global syn­drome with a dis­crete under­ly­ing cause) or rather is it a con­fig­u­ra­tion of sev­eral dis­tin­guish­able but inter­sect­ing trait dimen­sions? Is psy­chopa­thy syn­ony­mous with crim­i­nal behav­ior? Is there a positive-adjustment type of […]

Clinical Report: Identification and Evaluation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

This superb arti­cle sums up the infor­ma­tion com­pre­hen­sively. Available at the American Academy of Pediatrics web­site in pdf. http://tinyurl.com/cy4kbq6

Modern Times? Masturbation Discourse in 2011

Archives of Sexual Behavior is surely the most inter­est­ing pro­fes­sional jour­nal. It cat­a­logs sex­ual behav­ior is just about every species. A recent arti­cle on atti­tudes toward mas­tur­ba­tion among young adults (col­lege stu­dents) artic­u­lates issues and atti­tudes that reflect deeply on our social fab­ric and mores: Kaestle, CE, & Allen, KE (2010), The Role of Masturbation in […]

More on mating in captivity

The trig­ger for this loose string was a recent request on the HPA list serve for books to help girls make selec­tions of boyfriends and mates that do not cause pain and suf­fer­ing. I would love to see such a book. My can­di­date would be Sexual Excitement by Robert Stoller, but this is hardly suitable […]

Mating in Captivity

Relevant to cou­ples ther­apy and object choice– why do good girls like bad boys? I just dis­cov­ered a great book on the con­tra­dic­tions that under­lie both male and female psy­chol­ogy when it comes to expec­ta­tions of the oppo­site sex. Its called Mating in Captivity by Esther Perel (I never real­ized that zookeep­ers can’t get wild […]

Achilles in Vietnam

The issue of com­bat PTSD is much in the news these days. The great­est illu­sion that seems to be put forth is that we can “treat” PTSD as if expo­sure to war was some­thing you can get over, if only we had “bet­ter treat­ment.” It ends up being a sort of min­i­miza­tion of the costs of […]

The human capacity for self-deception

As a psy­chol­o­gist with 26 years expe­ri­ence ( I fig­ure at this point I have accrued some­where between 30,000 and 40,000 hours of clin­i­cal expe­ri­ence), I fre­quently won­der how I have been shaped by my expe­ri­ence, first as a ther­a­pist, and later as a foren­sic clin­i­cian, work­ing in both crim­i­nal and pri­mar­ily Family Court are­nas. I just […]

Can Psychologists Predict Future Behavior?

I was always taught that psy­chol­ogy is about the descrip­tion and pre­dic­tion of behav­ior. Description? Easy. I can do that! Prediction? Well, er.…not so fast. But isn’t descrip­tion also pre­dic­tion? If I say that John has an IQ of 100, it is clearly a descrip­tion, sub­ject of course to a whole bunch of caveats based […]

More on terror management theory — “mortality salience”

You may have won­dered why our polit­i­cal and cul­tural cli­mate has become so nasty; it seems that polit­i­cal and reli­gious intol­er­ance has never been more intense. In a pre­vi­ous post, I dis­cussed ter­ror man­age­ment the­ory, based on the work of Ernest Becker (remem­ber in “Annie Hall” when Woody Allen handed Diane Keaton a copy of Becker’s Denial of […]

Terror, no not terrorist, management

I just did a book review of the mas­sive 5th edi­tion of the Handbook of Social Psychology and came across some­thing quite new. The chap­ter is “Experimental Existential Psychology: Coping with the Facts of Life.”  I thought exis­ten­tial phi­los­o­phy and psy­chol­ogy were rel­e­gated to the ’60’s (you know when every­one read Sartre and Camus), or […]