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Fri, 24 Sep 2021
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How to Work When Your Personal Life is Falling Apart

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© AIS
We often have to show up at the office even when there's a serious issue unfolding at home. Death, divorce, fights, and a myriad of other unfortunate life situations might stop your life in its tracks, but the harsh reality is that work must go on. To maintain your work-life balance and keep your job, here are several tactics employees can use to make a tough time a bit easier:

Comment: There is one proven technique that can assist you with reducing your stress, calming and focusing your mind, creating better links between body and mind and thus improving quality of life, increasing sense of connection with others in your community. It will help you to have improved overall health, a stronger immune system, better impulse control, reduced inflammation, etc. It will also help you to heal emotional wounds; anything that may hinder or prevent you from leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

Visit the Éiriú Eolas site or participate on the forum to learn more about the scientific background of this program and then try it out for yourselves, free of charge.


People

US: Brain Structure Differs in Liberals, Conservatives: Study

Everyone knows that liberals and conservatives butt heads when it comes to world views, but scientists have now shown that their brains are actually built differently.

Liberals have more gray matter in a part of the brain associated with understanding complexity, while the conservative brain is bigger in the section related to processing fear, said the study on Thursday in Current Biology.

"We found that greater liberalism was associated with increased gray matter volume in the anterior cingulate cortex, whereas greater conservatism was associated with increased volume of the right amygdala," the study said.

Other research has shown greater brain activity in those areas, according to which political views a person holds, but this is the first study to show a physical difference in size in the same regions.

"Previously, some psychological traits were known to be predictive of an individual's political orientation," said Ryota Kanai of the University College London, where the research took place.

"Our study now links such personality traits with specific brain structure."

Comment: Bob Altemeyer has written a book - The Authoritarians - explaining more fully some of these personality differences between conservatives and liberals.


Bulb

The importance of real-time feedback in self observation: People control thoughts better when they see their brain activity

self observation
© Unknown
As humans face increasing distractions in their personal and professional lives, University of British Columbia researchers have discovered that people can gain greater control over their thoughts with real-time brain feedback.

The study is the world's first investigation of how real-time functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) feedback from the brain region responsible for higher-order thoughts, including introspection, affects our ability to control these thoughts. The researchers find that real-time brain feedback significantly improves people's ability to control their thoughts and effectively 'train their brains.'

"Just like athletes in training benefit from a coach's guidance, feedback from our brain can help us to be more aware of our thoughts," says co-author Prof. Kalina Christoff, UBC Dept. of Psychology. "Our findings suggest that the ability to control our thinking improves when we know how the corresponding area in our brain is behaving."

For the study, published the current issue of NeuroImage journal, participants performed tasks that either raised or lowered mental introspection in 30-second intervals over four six-minute sessions. fMRI technology tracked real-time activity in the rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC), the region of the brain involved with higher-order thoughts.

Comment: In social context, fMRI's role of providing one with beneficial feedback and assisting with adjustment of one's perceptions or thoughts can be done by Networking.


Heart - Black

Why a lack of empathy is the root of all evil

From casual violence to genocide, acts of cruelty can be traced back to how the perpetrator identifies with other people, argues psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen. Is he right?

Rwanda genocide
© Agence France-Presse/Getty
Lucy Adeniji - an evangelical Christian and author of two books on childcare - trafficked two girls and a 21-year-old woman from Nigeria to work as slaves in her east London home. She made them toil for 21 hours a day and tortured them if they displeased her. The youngest girl was 11 years old.

Sentencing her to 11-and-a-half years in prison last month, Judge Simon Oliver said: "You are an evil woman. I have no doubt you have ruined these two girls' lives. They will suffer from the consequences of the behaviour you meted out to them for the rest of their lives."

Most people would probably agree with Judge Oliver's description of Adeniji as evil, but Simon Baron-Cohen, professor of developmental psychopathology at the University of Cambridge, would not be one of them. In his latest book, Zero Degrees of Empathy: A new theory of human cruelty, Baron-Cohen, argues that the term evil is unscientific and unhelpful. "Sometimes the term evil is used as a way to stop an inquiry," Baron-Cohen tells me. "'This person did it because they're evil' - as if that were an explanation."

Comment: The writer of this article is right. Lack of empathy is a characteristic of psychopathy among a cluster of other characteristics. For more information, read:

The Psychopath: A New Subspecies of Homo Sapiens
Truth to Power: Psychopaths Rule Our World
The Trick of the Psychopath's Trade: Make Us Believe that Evil Comes from Others
Devils In Disguise


Family

Teens More Into Music Than Reading More Likely To Be Depressed

Teen Depression Music
© Psych Central News

The link between media exposure and adolescent emotional health continues to be a hot research area. In a new study, researchers found that teens who spend more time listening to music, rather than reading books, are more likely to be depressed.

Researchers said this study was unique as it sampled the behaviors of study participants in real time using a technique called ecological momentary assessment.

The method is more reliable than standard surveys and helped researchers recognize this large association between exposure to music and depression, said Brian Primack, M.D., Ed.M., M.S., assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Pitt's School of Medicine, who led the study.

Some 106 teens were involved in the study, 46 of whom were diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

As part of the real-life assessment, the teens were called as many as 60 times during five extended weekends over two months. During the call, researchers asked the teen to report if they were using any of six types of media: television or movies, music, video games, Internet, magazines or newspapers, and books.

Laptop

Violent Games Can Hinder Development of Empathy in Children, says Study

kids @ video game w/ guns
© n/a
Although there's yet to be a study that conclusively proves a direct causal relationship between video game violence and real-life violence, psychologists are continuing to examine the effect violent media can have on children. A new study by Simmons College Communications Professor Edward T. Vieira, Jr., Ph.D. and published in the 2011 spring/summer edition of the Journal of Children and Media, notes that violent video game exposure can actually hinder a child's moral development.

The study looked at moral reasoning among children ages 7-15, based on such variables as age, gender, perspective-taking, and the ability to sympathize. The research found that frequent exposure to violent video games can impact children's perception that some types of violence are acceptable. "The study also found that children who spend a great deal of time playing violent video games (as defined by the Entertainment Software Rating Board) have an increased likelihood of accepting all types of violence," reads the report. "The study confirmed that boys spend twice the amount of time playing violent video games as girls do, and highlighted the increased risk faced by boys who can become desensitized to violence because of frequent exposure to violent video play."

Family

A woman's blues bring a relationship down

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© Unknown
Depression erodes intimate relationships. A depressed person can be withdrawn, needy, or hostile - and give little back.

But there's another way that depression isolates partners from each other. It chips away at the ability to perceive the others' thoughts and feelings. It impairs what psychologists call "empathic accuracy" - and that can exacerbate alienation, depression, and the cycle by which they feed each other.

Three Israeli researchers - Reuma Gadassi and Nilly Mor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Eshkol Rafaeli at Bar-Ilan University - wanted to understand better these dynamics in relationships, particularly the role of gender. Their study will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The study revealed a surprising dynamic: "It's called the partner effect," said Gadassi, a psychology graduate student. She explained: "Women's depression affects their own accuracy. But it also affected their partner's accuracy" - in both cases, negatively.

Fifty heterosexual couples - some married, some cohabiting, and together an average of about five years - participated in the study. First, a questionnaire assessed their levels of depression. Then, their interpersonal perceptions were tested both in the lab and in daily life.

People

Having trouble achieving work-life balance? Knowing your strategies is key

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© Unknown
Essays are being written, final exams are looming and classes are reaching their busy conclusion. With conflicting demands from work, home and the classroom, this hectic time of year can be filled with stress. But according to new research from the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), a little self-reflection could do us all a world of good.

"People need to ask themselves, 'What roles do I play?' and 'Are these roles working for me?'" says Julie McCarthy, associate professor of organizational behaviour at UTSC. "And if they're not working, we then need to ask, 'What are the strategies I'm using to make things better?'"

In her latest study, the UTSC associate professor of organizational behavior worked with Tracy Hecht of Concordia University to look at how undergraduate students attempted to achieve balance. All of the participants were UTSC students with jobs outside of school.

Comment: If taking a break for regrouping and introspection is the key for replenishing one's resources and gaining a better perspective on various issues, then there is one proven technique that can assist with doing just that.

It can also help you with reducing your stress, calming and focusing your mind, creating better links between body and mind and thus improving your quality of life, increasing a sense of connection with others in your community. It will help you to improve your health, strengthen your immune system, provide you with better impulse control, reduce your inflammation, etc. It will also help you to heal your emotional wounds; anything that may hinder or prevent you from leading a healthy and fulfilling life.

The Éiriú Eolas technique grew out of research conducted by the Quantum Future Group under the direction of Laura Knight-Jadczyk and Gabriela Segura, M.D. The practice has been thoroughly researched and proven to work by the thousands of people who are already benefiting from this unique program. The effects are cumulative and results and benefits can be seen in only a very short time, sometimes after just one session!

There is a myriad of relaxation techniques out there, but not many of them can attest to having not only immediate effects, but also a highly practical application. With Éiriú Eolas, there is no need to sit in special postures, or be present in a carefully prepared environment. The strength of the program comes from its high adaptability to stressful conditions of the modern world. Anyone can do it, be it a student, sitting outside of a lecture hall before the exam, a mechanic needing a break from tackling problems all day, a businessman just before signing an important deal, a mother having to raise three children and worrying if she will have enough money to pay the mortgage.

Visit the Éiriú Eolas site or participate on the forum to learn more about the scientific background of this program and then try it out for yourselves, free of charge.


Bulb

Getting a Grasp on Memory: New Insight into "Aha!" Memories

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© Unknown
When we suddenly get the answer to a riddle or understand the solution to a problem, we can practically feel the light bulb click on in our head. But what happens after the "Aha!" moment? Why do the things we learn through sudden insight tend to stick in our memory?

"Much of memory research involves repetitive, rote learning," says Kelly Ludmer, a research student in the group of Prof. Yadin Dudai of the Institute's Neurobiology Department, "but in fact, we regularly absorb large blocks of information in the blink of an eye and remember things quite well from single events. Insight is an example of a one-time event that is often well-preserved in memory."

Comment: Considering that psychopaths appear to have deformations and abnormalities in the amygdala, no wonder that one of their characteristics is a profound lack of insight.

From Political Ponerology: A science on the nature of evil adjusted for political purposes by Andrew M. Lobaczewski:
The following questions thus suggest themselves: what happens if the network of understandings among psychopaths achieves power in leadership positions with international exposure? This can happen, especially during the later phases of the phenomenon. Goaded by their character, such people thirst for just that even though it would conflict with their own life interest... They do not understand that a catastrophe {will} ensue. Germs are not aware that they will be burned alive or buried deep in the ground along with the human body whose death they are causing.

"If such and many managerial positions are assumed by individuals deprived of sufficient abilities to feel and understand most other people, and who also betray deficiencies in technical imagination and practical skills - (faculties indispensable for governing economic and political matters) this must result in an exceptionally serious crisis in all areas, both within the country in question and with regard to international relations. Within, the situation shall become unbearable even for those citizens who were able to feather their nest into a relatively comfortable modus vivendi. Outside, other societies start to feel the pathological quality of the phenomenon quite distinctly. Such a state of affairs cannot last long."



Eye 2

Devils In Disguise


Comment: The following account is a heartfelt, personal, and dramatic illustration of psychopathy at work in a "normal" family situation. Many people will be able to identify with much, or even all of, this story and know from miserable but invaluable experience how just one solitary psychopath can victimize so many others, co-opt the legal and social systems and set up the primary victim to be the one with the problem. Vida's story of survival clearly reveals the insidiousness of psychopathy on the interpersonal level, and should leave us all with food for thought about the damage that can be wrought by more powerful psychopaths in positions of authority.


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"It's in your head - it has always been all in your head! Simon is a good man!" But even if a thousand people believe and voice a lie and rise to defend the predator, it still remains a lie. And yes, such confrontations take their toll both emotionally and physically, and Simon keeps count and gloats as his carefully trained cohorts score points by inflicting pain. In fact, Simon planned the psychological confusion, anxiety, stress and grief which ensued every time my children, friends and family attacked me. Tears ran, motivation dwindled, and insomnia set in; soon, a wide range of symptoms were warning me that chronic conditions would result if I didn't deal with issues.

Hence, I was forced to face my demons and ask the difficult questions: How could my older children forget who I am and what I stand for? How can nurturing relationships suddenly become toxic? How could law enforcement professionals be duped? It took me years to understand what obscure and brutal forces altered my life, relationships, and circumstances. I had to question and investigate my deepest held beliefs, as I believed in the inherent good in all people. This was, without a doubt, the most damaging fallacy of my upbringing. Now, I understand that psychopaths delight in inflicting hurt and harm; it is their sport to seek out easy prey.

As I searched for the truth, information came to me in the form of books that explained and validated my inner knowledge and gut feelings. Dr Robert Hare, claims that with at least 2 million psychopaths in North America, virtually everyone will fall victim to a predator sometime during their life (Without Conscience p.2). Kevin Hogan and James Speakman explain techniques of Covert Persuasion, and, Amy J.L. Baker wrote Breaking the Ties that Bind which relates how children can be programmed and conditioned to act as child soldiers against a targeted parent. Psychopaths seem to thoroughly understand these strategies; perhaps they are innate. Therefore, be warned: the predator will choose you at your lowest ebb, then he/she will sense what you need and provide it. He or she will use mind manipulation strategies in the form of sublimations, Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and other rhetorical devices. Your own morals and values will be used to control you and hold you captive. Once ensnared and entrapped, the psychopath will feed off you causing irreversible harm and devastation; you will never be the same again. This is the story of my misadventure.