psychology notes.

This site was originally created in 2009 as a virtual repository for all of the various psychology and therapy-related things (quotes, articles, videos, music, pictures) I came across both online and in my work as a psychotherapist. It has morphed into something slightly different in the past four years, and is now perhaps slightly more outward facing, but is still at heart a place for me to collect and share things related to the life of the mind.

Disclaimer: Posting something to this site does not mean that I necessarily agree with or endorse the opinions being expressed therein. All text on this site is informational and for educational purposes only. This site is not meant to be a substitute for professional mental health or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified mental health provider with any questions regarding a medical condition or mental health issue. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.

And please, be kind to one another.

(via Psych Central)

"Results of a survey published by Princeton University researchers suggest that a family history of psychiatric conditions, such as autism and depression, could influence the subjects a person finds engaging.

The Princeton researchers surveyed nearly 1,100 students from the university’s Class of 2014 early in their freshman year to learn which major they would choose based on their intellectual interests. The students were then asked to indicate the incidence of mood disorders, substance abuse or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in their family, including parents, siblings and grandparents.

Students interested in pursuing a major in the humanities or social sciences were twice as likely to report that a family member had a mood disorder or a problem with substance abuse.

Students with an interest in science and technical majors, on the other hand, were three times more likely to report a sibling with an ASD, a range of developmental disorders that includes autism and Asperger syndrome.

Senior researcher Sam Wang, an associate professor in Princeton’s Department of Molecular Biology and the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, said that the survey — though not exhaustive nor based on direct clinical diagnoses — presents the idea that certain psychiatric conditions are more closely linked to a person’s intellectual interests than is currently supposed.

During the past several decades, Wang said, researchers have found that mood or behavior disorders are associated with a higher-than-average representation in careers related to writing and the humanities, while conditions related to autism exhibit a similar correlation with scientific and technical careers.

By focusing on poets, writers and scientists, however, those studies only include people who have advanced far in “artistic” or “scientific” pursuits and professions, potentially excluding a large group of people who have those interests but no particular aptitude or related career, Wang said.

He and lead author Benjamin Campbell selected incoming freshmen because the students are old enough to have defined interests, but are not yet on a set career path. (Princeton students do not declare a major until the end of sophomore year.)

“Until our work, evidence of a connection between neuropsychiatric disorders and artistic aptitude, for example, was based on surveying creative people, where creativity is usually defined in terms of occupation or proficiency in an artistic field,” Wang said.

“But what if there is a broader category of people associated with bipolar or depression, namely people who think that the arts are interesting? The students we surveyed are not all F. Scott Fitzgerald, but many more of them might like to read F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

As in past studies, Wang and Campbell suggest a genetic basis for their results. The correlation with interests and psychiatric conditions they observed implies that a common genetic path could lead relatives in similar directions, but with some people developing psychiatric disorders while their kin only possess certain traits of those conditions.

Those traits can manifest as preferences for and talents in certain areas, Wang said.

“Altogether, results of our study and those like it suggest that scientists should start thinking about the genetic roots of normal function as much as we discuss the genetic causes of abnormal function. This survey helps show that there might be common cause between the two,” Wang said.

“Everyone has specific individual interests that result from experiences in life, but these interests arise from a genetic starting point,” he continued. “This doesn’t mean that our genes determine our fate. It just means that our genes launch us down a path in life, leading most people to pursue specific interests and, in extreme cases, leading others toward psychiatric disorders.”

The study was published January 26 in the journal PLoS ONE.”

Source: Princeton University

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    I don’t know if this study is any good, but I thought it was interesting.
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