Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘psychology

tulipsBW-800pxSuch phrases that are supposed to encourage hard work sometimes have the opposite effect. For example, being told to ‘put your nose to the grindstone’ could put off anyone for whom self-discipline is elusive, from ever studying again! In the New Scientist this week (Issue 3126, pp. 27-30) is a feature article called ‘Daydream believer’. It looks at what we can do to increase our focus at a long task such as revision, looking particularly at letting the mind wander around a topic.

Several studies suggest that letting yourself daydream intentionally about a topic which you are learning is a more effective strategy than forcing yourself to concentrate over a lengthy period.

So when you’re studying, don’t put your nose to the grindstone – tend to the thought garden. Consider the makeup of the flowers (the interesting parts), appreciate the insects and worms (the causes and unseen elements), imagine the sunshine and rain that will fall in the future (the bigger context and processes). Build up an intentional daydream about your topic of study. Mull things over not only when you’re at a desk or in the library, but when you’re in the shower, walking up from the station or making a cup of tea.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, there are other tried and tested memory techniques that are based on visualisation of the topic matters for instance in rooms of a “house”. Read about that tool in The Memory Book by Buzan and Harrison.

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mind

Mind by Caterina SM is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

We all need tools to help us nurture a state of contentment and help others feel less anxious and stressed. You may have come across the idea of mindfulness, either in the newspapers, books or on television. Mindfulness is associated with Buddhism, yoga, meditation, those who have the money to go on retreats or indulge in fads. For those skeptics, this Scientific American article weighs up mindfulness and meditation from a creativity and calmness viewpoint. This TED talk looks at how regularly employing techniques like meditation shapes our brains.

If you are now convinced to find out more about mindfulness, we have many new books and ebooks that present the benefits of taking stock of a situation and appreciating the present rather than worrying for the future. These books are often called ‘Shelf-help’ books in libraries.

If you have a login to the Hillcroft VLE, check out the ebooks in the series ‘Can I tell you about…? ‘. They look at common learning difficulties and strategies to manage them, many through the lens of mindfulness’ psychological cousin, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).

If you don’t fancy a book, Candis Magazine also provides are some simple tips and tricks for wellbeing.

DVD stand close upThis week we’ve added DVD recordings of the three episodes from Genius of the Modern World to our collection.

BBC 4 broadcast the series in June 2016. The series examined three famous figures from the nineteenth century whose ideas and theories influence the world today; Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Our Access to Higher Education Humanities and Social Sciences students will find each of the episodes as equally relevant. They study Marx’s theory on the industrial revolution and its effects in their sociology unit.

Episode 1 examines Marx’s theory on revolution as well as the work he did with Engels which resulted in the Communist Manifesto. Episode 2 on Nietzsche discusses how his philosophy on science and religion and a godless world links in with their history unit on fascism as Nietzsche’s sister reinterpreted his work to match in with Nazi propaganda which he himself would have been against. Episode 3 on Freud outlines his work on desire and the unconscious mind which resulted in psychoanalysis and its theories. Our students study Freud as an integral part of their psychology unit.

Find more on Marx, Nietzsche and Freud on our library catalogue. And if you missed the series you can still catch up on it on BBC iPlayer.

 

The current issue of the New Scientist has a special feature about Sleep.

There aSleep + womanre nine pages that start with a graphic about the key to good sleep, noting the effects of aspects like light pollution, pets and temperature control. It continues with answers to questions such as – ‘How much shut-eye do I need? Can I cheat by sleeping in bits? What’s the best way to get to sleep?’

The final section is written by Russell Foster who is the director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute and discusses the links between sleep and mental health.

If you want to know more about sleep after reading this article, try these materials available in the LRC:

Sleep and electroencephalograms (EEG) Advanced Biology (2000) by Roberts, Reiss & Monger.

Sleep deprivation The Private Life of the Brain (2000) by Greenfield.

Sleep disorders The Oxford Companion to the Body (2001) by Blakemore & Jennett (editors).

Insomnia The Stressed Sex: uncovering the truth about men, women and mental health (2013) by Freeman & Freeman.

Sleep and the Biological approach Psychology: the science of the mind and behaviour (2015) 7th edn. by Gross. Also as an ebook. Additionally, AQA A-level Psychology Book 1 (2015) by Lawton et al.

 

 

Cancer books

Last week, a gene breakthrough for breast cancer was reported in the media. NHS Choices expands on the details of this research which was originally published in the scientific journal Nature.

This large study was conducted by British scientists but funding came from a number of sources across the world. It involved 560 people with breast cancer with scientists comparing the DNA from their cancer cells with DNA from their surrounding normal cells. They isolated 93 genes that if they mutated, could make normal cells become cancerous.

This was a laboratory study, hopefully leading to a better understanding of the genetic mutations and their causes and in the much longer term, targeted personalised treatments for breast cancer. Doctors and scientists believe that through limiting alcohol, keeping physically active and maintaining body weight, the risk of breast cancer can be reduced.

To find out more about cancer, psychological support for cancer sufferers and personal stories of people with cancer, explore these items on the web and the LRC catalogue:

Oxford Dictionary of Science 6th edn. (2010) by Daintith and Martin

Advanced Biology (2000) by Roberts, Reiss and Monger

In the body of the world: a memoir of cancer and connection (2013) by Ensler

Gratitude (2015) by Sacks

Health Psychology 5th edn. (2012) by Ogden and also as an ebook

Cancer Research UK

CBT + Psychology Review

Last week saw the launch of a World Health Organisation Report on the increasing use of antidepressants in children across the developed world reported by BBC News.

Those under 18 years old are often prescribed anti-depressants and no other forms of treatment are made available. These other treatments can include talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) however, there are long waiting lists.

This prompted a longer look at our current issue of Philip Allen’s ‘Psychology Review’ which has a double page spread on CBT. Don’t forget this resource is available on the VLE under eresources > Dynamic Learning ejournals. The article is written by Dr Judith Beck, daughter of the ‘father’ of CBT, Aaron Beck. She covers the following aspects:

  • What CBT is
  • How did it develop?
  • What is its effectiveness?
  • How does it work?
  • Contents of an average session

At the end of the article, it directs you to Beck Institute audio clips and their blog.  Hodder Education also direct you to a YouTube clip on CBT.

Other LRC resources covering CBT:

Collins Key Concepts in Psychology by Kendall

Psychology: a very short introduction 2nd edn. by Butler & McManus

Introduction to Psychology 16th edn. by Nolen-Hoeksema et al.

Psychology for Dummies on DawsoneraThis week we’ve added two ebooks in the Dummies series to our collection. They are:

Sociology for Dummies by Nasar Meer and Jay Gabler

Psychology for Dummies by Adam Cash

Our students requested these two. The Dummies series are a fantastic way of getting to understand a subject which is completely new to you. The books are great as they all come with lots of call-out boxes and diagrams to break up the text and give you tips and reminders.

We’ve got a number of ebooks and books from the series.  Other handy ones in the study skills area are:

Time Management for Dummies by Clare Evans

Writing Essays for Dummies by Mary Page and Carrie Winstanley

Speed Reading for Dummies by Richard Sutz and Peter Weverka