This chapter discusses the social psychology of humor, starting with a walk through how the presence of other people can make things seem funnier. It shows how humor can have a positive or a negative tone and it can focus on ourselves or on those around us. Self-enhancing humor makes stress tolerable. It can keep folks from viewing minor annoyances as unbearable disasters. The chapter sketches how humor can function to maintain the status quo. People who report using self-enhancing humor show less anxiety, neuroticism, and depression; better psychological well-being and self-esteem, and more extraversion, optimism, and openness to experience. When it comes to hierarchies, getting a feel for who’s cracking jokes and laughing can communicate who’s top dog. The chapter finally focuses on gender differences, and then sees how humor contributes to developing friendships, finding a date, and maintaining an intimate relationship.
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Years of research have revealed that certain techniques reliably lead to improved quality and quantity of sleep and increased satisfaction with sleep. Together these techniques can be called “cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia” (
CBT-I). In the mid-1990s two important reports were published on these techniques. These reports were based on meta-analyses. In a meta-analysis, the research data from many studies of a given treatment are carefully combined to provide the overall story on the treatment’s usefulness. In these particular meta-analyses, the authors reviewed studies that had compared CBT-Itechniques with no treatment or with a placebo treatment. Research shows that CBT-Iis useful even if one have some mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety or depression, or some long-lasting medical problem like chronic pain or cancer. This book shows how to deal with and overcome insomnia if one has insomnia that has lasted longer than 4 weeks.
This chapter aims to highlight and clarify the particular ways in which scientific disciplines have approached understanding the variety of experiences people call depression, and to demonstrate how the knowledge generated by science has shed light on their human understanding of depression and resulted in improved identification and treatment of these conditions. Diagnoses of depressive disorders differ from colloquial meanings of the term depression often used to refer to more temporary reactions to those more troubling manifestations of the concept that are the province of psychopathological research. One important difference is that diagnoses fit the concept of a syndrome. A syndrome is a set of signs and symptoms that appear together in time in a coherent pattern. In the case of psychiatric disorders such as depression, symptoms are those problems that can be described by someone experiencing them but that are not readily observable by others, such as thoughts of hopelessness.
Any theoretical model of depressive disorders must be consistent with people’s broader understanding of human psychology, including the origins and functions of their psychological processes. A number of theorists have offered models of depressive disorders that emphasize the possible adaptive significance to their species of these conditions and related emotions. The purpose of such models is twofold: to provide a conceptualization of depression that is consistent with evolutionary theory, and to describe how the etiology of depression may be understood as involving normal processes of adaptation. If depressive disorders and normal experiences of grief, sadness, and guilt emerge from shared mechanisms, then perhaps depression shares with these normal experiences their adaptive functions as well. Many of the evolutionarily based models generated to explain the existence of depression focus on the interpersonal and social contexts of depression.
For decades, televisions have been referred to as “boob tubes”. The “tube” side of the slang term referred to the huge cathode-ray tubes that powered the viewing screen in the Stone Age of television. This basic belief persists, that time spent on entertainment media, particularly visual media is associated with reduced intelligence or academic performance. On the other hand, some investigators are examining whether newer forms of media can be used to promote learning. This chapter examines these concerns and beliefs and elucidates to what degree consuming entertainment media influences our academic achievement. Children who had watched fast-paced cartoon had reduced executive functioning compared to an educational show, or to perform a controlled drawing task. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a host of policy statements on media issues. These have ranged from media violence to “Facebook Depression”, the belief that time spent on social media causes depression.Source:
Psychological trauma can occur when a person experiences an extreme stressor that negatively affects his or her emotional or physical well-being. Trauma can cause emotionally painful and distressing feelings that overwhelm a person’s capacity to cope and leave him or her with feelings of helplessness. Traumatic events can lead to Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and myriad other reactions, such as depression, substance abuse, sleep problems, and potentially chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Trauma exposure cuts across all walks of life, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, and cultural background. The types of traumatic events includes child maltreatment, intimate partner violence/domestic violence, rape or sexual violence, military sexual trauma, sex trafficking, combat-related trauma, civilian war trauma and torture, disasters, serious accidents, and life-threatening medical illness. This book provides an overview of the rich and varied research conducted on psychological trauma over the past 3 decades.Source:
Psychological trauma can have long-term effects on health. When considering the impact of trauma on health, most people tend to focus on immediate consequences, such as injury. And these needs can be substantial. Patients who reported four or more types of childhood adversity, including sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; exposure to domestic violence; and parental mental illness, criminal activity, and substance abuse, were at significantly increased risk for such diverse conditions as ischemic heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, and hepatitis. Human beings are meant to have social relationships with others. Unfortunately, trauma survivors often have difficulties in their relationships. Depression and Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common sequelae of trauma. Depression is one of the most commonly occurring sequelae of trauma. Given the serious often life-threatening conditions that trauma survivors often have, an adequate health care system response is perhaps the most pressing need of survivors of traumatic events.Source:
- Go to chapter: How Can We Integrate Our Knowledge of Depressive Disorders to Improve Our Understanding and Treatment of These Conditions?
How Can We Integrate Our Knowledge of Depressive Disorders to Improve Our Understanding and Treatment of These Conditions?
Depressive disorders are etiologically heterogeneous. Considerable progress has been made in describing depressive disorders across the life span their impact on behavior and functioning; their relationship to broader psychological systems; and identifying some of the processes within people and their environmental circumstances that may be involved in the etiologies of these disorders. The next decades of research on unipolar and bipolar mood disorders seem likely to focus much more explicitly on making connections across evidence derived from very different lines of research in order to provide more direct evidence for the mechanisms that underlie risk for and expression of depression and mania. Some areas of research on depression will necessarily become increasingly technological and specialized, areas like genomics. The challenge for psychopathologists will be to define the psychological and clinical constructs that are the most promising targets for exploration using these new technologies.