Category Archives for "Results"
Imagine you’ve never seen a car before and the first one you see was involved in a fatal accident. You express how tragic that is and that you would really love to be able to help keep that from happening to others. You watch videos of all kinds of car crashes and learn how they devastate millions of lives.
Since you don’t understand the point of having cars, you may suggest doing away with them altogether, or perhaps creating a 20 mph speed limit on all roads. Neither of these solutions would work, of course, because you wouldn’t get any compliance from car owners.
It would be far more productive to study all of the costs and benefits of having cars and use that study to determine the best desired outcomes. In this case, the premise would change from “cars are inherently bad” to recognizing that cars have value but are also dangerous. The focus of all efforts would be to maximize cars’ benefits while minimizing the accident rate.
Starting from such a premise would lead you to suggest that better education and training would make better drivers. In looking for people to perform that education you would be looking for those who drove the best and not those who crash every time they take the car out.Continue reading
I attended a great presentation at the APA annual conference in San Francisco about Achievement, Innovation, and Leadership in the Affective Spectrum. Four distinguished panelists gave presentations about their research into why people with bipolar disorder tend to exhibit advantages in some parts of their lives. They said it was the first time ever that the APA had such a discussion and it was a great honor to be a part of it.
First up was Sheri Johnson, PhD, who teaches at UC Berkeley and does basic research on mania. Her talk was about how people with bipolar disorder are more reactive to rewards and goals in their lives. They tend to work harder toward such goals and refuse to give up long after “normal” people do. Dr. Johnson is currently conducting studies to understand the greater reactivity to success in this population, using paradigms drawn from neuroimaging, emotion, information-processing, and impulsivity literatures. She is also considering other psychological traits that might relate to outcomes in bipolar disorder, including stress reactivity, emotion regulation, and social dominance. She believes that figuring out why mania is linked to success will lead to better ways to predict manic episodes.Continue reading