Psychology Around the Net: June 20, 2020

This week’s Psychology Around the Net takes a look at how judgemental some of us have been during the coronavirus pandemic, a new study regarding how we lower our standards during decision-making processes, what we can do to help young adults avoid falling off the “cliff” of mental health care, and more.

Stay well, friends!

Why You Don’t Get Out of Your Office Chair: Toward a New Psychology of Sitting Behavior: We know that sitting too often and for too long can lead to both mental and physical health problems; still, we don’t know a whole lot about the psychological side of sitting. Researchers from the Behavioral Science Institute at Radboud University decided to delve into that, offering insight on morning sitting habits versus afternoon sitting habits, and even providing some tips on breaking the not-so-great habits and stimulating better sitting behavior.

The Age of Judgement: The Psychology Behind Judgemental Behaviour During the Pandemic: Why are some of us so quick to berate and shame others during this global pandemic? We did it during the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, and we’re doing it now that some of the restrictions are being eased up. What’s the drive behind the judgemental behavior, and is it actually helping anything?

If Only #ListenToBlackWomen Were More Than a Hashtag…: This guest post by Keturah Kendrick takes a blunt, unapologetic look at what’s going unheard.

Decide Now or Wait for Something Better? Our Standards Drop Over Time: Shopping for a house isn’t the same as shopping for an apple. All the available options for apples (at your grocery store, that is) are right in front of you; not so with houses. Usually, with houses — and other items such as flight tickets, vacation rentals, and used vehicles — we get our options

Read More

Global mental health in the time of COVID-19 – Harvard Health Blog

Just months ago, who could have imagined that the world would be looking down the barrel of a spiraling health crisis and economic recession unlike any witnessed in our lifetime? Now, in a world gripped by the fear of a marauding virus, mental health is emerging as a key concern.

Diverse pathways to poorer mental health

The reaction of the media and governments to the epidemic served to fuel anxiety. The dramatic way the term “pandemic” was announced by the WHO after weeks of watching the epidemic unfolding around the world was a hair-raising moment. Apocalyptic messaging about millions of dead bodies littering our cities followed, even though experts had identified vulnerable populations — people who are elderly or chronically ill, and those who live in group facilities like nursing homes — early on.

The breathless questions mounted. When, if ever, would life return to a semblance of what we used to experience? Within the torrent of mixed messages about the science, what was real or fake? What might the post-lockdown scenario for containing the virus look like? All of this played on an endless daily newsreel, rounded out by rising figures on illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths around the world and close to home.

Not surprisingly, experiences of anxiety, fearfulness, sleep problems, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness are widespread. These are mostly the rational responses of our minds to the extraordinary realities that we are facing. But economic recession, widening inequalities, continuing uncertainty about waves of the epidemic still to come, and the emotional impact of physical distancing policies will continue to bite deeper into our mental health. A rise in clinically significant mental illnesses and suicides may well follow.

Unemployment, acute poverty, and indebtedness are strongly associated with poor mental health. A recent report documents “deaths of despair,” mostly

Read More