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Psychology

This category contains 93 posts

Mini post: Keep a plant at your desk to reduce stress

There’s a lot of research about the benefits of being able to see trees outside of your window while you work (e.g., Kaplan, 1993) or while you recover from surgery (e.g., Ulrich, 1984) but what about having a small plant on your desk? Toyoda, Yokota, Barnes, and Kaneko (2019) conduced a research study in an … Continue reading

Pets and poinsettias

I was all prepped to update this post, but it turns out nothing has really changed. People still think that poinsettias are poisonous and sources that are seen as authorities in social media continue to propulgate the myth. But poinsettias are not poisonous. I added one additional reference at the start and left the original … Continue reading

Do you know what your dog is thinking?

I have cats and I often regret that I don’t know what they’re thinking. A cat’s face is more often than not completely inscrutable. Dogs, on the other hand, seem only too willing to share their emotions. Its hard not to think that we know what a dog’s expression means. But, some recent research indicates … Continue reading

The best of the available

I’ve taught evolution repeatedly. I talk about natural selection and how it doesn’t select for the best, it selects the best of what’s available. This isn’t a foreign concept to people. We do this consciously all the time. And yet, most of us still have trouble commiting to this piece of information. When we are … Continue reading

Living sustainably and well being

I have been using the SuperBetter app for the last few weeks. In it, you earn points (which you can do nothing with) by activating power ups (things like getting tasks done early or reaching out to a friend or family member). There are also quests to o and enemies to face. I won’t go … Continue reading

To tell a story or not to tell a story

A story is a pretty powerful thing. I’ve had day campers come back to me a year later and repeat some of the stories I’ve told and I’ve watched adults debate the truth of a particular legend told on a canoe trip. The stories we tell ourselves can greatly influence how we respond to trauma … Continue reading

It’s not just figure skaters and gymnasts

As a figure skater I was pretty aware of how unreasonable societal and sport pressures can have pretty significant negative effects on the health of female athletes. Amenorrhoea, low bone mineral density, and low energy availability are all concerns due to high energy expenditure and low energy intake due to pressures to be thin and … Continue reading

Building community and resilience through gardening

Okay, so confessions first: I do not enjoy gardening. There is no part of crawling around on the ground with my hands in the dirt that I enjoy. I do enjoy the product of food gardens, but not enough to make me take up gardening. With that out of the way, I will say that … Continue reading

You need at least 2 hours a week in nature

There is significant evidence of the benefits of exposure to nature, from seeing trees out a window to living in a neighbourhood with street trees. All have been shown to affect factors like reducing the amount of medication patients take after surgery, increasing productivity at work, and decreasing rates of aggression. But new research carried … Continue reading

What makes you recycle?

Okay, first thing first. Recycling is not the way to go. We need to reduce the amount of waste we generate first. Strategies like carrying a reusable mug, metal water bottle, and cloth grocery bags are simple places to start on the reduce front. Other strategies like buying clothes that last longer (both fashion wise … Continue reading

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