Bursting the self-esteem bubble
(David Dent, March/April, 2002, Psychology Today)
Nicholas Emler, a UK social
psychologist, has produced a controversial report which argues
that high self-esteem may be
high self-esteem seems most
dangerous when it colors racial and ethnic tolerance. "People with
incredibly positive views of themselves feel anybody who differs from
them is an insult," explains Emler. "They just don't like people who are
different." For an opposing view, read
Is high self-esteem bad for you?
(Robert Campbell & Walter Foddis, 2003, Navigator, 8, The Objectivist
years a resilient child should be able to fend for itself
(James Neill, 2004, Outdoor Education Research & Evaluation Center)
Children evolved to have the capacity to be surprisingly
independent at young ages, although they are quite vulnerable during the
first year. Rapidly, however, between the ages of 1 and 3, a child
blossoms in physical coordination, mental complexity, language and major
basic skills of life.
(Clayton Tucker-Ladd, 1996)
This online book reviews many aspects of
self-improvement. It provides a system for analyzing any problem into
its manageable parts and for planning self-change. It invites you to
first carefully consider what you value and want to accomplish in life.
It summarizes science's explanations of most human problems and lists
promising ways of treating a wide range of unwanted behaviors and
emotions, including about 100 self-help methods. In short, this book provides a sound,
research-based fund of knowledge about behavior; add to this your own
coping experiences and you accumulate a storehouse of general
knowledge that will help you understand yourself and gain more control
over your life.
Article summary: Personal accounts of successful versus failed attempts at life change
(Heatherton & Nichols, 1994, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin)
In this study 100+ people wrote stories about their
failed and successful attempts at life change (e.g., change in job,
relationship, personal behavior, financial). The characteristics
of successful and failed attempts are described, providing a rich
glimpse into the phenomenology of possibilities for human change.
Vacationers find it difficult to take psychological time off
(Benedict Carey, May 17, 2004, Los Angeles Times)
People are working harder than ever and are struggling to relax
while on holiday. Holidayers often report disenchantment with their
experiences, but are inclined to look back at past holidays through
rose-colored glasses. In all of this, people seem to be searching for
time to be themselves but are coming up empty-handed.
motivates a thrillseeker?
(Meredith Goad, 24 May, 2004, Portland Press Herald)
Psychologically, people lie on a continuum with regards to
their desire to experience thrill through risk-taking. Big T's tend to
pursue risks in their careers, physical adventure, and are more susceptible to
drug use, gambling and other risky behaviors. Little T's assess risks
differently and are more cautious. Interestingly, this
"sensation-seeking" personal attribute is about two-thirds genetically based.
There are also developmental patterns, with risk-taking peaking during
adolescence and young adulthood, and lowering after people have children.
- Colin Wilson: Psychological ideas about human
(James Neill, 2004)
Green is good
for you: The mental
restoration we get from nature has implications for how we design
(Rebecca Clay, 34(2), 2001, American Psychological Association Monitor)
Field theory: Kurt Lewin
PsychSymposium: Applying ancient
wisdom practices to psychology
(Steven Colmant & Allen Eason, 2004)
Psychology of Adventure
(James Neill, 2004)
Psychology of Play
Psychology of Time
(James Neill, 2003)
Psychological Info, Methods & Tools
Online Psychology Courses
Classic Psychology of Human Growth Texts
Some Key Questions
- How do humans grow and change psychologically?
- How can humans be "educated" about their bodies and psyches so as to be effective in leading a holistic life?
- What theories of psychological growth are important?
- What psychological change methods and practices can be recommended?
Psychology Resources Sites
Brief History of Psychology
1st force psychology
Initially, Western psychology focused on psychodynamics
(Freud & all that id, ego, super-ego stuff, etc.). The idea of
psychodynamics is that inner urges conflict with social constraints - and how we
resolve these issues becomes a pattern of response that may be pathological. That was first force
psychology, and this approach dominated psychology for several decades around the turn of the 20th century.
2nd force psychology
In the 1930's-1950's there was a philosophical pendulum swing away from inner
psychodynamics towards a science focusing on observable behavior and how it is shaped by
the environment. Second force psychology
was known as behaviorism. This is the idea that human behavior can be
understood much as the animals can be understood as a function of inbuilt
instincts and behaviors trained through punishment, reward, and modeling, etc.
(Watson, Skinner, etc.)
3rd force psychology
In the 1960's, the human potential or human growth movement emerged with a
philosophical emphasis on the idea that people have unique inherent capabilities
which can be fully realized when humans are valued, supported, provided with
meaningful life activity and share and express emotions. Third force
psychology (Rogers, Maslow, etc.) gave rise to terms such as client-centered
therapy, peak experiences, self actualization, and group therapy. Recently
third force psychology has received renewed emphasis under the banner of
4th force psychology
Third force psychology gave rise, among other things, to fourth force
psychology, or transpersonal psychology. Fourth force psychology includes
closer examination of spiritual and religious experiences, altered
consciousness, Eastern philosophy, ecopsychology, and so on.
By the end of the 20th century, the different forces of psychology had
loosely come together with a new emphasis, combining cognitive (the role of
thoughts), social (the role of society, culture and social dynamics), and individual
differences (the role of intelligence, personality, and constructs such as
coping and resilience).
Humanistic & Transpersonal Readings
Sport & Exercise Psychology