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-0205669093: MyPsychLab with Pearson eText
List price: $207.87
Military Mind Control provides a single case history written by Dr. Ross. Terese, a woman treated in Dr. Ross’ private practice, is a survivor of childhood trauma that included paternal incest, ritual abuse and military mind control. The case history describes the therapeutic goals, tasks, strategies and principles that have contributed to her recovery, including the principle of therapeutic neutrality. It is a documented fact that victims of CIA and military mind control experimentation have been hypnotized, given hallucinogens, held in sensory deprivation chambers, given massive amounts of electroshock and subjected to unethical, inhumane treatment by psychiatrists. Therefore, although Terese’s participation in a military mind control program is unproven, it could very well be real.
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“NLP Coaching Cards” are language cards that you can learn from for finding out what’s going on in someone else’s mind-map of their world, then coaching them to enrich that map. They are fantastic for setting goals, clearing obstacles, and shaking up limiting beliefs. They also include techniques for wiring in the infamous NLP Meta Model, the world’s most powerful information-gathering and problem-solving tool.
List price: $31.95
Most of us would agree that there’s a clear—and even obvious—connection between the things we believe and the way we behave. But what if our actions are driven not by our conscious values and beliefs but by hidden motivations we’re not even aware of?
The “hidden brain” is Shankar Vedantam’s shorthand for a host of brain functions, emotional responses, and cognitive processes that happen outside our conscious awareness but have a decisive effect on how we behave. The hidden brain has its finger on the scale when we make all our most complex and important decisions: It decides whom we fall in love with, whether we should convict someone of murder, and which way to run when someone yells “Fire!” It explains why we can become riveted by the story of a single puppy adrift on the ocean but are quickly bored by a story of genocide. The hidden brain can also be deliberately manipulated to convince people to vote against their own interests, or even become suicide terrorists. But the most disturbing thing is that it does all this without our knowing.
Shankar Vedantam, author of The Washington Post’s popular “Department of Human Behavior” column, takes us on a tour of this phenomenon and explores its consequences. Using original reporting that combines the latest scientific research with compulsively readable narratives that take readers from the American campaign trail to terrorist indoctrination camps, from the World Trade Center on 9/11 to, yes, a puppy adrift on the Pacific Ocean, Vedantam illuminates the dark recesses of our minds while making an original argument about how we can compensate for our blind spots—and what happens when we don’t.
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This audiobook version of As A Man Thinketh is true to the original. Every word written by James Allen is spoken with clarity and authority by the narrator, making it easy to remember the information and absorb the timeless wisdom.
This short book, originally published in 1902, has had a huge impact in the field of personal development. It is regarded as one of the most important books of the new thought era. It’s written in such a way that makes it easy to understand the most powerful message you could ever learn.
The introduction of the book summarizes the idea beautifully:
Mind is the Master-power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills:-
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.
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This is the first fortnightly column I’ll be writing for The Conversation, a creative commons news and opinion website that launched today. The site has been set up by a number of UK universities and bodies such as the Wellcome Trust, Nuffield Foundation and HEFCE, following the successful model of the Australian version of the site. Their plan is to unlock the massive amount of expertise held by UK academics and inject it into the public discourse. My plan is to give some critical commentary on headlines from the week's news which focus on neuroscience and psychology. If you've any headlines like you'd critiquing, let me know!
A picture of a large pair of eyes triggers feelings of surveillance in potential thieves, making them less likely to break the rules.
Researchers put signs with a large pair of eyes and the message “Cycle thieves: we are watching you” by the bike racks at Newcastle University.
They then monitored bike thefts for two years and found a 62% drop in thefts at locations with the signs. There was a 65% rise in the thefts from locations on campus without signs.
A bunch of studies have previously shown that subtle clues which suggest surveillance can alter moral behaviour. The classic example is the amount church-goers might contribute to the collection dish.
This research fits within the broad category of findings which show our decisions can be influenced by aspects of our environment, even those which shouldn’t logically affect them.
The signs are being trialled by Transport for London, and are a good example of the behavioural “nudges” promoted by the Cabinet Office’s (newly privatised) Behavioural Insight Unit. Policy makers love these kind of interventions because they are cheap. They aren’t necessarily the most effective way to change behaviour, but they have a neatness and “light touch” which means we’re going to keep hearing about this kind of policy.
The problem with this study is that the control condition was not having any sign above bike racks – so we don’t know what it was about the anti-theft sign that had an effect. It could have been the eyes, or it could be message “we are watching you”. Previous research, cited in the study, suggests both elements have an effect.
The effect is obviously very strong for location, but it isn’t very strong in time. Thieves moved their thefts to nearby locations without signs – suggesting that any feelings of being watched didn’t linger. We should be careful about assuming that anything was working via the unconscious or irrational part of the mind.
If I were a bike thief and someone was kind enough to warn me that some bikes were being watched, and (by implication) others weren’t, I would rationally choose to do my thieving from an unwatched location.
Another plausible interpretation is that bike owners who were more conscious about security left their bikes at the signed locations. Such owners might have better locks and other security measures. Careless bike owners would ignore the signs, and so be more likely to park at unsigned locations and subsequently have their bikes nicked.
Nettle, D., Nott, K., & Bateson, M. (2012) “Cycle Thieves, We Are Watching You”: Impact of a Simple Signage Intervention against Bicycle Theft. PloS one, 7(12), e51738.
Tom Stafford does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
The Boston Globe has a short but fascinating interview on the history of swearing where author Melissa Mohr describes how the meaning of the act of swearing has changed over time.
IDEAS: Are there other old curses that 21st-century people would be surprised to hear about?
MOHR: Because [bad words] were mostly religious in the Middle Ages, any part of God’s body you could curse with. God’s bones, nails, wounds, precious heart, passion, God’s death—that was supposedly one of Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite oaths.
IDEAS: Have religious curses like that lost their power as the culture becomes increasingly secular?
MOHR: We still use them a lot, but we just don’t think of them as bad words. They’re very mild. If you look at lists of the top 25 swear words, I think “Jesus Christ” often makes it in at number 23 or something….The top bad words slots are all occupied by the racial slurs or obscene—sexually or excrementally—words…
IDEAS: Are blasphemy, sexuality, and excrement the main themes all over the world?
MOHR: As far as I know, they’re mostly the same with a little bit of regional variation. In Arab and Spanish-speaking Catholic countries, there’s a lot of stuff about mothers and sisters. But it’s pretty much the same.
Interesting, there is good evidence that swear words are handled differently by the brain than non-swear words.
In global aphasia, a form of almost total language impairment normally caused by brain damage to the left hemisphere, affected people can still usually swear despite being unable to say any other words.
Author Melissa Mohr has just written a book called Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing which presumably has plenty more for swearing fans.
Behind the front lines of every war in the world, prisoners are forced to sit for interrogation: manipulated, coerced, and sometimes tortured–often without ever being touched. Brainwash is a history of the methods intended to destroy and reconstruct the minds of captives, to extract information, convert dissidents, and lead peaceful men to kill and be killed.
With access to formerly classified documentation and interviews from the CIA, U.S. Army, MI5, MI6, and British Intelligence Corps, Dominic Streatfeild traces the evolution of mind control from its origins in the Cold War to the height of today’s war on terror. Vivid and disturbing, Brainwash is essential insight into the modern practice of interrogation and torture.
List price: $20.00
Method and process are important in project management, but knowing how to use them is even more so. As a project manager you can increase your effectiveness most by developing your soft skills, recognising that finesse can be more effective than force. Once developed, you will find that these skills are transferable across project types and whole industry sectors. This book illustrates the application of NLP to develop competencies, hence better equipping you to communicate across cultures, reframe problems, manage stakeholder groups, resolve conflicts, motivate teams and become an even better leader.
List price: $40.99
Here’s my BBC Future column from last week. It’s about the so-called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, which didn’t have a name until 2010 and I’d never heard of until 2012. Now, I’m finding out that it is surprisingly common. The original is here.
It’s a tightening at the back of the throat, or a tingling around your scalp, a chill that comes over you when you pay close attention to something, such as a person whispering instructions. It’s called the autonomous sensory meridian response, and until 2010 it didn’t exist.
I first heard about the autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) from British journalist Rhodri Marsden. He had become mesmerised by intentionally boring videos he found on YouTube, things like people explaining how to fold towels, running hair dryers or role-playing interactions with dentists. Millions of people were watching the videos, reportedly for the pleasurable sensations they generated.
Rhodri asked my opinion as a psychologist. Could this be a real thing? “Sure,” I said. If people say they feel it, it has to be real – in some form or another. The question is what kind of real is it? Are all these people experiencing the same thing? Is it learnt, or something we are born with? How common is it? Those are the kind of questions we’d ask as psychologists. But perhaps the most interesting thing about the ASMR is what happened to it before psychologists put their minds to it.
Presumably the feeling has existed for all of human history. Each person discovered the experience, treasured it or ignored it, and kept the feeling to themselves. That there wasn’t a name for it until 2010 suggests that most people who had this feeling hadn’t talked about it. It’s amazing that it got this far without getting a name. In scientific terms, it didn’t exist.
But then, of course, along came the 21st Century and, like they say, even if you’re one in a million there’s thousands of you on the internet. Now there’s websites, discussion forums, even a Wikipedia page. And a name. In fact, many names – “Attention Induced Euphoria”, “braingasm”, or “the unnamed feeling” are all competing labels that haven’t caught on in the same way as ASMR.
This points to something curious about the way we create knowledge, illustrated by a wonderful story about the scientific history of meteorites. Rocks falling from the sky were considered myths in Europe for centuries, even though stories of their fiery trails across the sky, and actual rocks, were widely, if irregularly reported. The problem was that the kind of people who saw meteorites and subsequently collected them tended to be the kind of people who worked outdoors – that is, farmers and other country folk. You can imagine the scholarly minds of the Renaissance didn’t weigh too heavily on their testimonies. Then in 1794 a meteorite shower fell on the town of Siena in Italy. Not only was Siena a town, it was a town with a university. The testimony of the townsfolk, including well-to-do church ministers and tourists, was impossible to deny and the reports written up in scholarly publications. Siena played a crucial part in the process of myth becoming fact.
Where early science required authorities and written evidence to turn myth into fact, ASRM shows that something more democratic can achieve the same result. Discussion among ordinary people on the internet provided validation that the unnamed feeling was a shared one. Suddenly many individuals who might have thought of themselves as unusual were able to recognise that they were a single group, with a common experience.
There is a blind spot in psychology for individual differences. ASMR has some similarities with synaesthesia (the merging of the senses where colours can have tastes, for example, or sounds produce visual effects). Both are extremes of normal sensation, which exist for some individuals but not others. For many years synaesthesia was a scientific backwater, a condition viewed as unproductive to research, perhaps just the product of people’s imagination rather than a real sensory phenomenon. This changed when techniques were developed that precisely measured the effects of synaesthesia, demonstrating that it was far more than people’s imagination. Now it has its own research community, with conferences and papers in scientific journals.
Perhaps ASMR will go the same way. Some people are certainly pushing for research into it. As far as I know there are no systematic scientific studies on ASMR. Since I was quoted in that newspaper article, I’ve been contacted regularly by people interested in the condition and wanting to know about research into it. When people hear that their unnamed feeling has a name they are drawn to find out more, they want to know the reality of the feeling, and to connect with others who have it. Something common to all of us wants to validate our inner experience by having it recognised by other people, and in particular by the authority of science. I can’t help – almost all I know about ASMR is in this column you are reading now. For now all we have is a name, but that’s progress.
This latest card deck contains 52 language patterns and 52 belief-changing questions and is an ideal way to learn ‘Sleight of Mouth’ NLP patterns. Robert Dilts coined the phrase after seeing Richard Bandler use a system of re-framing patterns that were like doing ‘sleight of hand’ with beliefs. The resulting patterns are presented in these cards alongside other valuable language structures for shifting beliefs conversationally. The cards include
A tool for uncovering the unconscious structure of a belief
A tool that reveals their unconscious obstacles
A pattern for bringing the consequence of a belief into awareness
A pattern for directing a person’s attention to the larger outcome and purpose
A tool for finding out where out-of-date ‘rules’ came from, and much more.
List price: $36.95
I’ve got an article in today’s Observer about how disaster response mental health services are often based on the erroneous assumption that everyone needs ‘treatment’ and often rely on single-session counselling sessions which may do more harm than good.
Unfortunately, the article has been given a rather misleading headline (‘Minds traumatised by disaster heal themselves without therapy’) which suggests that mental health services are not needed. This is not the case and this is not what the article says.
What it does say is that the common idea of disaster response is that everyone affected by the tragedy will need help from mental health professionals when only a minority will.
It also says that aid agencies often use single-session counselling sessions which have been found to raise the risk of long-term mental health problems. This stems from a understandable desire to ‘do something’ but this motivation is not enough to actually help.
Disaster, war, violence and conflict, raise the number of mental health problems in the affected population. The appropriate response is to build or enhance high-quality, long-term, culturally relevant mental health services – not parachuting in counsellors to do single counselling sessions.
Link to article on disaster response psychology in The Observer.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would you change? Would you want to be more capable, effective, wealthier? Self-motivation is often the key to change, but how does one motivate oneself to be capable or effective?
Each year millions of people attend motivational seminars based on the powers of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP). Millions more wonder what NLP is all about. Finally, a book has arrived to introduce the practical techniques of NLP in easy to understand language.Be the Person You Want to Be offers a refreshing and different view of the principles of NLP. It guides readers in assessing who they want to be and how to attain their goals by setting guidelines and slowly changing behavior. Said to be a self-motivational program without the hype, NLP is explained in detail by John J. Emerick Jr., who focuses on original applications of these time-tested principles. Emerick shows readers how to apply these key strategies to achieve personal and business success by:
Increasing confidence in social and business interactions
Handling difficult situations smoothly
Gaining new insight into how people think and act
Taking control and achieving results in all aspects of life
Be the Person You Want to Be will enable readers to make significant and lasting changes in any area of their lives. By utilizing the NLP principles, and developing structures and guidelines, anyone can be the person they want to be.
List price: $16.95