Archive for Science

Ben Goldacre is a medical doctor who investigates the real effects of medicines & drugs and how pharmaceutical companies can absolutely legally hide unfavourable trial results. Even some academic papers which we believe are ‘objective’ and reliable are often planned, and written by people who covertly work for those same companies. He wrote “Bad Science” which just came out recently, read more about it here.

If you do not have time to read through the whole book, watch this TED video which explains it all.


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Experience, Memory and Happiness

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Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our “experiencing selves” and our “remembering selves” perceive happiness differently. This new insight of the Two Selves within has profound implications for economics, public policy — and our own self-awareness.

We need to consider experience and memory separately when we study happiness, i.e. what we experience in the present is not what we remember after the fact. This is of utmost importance in a world that is starting to recognise how well-being and ‘happiness’ impact our economy and life generally. Considering that all public policies, work organistion

“We do not attend to the same things when we live our life and when we think about it”, says Daniel Kahneman. “Happiness is not a substitute to well-being, it is a completely different notion.”


Must Read In 2012

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If you are reading this blog, you are curious about Human nature. If you are curious about Human nature, there is a book you ABSOLUTELY have to read.  It’s the book I just finished.

Daniel Kahneman is a Professor of psychology. An extraordinary one. A psychologist who won a Nobel Prize in Economic Science.
Together with his long time collaborator Amos Tversky, they conducted research since the 1970’s that have disproved the widely accepted economic model which traditionally assumes that humans are rational and maximise utility.
Their research lead to the development of a new science called ‘Behavioural Economics’ based on the assumption that humans are irrational, and that we tend to be influenced by data that is totally irrelevant to the topic at hand.

For example, in one experiment they asked college students two questions:
“How happy are you with your life in general?” and “How many dates did you have last month?”
When asked in this order they found almost no correlation. However, simply changing the order of the questions influenced the students a great deal: those who had been on a lot of dates rated themselves as much happier than those who had not.

In another experiment in Germany, they found that experienced judges were much more likely to give shoplifters a longer sentence if they had rolled a dice loaded to give a higher number just before making that decision.

‘Thinking, Fast & Slow”‘ is a great way to start the year: after reading the book, you will feel completely comfortable being as irrational as you want, and let’s face it, nothing is more liberating than irrationality. 🙂

Another way to understand Human nature and the complex processes behind our decision making is to take one of the NLP courses that we have lined up for you this year. Visit the schedule of all courses to read more about them.

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The Price Of Medical Fads

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A very interesting Newsweek article on how American children are being misdiagnosed as suffering from bi-polar disorder and the dire consequences highlights the relationship between language and our health.

In his article, Stuart Kaplan, a child psychiatrist with nearly 50 years experience, talks about the fad diagnosis that launched bi-polar disorder as a juvenile disease and the subsequent 40-fold increase of outpatient office visits for children and adolescents with bipolar disorder from 20,000 in 1994–95 to 800,000 in 2002–03. “Before 1995, bipolar disorder, once known as manic-depressive illness, was rarely diagnosed in children; today nearly one third of all children and adolescents discharged from child psychiatric hospitals are diagnosed with the disorder and medicated accordingly“.

What he tags as ‘trendy thinking’ started in the 1990s, is founded on shaky scientific grounds he says (notably that the symptoms for children bi-polar disorder include behaviours that are natural in children, and that several of the studies done by some leading scholars on the disease are based entirely on reports by parents). Read More→

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Now Smile

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Remember Mona Lisa? What was she thinking about?

There is more to a smile than what we usually think. Research has shown that smiling & laughing can reduce stress, improve the immune system, and even could help with recovering from certain diseases. The most famous case is Norman Cousins’ recovery from (what is now thought to be) reactive arthritis which he claims in his book “Anatomy of an Illness” he cured with mega-doses of Vitamin C and heavy doses of daily laughter. He mentions : “I made the joyous discovery that ten minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep,” he reported. “When the pain-killing effect of the laughter wore off, we would switch on the motion picture projector again and not infrequently, it would lead to another pain-free interval.”

Many Eastern traditions have also incorporated laughter as part of a daily set of practices such as Laughing Yoga and Laughing Qi Gong. The power of the Taoist ‘Inner Smile’ meditations has been well documented (we teach some of those practices during our Beat Stress, Pill Free half day workshop. Check date for the next one on the schedule of all courses webpage)

Watch the Ted video below where Ron Gutman reviews a number of studies about smiling, and reveals some unexpected results.




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