Monthly Archives: February 2010

And Why is Feeling Bad Good?

“Would have been nice to have had a few depressives underwriting financial derivatives and real estate over the past few years.”

Posted by DR, February 26, 2010, in response to Jonah Lehrer’s The Frontal Cortex blog-take on his article in today’s New York Times. The Upside of Depression.

Depression. It’s a good thing. Or it can be. Helps focus the mind. A clarifying force that pushes aside extraneous things – like eating or sleeping or sex – so you can settle in, wrap your head around, chew on the really big questions.

The ones that seem unanswerable. The ones we’d rather avoid. The ones we’d benefit from addressing. The ones we’d better start answering…

Now that would be a really good application of Behavioral Economics…

Copyright © 2010 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

Multi-tasking taking its Toll? Psychological Survival Skills for the Recession – and Beyond

Juggle too much, you drop the ball. These are stressful times.

Oh, forget that! It’s always stressful times for some of us: not enough time, too much to do, not enough energy, too much pressure… Things have sped up so much, for so many of us. Michael Winerip quotes Nina Lentini in today’s New York Times , “Everybody works like this now. This is just the new reality.” http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/21/fashion/21genb.html

Which is why you laughed when your father told you to complain to your boss about your hours. 9 to 5? Ancient history. 8 to 8? Starting to look like pretty good hours, if you are really done at 8. Because this is closer to the truth: online, on the cell, on duty, 24/7.

The truth about multi-tasking: More does not equal more; more equals less. We do too many things at the same time, and do each less well than we think we do. We juggle too much, and sleep too little. And it’s affecting our health as well as our disposition (tired person = cranky person). http://videos.apnicommunity.com/Video,Item,1091439491.html. We need to sleep more, multi-task less.

How to get the incentive?
Try an experiment. Two weeks. Get to bed – and sleep – an hour earlier than usual. And try doing one thing at a time. You know, what Mr. Graessle told you in 10th grade Science class. Two weeks. See if it makes a difference; you know it will.

How to get the sleep you need?

Take it. Decide to get up earlier rather than stay up later. You’ll accomplish more when you’re not exhausted.
Imagine it. As you close your eyes, repeat to yourself, “I am falling asleep now, and will sleep restfully through the night.”

How to get the rest you need?

Take it. Take a 24-hour break from technology: no cell, no computer, no ipod, no alarm clock. This is what used to be called the Sabbath…
Take it. Just say no. No more. Not now. Not until I’ve finished this. No, it’s enough.
Take it. Breathe. Meditate. Focus on one thing at a time. Like watching the sky…
Imagine it. As you start to tell yourself you can squeeze in just one more thing, imagine how you’d feel if you just didn’t. Just this once. Or maybe not…

Copyright © 2010 Marlin S. Potash. All rights reserved.

APA Amends Ethics Code

February 24, 2010

WASHINGTON – The American Psychological Association has amended its Code of Ethics to make clear that its standards can never be interpreted to justify or defend violating human rights.

The action, which came during the winter meeting of APA’s governing Council of Representatives, amended the Codes Introduction and Applicability section, as well as Ethical Standards 1.02 and 1.03, to resolve any potential ambiguity in the original language. These changes become effective June 1, 2010.

“APA’s longstanding policy is that psychologists may never violate human rights,” said APA President Carol D. Goodheart, EdD, Saturday in announcing the changes. “These standards now unquestionably conform to that policy.”

The standards, from APA’s “Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct” (2002), address situations where psychologists’ ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations, other governing legal authority, or organizational demands. Previously, it appeared that if psychologists could not resolve such conflicts, they could adhere to the law or demands of an organization without further consideration. That language has been deleted and this new sentence added: “Under no circumstances may this standard be used to justify or defend violating human rights.”

The meaning of these two standards (1.02 and 1.03) was called into question during the last Bush administration when the Justice Department issued legal rulings authorizing so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.

“These amendments to the Ethics Code provide clear guidance to psychologists regarding their ethical obligations when conflicts arise between psychology ethics and the law or ethics and organizational demands,” said APA Ethics Director Stephen H. Behnke, PhD. “This action by the Council of Representatives makes all psychologists’ ethical responsibilities abundantly clear.”

Following are the two ethical standards and the changes adopted. Language that is underscored was newly adopted.

1.02, Conflicts Between Ethics and Law, Regulations, or Other Governing Legal Authority

If psychologists’ ethical responsibilities conflict with law, regulations, or other governing legal authority, psychologists clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code and take reasonable steps to resolve the conflict consistent with the General Principles and Ethical Standards of the Ethics Code. Under no circumstances may this standard be used to justify or defend violating human rights.

1.03, Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands

If the demands of an organization with which psychologists are affiliated or for whom they are working are in conflict with this Ethics Code, psychologists clarify the nature of the conflict, make known their commitment to the Ethics Code, and take reasonable steps to resolve the conflict consistent with the General Principles and Ethical Standards of the Ethics Code. Under no circumstances may this standard be used to justify or defend violating human rights.

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world’s largest association of psychologists. APA’s membership includes more than 152,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.