Stress in America 2023: A nation grappling with psychological impacts of collective trauma

U.S. society appears to be experiencing the psychological impacts of a collective trauma in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the results of a new survey by the American Psychological Association. Psychologists warn that a superficial characterization of life being “back to normal” is obscuring the post-traumatic effects on mental and physical health.

Take the money now or later? Financial scarcity doesn’t lead to poor decision making

When people feel that their resources are scarce – that they don’t have enough money or time to meet their needs – they often make decisions that favor short-term gains over long-term benefits. Because of that, researchers have argued that scarcity pushes people to make myopic, impulsive decisions.

Formerly depressed patients continue to focus on negative

People who have recovered from a major depressive episode, when compared with individuals who have never experienced one, tend to spend more time processing negative information and less time processing positive information, putting them at risk for a relapse, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Public May Overestimate Pushback Against Controversial Research Findings 

Do researchers overestimate the risk that certain research findings will fuel public support for censorship, defunding, and other harmful actions? Findings from a pair of studies published in Psychological Science by authors Cory J. Clark (University of Pennsylvania), Maja Graso (University of Groningen), Ilana Redstone (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign), and Philip E. Tetlock (University of Pennsylvania).

APA poll reveals toxic workplaces, other significant workplace mental health challenges

A new survey from the American Psychological Association revealed that 19% of workers say their workplace is very or somewhat toxic, and those who reported a toxic workplace were more than three times as likely to have said they have experienced harm to their mental health at work than those who report a healthy workplace (52% vs. 15%).

Children with attention, behavior problems earn less money, have less education, poorer health as adults

Children who struggle with attention and behavior problems tend to end up earning less money, finish fewer years of school and have poorer mental and physical health as adults, compared with children who don’t show early attention and behavior problems, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Conspiracy Theorists May Not Always Think Rationally, but They Don’t Generally Believe Contradictory Claims

It’s easy to characterize conspiracy theorists as people who will believe just about anything. However, it’s not true that conspiracy theorists commonly believe contradictory conspiracies, such as the claim that Diana, Princess of Wales, both was murdered and is still alive after faking her own death.

APA panel issues recommendations for adolescent social media use

A presidential panel of the American Psychological Association has issued recommendations for the use of social media by adolescents, noting that while these platforms can promote healthy socialization, their use should be preceded by training in social media literacy to ensure that youth have skills that will maximize the chances for balanced, safe and meaningful experiences.

Reducing social media use significantly improves body image in teens, young adults

Teens and young adults who reduced their social media use by 50% for just a few weeks saw significant improvement in how they felt about both their weight and their overall appearance compared with peers who maintained consistent levels of social media use, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Events Serve as “Stepping Stones” en Route to Retrieved Memories

Lost your keys again? One way to retrace your steps involves scanning your memory to find them, such as reaching back to the last moment you clearly remember having them—say, as you walked in the door—before skipping ahead to a “phone call” event and then a “watching TV” event, at which point you might recall placing the keys next to the remote.

Young chimpanzees and human teens share risk-taking behaviors

Adolescent chimpanzees share some of the same risk-taking behaviors as human teens, but they may be less impulsive than their human counterparts, according to research published by the American Psychological Association. The study gets at age-old nature/nurture questions about why adolescents take more risks: because of environment or because of biological predispositions?

Feeling poorer than your friends in early adolescence is associated with worse mental health, study finds

Young people who believe they come from poorer backgrounds than their friends are more likely to have lower self-esteem and be victims of bullying than those who feel financially equal to the rest of their peer group, according to a new study from psychologists at the University of Cambridge.