Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

9780198728658

Unwholly bound: Mother Teresa’s battles with depression

A psychiatrist’s couch is no place to debate the existence of God. Yet spiritual health is an inseparable part of mental or psychological health. Something no psychiatrist should regard with clinical indifference. But what does spiritual or religious health involve? This can’t just include normalized versions of monistic theism – but the entire set of human dispositions that may be thought of in spiritual terms.

Read More
9780195384048

From domestic violence to coercive control

When a major obstacle is removed to our progress, idealist intellectuals like myself rejoice. I was introduced to one such obstacle in the early l970s, when a woman hiding from her abusive husband in our home told us “violence wasn’t the worst part.” Like the millions of other victimized women we have served in the ensuing years, she understood that the prevailing equation of partner abuse with domestic violence has little relation to her lived experience of oppression.

Read More
Brain front matter

Today’s Forecast: Cloudy with a chance of seizures

For people suffering from recurrent epileptic seizures, one of the most burdensome aspects of their condition is the unpredictability of their seizures. While medications, surgery, and novel neurostimulation methods can eliminate seizures seizures in some cases, many people with epilepsy face the possibility of a seizure at any time, even when they occur only rarely.

Read More
The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology

Music and what it means to be human

Music is a human construct. What is acknowledged as ‘music’ varies between cultures, groups, and individuals. The Igbo of Nigeria have no specific term for music: the term nkwa denotes ‘singing, playing instruments and dancing’.

Read More
9780198735458

“The economics of happiness” – an extract from Happiness Explained

What is happiness and how can we promote it? These questions are central to human existence and human flourishing now plays a central role in the assessment of national and global progress. Paul Anand shows why the traditional national income approach is limited as a measure of human wellbeing and demonstrates how the contributors to happiness, wellbeing, and quality of life can be measured and understood across the human life course. The following extract looks at the connection between income and wellbeing.

Read More
9780190247799

The consequences of neglect

More than 70 years ago, psychologist Rene Spitz first described the detrimental effects of emotional neglect on children raised in institutions, and yet, today, over 7 million children are estimated to live in orphanages around the world. In many countries, particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the rate of institutionalization of poor, orphaned, and neglected children has actually increased in recent years, according to UNICEF.

Read More
20572107

Brain waves, impulse control, and free will

In a delightful passage of his book Elbow Room, the philosopher Dan Dennett writes “The first day I was ever in London, I found myself looking for the nearest Underground station. I noticed a stairway in the sidewalk labeled ‘SUBWAY’, which in Boston is our word for the Underground, so I confidently descended the stairs and marched forth looking for the trains.”

Read More
10339556_1539102739637748_856397327510198253_n

Why we need female brains in CTE research

US soccer player Brandi Chastain became a household name through her outstanding play in the 1999 Women’s World Cup. She scored the championship-winning goal in the unforgettable final shoot-out in front of the world and 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Read More
9780190217648

Will more (or less) high-stakes testing improve education?

Let’s take a pop quiz on the ongoing debate over high-stakes testing, an issue that is nothing less emotional than the way our schools teach our children. First questions, then answers: Does high-stakes testing improve education? Does it lead to better teaching and learning? Do countries with high-performing schools rely on it? Does it help narrow the achievement gaps among different racial and socioeconomic groups of students?

Read More
scan

Keep your friends close… Really?

Who has never been embarrassed by a close other? Imagine you and your best friend dress up for the opera, both of you very excited about this spectacular event taking place in your home town. It is the premiere with the mayor and significant others attending. You have a perfect view on the stage and it seems a wonderful night.

Read More
cover

Sex in older age: Can the brain benefit?

We’ve all heard the phrase “use it or lose it,” and there are many other examples in the media of how we can keep our brains sharp as we age. Research has shown that what is good for your heart is good for your brain, in the biological sense – but what about in a romantic sense?

Read More
9780190239299

Barbie evokes suffering in girls, scorn in teens and finally gets reshaped

Scholars have long documented the significance in young people’s lives of popular culture ideals. These ideals can come in many forms including fashion models, singers and actresses, video game characters and toys. In the case of dolls, research has revealed that girls form a relationship with favorite dolls in which they develop ideal selves in line with the characteristics of the doll. The dolls are a socializing agent, bringing in the ideals of the larger society to the girl’s private life.

Read More
17585368 gerontologyseriesb

The importance of long-term marriage for health and happiness

Each year around Valentine’s Day, a new crop of romantic comedies hit the silver screen. Viewers wait in anticipation for the on-screen couple’s first kiss, or the enviably lavish wedding. But what happens to that couple, many decades after the first kiss or exchange of rings? Recent research shows that long-married couples exchange love and emotional support, but also regularly engage in spats or minor conflicts which affect older adults’ health in both expected and surprising ways.

Read More
9780199393275

The romance of chocolate

Is chocolate an aphrodisiac? Gifts of chocolate are given usually with that intent at this time of the year. Does it work? Well, maybe; gastronomy is known as the sister art of love. Women often crave chocolate. In 1648, according to the diary of English Jesuit Thomas Gage, the women of Chiapas Real arranged for the murder of a certain bishop who forbade them to drink chocolate during mass.

Read More
Economics of Chocolate

“The experience of chocolate craving”- an extract from The Economics of Chocolate

It is indisputable that chocolate consumption gives instant pleasure and comfort, especially during episodes of ‘emotional eating’, which involves searching for food (generally in large amounts) even if not physiologically hungry in order to get relief from a negative mood or bad feelings (e.g. stressful life situations, anxiety, depression). The pleasure experienced in eating chocolate can be, first of all, due to neurophysiological components.

Read More