Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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Girls who kill

By Kathleen M. Heide, Ph.D.
There has been a resurgence of interest in girls who kill, following the report of two 12-year-old Wisconsin girls who stabbed another girl of the same age 19 times on May 31, 2014. The girls reportedly had planned to kill their friend following a birthday sleepover to demonstrate their allegiance to a fictionalized internet character known as Slender Man.

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Common questions about shared reading time

By Jamie Zibulsky, Anne Cunningham, and Chelsea Schubart
Throughout the process of reading development, it is important to read with your child frequently and to make the experience fun, whether your child is a newborn or thirteen. This may not sound like news to many parents, but the American Academy of Pediatrics is just announcing their new recommendation that parents read with their children daily from infancy on.

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Does learning a second language lead to a new identity?

By Arturo Hernandez
Everyday I get asked why second language learning is so hard and what can be done to make it easier. One day a student came up to me after class and asked me how his mother could learn to speak English better. She did not seem to be able to breakthrough and start speaking. Perhaps you or someone you know has found learning another language difficult.

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Celebrating Trans Bodies, Trans Selves

We kicked-off Pride Month early this year, celebrating the publication of Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community in late May. Taking Our Bodies, Our Selves as its model, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is an all-encompassing resource for the transgender community and any one looking for information.

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Splash! What kids discover in a puddle

By Siu-Lan Tan
It’s spring and about this time each year, a little ritual takes place. After the winter melt, many children encounter their first puddle with the zeal of an explorer discovering a new land.

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Psychology, veterans, war, and remembrance

By Michael D. Matthews
My daily walk to work takes me through West Point’s cemetery. Founded in 1817, the cemetery includes the graves of soldiers who fought in the American Revolution, and in all of the wars our country has fought since. I often stop and reflect on the lives of these men and women who are interred here.

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The Normal Heart and the resilience of the AIDS generation

By Perry N. Halkitis
On 25 May 2014 and nearly 30 years after first appearing on the stage, Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart will be aired as a film on HBO. This project, which has evolved over the course of the last three decades, documents those first few harrowing years of the AIDS epidemic in New York City.

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What role does symmetry play in the perception of 3D objects?

By Zygmunt Pizlo, Yunfeng Li, Tadamasa Sawada, and Robert M. Steinman
The most general definition of symmetry is self-similarity: that one part of an object, pattern, signal, or process is similar, or more-or-less identical to another. According to this definition, the complete absence of symmetry is equivalent to perfect randomness, so symmetry is another name for redundancy.

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Helping yourself to emotional health

By Sarah Perini
The concept of psychological self-help, whether it is online, the traditional book, or the newer smartphone app, is one that elicits divided reactions. On the one hand, self-help is often the butt of jokes.

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Q&A with Susan Llewelyn and David Murphy

With the British Psychological Society Annual Conference underway, we checked in with Susan Llewelyn, Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, and David Murphy, Joint Course Director for Oxford Doctoral Course in Clinical Psychology. We spoke to the co-editors of What is Clinical Psychology? about psychosis, provision of care, and careers in clinical psychology.

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Some highlights of the BPS conference 2014 Birmingham

By David Murphy and Susan Llewelyn
Psychology must be one of the most diverse disciplines there is; it encompasses understanding language development in infants, techniques to help sports competitors improve performance, the psychology of conflicts, therapy for mental health disorders, and selection techniques for business amongst many others. The BPS Annual Conference is probably the best chance to witness the breadth of the discipline each year in the United Kingdom.

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Mini maestro mystifies me

By Siu-Lan Tan
Sometimes you think you can explain something, and then it turns out you really can’t. This remarkable video was posted last year but only went viral in the US in the last few weeks, approaching 5 million hits in a short time. When I first saw it, I was immediately enchanted.

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