Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

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The rise of music therapy

By Scott Huntington
Music therapy involves the use of clinical, evidence-supported musical interventions to meet a patient’s specific goals for healing (a useful fact sheet). The music therapist should have the proper credentials and be licensed in the field of music therapy.

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Terror

By Yair Amichai-Hamburger
On the Internet, terrorists can find a wide-open playground for particularly sophisticated violence. I have no doubt that the people at the American Department of Defense, when they brought about the inception of the Internet, never thought in their worst nightmares that come 2013, every terrorist splinter group would boast a website and that all the advantages of the Internet would be at the service of terrorists for organizing, planning, and executing their attacks on innocent people.

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Common Core Standards, universal pre-K, and educating young readers

Parents and educators everywhere want to introduce children to the world of reading, but the task of helping a child become an independent reader is increasingly difficult and daunting. How can you create a love for reading and learning with stories, lessons, and activities while also supporting reading development? Book Smart: How to Develop and Support Successful, Motivated Readers, written by Anne E. Cunningham, PhD and Jamie Zibulsky, PhD, serves as a how-to guide for parents as they navigate through the uncertainties of teaching their children to read.

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What does he mean by ‘I love you?’

Have you ever had difficulty expressing your emotions in words? Have people misinterpreted what you feel even if you name it? If you speak more than one language, you’re almost certain to have answered “yes”.

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Madness, rationality, and epistemic innocence

Lisa Bartolotti
Madness and irrationality may seem inextricably related. “You are crazy!” we say, when someone tells us about their risk-taking behaviour or their self-defeating actions). The International Classification of Diseases (ICD 10) and the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5) describe people with depression, autism, schizophrenia, dementia, and personality disorders as people who infringe norms of rationality.

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Why nobody dreams of being a professor

By now the reactions to Nicholas Kristof’s piece at the New York Times are circulating the Internet. There are good arguments in favor and against blaming professors or the public or both. Rather than take one side or the other I thought it would make sense to give a couple of anecdotes that provide insight into this issue.

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Portraying scientists: Galileo and perceptual portraiture

By Nicholas Wade
Perceptual portraits represent people in an unconventional style. The portraits themselves are not always easy to discern – the viewer needs to apply the power of perception in order to extract the facial features from the design which carries them. The aim is both artistic and historical.

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Lucy in the scientific method

Humans seem to love attempting to understand the meaning of songs. Back in my college days, I spent many hours talking with friends about what this or that song must mean. Nowadays, numerous websites are devoted to providing space for fans to dissect and share their interpretations of their favorite songs (e.g. Song Meanings, Song Facts, and Lyric Interpretations). There is even a webpage with a six-step program for understanding a song’s meaning.

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Evolutionary psychology: an affront to feminism?

By Anne Campbell
Getting ready for work the other morning, I was diverted from pouring my coffee by the television news. A comet was about to pass near the sun and might, if it survived, become visible on earth. The professor of astrophysics who had been brought on to explain the details was engaging, enthusiastic and clear. She was a woman. I wondered how many school girls had heard her and been inspired. Fifty years ago, the idea of a woman gaining recognition in such an arcane area of science would have been astounding.

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Mating intelligence for Valentine’s Day

By Glenn Geher and Gökçe Sancak
When it comes to the psychology of long-term mating, there are important differences and similarities that characterize the wants and desires of males and females. Based on extensive past research on the nature of human mating, it turns out that the sexes are more similar than portrayals of the recent research in this area often suggests.

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Reflections on war, past and present

By Michael D. Matthews
I am posting this article on February 6th. My father was born on this date in 1914, just months before the outbreak of World War I. In many ways the state of the world 100 years ago was not so different from today. Political instability plagued Europe, social change driven by advances in technology was sweeping the world, and yet most people felt a sense of security that the world as they knew it was stable.

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Is smell for the dogs?

By Barbara Malt
Dogs are the noses of modern society. They not only track the scent of prey across a meadow but find lost children, sniff out bombs and drugs, and conduct medical diagnosis. Pigs are good, too; we rely on them to hunt down rare and expensive truffles. Domestic cats can turn in an impressive performance, pawing out the last crumb of tuna sandwich at the bottom of a workbag. But humans?

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Mad politics

By Matthew Flinders
If you are reading this blog then you’ve obviously survived ‘Blue Monday’. That is, the day in the third week of January when suicide levels tend to peak and demands for counseling rocket as a result of post-Christmas debt, dashed New Year resolutions, and the inevitable sense that this year is actually unlikely to be much different to the last.

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Is cosmetic plastic surgery on the increase?

By Hank Giele
In its article ‘UK plastic surgery statistics 2012: brows up, breasts down’, The Guardian reported that 39,000 women underwent cosmetic plastic surgery in 2012: nearly 10,000 breast augments, 4,000 reductions, 5,000 facelifts, 3,000 nose jobs and 3,000 tummy tucks.

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