Tag Archives: pyschology

So it IS all my mother’s fault!

4 May

I knew it! It IS all my mother’s fault! Or so the psychologist Oliver James would have us believe. Vindication is mine. *Evil Cackle*

In his poem This Be The Verse Philip Larkin famously said:

   ‘They f**k you up, your mum and dad.

    They may not mean to, but they do …. But they were f**ked up in their turn

    By fools in old-style hats and coats,…’
A sentiment not lost on psychologist Oliver James, Indeed not only is it not lost on him he’s channelled Larkin’s observation into his books They **** You Up and Not in Your Genes – the real reasons children are like their parents.

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Jo Marchant on “the beer goggles of medicine”

9 May
Jo Marchant

Dr. Jo Marchant. Photo ©Calyx Picture Agency

I can remember the exact moment I first became fascinated by the idea of the mind being able to cause physical changes in the body. I was eleven, and I’d just watched Michael Ironside use his brain to force a man’s head to explode in the movie Scanners. The following day I went in to school and squinted really hard at the teacher. He asked me if I needed new glasses.

Real life often finds a way to be both less exciting and more interesting than Hollywood fantasy and it turns out that our brains contain a hidden and little understood power after all.

Jo Marchant has a BSc in genetics, a PhD in microbiology, and a black belt in jiu jitsu. I have a Scottish ‘O’ Level in Biology. Fortunately the science ninja also possesses a storyteller’s knack for unfolding a narrative in way that makes it easy to follow. She’s written a book called Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind Over Body which is essentially an examination of the placebo effect and the scientific study of this phenomena. Continue reading