Revisiting: Politics and Fear

Whipping up fear is a common tactic in politics. Providing stark, seemingly life or death choices, us versus them, scapegoating, creating a false bogeyman to distract from real problems, using lies and disinformation … fear is used because it often works. The invoked fear is often based on racism and bias. It’s those “other people”–with a different skin color, from another place, who follow a…

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Mental health benefits of nature, green and blue spaces, and being outdoors

White, M. P., Pahl, S., Ashbullby, K., Herbert, S., & Depledge, M. H. (2013). Feelings of restoration from recent nature visits. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 35, 40-51. [Cited by] “Exposure to natural environments can help restore depleted emotional and cognitive resources. However, investigation of the relative impacts of different natural environments among large samples is limited. Using data from 4255 respondents drawn from Natural England’s…

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What is linked to autism?

Autism represents a wide spectrum of disorders that impact how a person relates to and communicates with other people. Effects include a variety of social difficulties, “atypical” uses of language, and “restricted or repetitive behaviors.” Autism is not new; examples of individuals can be found throughout history. In recent years, there has been controversy over the causes and antecedents of autism spectrum disorder. What does…

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Drinking alcohol: how much is too much?

For alcohol consumption, how much is too much? Clearly, prolonged heavy drinking or heavy binge drinking is bad; there are a range of negative effects–health, disease, neurological, and behavior. But, occasional, “social” light to moderate drinking? There have been studies that purported to show some health benefits. Is that true? Or, is all alcohol consumption bad? Does it have anything to do with how the…

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Fear — impacts on decision-making and behavior

Fear is corrosive whether caused by events outside our immediate control or if purposefully used (for example, by politicians trying to gain or consolidate power). Fear impacts the decisions we make and the actions we take. We do things we would not do if the fear was not present. We believe things we normally would not. We act against our own best interests. Quick bibliography:…

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Stop being manipulated! Take charge of the information in your life: Seek information, not affirmation

Seek information, not affirmation; what does that mean? If you use Facebook, Instagram, or WhatsApp to get news and learn about current events, you are being manipulated. The algorithms that drive these platforms create “bubbles” within which people are grouped together based on their social media use, product preferences, and other digital choices current and past. Within a bubble, you find yourself amid other users…

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