Generalized Anxiety Disorder–an update

An update to the Generalized Anxiety Disorder–a sign of the times bibliography … Featured articles (these articles have been added to the Bibliography and to the Science Primary Literature database): *Carl, E., Witcraft, S. M., Kauffman, B. Y., Gillespie, E. M., Becker, E. S., Cuijpers, P., . . . Powers, M. B. (2020). Psychological and pharmacological treatments for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): A meta-analysis of…

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Hallucinogens, depression, and mental health

Featured article (this article has been added to the Science Primary Literature database): *Davis, A. K., Barrett, F. S., May, D. G., Cosimano, M. P., Sepeda, N. D., Johnson, M. W., . . . Griffiths, R. R. (2020). Effects of psilocybin-assisted therapy on major depressive disorder: A randomized clinical trial. JAMA Psychiatry, published online November 4, 2020. [PDF] [Cited by] “Importance:  Major depressive disorder (MDD)…

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Guns and violence

Do guns deter crime and violence?

Many people believe that owning a gun makes them safer. That having a gun in their home or carrying a gun deters potential criminal acts and makes it less likely they will become a victim of violent crime. This belief rests on an assumption that individuals considering a criminal act take into account the possibility that their intended victim has a gun and, then, see…

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How and why does false information spread online?

How does false information/”fake news” spread through social media and web sites? And, why does it? We are told–frequently–by legitimate, trusted sources and the very people and organizations who create disinformation that a significant proportion of what we view is fake and has been deliberately created to sow discord and distrust, to make us not believe and to tear us apart. So, do we trust…

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Is Facebook hazardous to our well-being?

Is use of Facebook (and other social media sites) a genuine hazard to our physical and mental health? Are the purported benefits of digital social media outweighed by the risks? Past research has found negatives and some positives. “Prior research has shown that the use of social media may detract from face-to-face relationships, reduce investment in meaningful activities, increase sedentary behavior by encouraging more screen…

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Updated: Chatbots — propaganda is being taught how to speak

Bots–“simple computer scripts–were originally designed to automate repetitive tasks … sparing humans hours of tedium.”  But, bots “can also be used to operate large numbers of fake [social media] accounts, which makes them ideal for manipulating people.” As became evident after the 2016 election in the United States and from many other examples, not only do bot-operated fake social media accounts “broadcast extremist viewpoints,” but…

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