The Evidence Pyramid

The traditional evidence pyramid remains a useful heuristic device for evaluating scientific evidence in medicine and health care. The highest quality evidence in the top two levels of the pyramid is the most difficult to process. The lowest quality of evidence at the bottom two levels of the pyramid is the easiest to process. ThisContinue reading “The Evidence Pyramid”

Trash Science of Positive Thinking

So here we have it in The Times: the re-arrival of that great cliché of pseudo-psychology, Positive Thinking. The ‘wearied souls in the pandemic’s wake’ will become a lot more weary after the Trash Science of Positive Thinking has taken its toll. Victim-blaming, gaslighting and the ‘all-in-the-mind’ philosophy of lazy doctors will become the mainstayContinue reading “Trash Science of Positive Thinking”

‘Brilliant’ – But Censored

Here I post a chapter described as ‘brilliant’ by the book’s editor but censored by the book publisher. British Psychology In Crisis: A Case Study in Organisational Dysfunction (Ed., David Pilgrim, University of Southampton; Publisher, Kate Pearce, Phoenix Publishing House) will be available later in 2022. The publisher insisted on censoring words such as ‘sordid’Continue reading “‘Brilliant’ – But Censored”

The Paradoxical Nature of Coincidence

I am no mystic. By nature, I believe that I am inclined towards scepticism. Occasionally, however, events have occurred that appear to defy reason or scientific explanation. Coincidence is a good example. The traditional scientific explanation holds that coincidences are inevitable within the laws of chance. An alternative explanation entertains the possibility of an as-yetContinue reading “The Paradoxical Nature of Coincidence”

Mental Imagery, Creativity and Planetary Survival

This post discusses one of the foundations of human creativity – mental imagery – and its role in human and planetary survival. The post is based on a Keynote Presentation I gave to the Japanese Imagery Association, University of Sapporo, Japan, in August, 2010. Mental imagery – seeing in the “mind’s eye” – can beContinue reading “Mental Imagery, Creativity and Planetary Survival”

The SAGE Secretive Seven

In keeping with best practice, members of government advisory groups are invited to declare their interests in any companies or organisations that could be interested in influencing decisions made by the group. Seven members of SAGE are revealed here as having interests in companies that they chose not to declare. Of course, human memory isContinue reading “The SAGE Secretive Seven”

Who Owns SAGE?

The UK’s government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) was established in 2020 to “provide scientific and technical advice to support government decision makers during emergencies”. The latest of these has been the COVID-19 pandemic. SAGE members are drawn from a spectrum of disciplines including epidemiology, immunology, pharmaceutics, public health, psychology, modelling and statistics. BeginningContinue reading “Who Owns SAGE?”

Fear is a basic emotion that is activated in response to perceived threat

COVID-19 Milestone Series This post republishes: “The four horsemen of fear: An integrated model of understanding fearexperiences during the COVID-19 pandemic” by Adriano Schimmenti, Joël Billieux and Vladan Starcevic Citation: Schimmenti, A., Billieux,J., Starcevic, V. (2020). The four horsemen of fear: An integrated model of understanding fear experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Neuropsychiatry, 17Continue reading “Fear is a basic emotion that is activated in response to perceived threat”

Fear of COVID-19

COVID-19 Milestone Series In previous posts, here and here, I have drawn attention to the role of functional fear in human responses to COVID-19 pandemic. For various imaginable reasons, the government’s policy advisors do not openly discuss the use of fear in public health interventions, yet it is obvious to any observer that increasing fearContinue reading “Fear of COVID-19”

Fear of Coronavirus

COVID-19 Milestone Series Original article published in: J Anxiety Disorders 2020 Aug; 74:102258. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102258. Epub 2020 Jun 10. Fear of the coronavirus (COVID-19): Predictors in an online study conducted in March 2020 Gaëtan Mertens 1, Lotte Gerritsen 2, Stefanie Duijndam 3, Elske Salemink 2, Iris M Engelhard 2 PMID: 32569905 PMCID: PMC7286280 DOI: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102258 Abstract Fear is an adaptive response in the presence of danger. However, when threatContinue reading “Fear of Coronavirus”