Jonathan Haidt: “Social Psychology in an Age of Social Fragmentation”

Today, Nate is joined by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. Professor Haidt is one of the leaders in the understanding of human biases and predispositions, and how they affect cooperation, communication, and change-making.

How Books and Bookshops Improve our Mental Health – and Why we Must Protect Them

In fact there’s a wealth of evidence to support the idea that books can help to boost good mental health. ‘Bibliotherapy,’ a term first coined by American essayist Samuel Crothers in a 1916 issue of Atlantic Monthly, means the art of using literature and reading as a healing activity. It’s widely accepted as a way to enhance wellbeing.

Panic at the Disco, Peace among the Bombs

All of this reinforces what I wrote in those two earlier essays, that ultimately our species is happier when challenged to behave in the ways we evolved to behave: to protect ourselves and others, to struggle for our survival, to live in community, to eat less and “relax” less and instead feel that surviving each day is a triumph.

Psychology, meet Politics

Whether we manage to find our way through depends primarily on what goes on inside our minds – on whether we’re able to manage our mental and emotional states at a time of extraordinary turbulence; whether we reach for the right stories to explain what’s happening at this moment in history; and above all, whether enough of us can see ourselves as part of a larger ‘Us’ instead of a ‘them-and-us,’ or just an atomised ‘I.’

The Impact of Climate Change on Mental Health is Impossible to Ignore

Overall, the consensus in the scientific literature is that climate change will increase the number of people exposed to extreme events and, therefore, to subsequent psychological problems, such as worry, anxiety, depression, distress, loss, grief, trauma and even suicide.

How New York City is Tackling a Mental Health Crisis Spurred by Hurricane Sandy

Five years after Sandy hit, the rate of adult psychiatric hospitalizations on the Rockaway Peninsula is nearly double that of New York City as a whole. To address the ongoing crisis, the city’s health department is working with a local community group to connect residents with preventative care and fill in the gaps in neighborhoods where a warming climate is likely to bring more Sandy-like storms and strain limited public health resources.

There’s Something Wrong with the Bees: On Sun Hives and Crisis Houses

In considering the Sun Hive alongside my personal experiences of distress, I do not mean to use the bees as a metaphor, to plunder nature for her poetry. Instead I wish to suggest that our reductive attitudes towards both bees and human health may be symptomatic of a prevailing mindset of exploitation and control.