The Sunday Independent ran a short piece on psychics the other week, in which I was quoted as referring to “unreliable forces” when I had actually said “unreliable sources.” My bad, I’m sure.
The writer had interviewed me for this piece many months ago. I guess the obvious joke here would somehow refer to the fact that I had no idea when it was going to be published. But I try not to make obvious jokes.
Here’s a taster:
With modern life comes instant gratification; people want immediate resolutions to their problems, but does the power of a psychic rest with personality type? Are you more likely to believe because you want to? Brian Hughes, Professor of Psychology at NUI Galway, doesn’t think so. “Human beings thrive on certainty and we are all prone to being convinced to some degree by authority figures; most of the information we get is from someone else. It’s not an individual character flaw that leads someone to trust unreliable forces.”
See what you make of the entire article by clicking here.
This is dangerously close to “day job” territory, but yesterday evening I was on the wireless talking about the relationship between psychological traits and physical health. This was part of the excellent Futureproof show on Newstalk 106-108 fm, hosted by the also-excellent Jonathan McCrea (and produced by the just-as-excellent Shaun O’Boyle). You can access the podcast of the show by clicking here (readers who have sold their souls to iTunes can do their business here). My segment begins at 8:32 and lasts for around twelve minutes.
From a science communication perspective, the item is helpful in addressing a topic that is very often discussed in terms of — how shall I put it? — mumbo jumbo and pseudoscience. For centuries, it has been claimed that personal temperaments affect illness and well-being (consider Galen’s four humours or astrology). Moreover, therapy-merchants of various degrees of rigour have made a good living from offering attractive think-yourself-better solutions for physical health problems. Continue reading “Personality goes a long way…toward making you sick”
I realise that the rolling news agenda can change extremely quickly in today’s media saturated world, but even this is slightly dramatic…
Daily Mail, 9 March 2011: