The Writing Cure

Great faith has been placed in ‘talking cures’ for many years. American psychologist James Pennebaker came up with the writing version and this edition of Mind Changes tells the story.

One surprising thing, for me at least, was that this refers to temporary writing about a stressful event and not the kind of continuous writing of, say, diary keeping.

In addition to immune/healing there seem also to be improvements in cognitive abilities, specifically working memory.

The programme also touches upon analysis of text and what might indicate that some benefit has occurred. Pronouns are important here.

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Toddlers and Telly

There’s much more to this Life Scientific interview than the title of my post suggests, but consideration of the topic is typical of Annette Karmiloff-Smith‘s common sense approach to developmental psychology. She explains lucidly why the problem is less to do with content than the fact that most activity is restricted to the centre of the screen. Bespoke infants’ programmes would encourage more tracking, along with more intelligent use of colour and sound, including music and changes of voice.