Psychology Around the Net: August 8, 2020

This week’s Psychology Around the Net looks at a new study on building strong bonds between children and nature, how Google’s search monopoly is affecting the mental health crisis, research suggesting baby boomers aren’t as mentally sharp as their parents’ generation, and more.

Stay well, friends!

To Bond With Nature, Kids Need Solitary Activities Outdoors: A new study finds that solitary activities (thinking hunting, fishing, and just hiking around and exploring) are perfect for children to build strong bonds with nature. Not only do these kinds of activities help children enjoy being outside, but also they help children feel comfortable in nature.

5 Science-Backed Ways to Strengthen Your Brain: How you use and nourish your brain and your body can help you build a stronger, smarter, and healthier brain.

Google’s Search Monopoly Complicates a Mental Health Crisis: “High prices in and of itself isn’t an antitrust violation, neither is being big. The bigger question is whether Google is abusing its power.”

How Do You Treat Yourself When You Can’t Go Anywhere? It’s normal (and nice!) to treat yourself every now and then. Maybe you like to get a manicure when you reach a fitness goal, or you go out for celebratory drinks when you land a promotion at work. Or, maybe you like to treat yourself when something isn’t going your way — you know, for a little morale boost and because you deserve it. With COVID-19 still making its rounds, things still aren’t back to normal, and even if your favorite restaurant or nail salon is open, you might not feel comfortable going. So, how are you treating yourself while staying safe at home?

Letting Go of Mental Junk Food: Habitual and unproductive thought-habits — or, “mental junk food” — are just things we use to fill up our minds and keep them busy, and more times than not sneaking away for that unhealthy snack is going to make you feel worse.

Teenager With ADHD Incarcerated for Not Doing Her Homework: Grace, a 15-year-old Black girl with diagnosed attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), lost most of the academic support outlined in her Individualized Education Plan (IEP) when quarantine started. Now, she’s been sitting in a juvenile detention center since May for failing to complete her homework.

Your Amygdala Gets Bigger If You’re Anxious and Depressed: New research has found that the brain’s hippocampus shrinks in people with depression and anxiety while the amygdala increases in size, showing just how profound an effect depression and anxiety can have on memory and emotional processing.

Are Baby Boomers Less Sharp Than Previous Generations? A new study suggests baby boomers (folks born between 1948 and 1959) aren’t as mentally sharp as their parents were, and one big factor could be the rising rates of loneliness and depression. What role might this play in their risk for dementia?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

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