Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

What Exactly Is the Placebo Effect?

We've probably all heard of the placebo effect, but what is it, and how does it work? For something that happens regularly, it's not all that well understood. A placebo is any substance that's not intended or expected to have any therapeutic effect. Ethically, it generally wouldn't be considered acceptable to give a patient a… Continue reading What Exactly Is the Placebo Effect?


Attitudes About Mental Illness That Make You Go Hmm…

While doing some research for my upcoming book on stigma, I came across a 2004 discussion paper on Stigma and Work. It was written by Heather Stuart, a public health faculty member at Queen's University in Canada. It quickly became clear that the author's PhD in epidemiology didn't prevent her from having some strange attitudes… Continue reading Attitudes About Mental Illness That Make You Go Hmm…

Health & health care

What Chloroquine Means for COVID-19

Note: This post has not been updated since March and thus some of the information contained here may not reflect the current state of knowledge.  Please refer to the World Health Organization or your local public health agencies for the most up-to-date information on COVID-19.   All of a sudden, the medication chloroquine is in… Continue reading What Chloroquine Means for COVID-19

What Is Series... Insights Into Psychology on Mental Health @ Home
What is... psychology series

What Is… The Stanford Prison Experiment

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychology-related terms.  This week we'll look at the Stanford prison experiment. The Stanford prison experiment was a social psychology study conducted at Stanford University in 1971.  Male student volunteers were randomly assigned to be either "prisoners" or "guards" in a mock prison set… Continue reading What Is… The Stanford Prison Experiment

Mental Health @ Home Science Corner - Can you believe statistics? - image of different types of charts and graphs
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Can You Believe Statistics?

There are all kinds of statistics that get thrown around, some of which appear rather dubious.  As a result, there seems to be a lot of suspicion about statistics in general.  But is that warranted? Let's start with what statistics are.  According to Wikipedia, statistics is "the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, displaying, analysis,… Continue reading Can You Believe Statistics?

cannabis plant leaves
Mental health

What Does the Research Say on Cannabis and Mental Illness?

Cannabis.  It's a plant that's well known for getting people high, but it's also become increasingly accepted for medicinal purposes, particularly for pain and nausea.  But what do we know about the interaction between cannabis and mental illness? There's been a clearly established link between cannabis use and triggering the onset of psychotic illness in… Continue reading What Does the Research Say on Cannabis and Mental Illness?

nature vs nurture building blocks
Health & health care, Mental health, Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy, Video reviews

The Science Of Us

IMDB On a recent post of mine, Dangerous Voyage left a comment mentioning a research study and a documentary about it that I might be interested in.  I was interested, and sufficiently so that I wanted to share it with all of you. The Dunedin Study has followed a group of 1000 individuals born in 1972… Continue reading The Science Of Us

chemistry lab experiment
Science, pseudoscience, & media literacy

Research Design and Why It Matters

geralt on Pixabay I have previously written about improving research literacy to gain greater understanding of mental health research.  In that post, I described some of the terms commonly used in research.  In this post, I'll talk about some of the common types of research design for both quantitative and qualitative studies. Quantitative research Quantitative… Continue reading Research Design and Why It Matters

evidence-based treatment

What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment

geralt on Pixabay The Sequenced Treatment Alternatives to Relieve Depression (STAR*D) trial studied 2876 people with major depressive disorder to evaluate their response to depression treatment in a real-world setting.  Unlike the randomized controlled trials that are often used to evaluate a drug's efficacy, there were few exclusion criteria, the patient and their physician knew… Continue reading What the STAR*D Study Means for Depression Treatment