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Psychologists find sense of humour predicts depression and suicidal thinking – does this explain the Robin Williams tragedy? Dr Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham

Psychologists find sense of humour predicts depression and suicidal thinking – does this partly explain the Robin Williams tragedy? Dr Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham Victoria Ando, from St Hugh’s College, University of Oxford has recently published a study entitled ‘Psychotic traits in comedians’, which uncovers a link between the manic side of bipolar […]

The Psychology of Child Torture

The Psychology of Child Torture   David Allen Turpin, 57, and Louise Anna Turpin, 49, from Perris California, face accusations of torture, child endangerment and holding their 13 children captive. Authorities found some of their kids chained to beds, “in dark and foul-smelling surroundings,” following an emergency phone call from the 17-year-old daughter who escaped […]

Does Torture Work? by Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Donald Trump has said he would be open to bringing back torture because he “absolutely” believes it works, claiming that “people at the highest level of intelligence” have confirmed to him that torture does work. But this seems to directly contradict the latest psychological research into what professional interrogators themselves really believe to be effective […]

Can Psychology Explain Donald Trump’s Victory?

by Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen     Donald Trump’s astounding presidential victory appears to have surprised many, including pollsters, experts, pundits, large swathes of the media and the political intelligentsia. Is it possible that in order to fully grasp what has happened in a tumultuous election, psychological processes need to be invoked? Perhaps it […]

Powerful Biases Shape How Presidential Debates Are Viewed by Dr Raj Persaud and Dr Peter Bruggen

Depending on the performance of the candidates, the televised debate between Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton might determine the next President of the United States. Psychology dramatically influences the way such debates are perceived by the public and their impact, so both candidates most probably consider deploying psychology in their planning for the encounter. A […]

The Psychology of Betrayal By Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

The Psychology of Betrayal   By Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   Plastered across the British Press are terms such as ‘betrayal’ and ‘back-stabbing’, as Britain reels in reaction to the news that Boris Johnson, widely tipped to the be the UK’s next Prime Minister, has had his ambitions thwarted by his close colleague, Michael […]

CAN PSYCHOLOGY EXPLAIN THE MARIA SHARAPOVA DOPING CONTROVERSY?

CAN PSYCHOLOGY EXPLAIN THE MARIA SHARAPOVA DOPING CONTROVERSY? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   Mystery continues to surround the revelation that tennis champion Maria Sharapova has tested positive for a banned substance. One of the enigmas surrounds the drug implicated; meldonium is reportedly widely used for the treatment of heart problems, so why would an […]

The Psychology of the Doctors Strike in the UK by Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

As doctors go on strike in the UK, the nation appears to be on the threshold of an unprecedented wave of industrial action by physicians. These strikes could culminate in a walk out in the near future, which might even close emergency rooms in hospitals.       One psychological theory about conflicts is if […]

Does Owning a Gun Protect You? by Dr Raj Persaud and Dr Peter Bruggen

The main reason Americans own guns is, apparently, for protection, yet, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Vermont point out in a new study, little is actually known about who uses guns in self-defense, and in what circumstances. David Hemenway and Sara Solnick recently published one of the few studies to […]

Do Christmas Miracles Really Exist? By Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

On Christmas Eve the Daily Mirror and Sun Newspapers in the UK, along with the BBC News Website, reported  the case of a terminally ill 18-month-old girl whose life support machine was switched off, only for her to begin ‘kicking and screaming’, apparently overflowing with life, 30 minutes later. Alongside photographs of her parents giving […]

Can Psychology Explain why Germanwings crash Pilot believed he was losing his sight?

Can Psychology Explain why Germanwings crash Pilot believed he was losing his sight?   Dr Raj Persaud FRCPsych Consultant Psychiatrist       BBC News is reporting that that the pilot of the Germanwings plane, which crashed killing 150 people on board, had seen seven separate doctors in the month before the crash – one […]

Does ‘A Beautiful Mind’ reveal the real John Nash? by Dr Raj Persaud FRCPsych

Does ‘A Beautiful Mind’ reveal the real John Nash? by Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud FRCPsych Most winners of the Nobel Prize for Economics remain much more obscure than John Nash, who along with his wife, recently died in a car crash tragedy. Nash shot to fame following the Russell Crowe film, ‘‘A Beautiful Mind’’, […]

The Love Vote – How Your Partner Swings the Election by Dr Raj Persaud

The Love Vote – How Your Partner Swings the Election Raj Persaud Which single individual is going to influence you in how to vote in the general election more than any other? Recent research suggests voters will be most swayed by a spouse. A study entitled ‘The Political Values and Choices of Husbands and Wives‘, […]

How to tell if a politician is lying by Dr Raj Persaud FRCPsych

How to tell if a politician is lying   Raj Persaud   There is an old joke which asks – how to tell if a politician is lying? The answer – if they are moving their lips.   In the midst of an election campaign a more scientific answer to this vital question may be […]

Inside the mind of the pilot who flies to crash by Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Inside the mind of the pilot who flies to crash   Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   BBC News is reporting French investigators concluded that the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight, Andreas Lubitz, appeared to want to “destroy the plane”, intentionally initiating a descent while the pilot was locked out, leading to the crash in […]

The Psychology of the Jeremy Clarkson incident by Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

The Psychology of the Jeremy Clarkson incident Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham The incident where popular TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson may or may not have got into a fight, which may or may not have turned physical, with a producer on the hit TV series ‘Top Gear’, continues to generate speculation over exactly what happened […]

Psychologists reveal who Indians fall in love with – and why it’s different for the modern generation Dr Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham

Psychologists reveal who Indians fall in love with – and why it’s different for the modern generation   Dr Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham   A new psychology study has investigated changing romance patterns on the sub-continent.   In some cases some of the contrasts in romantic preferences between Indian men and women, how […]

Andy Murray, Mental Toughness and the ‘Inner Game’. Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

Andy Murray, Mental Toughness and the ‘Inner Game’.   Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham   The BBC News website is reporting that Pat Cash declared Andy Murray “melted down and collapsed” in his loss to Novak Djokovic.   Andy Murray blamed becoming distracted by Novak Djokovic’s fitness problems, which emerged during the Australian Open Tennis […]

‘Accounting’ for CIA Torture and Kidnapping – Accountants Reveal the Secret Business Behind Brutality by Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Michele Chwastiak from the University of New Mexico, United States has just published an analysis exposing the aviation companies complicit in the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. Aspects of CIA abduction and cruelty were revealed by mundane accounts which accidentally came to light, when two of the subcontractors for the CIA’s privatized rendition fights went to […]

Why the Funniest Comedians Die First by Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

A study about to be published in the ‘International Journal of Cardiology’ has found that the funniest comedians suffer dramatically reduced longevity, compared to their relatively less funny counterparts. The research, from the Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, Australia, analysed the life span of 53 male British comedians born between 1900 and 1954. A key finding […]

Charles Manson’s Marriage – why women marry murderers Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Charles Manson’s Marriage – why women marry murderers   Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   Notorious murderer Charles Manson is  80 years old and in a Californian state prison for a series of killings (by members of a cult/commune ‘Manson Family’), yet he has recently been granted a marriage license to wed 26 year old […]

Why can’t the cleverest country in Europe get any Nobel Prizes? Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham

Why can’t the cleverest country in Europe get any Nobel Prizes?   Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham   This year’s Nobel Prizes were announced last week; over the years certain countries tend to dominate the Nobel Laureate committee’s assessment of outstanding academic contributions. Obviously a larger national population should be associated with more chances […]

Is the battle with Islamic State a ‘Just’ War? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Is the battle with Islamic State a ‘Just’ War? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen A leading authority on deciding whether a war can be ‘just’, explains whether the Western fight against Islamic State, is indeed a ‘Just War’. Is this war being sold to the public as ‘just’ or ‘moral’, when in fact it is […]

Raj Persaud in conversation with Elizabeth Lunbeck discussing her new book – ‘The Americanization of Narcissism’ – DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST

Discussing her new book with psychiatrist Raj Persaud, Elizabeth Lunbeck explains ‘The Americanization of Narcissism’ published by Harvard University Press. This is an important tome because it critically tackles the way the modern age thinks of itself. Lunbeck identifies some key moments in the notion that this is a particularly narcissistic age. One seems to […]

EXACTLY HOW IRRATIONAL ARE DELUSIONS? Raj Persaud talks to Lisa Bortolotti

DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST Raj Persaud in conversation with Lisa Bortolotti – Professor of Philosophy at the University of Birmingham – discussing her latest book on delusions and irrationality Lisa Bortolotti is Professor of Philosophy at Birmingham University and her main research area is the philosophy of cognitive science. In her work she has focused so far […]

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS ‘FUNERAL MANIA’? Raj Persaud in conversation with Assistant Professor of Epidemiology Katherine Keyes DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST

Katherine Keyes is Associate Professor of Epidemiology Columbia University and with serveral colleagues had published a study in the American Journal of Psychiatry investigating what happens when people suffer one of the worst stresses of all – the unexpected death of a loved one. The Burden of Loss: Unexpected Death of a Loved One and […]

Raj Persaud in conversation with Professor Jeremy Holmes – can Tolstoy help us understand depression?

Jeremy Holmes is a psychiatrist and Professor of psychotherapy at the University of Exeter.  He is best known for his work in Attachment Theory and its applications to psychotherapy and psychiatry.  He also has written extensively on the relationship between literature and psychiatry,  most recently in his book The Therapeutic Imagination: Using literature to deepen […]

Raj Persaud in conversation with Oxford University Sociologist Aaron Reeves – how did the recession lead to 10,000 excess suicides DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST

Aaron Reeves is a post-doctoral researcher and an adjunct lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford. He is also a post-doctoral research fellow at Nuffield College and his research interests include: political economy of health, social protection, social and cultural exclusion, and quantitative sociology.   He is currently working with Dr. […]

Raj Persaud in conversation with Heidi Feldman Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST

IN THIS PODCAST AVAILABLE BELOW Professor Heidi Feldman discusses her recent paper in the New England Journal of Medicine on ADHD Attention Deficit–Hyperactivity Disorder in Children and Adolescents Heidi M. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., and Michael I. Reiff, M.D. N Engl J Med 2014; 370:838-846February 27, 2014 ADHD is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or a […]

Headstarters Part 2 DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST

Despite playing the role of grumpy old man and attempting to discourage them from entering the field – do these young enthusiastic psychiatrists take the bait and run? Or do they argue with Raj that psychiatry has a lot going for it as a career choice for a young doctor? Check out this episode!

Raj Persaud in conversation with Ummni Khan – author of a new book entitled ‘Vicarious Kinks – S/M in the socio-legal imaginary’ DOWNLOADABLE PODCAST

FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PRESS WEBSITE: Who decides where “normal” stops and “perverse” begins? In Vicarious Kinks, Ummni Khan looks at the mass of claims that film, feminism, the human sciences, and law make about sadomasochism and its practitioners, and the way those claims become the basis for the legal regulation of sadomasochist pornography and […]

Rotherham and ‘playing the race card’ – Psychologists investigate whether perpetrator’s race protects against being found guilty. Dr Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham

Rotherham and ‘playing the race card’ – Psychologists investigate whether perpetrator’s race protects against being found guilty.   Dr Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham One of the reasons, it is argued, that extensive sexual abuse and child exploitation was tolerated for so long in Rotherham, is that the race of the perpetrators might have […]

After the Robin William’s tragedy – will there be copycats? Raj Persaud and Professor Sir Simon Wessely (President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists)

After the Robin William’s tragedy – will there be copycats?   Raj Persaud and Professor Sir Simon Wessely (President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists)   Robert Enke, a very famous German football goal keeper, killed himself on the railway on 10th November 2009.   The number of railway suicidal acts, in the following two […]

Does Psychology predict eventual failure of Gaza ceasefire? Dr Raj Persaud and Professor Adrian Furnham

Does Psychology predict eventual failure of Gaza ceasefire?   Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham   Academic psychologists based in Israel and the USA have recently published a new psychological analysis of the Middle East, elucidating powerful emotional barriers to peace-making.   Daniel Bar-Tal Branco Weiss Professor of Research in Child Development from Tel Aviv University, […]

As an Asian Mother is awaiting sentence for killing her three-year-old – how many other Asian women are in a similar psychological predicament? Raj Persaud FRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist in Private Practice in Harley Street.

As Asian Mother is awaiting sentence for killing her three-year-old – how many other Asian women are in a similar psychological predicament? Raj Persaud FRCPsych, Consultant Psychiatrist in Private Practice in Harley Street.   34 year old mother Rosdeep Adekoya’s sentencing has been deferred until August 25th, after she admitted killing her three year old […]

The Psychology of Conflict in Gaza Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

The Psychology of Conflict in Gaza   Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   A unique study from the University of Haifa and Tel Aviv University in Israel, and Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, USA, has uncovered how psychological resilience is possible in the face of overwhelming adversity produced by war.   The research, examining two […]

As a lottery winner’s dream predicts a win, and Malaysian Airlines Passenger posts eerily prophetic picture – can dreams and visions foretell the future? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

As a lottery winner’s dream predicts a win, and Malaysian Airlines Passenger posts eerily prophetic picture – can dreams and visions foretell the future? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen The UK press has reported that a judge recently ordered a restaurant owner to split half of a million pound lottery prize with his waiter, because […]

Psychologists uncover it’s the Referees, not the Players, who might secure Soccer World Cup Victory Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

  Psychologists uncover it’s the Referees, not the Players, who might secure Soccer World Cup Victory Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham     The referee’s award, in the opening match, of a controversial penalty to host nation Brazil, can be explained by psychology. The same psychological processes could also determine the outcome of the tournament, […]

Is Erotica Bad for the Brain? Raj Persaud and Helinä Häkkänen-Nyholm

Is Erotica Bad for the Brain?   Raj Persaud and Helinä Häkkänen-Nyholm   A new brain scanning study just about to be published in a prestigious academic journal, finds that consumption of pornography in men is associated with smaller cerebral gray matter volume, and lower connectivity, in certain cortical regions.     One theory that […]

Did violent video games contribute to the killing of Ann Maguire? Psychologists suggest some games increase aggression. Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Did violent video games contribute to the killing of Ann Maguire? Psychologists suggest some games increase aggression.   Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   Various UK newspapers report that the pupil accused of stabbing teacher Ann Maguire to death is a fan of a violent video game promoted with the catchphrase “prepare to die”.   […]

Why was Shakespeare performed inside Broadmoor Hospital – a high-security psychiatric unit? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Why was Shakespeare performed inside Broadmoor Hospital – a high-security psychiatric unit?   Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   Festivities on the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth celebrate the writer’s literary and story-telling skills, but recent academic studies suggest the Bard may have anticipated Sigmund Freud, and even modern neuroscience.     One new […]

Does the latest brain scanning research reveal your real religious belief – even more than Easter church attendance?   Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   A new brain scanning study has found that high personal importance of religion or spirituality in your life is associated with thicker cortex in several brain regions.   Some of […]

Does the disappearance of Ameila Earhart’s aeroplane, and similar enigmas, reveal your psychology? Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

Does the disappearance of Ameila Earhart’s aeroplane, and similar enigmas, reveal your psychology? Raj Persaud AT THE END OF THIS PIECE IS AN INVITATION TO TAKE PART IN SIMILAR ACADEMIC RESEARCH QUOTED IN THIS ARTICLE, ONLY THIS NEW SURVEY EXAMINES WHAT YOU BELIEVE HAPPENED TO MALAYSIAN AIRLINES FLIGHT MH370 When puzzling things happen which cannot […]

Can Meditation cure depression and improve well-being? The latest medical research gives pause for thought. Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Can Meditation cure depression and improve well-being?  The latest medical research gives pause for thought. Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen The most recent comprehensive review of research on the benefits of meditation concludes that rigorous clinical trials find only, ‘small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress’. ‘Mantra’ based meditation programs such […]

‘I should like to thank the Academy’ – The Psychology of acceptance speeches at The Oscars. Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

‘I should like to thank the Academy’ – The Psychology of acceptance speeches at The Oscars Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen A recent study by Cheryl Morrier at Adelphi University, USA, investigated student and semi-professional female and male actors. Actors emerged as significantly more narcissistic than the general population. Entitled ‘Success in acting: The roles […]

On Valentine’s Day – How to tell if someone really fancies you – the latest psychological research Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

On Valentine’s Day – How to tell if someone really fancies you – the latest psychological research Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham Are you a ‘romantic paranoiac’? Defined in Alain De Botton’s 2006 book ‘Essays in love’,  as a tendency to misread sexual interest in the body language and conversation of others. Men, much more than […]

Manchester United and the psychology of a losing streak. Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

Manchester United and the psychology of a losing streak Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham With a recent League Cup defeat, Manchester United have lost three games in a row, for the first time since 2001, accomplishing this by identical 2-1 losses. There is a psychological theory explaining losing and winning streaks in sports, which might […]

Psychologists find the best way to achieve New Year’s Resolutions – is not to make any? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Psychologists find the best way to achieve New Year’s Resolutions – is not to make any? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen New Year’s Resolutions commonly involve resolving to end bad habits – for example giving up alcohol or smoking. However the latest psychological research suggests that, paradoxically, trying hard to not do something, might render […]

Does his psychology reveal whether Alan Turing killed himself? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Does his psychology reveal whether Alan Turing killed himself? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen Alan Turing has been granted a posthumous  Royal Pardon 59 years after his death. Turing used advanced mathematics to break the Enigma code, revealing the positions of German U-boats during World War II. This ensured the country’s survival; Eisenhower is even […]

Is Scientology a religion? Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Is the Church of Scientology a religion?   Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen   Five Supreme Court Justices have redefined what a religion is legally, following a five-year legal battle by scientologists seeking the right to get married at the Church of Scientology chapel in central London.   Scientology is therefore now recognised officially as […]

Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery – the next big thing? Raj Peraud and Kathleen Martin Ginis

Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery – the next big thing?   Raj Peraud and Kathleen Martin Ginis   Female Genital Cosmetic Surgery is becoming increasingly popular, but as practically all of these medical procedures are done privately, precise figures are difficult to obtain.   Lindy McDougall an anthroplogist from Macquarie University, Sydney, in a recent study where she […]

Cigarette smoking could make you Psychotic Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen

Cigarette smoking could make you Psychotic Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen Experts at the Institute of Psychiatry in London are publishing research suggesting that smoking cigarettes may well be a cause of schizophrenia (a psychotic disorder). This startling finding includes a just published study, plus research to be published in the near future, all of […]

Who’s on Top? The personality of women who commit infidelity is different. Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

Who’s on Top? The personality of women who commit infidelity is different.   Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham     The allegations at the ‘phone-hacking’ trial that two editors of national newspapers conducted a secret affair for six years, coincides with the publication of new psychological research, suggesting links between ambition, success and infidelity.   […]

Secret Mind Games Behind Drone Wars Raj Persand and Peter Bruggen

Secret Mind Games Behind Drone Wars   Raj Persand and Peter Bruggen     The Daily Telegraph Newspaper recently reported how 13 year old Zubair Rehman’s testimony at a congressional briefing, in describing how a US drone missile strike killed his grandmother in Pakistan, moved a translator to tears.     The story of the […]

Does ‘Pure Evil’ Exist? Psychologists investigate the devils (and angels) amongst us

Does ‘Pure Evil’ Exist? Psychologists investigate the devils (and angels) amongst us Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham Are these examples of pure evil? Anders Breivik bombed buildings in 2011 killing 8 people, then shot 69 others, mostly teenagers. He showed no remorse and took pride in his actions. In May 2013, three women and one six-year-old […]