Five chances to win a copy of The Rough Guide to Psychology

Thanks for all your interesting entries. This competition is now closed and the winners have been contacted.

To celebrate worldwide sales in excess of 10,000 copies, Rough Guides have kindly donated to us 5 copies of The Rough Guide to Psychology by Digest editor Christian Jarrett. From the reviews:

Professor Uta Frith DBE said the The Rough Guide is “disarmingly appealing to the deep desire to know ourselves” and presents “psychology today in a nutshell”. Prof Robert Epstein said “It is accurate, up-to-date and easy to read … For a rough guide, this book is smooth.” And psychologist, teacher and Guardian blogger Marc Smith said it’s perhaps “the best introduction to the subject I have seen.”

For your chance to win a copy, simply post a brief comment to this blog entry before Friday evening, saying what you think the next big breakthrough in psychology will be. We will identify the five winners by choosing our favourite answers from the comments (please remember to leave an email address for us to reach you). 

48 thoughts on “Five chances to win a copy of The Rough Guide to Psychology”

  1. I doubt this will be the next “big breakthrough” in psychology – there will likely be many before it.

    But I think that developing and refining techniques used to determine what we see by looking at our visual cortex will have a very large impact if they develop to their full potential.

    Imagine being able to record and share your dreams?

  2. Next breakthrough I predict will be a move from talking therapies towards experiential body work where primitive responses will be utilised without intellectualising Or theories will evolve excusing poor treatment of most vulnerable of us

  3. I believe that small chips/electrods implemented inside the cortex will be able to read electric activity of neurons and monitor neurotransmitters levels to selectively suppress unwanted specific cognitive processes, non desirable thoughts or to impact neurochemical balance.
    So this might not be the next step, but the idea of using chips to both monitor and impact electrical activity, would be my guess.

  4. Let’s hope it’s something that prevents our neuromania for improving the lives of those who are able… and inspires us to help those with disabilities. I'd like to see a larger popular psychology focus on rehabilitation of diseases like MS and Dementia

  5. The next breakthru in psychology will be
    1) the change in DSM and ICD regarding Personality Disorders, for example Eating Disorders being classified as traits of PD not a seperate disorder.
    2) development of female offenders rehabillitation approach, focused on PTSD and traumatic experiences along with offending history. In other words, moving away from prisons towards rehab units.

  6. I'd like to see a formula which can account for subjective representations/utilities in nomothetic theories. Nature Vs Nurture; Qualitative Vs Quantitative – why not both?

  7. Regular Preventative screening for mental illness. So much money, time, and resources could be saved ifthese illnesses were caught early on. Especially for those who develop these issues at a very young age as I did, a doctor could discover problems children cannot even articulate. Even just knowing your risk factor for developing certain diseases would be Invaluable. Doctors know the traits and factors that contribute to mental illness. If parents, caregivers, and perhaps even children were on alert for a problem effective help could be sought more quickly, leading to better outcomes for the patient. Furthermore, ther should be mandatory group counseling in schools starting in kindergarten. It could be fun and age appropriate, but would be beneficial if kids attended this therapy group once a week as they do gym class.

  8. Next big breakthrough will involve neuroscience- actually seeing certain pathologies in the brain. I only mention “pathologies” because that's where psychology tends to start. Ideally, we'd move towards viewing healthy and ultra-healthy brains, and realize that we can rewire our brains (all of us) to be ultra-healthy. We will enhance our psychological well-being through cognition and behaviour, and we'll see that reflected in the brain.

  9. There is a lot of research investigating personality predictors of academic achievement. It's only a matter of time until psychometric instruments assessing how conscientious and motivated students are (along with other behaviours and traits) are being produced, with universities and schools using them to assess whether students are likely to succeed or need extra attention.

  10. I think the next breakthrough in Psychology should be in the field of psychological causes of gender dysphoria and other related gender disorders because I believe its understudied but very interesting.

  11. I don't quite believe in REALLY GREAT breakthroughs the next time, but i could imagine that if scientists were able to reproduce or simulate an entire artificial brain, it would bring a whole lot of new discovery, not least for Psychology.

  12. I believe the next big breakthrough in psychology will be neuroscience. Understanding the complexity of the human brain through the assistance of computer science will be paramount.

  13. Yes neuroscience and neuroplasticity could help psychology a great deal. But is that realistic any time soon?

    A great breakthrough would be to stop serving big farma and start solving real problems rather than causing them, but that requires a much wider shift in economics, politics and philosophy, then psychology may actually have a chance at any real meaningful breakthrough .

  14. This is a enchanting paradox of which I fear we will not being freed quickly. Our deepest psychological drive is to belong to others, I think that that is even more important than sex or many other drives in our lives. To belong to implies to act and think like the rest of the group. But at the same time science of psychology develops only by those who dare to think different from te main stream.

  15. I believe that the next big thing will be psychology in general moving away from the assumption of healthy normality and pushing a non mechanistic theory into the forefront of today's psychotherapy practice.

  16. I believe that the next breakthrough in Psychology will have to do with autism in children. Hopefully we will finally understand the underlying causes, perhaps we might become able to prevent it from developing, and we will find new and more effective therapies for the disorder. Also, the breakthrough will entail a final rebuke of all the “vaccination causes autism” and similar ideologies that parents of children with autism fall for in their search for causes and cures.

  17. the next big breakthrough in psychology will be cnetred around cannabis and it's links to cancer treatment, looking at ways to restrain side effects in order to replace things such as chemotherapy with selective cannabinoid drugs

  18. the next breakthrough in pyschology most likely will be authors giving away free copies of there latest book with a query regarding what the should write about next thus creating a neverending loop of satisfied customer/author relationship… 🙂

  19. I'd like to think the next big breakthrough in psychology will involve the use of music therapy to improve the lives of those suffering from dementia. Advances in neuroscience and a growing understanding of a dementia sufferer's brain activity will help to aid this breakthrough.

  20. The developed world’s rapidly aging population will see an increasingly strong focus on research into the growing epidemic of dementia. The next big breakthrough in psychology will stem from further research into the genes, such as SORL1, which relate to dementia and Alzheimer’s risk, resulting in better recognition of those at risk of developing these conditions, and earlier medical interventions to minimise their effects.


  21. I think the next big break through is going to be a cure to alzheimers, it seems like every day I see new information being discovered. Let's hope!

  22. If I could answer that with an educated guess, I wouldn't *need* the book, and I do, I do, I wants it, my preciousss… So. Erm. Can't steal other people's brilliant ideas. How about a better understanding of psychology, esp as relates to reports of new studies? That would be a great breakthrough. Or this: take these two stats and put them together:
    Stat 1: Twice as many women as men are diagnosed with depression.
    Stat 2: 50% of women diagnosed with depression are misdiagnosed and actually have a somatic illness.
    Tada! My ideal breakthrough would be to indicate that our brains and minds are not inherently gendered, however gendered our experience may be, and for people to stop bloody hunting for little gender differences and then misrepresenting them to journalists. Can I have the book? Please?

  23. There will no doubt be a lot of new discoveries in psychology but the greatest breakthrough should be to get politicians, decisions makers and the general public to apply what we already know particularly in education, employment and mental health. Listening to our policy makers there is an appalling lack of informed decision making. Next years breakthrough is the dust on the shelf the year after!!

  24. All comments so far assume the continuing hegemony of 'western' ways of thinking about psychology. With the decline of the west we are likely to see other, particularly Asian view of psychology play a much bigger role in the way we conceptualise psychology's problems. This will be a break through!

  25. The breakthrough will be in neuroscience, but it will come out of understanding how we deploy our attention wisely and usefully, (have a look at the articles that cite Lutz,Greischar, Rawlings, et al, (2004) Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice doi:10.1073/pnas.0407401101) We'll start to understand how to apply the knowledge that's being gathered in this area – a recent example of work in this area is Wadlinger (2011) Fixing Our Focus: Training Attention to Regulate Emotion doi: 10.1177/1088868310365565

  26. With an ageing population I hope that the next big breakthrough will involve understanding the ageing process within the brain and development of treatments or even simple mental exercises to keep people healthier for longer. The understanding of the brain has come on so fast that it may certainly be possible soon to introduce preventative if not curative measures for things such as memory loss. The study of healthy older brains would surely be the starting point for this.

  27. I think it should be about the prevention of dementia since to support/treat people with dementia actually costs more than cancer and heart treatments put together – and some!

  28. The next big breakthrough in psychology will be a collaboration between cognitive scientists and psychometric psychologists, who will produce a comprehensive theory of human intelligence. This will map general and specific cognitive abilities to specific brain areas.

    Within ten years, shops will be selling “cognometric” ceramic heads…

    Caroline –

  29. I'd like the next psychological breakthrough to identify/confirm the cause behind the association made between people who drink artificially sweetened drinks and weight gain.

  30. In my world the next big breakthrough will be recognising personality differences when we design workplaces. Rather than the current trend for huge open plan, buzzy, stimulating and interactive spaces, which suit extroverts, we will also provide for introverts.

  31. I think the next big breakthrough in psychology will be centred around the impact of new technologies on how we defined and consider ourselves as human beings.
    For instance: The increasing availability of replacement technologies such as visual, motor and soon cognitive technical aid/replacement (based or not on artificial intelligence) to disabled persons will change the way we are considering disability. Oscar Pistorius is one good example of how motor replacement technology has change the way people see disabled persons. These same technologies extended as cognitive enhancers to undisabled persons will change the way we define what it is to be a human being.
    Similarly, the research devoted to the study of the impact of the tools that connect us to a global world (e.g., smartphones, tablets that give us access to facebook and other social networks) on the way we see the world and how this may impact our lives is only emerging.
    H Dehon

  32. The next big breakthrough in psychology will not be a new theory or concept but an opening up of the academic profession to open journals, trial registers and greater scrutiny. Combined, these will bring greater discipline, credibility and, eventually, insight.

  33. Finding a cure to Alzheimer in the next few years might be a bit unrealistic. But I'd very much hope to see breakthrough in terms of controllable development.

  34. I'm hoping the next breakthrough in psychology will be closely examining diet and how this can in long term affect us not only physically but psychologically, impacts of good diets and bad ones and what types of food can induce certain characteristics such as concentration, perseverance, calmness, fatigue and even happiness. There appears to be a foundation of research upon this however, within the public eye there are many urban myths that need to be challenged such as 'super foods'. An insight into organic vs processed foods would also be highly interesting concerning mood, does it make a difference? Is the boom in new green and organic food beneficial psychologically as well as physically?

  35. The next breakthrough in psychology will be methodological. It is only a matter of time before someone develops a much-needed online network to share data, measures and surveys. Research psychology needs a place to collaboratively design and execute research, and a way to share results (null and significant!) outside of the journal system. We have all the technology we need to make these things happen!

  36. I think the next breakthrough in psychology will be to realize that all the fMRI scans in the world cannot give us meaningful insight into the human psyche, and as a result traditional psychotherapy will enjoy a revival.

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