Brave Faces And Being A Beginner: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

Instead of putting on a brave face in front of your kids, you might want to consider putting on a “brave voice”. That’s according to research from Paddy Ross and team, who find that children tend to focus on the emotion in people’s voices more than the emotion in their body language. Ross describes the work at The Conversation.

Wired has published a fascinating extract from Tom Vanderbilt’s book “Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning”. In the piece, Vanderbilt describes his experience of learning to juggle — and discusses what this process reveals about the way humans learn new skills.   

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the entire population in one way or another: even those of us fortunate enough not to have caught the virus have still had our lives turned upside-down.  At BBC Future, Ed Prideaux explores how we might deal with the lingering effects of this “mass trauma” once the pandemic over.

Meanwhile, over at BBC Science Focus, Amy Fleming examines strategies for dealing with “COVID burnout”: the fatigue and feelings of stagnation that many of us are experiencing. Social support, maintaining a sense of a control, and getting regular exercise are all important, Fleming writes.

Earlier this week we wrote about the lack of evidence behind the idea that microdosing psychedelic drugs can have a positive impact on mental health. But when it comes to larger doses, there is a fair amount of preliminary evidence that these substances could be useful. At Scientific American, researcher Austin Lim takes a look at the current state of the field.

Donald Trump is no longer in office — but his amplification of conspiracy theories has had long-lasting political and social effects. Researchers who specialise in the spread of misinformation are now left trying to make sense of it all, reports Jeff Tollefson at Nature.

Finally, researchers have mapped out how electrical brain stimulation can give rise to various emotions. The team stimulated several different brain areas in a woman who was receiving deep brain stimulation for depression. Some of those sites produced a positive or pleasant response, but others produced feelings of “doom and gloom”, apathy, and even sickness, reports Neuroskeptic at Discover Magazine.

Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattbWarren), Editor of BPS Research Digest