26 Nov 2020

Best of 2020: Psychology

11:54 am on 9 January 2021

Critical thinking, cracking the anxiety code and the connection between psychedelic drugs and healing... these are our top ten psychology features of the year.

How the brain develops: from newborn to adult

Even before birth, babies are busily data-gathering, says parenting coach Nathan Wallis. He talks about how parents can support young children through the four stages of brain development.


Photo: Garrett Jackson / Unsplash

The link between psychedelic drugs and social connection

Psychedelics can allow people to make meaningful connections and heal active trauma in the body in a way pharmaceuticals cannot, says psychiatrist and psychedelic researcher Dr Julie Holland. 

close up flower

Photo: Severin Stalder / Unsplash

What the Dunedin Study is revealing about antisocial behaviour and the brain

People who show persistent anti-social behaviour from adolescence onwards are probably genetically predisposed to it, researchers have found.

brain scans

Photo: Public domain

Fighting 'the irrational ape' with critical thinking

A bit of analysis and thought can go a long way in helping us figure out what's real and what's fake, says Irish physicist David Robert Grimes.

No caption

Photo: The Irrational Ape

How Claire Weekes cracked the anxiety code

'Face, accept, float, let time pass' – that's the six-word prescription for anxiety devised by the late Australian doctor and self-help pioneer Claire Weekes.

Australian GP and anxiety specialist Claire Weekes

Australian GP and anxiety specialist Claire Weekes Photo: Courtesy of Scribe Publications

How emotions leave their marks on our hearts

Hearts physically change shape in response to grief, fear and other intense emotion, says cardiologist Dr Sandeep Jauhar.

Dr Sandeep Jauhar

Dr Sandeep Jauhar Photo: Supplied

The psychology of pandemics

We haven't properly learned the lessons of past pandemics, says Australian academic Steven Taylor.

No caption

Photo: 123rf

Why is it so hard to make healthy decisions?

Often the best things to do for our health aren't what we choose to do, says behavioural economist David Asch.

woman being silly

Photo: Rawpixel Ltd

What is 'imposter syndrome'?

Imposter syndrome has two aspects - an inability to internalise our achievements and the persistent fear of being found out, says life coach Jess Stuart.

Impostor Syndrome expert, Jess Stuart.

Impostor Syndrome expert, Jess Stuart. Photo: Jess Stuart

Why some people follow rules and others don't

There are a number of psychological and behavioural reasons people ignore public health warnings, says behavioural economist Syon Bhanot.

Medical staff perform a Covid-19 test at a drive-through testing site in a Melbourne carpark on 1 May.

Photo: AFP

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