Viva Las Vegans

Just found this funny misprint in an article from the American Psychological Association’s magazine Monitor on Psychology while looking for articles on sleep psychology:

Sleep psychologist Paul Saskin helps Las Vegans sleep more soundly, day and night.

…perfectly timed for World Vegan Day.

UPDATE: I’ve been told people from Las Vegas are really called Las Vegans. Every day is a school day isn’t it?

Psychology of two-in-a-bed

couple_in_bed.jpgThere’s a wonderful article in The New York Times about the psychology and sociology of bed sharing.

This is one of the most common of human activities, and like many everyday behaviours, has a significant impact on our lives and yet has been largely ignored by researchers.

In more recent research — on grief — Dr. Rosenblatt interviewed couples whose children had died.

“They quite often would tell me that they dealt with their grief by holding each other and talking together in bed at night,” he said. “It seemed that I kept being reminded of how sharing a bed impacts our lives and sense of well-being.”

And yet, no one had really studied it, perhaps because sharing a bed is so mundane, Dr. Rosenblatt said. So he wrote Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing.

The article makes the point that sleep psychology, that looks at mind and brain factors in sleep and drowsiness, largely considers sleep to be a solitary activity, yet the majority is sleeping is a social act.

The first chapter of Rosenblatt’s book is freely available online as a pdf file.

Link to article ‘People Who Share a Bed, and the Things They Say About It’.
pdf of first chapter of Two in a Bed.

Who was the Wolf Man?

wolf_dream.jpgABC Radio’s The Philosopher’s Zone has an edition on one of Freud’s most famous cases, named ‘The Wolf Man’, because the patient had a dream about a tree full of white wolves outside his bedroom window, waiting to eat him.

That’s a picture of the dream on the right (click for larger version) painted by the patient himself, whose real name was Sergei Pankejeff.

Pankejeff was a member of the Russian upper-classes whose sister and father had committed suicide and personally suffered from a debilitating depression.

Freud analysed Pankejeff and interpreted his current emotional turmoil as being due to a disruption in his early sexual development.

His ‘wolf dream’ was thought to be a masked expression of his disturbance at accidentally seeing his parents have sex when he was a child. Freud thought the wolves were an expression of seeing this ‘primal’ act.

This edition of The Philosopher’s Zone looks at the importance of the ‘Wolf Man’ for the development of psychoanalysis, but also looks at wider issues of how evidence is used in building theories of the mind.

Freud is often criticised for the validity of his theories, and the programme discusses whether he was justified in drawing these conclusions when there was little other evidence on the function of the mind to work with.

Link to audio and transcript of ‘Who was the Wolf Man?’.