gmusic@nurturingnatures.co.uk

This blog is to critically introduce, and contextualise, new research findings from developmental research, neuroscience, attachment theory  and other areas of psychology that are topical or are likely to whet the appetite of  anyone interested. The aim is to discuss research which will feel relevant and which might even, if lucky, make a...

This blog is to critically introduce, and contextualise, new research findings from developmental research, neuroscience, attachment theory  and other areas of psychology that are topical or are likely to whet the appetite of  anyone interested. The aim is to discuss research which will feel relevant and which might even, if lucky, make a difference to how we approach our work or other areas of our lives.

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The 'early' in early intervention means during pregnancy: The research that is a killjoy for pregnant mums

One of the difficulties with so much of the developmental research is that it can be used to bash parents, and especially mothers. This is a real shame. A difficulty is that we cannot ignore some of the research findings either, or else we are storing up serious problems. Typical is the research continually coming out about just how fragile the developing foetus is and how vulnerable it is to insults of various kinds. One of the latest studies has shown that taking ecstasy (MDMA)  in pregnancy can be surprisingly damaging to the unborn baby. The study, published in Neurotoxicology and Teratology by researchers from the University of East London,  suggested that babies exposed to ecstasy in utero had poorer co-ordination and reached other developmental milestones later, such as delays in hand-eye coordination and sitting up, and there is a suggestion that the baby’s nervous system is negatively affected. One issue that is known about is how ecstasy depletes the levels of the hormone serotonin that is so vital in many ways.

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Wealth and power make people less moral

People worried about the way an unbridled market led society can affect morality might want to take note of a new study from the University of Berkeley which seems to show very clearly that those higher up the pecking order, in social class and economic terms, basically are less moral. The diminished ethics is in large part driven by seeing greed as favourable, argues one of the main researchers, Paul Piff, who found that believing that greed is good was the best predictor of poor behaviour. Such studies are providing even more evidence of the deleterious effects of inequality on society. The study of over 1000 people was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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I'm not sure how helpful it is to conflate social class with economic factors, as this study seems to have done. In the States, th... Read More
Sunday, 04 March 2012 11:41
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