A specific health problem smoking

In order to illustrate some of what has been discussed in this chapter, various health problems could be considered in more detail, but one that is frequently mentioned in the contemporary world is smoking. The illness-related effects of smoking have now been incontrovertibly established. Smoking has direct effects on all respiratory and heart and circulatory diseases, as well as lung cancer. In Western society, people of different ages typically smoke different amounts, becoming more...

The specific emotions

In everyday life, the specific emotions are very important to us. We don't just feel 'emotional', we experience anger or sadness or joy or guilt, or whatever it might be. Emotions exist in quite discrete ways although they can also appear in very complex mixtures. So, for example, we might well experience sadness in a very pure form if our dog has just died or we might experience a complex mixture of sadness, anger, anxiety, jealousy and even guilt and shame if our relationship has just ended....

Forming and maintaining relationships

Charles is a 23-year-old rather shy and inhibited man. He lives with a male flat-mate and has a good, steady job in an office. The prospects for career advancement are reasonable although not startling and Charles has a number of outside interests, all of which tend to be pursued alone -reading, running and hiking or walking in the countryside when time off allows. He gets on well with his parents and visits them quite regularly. Like him, they tend to be quiet people who keep themselves to...

Leadership

The weekly round-up meeting had started and the case managers were making their presentations about the patients. Quickly, the usual petty envies began to emerge between the various professional groups. The occupational therapists crossed swords with the physiotherapists, the social workers looked askance at the psychologists and the psychologists looked askance at everyone, particularly the doctors. The doctors looked down their noses, or so it seemed to the paramedics. The team leader sat...

Love and attachment

One of the most significant social developments for many people towards the end of adolescence (although for some it may not happen until a little later) is the formation of an attachment to or a close relationship with another person. People fall in love. Love itself is a huge and fascinating topic about which writers of fiction and poetry have probably done rather better than psychologists. Before talking a little about the attachments that make up romantic love, it is important to say that...

Communicating in groups

Imagine that you have agreed to take part in a psychological experiment. You were recruited by a rather formidable-looking middle-aged man of obvious maturity. He was wearing a white coat and you felt that he was clearly someone who was knowledgeable and expert, a person of some authority. You are invited into a psychological laboratory and find yourself surrounded by some surprising and interesting examples of electric and electronic equipment. He asks you to sit in front of some of this...

Work and play

Most of us work, usually, but not always for money. Other than to survive, why do we do it What are the links between motivation and work In general, work provides a way to satisfy various needs - for competence, for achievement, for affiliation, for power (these are discussed later). Self-determination is integral to how hard we work. Generally, if we can set our goals, set our own times of working, and change what we are doing from time to time, then we will tend to work harder than if no...

Hunger

We need to eat to live and for most people the feeling of hunger is a regular and very familiar occurrence. But the mechanisms that control hunger are a very complex mixture of the physiological and the psychological. There is the intake of necessary energy in the form of calories and there are fat deposits and general metabolic rate. There are also external, psychologically mediated factors such as the sight or the smell of a favourite food. This might well tempt us to eat even though we have...

Anxiety disorder 2 obsessivecompulsive disorders OCDs

These anxiety-driven disorders take the form of persistent (unwanted) thoughts or impulses to perform certain actions that cannot be resisted, usually in order to be rid of the thoughts. 'If I walk through this doorway 17 times, then I'll stop thinking over and over again that she doesn't love me.' The thoughts and actions involved in OCD are unwanted and not enjoyed at all. The person knows that the behaviour is foolish, nonsensical or pointless, but cannot desist from doing it. He or she...

Anxiety disorder 1 phobias

Anxiety and panic disorders were discussed in passing in Chapters 2 and 3 and stress will be considered in the next chapter. This leaves phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorders to mention here. Phobias are persistent irrational fears of something - it can be anything, an object, an event, a setting anything that upsets the individual. All that the word irrational means in this context is that the fear does not make sense to others who do not share it, and that there appears to be no clear...

Emotion in the arts and in sport

The regulation of emotion always occurs in some context or other - it has to. Many of these contexts involve either leisure or work (discussed earlier in this chapter). Other than family life (which might be regarded as a mixture of leisure and work), these two together characterise what can loosely be termed culture. In other words, this is a combination of the customs and achievements and style of a particular group of people. This section, then, is to do with how, in practice, people...

Piaget and cognition

It is impossible to read or think about children's development without considering the influence of Piaget on our understanding. His main contributions were in the area of how the child develops the capacity to think Piaget, 1952 . Of course, the ability must be there from the start, otherwise nothing would develop. However, it is clear that different modes or styles of thought characterise different ages. By the way, the ages and stages are not strict there is considerable individual...