Human Resiliency and Trauma
The attacks of 9/11 changed not only how we engage with the world but what we know about it. In the last ten years, psychology has advanced in its understanding of trauma and resiliency.
What's the Latest Development?
Prior to the attacks on 9/11, the popular psychotherapeutic method for counseling individuals who had experienced a traumatic event was known as "debriefing". The technique which aimed to prevent the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder assumed that it was better for individuals to talk about what they had been through rather than bottling it up. But Harvard psychologist Richard McNally warned against the debriefing cure after 9/11 knowing "that research conducted during the 1990s had shown that debriefing was at best ineffective, and at worst actually slowed people’s recovery."
What's the Big Idea?
Psychology’s understanding of trauma and human resiliency became greatly informed by the attacks on 9/11. What McNally discovered in the aftermath of the attacks is that humans are more resilient to trauma than once thought. "They might be shaken, or upset, or scared right after something terrible happens, said Columbia University psychologist George Bonanno, who has conducted resilience research. 'But as far as trauma, most people are symptom-free....They are able to continue functioning without missing a beat.'" In the years since 9/11, debriefing has fallen out of favor.
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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