Consciousness And Climate Change: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

Recent research has found that mental health conditions like mood disorders and schizophrenia are associated with higher levels of inflammation in the body. Could this dysregulation of the immune system explain why people with these conditions are at risk of poorer Covid-19 outcomes? Brian Resnick explores the evidence at Vox.  


Uncertainty can make it harder for us to make rational decisions, instead leaving us second-guessing our choices and exploring alternative options. Pandemic-induced uncertainty in particular can lead us to seek out so much information that we end up stressed and burnt-out, write researchers Barbara Sahakian and Aleya Aziz Marzuki — and potentially at greater risk of falling for misinformation or engaging in irrational behaviours.


Insects are a lot more sophisticated than we think: many types of insect can learn from each other, are sociable, and even have many of the same brain chemicals as us. So can they also experience emotions? The idea was once “heretical”, writes Zaria Gorvett at BBC Future — but researchers now re-evaluating the evidence.


The threat posed by climate change can sometimes seem overwhelming, and it’s easy to feel hopeless in the face of government inaction. But there are certain coping strategies we can use to face the challenge without disengaging from it, as Maria Ojala explains to Simran Sethi at Wired.


It’s a fundamental question long pondered by neuroscientists and philosophers: what makes us conscious? Now, Antonio Damasio has written his take on the problem in “Feeling & Knowing: Making Minds Conscious”. Emily Cataneo reviews the book at Undark.


Monotone baby bedrooms are fashionable right now — but is there any truth to concerns that they could hinder a child’s visual development?  In a word, no, writes Amelia Tait at Wired, in an article which ends on a refreshing message: stop judging parents on every small decision they make.

Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattBWarren), Editor of BPS Research Digest

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