Category Archives: Research

Can You Buy Long-Term Happiness?

Congratulations! You’ve received an unexpected financial windfall. Should you use the money to buy a new GPS or go to a concert with friends?

According to a 2009 study conducted by the San Francisco State University psychology department, you’d be well served to choose the concert; your appreciation of the experience will grow over time, whereas your appreciation for the GPS will lessen in a matter of weeks.

Participants in the study answered questions about purchases they made with the intention of making themselves happy. Most were initially happy with their purchases regardless of whether they were material or experiential. However, those who invested in experiences tended to show higher levels of satisfaction for a significant amount of time after the events occurred. Also, because the experiences usually included other people, they reported a sense of connecting to friends or relatives, fulfilling a need for social bonding.

We found out about this study in a blog post from David DiSalvo called Ten Psychology Studies from 2009 Worth Knowing About. There are some other interesting studies on his list. We encourage you to take a look.

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5 Phobias You’ve Never Heard Of

When it comes to common fears, snakes, heights and confined spaces seem to grab all the headlines. But there are hundreds of other phobias we struggle from, including some you may never have heard of:

1.  Chionophobia: February 13, 2010 must have been a particularly bad day for Americans suffering from Chionophobia – a fear of snow. On that day, 49 out of 50 states had snow on the ground. The holdout? Hawaii.

2.  Coulrophobia: Finally! A proper name for our fear of clowns. Coulrophobia often originates with an early childhood experience that’s, well, not very funny.

3.  Phronemophobia: This could win the award for being the world’s most difficult phobia to treat — the fear of thinking.

4.  Telephonophobia: No word on whether this phobia – a fear of telephones – extends to text messages.

5.  Geniophobia: We were certain this referred to a fear of genies, but the only genies that could scare a Geniophobe would be those with … chins.

Assuming that you don’t suffer from Sesquipedalophobia (fear of long words), we’d like to hear about other unusual phobias you know about. Please use the comment section below to add to our list.

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Who is the Most Influential Person in the History of Psychology?

Every once in a while a person or publication will try to rank the most influential people in the field of psychology, past and present. Inevitably each list delivers different results, so we want to bring the question to you. Fromm? Freud? Frasier? Who gets your vote? Is there a place on the list for popular culture?

We would love to hear who you think is the most influential person in the history of psychology and why. Please comment.

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Psychologists by the Numbers

34

The percentage of psychologists who are self-employed—mainly as private practitioners.*

12

The percentage of employment growth expected between 2008 and 2018 for the overall field of psychology. Clinical, counseling, and school psychology are expected to grow about 11%, while industrial-organization psychology is expected to grow 26%.*

6,800

The projected number of additional neuropsychologists that will be needed by 2018 to keep up with demand.*

2

The number of states that currently allow appropriately-trained psychologists to prescribe medications (Louisiana and New Mexico).*

170,200

The number of jobs held by psychologists in 2008.*

0.270

The percentage of the employed population who are psychologists in New Mexico, the state with the highest concentration of psychologists. Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, and Connecticut all have concentrations of more than 0.1% of their respective populations.*

$87,130

The annual mean wage for psychologists in New Jersey, the top paying state for psychologists.*

93,000

According to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Center for Workforce Studies, the number of practicing psychologists in the U.S.

31

The number of psychologists who are members of a union.*

*Information from the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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