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 lost joys of playing and just being

Speaking to several parents in the last week, and children I work with, I was reminded of what a regimented and over-organised world we now live in, one in which there is so little time to  ‘just be’, to allow creative thoughts and imagination to grow and to do what it needs to help children and adults to become generative and develop their own thoughts and ideas.  I suggested to one dad what I suggest rather often, which is that he just take 15 minutes , or even 10, each day to spend in following his child’s play. He looked aghast and panicked, how on earth could he fit that in, what with after school karate, maths, football club, violin and French, chores to do for him, homework to supervise, and so the list went on. I was not surprised at the panic, I felt my own anxiety levels rising as I listened.

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Recent Comments
Guest — John Whitwell
Hi really enjoyed your blog on play. You might like my paper, The Serious Business of Play, which is on my website.
Thursday, 30 January 2014 23:48
Guest — graham m
thanks John, link to John's interesting article http://www.johnwhitwell.co.uk/index.php/the-serious-business-of-play/... Read More
Friday, 07 February 2014 14:29
Guest — Jude Danby
Enjoyed your blog. I am interested in how these ideas apply to adult learners. I teach and appraise doctors and our assessments ar... Read More
Friday, 31 January 2014 10:01
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After the giving and receiving. Materialism and happiness and tough lives

This year in some circles we have seem a backlash against materialism. Typical is a new book by Robert Wolman called Stuffocation [1], arguing that stuff does not make us happy, but rather it is experiences and relationships which do. Much research bears this out and such analyses can make important points, but maybe leave out what might be propelling people to consume. 

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Antidepressants, Big Pharma, and ordinary unhappiness

Recently after an OECD report many articles have been outlining the extent to which anti-depressant use has soared in Western countries. Apparently one in ten Americans use them now, and in China there has been a 20% year on year increase in the last three years. Indeed the OECD study suggests a large rise in a wide range of Western countries, including the UK, Australia and almost as bad as anyone, Canada, although Iceland tops them all.

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Guest — Robert Glanz
Good Article Dr. Music. I wonder why there is a disparity though between the research, which is very compelling and peoples perso... Read More
Sunday, 08 December 2013 08:11
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IQ and genes, Cummings, Gove, prejudice, inequality, social conditions and parenting

Michael Gove’s longstanding advisor, Dominic Cummings has just released a huge document in which he makes many worrying claims, the most pernicious of all being the statement that educational outcomes are most predicted by IQ levels and genetic inheritance. Such ideas are not only dangerous,  they are also completely wrong.

We have long known that IQ is a moveable feast and IQ levels are incredibly responsive to one’s current environment and are also highly related to the kinds of early experiences one has. Cumming’s ideas are yet another way that right wing politicians bash the poor and those who achieve less well and justify the gains from the social and educational advantages that the more affluent can give to their children.

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Happiness, friends and values bigger than ourselves

As a few weeks of lazy holidaying beckons for some of the  luckier ones amongst us, in this blog, the last for a while,  I find myself thinking about that old chestnut, happiness again, and  the Good Life, or Eudemia as the Greeks called it. I was struck by a piece of research that has just come out outlining 2 very different kinds of happiness, both of which have very different effects on our health and well-being. [1].

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Chris Froome, tour de France, individualism and cooperative groups

We now know that Chris Froome is the 2nd British winner of the tour de France in as many years, an extraordinary achievement. Cycling  might not be everybody’s favourite sport but it does offer fascinating insights into the relative importance in human nature of both individualism and being a  group player. 

How often in this race did we see individuals or small groups breakaway from the main pack of riders. How often too were they clawed back by cyclists working hard for each other. These of course were cyclists who were also arch rivals yet when they needed to they pulled together. When a breakaway group did succeed and escape the peloton this was partly because the breakaway group all worked for each other, and often also because the main peloton had too many people making individual breaks rather than working together. Groups of individualists, however brilliant, will never outcompete highly cooperative groups. This is true of all team sports but also it seems of groups in human evolutionary history [1]

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