2024 · 13. June 2024
Do you assume your hard work and sacrifice must be rewarded? Do you get frustrated when life doesn’t unfold according to your expectations? My latest Southern Star column looks at a common cognitive distortion known as the Heaven’s reward fallacy.
2024 · 30. May 2024
People with OCD can be ashamed of unwanted intrusive thoughts. However, OCD isn't characterised by the presence of intrusive thoughts; it is characterised by how you react to the thoughts. My latest column looks at the large body of research showing that pretty much everyone has experienced intrusive thoughts. The reality is there is no difference between the thoughts of a person with OCD and a person without OCD; the difference is in the way people react.
2024 · 16. May 2024
My last column explored some life lessons to be gleaned from cognitive psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who passed away in March at the age of 90. In this follow-up column, I look at three more lessons from Kahneman that can help us to navigate life’s complexities.
2024 · 02. May 2024
Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman passed away recently. One of the most influential psychologists of the last century, this is the first of two columns exploring some life lessons we can learn from the author of the bestselling book Thinking, Fast and Slow.
2024 · 18. April 2024
A bat and a ball together cost €1.10. The bat costs €1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? Many people quickly jump to the conclusion that the answer is 10 cents, but it's not... My latest Southern Star column explores the psychological downsides of jumping to conclusions (and it gives the answer to the bat/ball puzzle, if you're stuck!).
04. April 2024
You're trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, feeling good about your progress. Then, you succumb to temptation, and eat a slice of cake. Suddenly, a nagging voice whispers, "Well, you've already blown it, so might as well enjoy the whole cake!" Can you relate? My latest Southern Star column looks at what psychologists have dubbed the what-the-hell effect.
2024 · 21. March 2024
Anyone who has cycled a bike knows what it’s like to cycle into a strong wind, and how you focus on how hard it is to be blown back. Unfortunately, we don’t take the same notice if a tailwind pushes us forward; instead, it’s quickly forgotten. It’s human nature to react this way. Our brains have a built-in negativity bias which means we notice and focus on the headwinds, but often forget or barely notice the tailwinds. My latest column looks at how we can overcome this negativity bias.
2024 · 07. March 2024
In times of crisis, emotions can be overwhelming. My latest Southern Star column explains why it can be very helpful to use the TIPP (Temperature, Intense exercise, Paced breathing, and Progressive muscle relaxation) technique to manage overwhelming emotions.
2024 · 22. February 2024
World-renowned CBT researcher and OCD expert Prof. Paul Salkovskis once asked therapists attending an OCD workshop to write down: ‘Today my partner (or best friend) will die in a car crash’. Only one third did this – the others changed the wording or said they were unable to do so. Clearly, many of us are prone to superstitious, magical thinking. My latest column explores the issue of thought-action fusion and details some simple exercises to test the power (or lack of power) of your thoughts.
2024 · 08. February 2024
Negative thinking isn’t good for you, but the same can be said of excessively positive thinking. My latest Southern Star column explores magical thinking – the false belief that your thoughts or wishes can somehow influence the external world.

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