Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes September 2010
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.
Clinical and Sport Psychologist

Index        Previous        Next

SEPTEMBER 26, 2010

Social Success: Your Self-Esteem May Get In Your Way, Not Your Ability

Generally, individuals with low self-esteem are just as socially skilled as well as interested in social interaction with members of the opposite sex as those with high self-esteem. However, the greater they perceive the risk in a social situation for rejection or a negative outcome, the more individuals with low self-esteem are likely to engage in protective or avoidant behaviors (Cameron, et.al, 2010).

What this indicates is that those with low self-esteem could be just as effective socially and be accepted by the opposite sex, except that their own negative self-perceptions get in the way. They believe they aren't socially competent and won't be liked or accepted, and therefore, don't engage socially as much as they could. Less opportunity means less success.

Cameron, J.J., Stinson, D.A., Gaetz, R., and Balchen, S. (2010). Acceptance is in the eye of the beholder: Self-esteem and motivated perceptions of acceptance from the opposite sex. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 513–529.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2010

Tell Others About Your Good Fortune...If They're Likely to Be Happy For You

When someone tells an attentive and enthusiastic listener about a positive event in his or her life, the degree of the story-teller's enjoyment of the event increases as well as positive feelings. Conversely, the listener's lack of interest in the positive event or negative reaction such as envy could decrease the story-teller's positive perception of the event. This effect was not explainable by just engaging in a positive social interaction and the resulting increase in positive mood.

Most likely, the process of telling a personal story that is valued by someone else leads to an increase in positive social interactions with the listener as well as allowing the story-teller to savor the memory of the event (Reis, et.al., 2010).

Reis, H.T., Smith, S.M., Carmichael, C.L. Caprariello, P.A., Tsai, F.F., Rodrigues, A. and Maniaci, M.R. (2010). Are you happy for me? How sharing positive events with others provides personal and interpersonal benefits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 311-329.

SEPTEMBER 21, 2010

Mindfulness Skills Can Improve Relationships

/div> Generally, when attachment anxiety, the extreme fear of abandonment, is high in a relationship, the couple reports decreased satisfaction with the relationship. This tends to be especially true when a high level of conflict occurs.

Interestingly, though, Saavedra et.al. (2010) found that when the couples were taught mindfulness skills, the fear of abandonment decreased and satisfaction increased. Therefore, they suggest that when an individual has attachment anxiety, it may be easier as well as effective to focus on learning the mindfulness techniques than directly trying to change the abandonment fears.

Saavedra, M.C., Chapman, K.E. and Rogge, R.D. (2010). Clarifying links between attachment and relationship quality: hostil conflict and mindfulness as moderators. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 380-390.

Do You Have Attachment Anxiety?
Take Questionnaire.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2010

Early Marital Disillusionment Predicts Later Divorce

Marital disillusionment, defined as a decrease in love and affection, the tendency to see the spouse as unresponsive to needs and ambivalence about the relationship, early in marriage tends to predict those couples who are more likely to get divorced. Niehuis and Bartell (2006) developed a questionnaire that can show disillusionment in marriage. They found that this questionnaire is related to dissatisfaction in marriage and increased risk for divorce.

Are You Disillusioned With Your Marriage?
Take Questionnaire.

Niehuis, S. and Bartell, D. (2006). The marital disillusionment scale: development and psychometric properties. North American Journal of Psychology, 8, 69-83.

Niehuis, S. (2007). Convergent and discriminant validity of the Marital Disillusionment Scale. Psychological Reports, 100, 203-207.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2010

Wii Brain Training: Fun, But Useful?

Although practice on a Wii cognitive training task improves performance on that task in adults over 50, it does not transfer to everyday tasks (Ackerman et.al., 2010). This research shows that older adults are capable of learning novel information, however, it questions whether the tasks on Wii software are directly relevant to everyday life. Therefore, in spite of the improvement on the game tasks, using brain training software may not impact overall cognitive ability.

Ackerman, P. L., Kanfer, R., & Calderwood, C. (2010, September 6). Use it or Lose it? Wii Brain Exercise Practice and Reading for Domain Knowledge. Psychology and Aging. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0019277

SEPTEMBER 14, 2010

Predicting Successful Relationships: Attachment Security

Attachment security develops early in life based upon a child's experience with primary caretakers. Such experiences teach them whether or not they can trust that others will meet their needs. People low in attachment security have difficulty trusting others and will often experience a great deal of anxiety in relationships.

After assessing attachment security in young couples researchers Holland and Roisman (2010) found that higher attachment security predicted a year later the quality of a romantic relationship. Those who are low in attachment security were more likely to have problems in their relationship.

Holland, A.S. and Roisman, G.I. Adult attachment security and young adults' dating relationships over time: Self-reported, observational, and physiological evidence. Developmental Psychology, 46, 552-557.

How Secure Are You in Relationships?
Take Questionnaire.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2010

Leave Work at Work: Emotional Detachment

With increased work demands, employees are likely to experience the effects of stress including emotional exhaustion, increased physical complaints, and reduced productivity. However, Sonnentag et.al. (2010) followed workers over a year to determine the diffence between those who experienced more stress effects and those who coped more effectively.

Primarily, they showed that workers who were able to emotionally detach from work during their off-hours had significantly less impact from difficult work situations. Emotional detachment consists of various methods that allow a person to not engage in work, not think about work, and to wind down and relax during their work hours.

Sonnentag, S., Binnewies, C., & Mojza, E. J. (2010). Staying Well and Engaged WhenDemands Are High: The Role of Psychological Detachment. Journal of Applied Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0020032

SEPTEMBER 10, 2010

Your Brain: Use It or Lose It?

Computer use has been shown to be related to less mental decline with aging. In addition, people who regularly computers had a better ability to more easily switch tasks indicating mental flexibility which tends to decline with age. In fact, this finding was even stronger for those with intellectual or educational weaknesses. Therefore, the researchers (Tun and Lachman, 2010) suggest that resources need to be provided for those with low incomes to have greater access to computers.

Tun, P. A., & Lachman, M. E. (2010). The Association Between Computer Use and Cognition Across Adulthood: Use It So You Won't Lose It?. Psychology and Aging. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0019543

Are People Who Set More Extreme Goals At Risk for Depression or Mania?

Although how a person responds to failure to attain goals may be associated with depression, setting high goals, in itself, is not related to vulnerability for depression. However, individuals prone to mania may be more likely to set statistically unlikely, or extreme, goals especially those related to reward such as money or fame.

Johnson, S.L and Carver, C.S. (2006). Extreme Goal Setting and Vulnerability to Mania Among Undiagnosed Young Adults. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 30, 377-395.


Effectiveness of Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Researchers (deGraff et.al., 2010) examining online cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals with depression found that those who tend to be more optimistic with a coping strategy style focused on change were more likely to benefit from online CBT. They also found that individuals more susceptible to depression due to family history of depression and those with more severe depression were likely to benefit from a combination of standard in-office therapy and online CBT.

deGraaf, L.E., Hollon, S.D., and Huibers, M.J.H. (2010). Predicting outcome in computerized cognitive behavioral therapy for depression in primary care: A randomized trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 184-189.


Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank

Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training