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The Psychologist Vol 28 No 11 November 2015

The Psychologist Vol 28 No 11 November 2015

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You may have noticed that this column has become one long, forlorn attempt to elicit sympathy from you readers for how hard my team and I work. Then I talk to academics, and they are putting in more hours than I knew there were in a week. Maybe we don't have it so bad. But is the 'nose to the grindstone' approach outdated and ineffective?

On p.882 Edward Slingerland draws on the early Chinese ideal of 'wu-wei' or effortless action in order to argue that the only way to succeed is not to try. And on p.904 Cary Cooper tells us organisations need to catch up with the research showing that working hours are not synonymous with commitment or effective performance.

As often seems to be the way, Sweden is setting an example on work-life balance, with many workplaces trialling a six-hour working day for the same pay (see The signs are positive, with efficiency and wellbeing on the up. So give yourselves a break - be 'wu-wei'!

Dr Jon Sutton
Managing Editor @psychmag


Wu-wei - doing less and wanting more
The only way to succeed is to not try, argues Edward Slingerland

Prisoner suicide
Graham Towl and Tammi Walker consider public management, punitiveness and professionalism

Choice and control for animals in captivity
Laura M. Kurtycz looks at how to counter 'learned helplessness'

A perceptual control revolution?
Warren Mansell and Timothy A. Carey introduce a theory dating back to the 1950s that is increasingly touted as revolutionising the behavioural sciences

New voices: Working in a goldfish bowl - ethics in rural practice
Steven MacDonald with the latest in our series


Who helps the Ebola helpers?; research treasure trove; mass shootings; the term 'stampede'; event reports; a new era for psychology?; and much more

President's column; Branches Forum


The reproducibility project; academic resilience; alien abduction; psychology's contribution; mental health terminology; and more

Using brain imaging to re-evaluate famous case studies; the toll of being 'on call'; and more, from our Research Digest (see


Cary Cooper tells Gail Kinman about his attempts to change organisational culture through the wide dissemination of psychological theory and research

We speak to Siobhan O'Neill, on the eve of a Society briefing paper on suicide and self-harm which she contributed to; Aleesha Begum describes her work with an autism charity; and Karen M. Zubrucky shares how a tragic event led to a career 'chasing memories' as a cognitive psychologist

One on one
With Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre


Eye on fiction
Andrew Clements provides an organisational psychology perspective on Jurassic World

Cosmonauts at the Science Museum, Banksy's 'Dismaland', Macbeth, Hangmen, BBC Horizon on whether video games are really that bad, and more

Looks back

Psychology and the Great War, 1914-1918
Ben Shephard considers our discipline's involvement, on all sides

Six years ago
Go to for our archive, including parasites, minds and culture in a Darwin-inspired special

Big picture
Centre-page pull-out a 'selfie' with a difference: words and image from Natalia Kucirkova (Open University)


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