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The Psychologist Vol 24 No 4 April 2011

The Psychologist Vol 24 No 4 April 2011

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'Thank you to God, for making me an atheist', quipped comedian Ricky Gervais in closing his infamous hosting of the Golden Globes. I could certainly identify with that, and as a group psychologists are famed for low levels of religious belief and affiliation. Yet huge swathes of psychology - mindfulness and positive psychology, to name just two areas - have a religious or at least spiritual feel to them.  
In introducing this special issue on psychology, religion and spirituality, Joanna Collicutt points out that religion, if nothing else, is a profoundly human phenomenon, and therefore amenable to study by psychologists. And so it proves: we tackle religion from viewpoints of cognitive science, mental health, the history of faith, and therapeutic practice. We also meet a psychologist-theologian-priest who is a former President of the BPS.
Elsewhere we have a fascinating piece on 'probably the most divisive figure British Psychology has ever produced', Hans Eysenck; Richard Bentall in 'One on one'; and another 'Big picture' centrespread. In April some of you will be invited to complete an online survey to tell us what you think of new additions such as 'Big picture', and many other aspects of The Psychologist. Please do participate: your views really are vital in driving us forward over the coming years.

Dr Jon Sutton


Psychology, religion and spirituality     
Joanna Collicutt opens the special issue

The cognitive science of religion    
Justin L. Barrett and Emily Reed Burdett on religious experience and belief

Mental health, religion and culture    
Kate M. Loewenthal and Christopher Alan Lewis on how well-being can be affected by religious practice and cultural context

Faith and psychology in historical dialogue    
John Hall, Leslie Francis and Brendan Callaghan SJ on the roots and resurgence of interest in psychology and religion  

Religion, spirituality and therapeutic practice
Adrian Coyle and Jenny Lochner offer some practical guidance

Reflections on psychology and religion
An interview with Fraser Watts: psychologist, theologian and priest

Methods: Does measuring people change them?
David P. French and Stephen Sutton call for more understanding of reactivity


Smoking; cognitive neuroscience funding; twitter debate; and much more

News and digest
Chronic fatigue; search dogs; well-being; neuroscience directions; alcohol guidance; the horror in dreams; and nuggets from the Society's Research Digest

Public engagement opportunities, with Kisane Prutton

Book reviews
The globalisation of the Western mind; stories of loss and growth; the myth of autism; and more

Managerialism and corporatism in league tables in the President's column; psychology and the HPC; and more

Careers and psychologist appointments
We talk to Deb Viney and Paul Webley from the School of Oriental and African Studies; featured job

Looking back 
Roderick D. Buchanan on the controversial Hans Eysenck

One on one
...with Richard Bentall

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