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The Psychologist Vol 24 No 6 June 2011

The Psychologist Vol 24 No 6 June 2011

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The issue

As anyone with kids of a certain age will tell you, naturalist and TV presenter Steve Backshall is a tough guy. Perhaps this is what makes his reaction to being stung by hundreds of bullet ants, as part of a tribal ritual, all the more powerful. Watch it at for a graphic illustration of how pain can completely take over your body and mind. 

Interestingly, Backshall has also suffered recently with chronic pain (see, which is more the focus of this special issue. Christopher Eccleston gives an overview of the area; Amanda C. de C. Williams talks to three people who have used their own pain to ease that of others; Christian Jarrett looks at individual differences in pain; and we have a 'Looking back' from one of the giants of pain research, Ronald Melzack.

Also in this issue, we talk to David Halpern, a psychology graduate who advised Tony Blair and now leads the Behavioural Insight Team for the government. Gerry Mulhern signs off as President in his final column, Sophie Scott's research features in the 'Big picture' poster, and we meet Jaak Panksepp in 'One on one'.
Dr Jon Sutton

Ouch! The different ways people experience pain    
Christian Jarrett examines the psychology of pain perception

A normal psychology of chronic pain   
Christopher Eccleston explains how psychology is working to help people disabled by pain

Childhood enemies   
Noel A. Card and Deborah M. Casper ask whether they are necessary challenges or markers of social maladjustment

An insight into 'nudge'
Christian Jarrett fires some questions at David Halpern, Director of Research at the Institute for Government

Pain - the patient's viewpoint   
Amanda C. de C. Williams talks to three people who have used their own pain to ease that of others


The Middle East; IAPT; chronic fatigue; religion; boys and psychology; and more

News and digest
Building a happier society; a negative side of positive psychology; the Academy meets academia; nuggets from the Society's new Occupational Digest; and more

Gail Kinman on media coverage from the Society's Annual Conference in Glasgow

Book reviews
a novel contribution to the theory of mind; rethinking psychosis; protecting children from violence; and more

The final President's column from Gerry Mulhern; new obesity report; Doctoral Award winners; proposed special group; IAPT register; Society website; and more

How to get ahead in the psychology of advertising: Ian Florance talks to Daniel Müllensiefen and Sarah Carter from advertising agency DDB; David Lurie, Managing Director of Setsights Ltd, seeks insight at Psychology For All

Looking back
An author of the hugely influential gate theory of pain, Ronald Melzack, on an important paradigm shift over the last half-century

One on one
...with Jaak Panksepp

Additional Information