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The Psychologist Vol 26 No 3 March 2013

The Psychologist Vol 26 No 3 March 2013

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Have you heard of 'brain fag'? 'Ghost sickness'? 'Koro'? All are so-called 'culture bound syndromes' listed in DSM, the latter referring to a person's overwhelming belief that their genitals are shrinking and will disappear.

Why have such syndromes remained largely 'culture bound', while Western concepts have crept across the globe? In 2004 the New York Times wrote that 'the notion that [your soul] can catch cold (kokoro no kaze) was introduced to Japan by the pharmaceutical industry to explain mild depression to a country that almost never discussed it'. That article (see went on to conclude that 'rather than expanding options for care for those who suffer, the globalization of psychopharmacology may ultimately sow a monocrop of ideas about health and sickness'. In this issue (p.182), Ross White raises a similar possibility: that globalising notions of psychiatric illness may cause more harm than good.

Elsewhere there's our usual serving of articles, interviews, news, reviews, and another excellent contribution from a 'New voice'.

Dr Jon Sutton
Managing Editor

The globalisation of mental illness    
Ross White considers the issue

How power affects the brain   
Ian H. Robertson on what he has dubbed the 'winner effect'

Involuntary autobiographical memories   
Rosemary Bradley, Chris Moulin and Lia Kvavilashvili with some surprising findings and implications

The long reach of the gene   
Gary Lewis and Timothy Bates discuss genetic influence on politics, prejudice and religiosity

Children and technology   
Jon Sutton talks to Nicola Yuill from the University of Sussex

Qualitative research and the REF; rape in India; intelligence; diagnosis; new environmental 'Forum' column; and more

President's column; Fellowship; North West/North East of England Branch Conference; and more

Careers and appointments
It's a social psychology special as we meet Elizabeth Stokoe and Mick Billig

Terrorist's creed; My Mad Fat Diary; Les Misérables; How to Build a Bionic Man; and apps, radio, and more in our broader section

New voices 
Parenting next door to the bogeyman - Suzanne Dash with the latest in our series for budding writers (see

Looking back
The work of Frances Hodgson Burnett and its commentary on mind and body in illness, with Anne Stiles

One on one
...with Shivani Sharma


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