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The Psychologist Vol 28 No 12 December 2015

The Psychologist Vol 28 No 12 December 2015

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'Do you risk being dead when you'd rather have been alive, or alive when you'd rather have been dead?' These words, in an e-mail to me from Celia Kitzinger, cut straight to the heart of an issue of personal significance: Celia's sister, Polly, was kept alive in a vegetative and then minimally conscious state, from which she has emerged to full consciousness but profound physical and neurological disabilities. Celia and Sue Wilkinson now raise awareness of 'Advance Decisions': if you might want to refuse treatments in advance of losing the capacity to do so, you can write a legally binding document. My conversations with Celia and Sue prompted much personal reflection, and they offered to help me write my own Advance Decision.A draft accompanies the online version of their article: I welcome your feedback. Is it unethical for me to make such calls on behalf of my future self? We hope this article contributes to that debate, but I'm convinced there's a sea change: people are increasingly demanding control over their own bodies, brains and, ultimately, their destinies.

Dr Jon Sutton Managing
Editor @psychmag


A matter of life and death
Celia Kitzinger and Sue Wilkinson argue there's a role for psychologists in helping people with their Advance Decisions

Giving a voice to people with severe dementia
Amanda Henwood and Maggie Ellis on 'Adaptive Interaction'

The uncensored truth about morality
Chelsea Schein, Amelia Goranson and Kurt Gray consider why immoral acts always seem to be those that cause harm - especially to children

Attachment - beyond interpersonal relationships
Antigonos Sochos considers whether a familiar concept can be extended to social groups, ideological systems and social institutions

New voices: Can we be scientific about science education?
Zayba Ghazali with the latest in our series for budding writers


Thinking in metaphors; that dress; sexist packaging; iffy practices; and more from our free Research Digest (see


The Human Genome Project; volunteering; alien abduction; men; Jeb Bush; reward systems in classrooms; obituaries; and more


New Antimicrobial Resistance Champion; Hubbub investigate rest; Antarctic challenge; gender and science subjects; Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction; new play research centre in Cambridge; and more

President's column; book awards; new Sections; stories in clinical psychology


Lance Workman meets Gerd Gigerenzer, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Harding Center for Risk Literacy in Berlin

We meet Chartered Psychologist and financial adviser Kim Stephenson; talk community psychology with Maggie Peake; and Emma Nielsen and Kavita Solder remove the 'clinical' blinkers and experience the career peaks and troughs together

One on one
with Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology at the University of Bristol


A Little Life; Ai Weiwei exhibition; Mental - the vacuum cleaner; How to Be Happy; Love and Mercy; Robert Newman's The Brain Show; and more

Looks back

Madness from the outside in
Gail A. Hornstein considers artistic depictions of insanity

Three years ago
Go to for our archive, including a special issue - the five senses and beyond

Big picture

Centre-page pull-out
Psychologist and medical doctor Jennie Jewitt-Harris uses drawing, collage, and 3D stereo photography to consider the psychology relating to how our memories and opinions are shaped


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