The Power of Mind, by Dan Jones, Shannon Fischer, and Laurence Sugarman.

Three New Scientist articles about short cuts to harness the brain’s hidden depths.

The Government has a “nudge unit” devoted to using psychology to influence people to behave in desirable ways. For example, previously you had actively to sign up for an occupational pension. Now, you have to tick a box saying that you want to opt out if you wish. Uptake of pension contribution schemes has dramatically increased.

These linked article are about how scientists are understanding more about how throwing simple switches in the mind can solve problems.

“Mindfulness meditation is a form of hypnosis.”

“Brain imaging studies have revealed specific areas of the brain are involved in the placebo effect.”

New Scientist No. 3064, 12th March 2016, p28-35.

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Ommm… aarg! by Miguel Farias and Catherine Wikholm

Meditation and mindfulness are entering the mainstream as psychological techniques for combatting stress and promoting psychological well being. But are the effects wholly positive? Research shows that there can be adverse effects as well as beneficial ones: twitching, trembling, panic, disorientation, psychotic breakdown and other undesirable effects. Japanese soldiers in the second world war used meditation to lose their sense of self, and to “become” the orders that they received. Should society at large be more aware of these possible negative consequences?

New Scientist No. 3021, 16th May 2015, p.28 -29.