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B.A. Psychology • Join me as I continue to learn about research, mental health, statistics, and academia • Let’s connect ➜ www.michaelapostol.com

Before we dive in, here’s a bit about me:

While completing a degree in psychology, I was captivated by empirical research. As I learned about the field, I found that my research interests are in clinical and forensic psychology. Specifically, I’m interested in whether psychological disorders contribute to crime, recidivism reduction, forensic risk assessment, criminal competency, and understanding moral (and immoral) behavior in the context of clinical psychology.

I hope to apply to graduate school in the next few years, but right now I’m continuing to learn about research, statistics, mental health, and academia. …


Sport Psychology

Master mental toughness for when you’re down a break, up 5–0 in the final set, and everything in between.

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Wimbledon 2019. Roger Federer versus Novak Djokovic. After hours of play, Federer’s moment had arrived: the Wimbledon title was 1 point away. Not only that, but victory depended on one of Federer’s deadliest weapons — his serve. Considering that Federer has one of the greatest serves of all time, and that, among current players, he specializes in winning his service games, victory seemed guaranteed.

It wasn’t — Federer lost, and we’re left asking ourselves what went wrong. Some point to Federer’s aging body. Others argue that his mental strength broke down.

Let’s use Wimbledon 2019 as an opportunity to think…


Psychology & Neuroscience

A deep dive into what schizophrenia is, what it isn’t, and myths about what it’s like to live with schizophrenia.

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Maybe you’re like me: I grew up watching crime shows, like Law and Order SVU, that linked mental illness and violence. For most of my life, I believed these shows got it right. I thought that if someone was diagnosed with something like schizophrenia, then violent behavior was a guarantee.

As I completed a degree in psychology, this belief began to erode. I learned of the untruth that mental illness = violence.

Efforts to have honest discussions about mental health are far-reaching, which means that you may already know this untruth.

So, why should you keep reading?

Despite strides to…


Education

Why majoring in neuroscience or psychology is a great option for a career in healthcare.

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You’re a high school student or an undergraduate who wants to help others. You’ve decided to pursue a career in healthcare. You don’t want to major in something like biology or chemistry — instead, you’d prefer neuroscience or psychology. You’re worried, however, that these majors will make it hard for you to achieve a career in healthcare.

If this describes you, you’re in the right place.

Maureen Cobile, a physical therapy (PT) doctoral student, was in your shoes a few years ago. She majored in neuroscience and is now thriving in her PT training program.

Join our discussion to learn…


Forensic Psychology

A pounding heart, sweaty palms, and dilated pupils aren’t enough to determine if someone is lying.

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“Do you know what this is, Potter?” Snape said, his eyes glittering dangerously again.

“No”, said Harry, with complete honesty this time.

It is Veritaserum — a Truth Potion so powerful that three drops would have you spilling your innermost secrets for this entire class to hear,” said Snape viciously.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Severus Snape threatened Harry Potter with Veritaserum, a potion that functions as a magical lie detector.

Us non-magical folks have our own version of Veritaserum — polygraphs. In this article we’ll explore how polygraphs work, their history in criminal investigations, concerns regarding…


Research & Writing

Avoid jargon, statistics, and complex models; focus on your readers & the message.

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When we enjoy something, we like to share it with others. I enjoy working on psychological studies and reading other people’s research. That’s why I’m on Medium: to have a discussion about research, psychology, and academia.

When it comes to discussing research on Medium, I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

At first, I assumed that an academic writing style would be passable. Not so. Academic writing is designed for specific people in a specific field. Medium, on the other hand, is a mix of all types of people from all types of backgrounds.

Let me give you an example of…


Academia & Research

LaTeX makes writing about writing, not formatting.

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I’ve used Microsoft Word to write for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure you have too. It works well, but I began to yearn for a more efficient way to write, especially when preparing long research manuscripts. The more a document grew, the more tedious it was to keep track of references, tables, figures, and formatting.

Last year, a professor introduced me to an alternative document preparation software–– LaTeX. She said that LaTeX would take care of all of the problems that I had with Word. …


Forensic Psychology

The ominous interaction between psychology and the law.

Photo by Carles Rabada on Unsplash

“Jodie, I would abandon this idea of getting Reagan in a second if I could only win your heart and live out the rest of my life with you, whether it be in total obscurity or whatever. I will admit to you that the reason I’m going ahead with this attempt now is because I just cannot wait any longer to impress you. I’ve got to do something now to make you understand in no uncertain terms that I am doing all of this for your sake.

Jodie. I’m asking you to please look into your heart and at least…


A Brief History of Mental Health Treatment

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Me: Hey Siri, find a therapist near me.

Siri: Okay Michael. Here’s a list of therapists in San Diego.

Finding high-quality, evidence-based mental health services hasn’t always been as straightforward as pulling out our phones and searching for a clinic.

For centuries, mental illness wasn’t discussed openly, empirically researched, or effectively treated.

I’m going to bring you on a brief tour of the evolution of mental health treatment: the techniques and procedures that are designed to transform abnormal or maladaptive thoughts and behaviors into normal or adaptive ones.

Ancient Views

People thousands of years ago…


Psychology

How Psychological paradigms guide treatment.

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The demand for therapy increased significantly in 2020.

As more people become consumers of mental health services, it’s important to be knowledgeable of how mental healthcare providers are trained, and how this training influences techniques and practices in therapy.

In other words, if you’re considering seeing a mental health professional, you’ll want to be aware of your therapist’s psychological paradigm — the assumptions, questions, ideas, theories, and research that guide their mental health practice.

Here’s an overview of five common psychological paradigms, ordered according to the strength of their respective empirical support.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The idea behind Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is to…

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