Mental Health & Society

In science and health, we are often looking for results that are considered to be “statistically significant.” The golden rule is if the p-value is less than 0.05, then the result is statistically significant, or “publishable.” However, the interpretation and use of p-values is often misconstrued. What is a p-value? A p-value is the probability of observing a test statistic as extreme as the data shows, given that the null hypothesis is true. It does NOT tell you what the probability of the hypothesis is given the data. Confusing these two is equivalent to mixing up “given that someone is Catholic, what is the probability that they are the Pope?” and “given that someone is the Pope, what is the probability that they are Catholic?”
Soccer goalies usually dive to their left or right during a penalty kick. That's despite the fact that the statistically-best option is to stand in the middle of the goal. So why don't they? Because there is a strong bias toward "doing something."
Using a novel source of information – obituaries – researchers looked at whether religious affiliation could extend your physical existence on this planet. The short answer is yes. But is there more to it than simply faith?
Many people believe that scientists, who have the most knowledge on a particular topic, are often the least able to provide a straight answer. It happened in the early 1970s, when environmental activists claimed supersonic planes, like the Concorde SST, would punch a hole in the ozone layer. Which led to this famous quote by an exasperated U.S. Senator.
Now that the results of his posthumous brain examination are in, we now must add Jeff Parker, who played briefly in the 1980s and died last September at 53, to the running list of former hockey players who developed CTE during their careers. Everyone gets the link between head trauma and this devastating brain disease. Everyone, that is, except the head of the NHL.
When we discuss our "gun violence" and "suicide" epidemics in this country, these statistics should help clarify where public health and safety resources are best spent. Suicide disproportionately affects whites, while homicide disproportionately affects blacks.
Right after the death of Barbara Bush, Prof. Jarrar said, among other things, that she was "happy the witch is dead." Setting aside free speech, let's focus on an important underlying concern: The psychology of pure, unadulterated hatred. How does someone become so consumed with animosity for a fellow human being?
A video of a woman playing the flute while undergoing brain surgery for tremors is something to see. Watching someone being awake enough to perform a skilled task under such conditions is captivating, to say the least. 
Through modern science, the grim discovery of a Medieval woman's remains is able to tell the tale of a "coffin birth" and ancient brain surgery.
Some of our actions are habits, like putting the key into the ignition as soon as you get in the car. Yet other times we have to think about what we're doing. New research highlights the area of the brain that controls this process, and how it distinguishes between the two categories of actions.
The Centers for Disease Control has been tracking depression for several years. A new report reveals its prevalence among American adults aged 20 and over.
Society told PhD students that the world would be theirs one day. In truth, after six (or more) years of grueling work, PhDs find themselves exhausted, indebted and unemployable. Facing this reality, is it really any wonder there's evidence of a serious mental health crisis among graduate students?