APA Blog

Susceptibility to Conspiracy Theories and Fake News

Conspiracy theories, which explain events or a set of circumstances as the result of secret plot by usually powerful and malevolent groups, are quite common. One study reported in JAMA estimated that about half of Americans believe at least one medical conspiracy theory, such as those relating to cancer cures, vaccines or cell phones. Research has provided some understanding about why people are drawn to conspiracy theories and what makes some people more likely to believe than others.

Remembering Rep. John Lewis, a Civil Rights Icon

Rep. John Lewis, the congressional leader from Georgia and lifelong advocate for freedom, equality and basic human rights for Black Americans and other underrepresented groups, died recently after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. His passing should cause us all pause to reflect on what he meant for this country and what he did to improve the lives of so many.

Grieving During a Pandemic

Coronavirus has taken the lives of more than 130,000 Americans and it continues devastating communities across the nation. It has also drastically changed the way families and friends can grieve their losses—those lost to COVID-19 and deaths from other causes that are also continuing during the pandemic.

Practicing Gratitude to Boost Mental Well-being

Good mental health means emotional, social and psychological well-being, healthy relationships, effective functioning and productive activities, and an ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity. One approach that has been shown to foster mental well-being is focusing on gratitude. Many studies have found an association between being more grateful and a greater sense  of overall well-being.

Boosting the Immune System:  An Added Benefit of Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy and other psychosocial interventions can improve the function of a person’s immune system, according to a meta-analysis published in JAMA Psychiatry in June. Immune system strength may be particularly important in helping minimize the potential impact of coronavirus.