Weekly Roundup 11-25-12

School: Two central themes of modern school psychology training are Evidence-Based Practice and Response to Intervention (RtI). Nationwide, school districts are struggling to varying degrees with the shift to a solid RtI model for school-based interventions. It is helpful to remember that in the not-too-distant past, the field of medicine also struggled with the shift from an intuition-based “trust us, we’re doctors” approach to the clinical trial, evidence-based medical model we take for granted today.

Psychology: A nice profile of the neurologist Oliver Sacks in New York magazine. Sacks, who is best known for his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, has written a new book titled Hallucinations. While he is “probably the most famous, and most beloved, brain doctor at work today,” many people may not know that Sacks has suffered from a near-crippling shyness most of his life.

Scholarship: A pair of social psychologists rethink classic experiments in the psychology of evil. A reanalysis of studies by Milgram and Zimbardo shows that people do not stumble into tyrannical behavior blindly. Rather, people are led to commit evil acts by the twin forces of 1) dynamic leadership, and 2) knowing the tyrannical behavior is wrong, but believing it is justified “by ends that they perceive to be noble.” In other words, tyranny is “the result of conviction and hard work.”

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