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I’m a lecturer in psychology specialised in cognitive neuroscience. Topics: brain and mind, productivity, and academic work flows. More info:

The Book

Duckworth, A. (2017). Grit: Why passion and resilience are the secrets to success. London, UK: Vermillion.


Grit has become quite a hot topic in education and psychology. It describes the propensity of some people to persevere over long times, even when the going is tough and there are few or no rewards. Angela Duckworth’s research shows that business leaders, professional athletes, academics at the top of their field show high levels of grit and that grittier people do better across all fields. Fortunately, her research also shows that grit is something that can be developed. This book is an excellent…

Whether you are working on a research project or you just want to base your decision on solid facts, it helps to know how to tell reliable science from more shaky facts. In this guide, I share how I, as a research scientist, gather facts to inform my research, teaching, and decision-making.

Photo by matthew Feeney on Unsplash

Question the source

You are probably well aware that not all science on the internet is created equal. You probably know that self-published blogs and websites are far less reliable than information from official sources like the websites of government agencies or scientific publishers. …

Like most knowledge workers, I spent a lot of time consuming content and then distilling it into new insights or plans for future projects. The iPad has been truly transformative for my workflow. Here, I share my favourite apps for the tasks that are central to my work as a researcher and academic.

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash


Reading is one of the areas in which the iPad really shines. It’s much more comfortable to read on a touch device that can be held like a book or magazine. I greatly enjoyed reading on the iPad ever since the first generation came out, but the…

We all experience the occasional slump at work when everything feels like a pointless drag. Fortunately, there are some books that can offer insight and advice to get you out of that funk. Here are my top picks of psychology books that offer more than empty self-help promises.

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I’m doing the one-paper-per-day challenge. Some papers will be hot off the press, others will be classics. Some will be relevant to what I’m working on at the moment, others will be from other areas. Each month I discuss my favourite paper here.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Fields, A., Bloom, P. A., VanTieghem, M., Harmon, C., Choy, T., Camacho, N. L., … Tottenham, N. (2021). Adaptation in the face of adversity: Decrements and enhancements in children’s cognitive control behavior following early caregiving instability. Developmental Science.


Many children grow up in adverse circumstances, including separation from their families, mental and physical abuse, and many…

Photo by Dan Dumitriu on Unsplash

Ah, summer, time to relax somewhere far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s a great time to dive into a great book. Why not take the opportunity to learn something new instead of reading another forgettable thriller or romance? This list of books offers beach reads that teach you something about the brain and mind while keeping you well entertained. Plus, they may enliven your dinner conversation with your fellow travels.

1. Lisa Feldman-Barrett: Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain

Neurodiversity refers to variation in our mental functions. Here is why you should care about it.

Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash

What is neurodiversity?

Traditionally, psychology and psychiatry have employed a medical model that characterises deviations from the norm as “disorders”. According to this model, there is some deficit that makes people who meet the diagnostic criteria for mental disorders different. A lot of the research has focused on identifying these deficits, e.g. finding a core deficit in autism related to social processing. Further, most traditional treatments were aimed at curing the deficit to make people “normal”. There has been backlash against this characterisation from advocacy groups of…

The Book

Bailey, C. (2018). Hyperfocus: How to work less and achieve more. Basingstoke, UK: Macmillan Ltd.


The constant pinging of notifications and the zombie-eyed look that we see in other people as they are staring at their screen has many people longing for a solution. This is also reflected on the shelves of the popular science and self-help sections that are filling with ever more guides to tame distraction, increase mindfulness, and rebuild our relationship with technology. In my view, these books either provide a manifesto against attention-hogging technology (Cal Newport’s Deep Work), explain the science of attention (Gazzaley & Rosen’s…

I’m doing the one-paper-per-day challenge. Some papers will be hot off the press, others will be classics. Some will be relevant to what I’m working on at the moment, others will be from other areas. Each month I discuss my favourite paper here.

Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash

Vos, M., Rommelse, N. N. J., Franke, B., Oosterlaan, J., Heslenfeld, D. J., Hoekstra, P. J., … Hartman, C. A. (2021). Characterizing the heterogeneous course of inattention and hyperactivity-impulsivity from childhood to young adulthood. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 1–11.


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects around 5% of children. It…

Conducting research with children and young people warrants some special consideration, especially when drafting information sheets. Here are some practical tips for writing clear and comprehensive information sheets to allow young participants to make informed decisions.

Photo by Marisa Howenstine on Unsplash


The British Psychological Society published some guidance for ethical research with human volunteers (BPS link). The guidelines contain a whole section on conducting research with children and young people. It’s well worth reading the whole section if you are conducting research with young people, but here are the most important points from a practical perspective:

  • children and young people should receive full information
  • the…

Dr. Joe Bathelt

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