Showing posts from 2017

Awakenings >> 30s review

Dr. Sayer (Robin Williams) is a researcher who lands as a physician in a psychiatric institution. The institution has a ward full of patients who have been in a semi-catatonic state for decades - the disease is incurable, and no one has any hope that they'll ever come back to life.

But they do. This is the story of how Dr. Sayer, against all odds, manages to bring the zombies back to life, even if it was temporary.

Rating: Green - a capturing cinematographic representation of a true story. With a scientific miracle as a plot and stalwarts like Robin Williams and Robert De Niro doing what they do best - the audience cannot help but be pulled into the story.

PS: The movies are always somewhat incorrect - you may want to read the book Awakenings by Dr. Oliver Sacks to know what really happened.
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Still Alice >> 30s review

Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is leading a happy life as a linguistics professor and three happy grown up kids. All of a sudden she starts forgetting words, and gradually other things - a case of early onset Alzheimer's. Her whole happy life is ripped apart.

The movie is about how she and the people she loves cope (or fail to!) with the changes that follow. Gradually, she heads towards the inescapable end - while dementia destroys her life by affecting things which we take for granted!

Rating: Yellow - a well-made movie about the struggles of an Alzheimer's patient, yellow only because it is sad, very sad. Much more dramatic in this case due to the early and sudden appearance. There are some movies that urge you to stop where you are and live - this is one of them.
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Patch Adams >> 30s review

Hunter Adams (Robin Williams) is suicidal - to the extent that he's admitted into a mental institution. There he finds happiness and meaning in helping others. This motivates him to become a doctor, so he enrolls into medical school - at a rather old age.

Once there, he realizes that physicians have lost touch with the human side of their profession - with ideas like transference keeping them from engaging with the patients. And he sets out on his journey of changing things - breaking several rules in the process and culminating with him setting up his own 'ranch' hospital.

Rating: Green - the movie is funny and touching at the same time. Based on the life of Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams. Robin Williams is his usual class, putting life into the amazing story. For those who may be interested, the actor is dead but the doctor is still very much alive.

PS: The movie is factually incorrect in a number of critical places. 

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PsyQuotes >> The Complete Collection

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Specific Learning Disabilities >> Dyscalculia >> Management >> Teaching multiplication using the "Japanese Multiplication Method"

The Japanese, as smart as they are, have figured out an extremely easy way to multiply - turning the complex abstract process into a simple visual process. With little practice anyone can master the technique.

While this will surely benefit an average person, considering multiplication is where the fear of Maths begins for most people, it can have significant advantage even for those students who are trying hard to overcome the cognitive constraints placed on them by Dyscalculia. All they need to do is draw out a few sticks and do some counting and they'll have the answer to the extremely complex mathematical challenge, in a matter of a few seconds.

GIVE and TAKE: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success By Adam Grant >> Book review and free preview

Title GIVE and TAKE: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success 
Rating Green
Genre Non-Fiction, Psychology, Altruism, Business, Self-help
Author Adam Grant
Publisher Orion Publishing Group

PRE-SUASION: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert B. Cialdini >> Book review and free preview

Title PRE-SUASION: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade
Rating Green
Genre Non-Fiction, Psychology, Marketing, Business Communication, Leadership, Influence
Author Robert B. Cialdini
Publisher Random House Books

IGNOU Corner >> Exams >> Results >> Final Score Calculator

Do you want to know your final marks after combining exam and assignment scores? Here's a tool that will help you to do just that.

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Flow - The classic work on how to achieve happiness by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi >> Book review and Free preview

Rating Green

Genre Psychology, Self-Development

Publisher The Random House Group (Rider Books)
The Book The book, as the name suggests, is about Flow - the concept of optimal experience postulated by the author in the course of his career in the area of human psychology. The book starts with a discussion about happiness and consciousness which lays the foundation for the ensuing discussion on Enjoyment and Flow. After which it moves onto discussing the impact and application of flow in daily lives of different people, and, how you can achieve flow (and happiness) yourself.

Comments This book is written for lay beings and the author has made sure that it is written in colloquial English. The plethora of actual cases discussed in the text keep the book engaging (and add credibility - the book is based on actual research work, not random opinions). Though there are parts where you might feel that the book could be a bit 'crisper'.

The content is relevant for all human beings. If bein…

PsyQuotes >> Rational Human Beings are Mythical Characters

PsyQuotes >> Depression is the emotion of expression of loss

The Girl On The Train >> 30s Review

Rachel (Emily Blunt) is a PR professional. She was given a divorce by her husband because of her alcoholism and the damage she caused due to it.

Everyday she travels to the city in a train which passes by her former neighbourhood. From the train she sees a happy couple two houses down from her house. She is envious of the woman Megan (Haley Bennett) and of the love she has. Then she sees her own house where her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux) now lives with his second wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and their child.

Things take a twist when Megan goes missing the same day when Rachel wakes up with a hangover, badly bruised. She sets out to find what happened to Megan and bring the murderer to justice, in the process finding out that everything she knows about herself and those around her is a lie.

Rating: Green - a gripping story based on the novel by Paula Hawkins. This is one of those rare movies where it will be very hard for you to predict the climax.
Don't miss the trailer >&…

PsyQuotes >> For every twisted thought, there is a twisted molecule

"For every twisted thought there is a twisted molecule."Posted by Psychology Learners on Sunday, 2 July 2017

Donnie Darko >> 30 seconds review and trailer

Donald Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is under medication for a psychological situation. He has visions. Visions of a mysterious human sized rabbit named Frank - who makes him come out of his home one night and tells him about the end of the world. When he goes back home in the morning he finds out that his room has been totally destroyed by an untraced jet engine that fell on their home. He would have been dead if he was there.

Meanwhile, Donnie has to follow Frank's commands which leads to a series of destructive acts.

Will he be able to save himself and his family?

Rating: Green - the movie is a complicated web of themes touching psychological issues, time travel, science fiction, horror, philosophy. Brilliant acting combined with great screenplay make this one a must watch.

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The Perks of a Being a Wallflower >> 30 seconds Review and Trailer

Charlie (Logan Lerman) is a 15 yr old introvert schoolkid whose only friend - his best-friend committed suicide recently. He's coping with the loss and with a life with no friends when he meets Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson), who introduce him to life, as it normally is.

Rating: Green - with characters as real as they get you don't just watch the movie, you live with them for an hour and a half. Must watch!
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The Minto Pyramid Principle - Logic in Writing, Thinking and Problem Solving by Barbara Minto >> Book review

Rating Green

Genre Business, Communication, Logic, Thinking, Problem Solving, Presentation

Publisher Minto International Inc.
The Book This book presents Barbara Minto's theory on efficient and effective communication based on the simple to understand pyramid principle. She starts with establishing a connection to the psychological theories of Miller around Span of Attention. After which she explains the pyramid structure and how to use it.

She covers how logic flows into pyramid and how 'pyramid thinking' can make you more effective. She also covers the application of pyramid principle to problem solving before ending with the most important of it all how to use pyramid principle in presenting.

Comments For a book that is technical, this is very easy to read (no surprise considering this is a book on effective communication!). It is replete with examples - in fact, almost all the content is explained with their help. The content is extremely useful - applicable in day to day …

Sims' Symptoms in the Mind - An Introduction to Descriptive Psychopathology by Andrew Sims and Femi Oyebode >> Book review

Rating Green

Genre Medicine, Psychology, Psychiatry

Publisher Elsevier
The Book As the name suggests the book introduces the reader to the various concepts of descriptive psychopathology.

Comments For a book that is 100% content, this is quite easy to read. The theories are explained so well that it is easy for the reader to understand the most arcane of concepts related to psychology presented in the book.

The coverage is also sufficiently comprehensive. Overall, this book is a must read for anyone interested in psychopathology. It has been the favorite of several psychology students and practitioners and deservedly so.

Free download Link/Preview >> Not available

The Double >> 30 seconds Review and Trailer

Simon (Jesse Eisenberg) is working as a clerk. He is dedicated and brilliant in what he does and has some big ideas - but his timid and reticent personality makes him invisible to everyone. Even to Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), the girl he secretly loves.

And, then his bosses hire James (Jesse Eisenberg) who is exactly the same physically, but totally the opposite in personality - he is assertive and flamboyant, and does no work. He uses Simon to do everything, takes the credit, takes his girl - basically takes on all the good things in his life.

Rating: Yellow - a well-made art movie. For those who love to watch movies that are different, this is a must-watch. But, if you are looking for a typical commercial movie, this one may not suit your taste.
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Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media >> Book review and free preview

Rating Green
Genre Non-Fiction, Media, Propaganda, Mass Communications, Politics, Social Psychology
Publisher Pantheon Books
The Book In the book, the authors put forward their 'Propaganda Theory' in which they outline the dangerous possibility of political parties controlling the mass media to move public opinions in their favor being a real scenario. In fact, not a scenario, but an everyday occurrence.

They present numerous data backed examples of how the effect of the media control is visible in the various attributes of communication used by the media. Of how the public opinion has been swayed to align with the goals of the state - to the extent of getting support for acts that no person would willingly, in his/her sane mind, approve of. They discuss how some of the events of the past may be interpreted very differently when looked at in an objective and neutral fact-based manner. (Did US really lose the Vietnam war?)

Comments The book is heavy with lots of facts and figures. …

A Girl Like Her >> 30 seconds Review and Trailer

South Brookdale High School has just ranked amongst the top schools in the US. Everybody is celebrating. But, 16 year old Jessica Burns (Lexi Ainsworth) has landed up in coma, after a suicide attempt.

Amy Gallagher (Amy S. Weber) had come to make a documentary about what makes this school the best public school. Instead, she ends up trying to resolve the mystery behind Jessica's suicide attempt, and in the process surfacing a dark side of the schooling system - bullying.

Rating: Green - a gripping story makes a well made movie. The movie not only looks at the pain that the bullied undergoes, but also looks at the perspective of the bully and what makes her that. And, this is exactly what makes it a must-watch - no-one is demonised - there is depth in all characters.

If you are the parent of a young child/teenager, or, a teenager yourself, you must watch this movie.
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The Machinist >> 30 seconds Review and Trailer

Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) hasn't slept in a year. He thinks that everyone around him is plotting against him. Things get worse when an accident he's involved in leads to one of his colleagues losing an arm. Another incident soon after results in him getting fired. He sets out to find out who is behind his troubles, and, in the process discovers his own dark secret.

Rating: Green - a thriller that will keep you gripped onto the seat right till the end. There's nothing happy about this movie, but there's a lot that makes it a must watch. Great acting by Christian Bale. 
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Love & Other Drugs >> 30 seconds Movie Review and Trailer

Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) gets the job of a drug representative thanks to his brother. While on the job he meets Maggie (Anne Hathaway) a charming young girl he falls first in lust, and, then in love with. The twist in the tale is that she's suffering from early onset Parkinson's while he's struggling to get his career on track.

Will he marry someone who might not even be the same person some time from now?

Rating: Green - Well, it is a run of the mill "falling in love with a dying person" story, almost. This is a living with a dying person story. The screenplay, the charming actors and their believable acting make this a must watch! 
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Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi >> Book review and free preview

Rating Green
Genre Non-Fiction, Psychology, Creativity, Self-Development
Publisher Harper Perennial
The Book The book is the 'report' of a study conducted on several high-achieving creative individuals. The important thing being that creative individuals here simply means people who create - so whether they are an artist or scientist, photographer or chemist, poet or businessman - they're all included in the definition.

These creative people were interviewed, using a semi-structured approach, to learn more about their career and life priorities, relationships, peers and colleagues, family, working habits/insights and attentional structures and dynamics. The results were then synthesized into a form that is easy to read for a layman.

Comments The best thing about the book is that the discussion is deep. The author spent sufficient effort on explaining the methodology of the research, the rationale behind it; and, then in clarifying the taxonomy wherever required.

The way creati…

Editor's Pick >> It's Kind Of A Funny Story >> Crisp Movie Review and Trailer

A 16 year old teenager having clinical depression is considering jumping off a bridge when he decides to admit himself into a psychiatric ward instead. And, then he discovers life.

The pressure of the pending prestigious 'genius' school application to meet his parents expectations, and, the pain from the crush he has on his best friend's girl-friend take a back seat. By the time his stay there ends, he has figured out things that he could look forward to - his passions in life and a romantic friendship.
Rating: Green - let's hope they keep making movies like these, and we keep watching them. Great screenplay, great acting and great humour. 
This movie is going to leave you with a smile on your face.

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