Freshman Funk: Is Harmful Thinking Contagious?

The Huffington Post:

I know very few people who would describe first semester, freshman year of college, as a time of unqualified joy. I was certainly ready to leave home, but even so it was a disruptive time. I was disconnected from my family and close friends for the first time and, even more difficult, thrown into a dormitory full of strangers — young men from unfamiliar places with diverse experiences and values.

University of Notre Dame psychological scientist Gerald Haeffel and his colleagues have been exploring what’s called cognitive vulnerability — a way of thinking, and interpreting life’s travails, that predisposes people to clinical depression. It’s long been thought that cognitive style is fairly well fixed by adolescence. Some of us are blessed, while others are saddled with a tendency toward negativity and rumination and other cognitive precursors of melancholy. But there is reason to believe that cognitive style is not immutable.

Read the whole story: The Huffington Post

Wray Herbert is an author and award-winning journalist who writes two popular blogs for APS, We’re Only Human and Full Frontal Psychology.

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