Communication Insights from Social Psychology

This quick blog on social psychology has some interesting pointers… might just test some of these out…


Did you know?

  • Simply introducing yourself (mentioning your name before making a request) improves the odds of people complying with your request?
  • When fund-raising, adding a short “even a penny can help” after your pitch actually gets people to donate more? By making your request so minimal, you make it almost impossible for people to say “no”.
  • By talking with people, rather than at people, you improve your chances of agreement? Dialogue sounds more like friendship than monologue does.
  • By publicizing negative behavior (theft, violence, drugs), you actually reinforce it? (when people get the impression that a lot of their peers are doing it, bad behavior becomes normalized – i.e. it is perceived as a social norm, therefore easing other people’s conscience about doing it.)

Source: S. Plous, Wesleyan University – Social Psychology via Coursera.

View original post


Dental Decay and Sugar

I recently read an article on “The Dentist” website about the daily intake of sugar needing to be lowered to just 3% (15g) of your energy intake. This recommendation is lower than the previous W.H.O (World Health Organisation) level of 5% (25g).
These lower figures came from a new study emphasising the need to lower the amount of sugar intake throughout life to prevent high levels of dental decay in adulthood.

It’s been drilled into us for years now the problems sugar causes to our teeth, and this study is telling us that 25g is 10g too much! In a society where sugar is in everything from cereals to soup, it’s important to start asking that question – What are we eating?

The article went on to drop some serious statistics, saying that

Tooth decay is one of the most widespread health problems and it is thought around a third of UK children aged 12 have visible tooth decay.

This isn’t surprising when sugar is no longer just a treat once in a while but a reward and sometimes a sedative for some children. In this era, our favourite meals and snacks are now saturated with unnecessary additional sugar (There’s a reason why golden nuggets was my favorite cereal when I was younger!) which makes tooth decay are real problem when we get older.

The fight against sugar is mostly a preventative one which is why Professor Aubrey Sheiham, Emeritus Professor of Dental Public Health and co-author of the study, was urging that the government should take this research into consideration when implementing policies to reduce the sugar levels in food. I believe she was right to demand that more thought should be given to the individual than the food and drink industries feeding us.

When you realise that

Treating dental decay accounts for six -10 per cent of total health costs in industrialized countries.

you realise it’s in everyone’s best interest to lower our sugar intake before it’s too late.

Hi I’m Thara Shafi, an A-level student at Christs-Hospital Boarding School. I have made the decision to pursue a career in Dentistry and this blog is my way of logging my progress.

I’m taking Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Latin for AS (i don’t know what to drop??) and doing Extra Stuff on the side.

This blog is anything and everything related to my application to Dentistry, Articles regarding my A-levels and any new links related to the medical world!

If anyone is thinking of a life in dentistry, I would love to share my blog with you, discuss ethical issues and swap tips, ideas, theories and any interesting stuff on dentistry or Science in general.

Look forward to hearing from those like me!!