Monday, October 3, 2016

Magazine Monday: Psychology Today and General Comments about Browsing

by Steven D. Mathews, Library Assistant

Review of Psychology Today

In the area of P-titled magazines on the third floor of the Yocum Library, you will find Psychology Today, a fifty-year-old periodical driven to make the technical studies surrounding the human mind and behavior more publicly accessible. Psychology Today is published every two months and based in New York City. The following review will cover the basic design and some of the topics discussed in recent issues. I conclude with a note about the magazine’s companion website ( and some general comments about browsing through the magazines on the third floor.

The cover of each issue of Psychology Today features an inspired image from one of the issue’s featured articles. The most recent three covers include images inspired by the following: “Ménage à trois: Is Tech Sabotaging Your Love Life?”; “The Narcissist: It’s Not Always Who You Think”; and “The Story of Your Life.” The latter title is from the June 2016 issue, “The Smart Woman’s Dilemma,” which features articles about the benefits of journaling, radical perspectives on anxiety and addiction, and our curious “love-hate” relationship with artificial intelligence. Other featured articles from these issues includes the disadvantages of social media, what to do when a partner comes out as transgender, and how to develop a strategy for learning just about anything you desire. Current affairs, such as a comparison between the “shared dilemmas” of Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton, are also sprinkled throughout the magazine.

Undoubtedly, Psychology Today explores and digests a variety of psychological subjects and conditions, such as depression, anxiety, trauma, dreams, and more. The magazine’s companion website (subtitled, “Health, Help, Happiness + Find a Therapist”) offers actionable advice on about 45 psychological topics, aggregated web-only articles, and search queries to find a licensed therapist in your zip code.

The (Lost) Art and Joy of Browsing
Before closing, I want to emphasize that a major point in my series of Monday reviews for the Yocum Library Blog is that, collectively, these magazines offer a myriad of articles on a library's-worth of subjects (e.g., cooking, literature, politics, music, art, technology, etc.). In short, because they are written for general audiences, they offer an abundance of ideas for you to explore. The fact that the Yocum Library offers such a diverse collection of current popular, niche, trade, scientific, and multicultural magazines for free is invaluable. It is rare to find such a clearly organized presentation of magazines (even at large bookstores!) as you will see on the third floor.

But these magazines offer more than passive self-enrichment. Beyond following your favorite magazines, you may find something that sparks your interest in another area simply through the physical act of browsing, which is becoming something of a lost art in need of a stronger digital analogue (i.e., an easier search without a paywall).

Browsing through the pages of entire magazine issues on the third floor may even lead you to search for something to read, hear, or view in more depth, such as a scholarly journal, book, or documentary. This is especially pertinent to students looking for research topics who may be stuck or experiencing a paradox of choice at the moment. Moreover, in the age of multiple careers and hobbies, you can never truly know what may inspire your next project.

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