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June 5, 2019
Ep 326: Giving Voice To Our Digital Assistants
Why do our digital assistants such as Alexa, Google Home, Siri and Cortana have "feminized" voices and what are the effects of this trend? That's what I explore in this episode. Are there negative effects of using female voices in the devices we talk to and who talk to us? Are there alternatives? Turns out there is an alternative - a "genderless" voice. What does that sound like? Tune in to find out as we explore gender roles, expectations and equality. I’d Blush If I Could (https://unesdoc.unesco.org/ark:/48223/pf0000367416.page=1) We tested bots like Siri and Alexa to see who would stand up to sexual harassment (https://qz.com/911681/we-tested-apples-siri-amazon-echos-alexa-microsofts-cortana-and-googles-google-home-to-see-which-personal-assistant-bots-stand-up-for-themselves-in-the-face-of-sexual-harassment/) Why Siri and Alexa Weren’t Built to Smack Down Harassment (https://www.wired.com/story/why-siri-and-alexa-werent-built-to-smack-down-harassment/) Hey Siri, stop perpetuating sexist stereotypes, UN says (https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/22/tech/alexa-siri-gender-bias-study-scli-intl/index.html) Is it time for Alexa and Siri to have a “MeToo moment”? (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alexa-siri-other-artificial-intelligence-voice-assistants-gender-bias-unesco/) Female voice assistants fuel damaging gender stereotypes, says a UN study (https://www.technologyreview.com/f/613569/female-voice-assistants-fuel-damaging-gender-stereotypes-says-un-study/) My WIX site and online learning experience (https://www.explorelearning.online/) in which I re-create the experiment conducted by Loftus and Palmer on eyewitness testimony. The reason digital assistants acquiesce to harassment isn’t just sexism or gender inequality in the tech world, as disturbing and prevalent as those may be. No, the explanation lies elsewhere, I believe. These machines are meant to manipulate their users into staying connected to their devices, and that focus on manipulation must be laser-like. To clearly state that harassment toward digital assistants is unacceptable would mean having some standard, some line that can’t be crossed. And one line leads to another, and soon you’re distracted—the user is distracted—from selling/buying merchandise, collecting/sharing data, and allowing a device to become ensconced in their life. The moral standard most compatible with engagement is absolute freedom of expression, the standard of having no standards.  – Noam Cohen, “Why Siri and Alexa Weren’t Built to Smack Down Harassment”
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25 min
May 13, 2019
Ep 325: Love Your Work? Someone Will Take Advantage of That
It's ingrained in western society that people should find work they really enjoy - work that fulfills a passion. If you're lucky enough to have found work you're passionate about you ought to know that there is a dark side. People who know that you're doing the work because you love it might just take advantage of that. In this interview with researchers Troy Campbell and Steven Shepard discuss their research showing that when people know your work is your passion, there are a variety of ways they might take advantage of you. Let's find out how.
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43 min
May 2, 2019
Ep 324: Put Your Love Life on Automatic
In this episode I cover a few interesting topics. First, have you ever "blanked out" in front of an audience? I recently did and I was determined to find out why this happened. I found some answers in a great book called Stop Talking, Start Influencing. Also I'll tell you about the memorization strategies I used in a recent play I was in, and we'll finish up with a snippet from an interview with Clive Thompson, author of Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World and he'll tell us how some coders tried to automate parts of their love life.
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32 min
April 17, 2019
Ep 323: Computer Programmers: Obsessed With Efficiency
Do you have your own little “tricks”? That is, ways of doing things that are faster than how you used to do them? Well, congratulations, you’re something of an efficiency expert. And if you can picture an assembly line of people putting products together, then you’ve seen one way of increasing productivity. But some of us are really, really obsessed with efficiency and often those people are computer programmers. Some of them, as you’ll hear from Clive Thompson (author of “Coders: The Making of a New Tribe and the Remaking of the World”) have even developed ways to make their love lives more efficient! Sounds impossible but I think you’ll enjoy hearing what some coders are up to. Why are they obsessed with efficiency? Do they score highly on Conscientiousness in the Big Five personality score? Would Frederick Taylor - founder of scientific management - feel a kindred spirit in them? Let’s find out.
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39 min
April 3, 2019
Ep 322: An Introduction to Cross Cultural Psychology
Why is it okay - in some cultures - to jaywalk, while in others you could get arrested for jaywalking? Why was marijuana was sold - legally - for years in the streets of Amsterdam when it is only now become legal in the US? The reason: some cultures are what author Michele Gelfand calls "loose" and others are "tight". Here's my first episode on cross-cultural psychology and I think you're going to really enjoy listening to professor Gelfand to find out how our culture's norms shape our attitudes and behavior.
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40 min
March 18, 2019
Ep 321: OCD - What is it Really Like?
Would you like to get into the mind of someone who not only has OCD, but who also wrote a novel in which the main character deals with it as well? That's the premise behind the book, Waiting For Fitz. In this episode I interview the author, Spencer Hyde. He talks about the novel, the other characters (one of whom suffers from schizophrenia) and his own experiences dealing with OCD.
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35 min
March 5, 2019
Ep 320: Cannibis and Mental Health - Whose Advice Do You Trust?
Only a little while ago cannabis (marijuana) was approved for medical purposes. Now "recreational use" of the plant is legal in many states in the US. It is being prescribed to treat PTSD, schizophrenia and chronic pain among others.   But what is dispensary opens near you - can you trust the advice of the "budtender" (those who work at cannabis stores) who often provide advice to customers. Dr. Nancy Haug conducted a study to find out what kind of training these workers have and what they base their advice on. You'd be surprised. I talk with professor Haug about this topic and then I talk about what I've been doing to create online activities for students.
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56 min
February 1, 2019
Ep 319: Forensic Psychology - An Interview with Dr. Susan Lewis
It seems like there’s no end to TV shows about criminals who have various psychiatric disorders. It’s understandable that we find them fascinating, but how accurate are they? What is it really like to work with individuals who are convicted of serious crimes but who are unquestionably suffering from a mental illness? If you’re interested in these questions or are thinking of going into the field of forensic psychology then you need to listen to Dr. Susan Lewis as she tells us about two of the many clients she came to know during her years in this field. You’ll hear about the case of “Jay” – a deeply troubled man who is stuck in a revolving door between in-patient psychiatric hospitals and the criminal justice system. You’ll also hear about “Kristen” – a deeply violent woman who can’t get the help she needs. Dr. Lewis is the author of a book called “From Deep Within: A Forensic and Clinical Psychologist's Journey” and in this honest and moving interview you’ll learn what it’s really like to work with individuals like “jay” and “Kristen”.
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32 min
January 16, 2019
Ep 318: What is Academic Shame?
Recently we've learned that many students learn best not when things are well explained to them, but rather when they're just a little bit confused. Professor Jeremiah Sullins (interviewed in episode 267) talked about his work on Productive Confusion. Now he's on to a related topic: what if instead of being motivated by confusion, students who are prone to shame wind up feeling so frustrated that they feel ashamed of their confusion and lose the motivation to learn? That's what we'll address in this interview with Dr. Sullins and his work on academic shaming.
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35 min
December 13, 2018
Ep317: It's So Fluffy! Cuteness Makes Us Aggressive
Have you ever seen something so cute you just want to squeeze it to death? Or a child so cute you want to pinch it's cheeks really hard? Why do we have these odd, powerful, opposite feelings? It's called "cute aggression" and we'll try to explain it in this episode.  We'll also look at the bullying in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, sexual coercion in the song, "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and yet another nail in the coffin for our non-existent "learning styles".
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31 min
November 30, 2018
Ep 316: Motivational Interviewing and the TV Show Columbo
Hopefully you've watched the TV show Columbo. Curious about what this character has to do with psychology? You'd be surprised.  In this episode I analyze Columbo along with the Jennifer Garner movie, "Peppermint". I also explain why you remember how to ride a bike but can't remember where you put your cell phone.
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27 min
November 15, 2018
Ep 315: The Psychology of A Quiet Place and Mission Impossible
Did you see the movie A Quiet Place? How about Mission Impossible? It's always fun to analyze movies from a psychological perspective and that's what I do in this episode. A Quiet Place has a lot of family dynamics issues going on but Mission Impossible? You'd be surprised. We'll look at such things as family therapy, the identified patient, sexism and even correlational statistics.  Let's have some fun.
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28 min
October 30, 2018
Ep 314: Trauma Recovery with Dr. Matt Jaremko
If you're suffering from the effects of a trauma in your life or know someone who is, then listen to Dr. Matt Jaremko talk about his new book with Beth Fehlbaum called Trauma Recovery: Sessions With Dr. Matt". Dr. Jaremko's approach to therapy with trauma victims is straightforward and respectful. It's about helping survivors get their confidence back and move forward. Students of psychology will also see how the ideas of Albert Bandura and Arnold Lazarus come together in a fascinating therapeutic technique.
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39 min
October 22, 2018
Ep 313: Owning Bipolar: A Conversation with Michael Pipich
This is part 2 of my interview with Michael Pipich, author of the book, Owning Bipolar. In this part of the interview MIchael discusses his therapeutic approach to trearting Bipolar Disorder.If you have been diagnosed with bipolar or know someone who has, this episode is for you. Michael Pipich brings his 30 years of experience together in his new book, Owning Bipolar.
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15 min
October 16, 2018
Ep 312: Owning Bipolar: A Conversation with Michael Pipich
Bipolar (previously known as "manic depression") is often a difficult disorder to diagnose, much less to live with.  If you have been diagnosed with bipolar or know someone who has, this episode is for you. Michael Pipich brings his 30 years of experience together in his new book, **Owning Bipolar**.  In part 1 of my interview with him, we discuss what exactly is bipolar and why it is difficult to diagnose.
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25 min
October 3, 2018
Ep 311: The Ape That Understood the Universe
How are men and women different - really? There's plenty of debate over this, but how this: examine the differences between males and females across a wide variety of species. What are the reliable differences we see again and again? That's exactly what author Steve Stewart-Williams has done in his latest book, The Ape That Understood the Universe.  If you're interested in evolutionary Psychology you've come to the right place.  Fascinating discussion.
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37 min
September 18, 2018
Ep 310: How To Memorize Psychiatric Medications
Having a hard time **memorizing psychiatric medications** and which disorder they are used to treat?  These memory tricks will get them into your head in minutes - and they'll stick so you can get a better grade on your test.  I've got ways to remember 12 medications like **Zoloft, Prozac, Ritalin, Adderall, Lithium**, and more - and which diagnosis (**Depression, Anxiety, Psychosis**, etc.) the drug is used to treat.  Don't spend hours in rote memorization - use these memory tools instead.
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34 min
September 7, 2018
Ep 309: College Teaching Needs To Change
College teaching needs to change. This doesn't mean using a new fad technique. It doesn't mean dumbing anything down to get "today's students". It does mean that professors need to adopt more of the approaches to teaching that Ken Bain identified in his must-read book, "What The Best College Teachers Do". In this episode I describe one of the key ideas from the book and I show how they could be applied in two specific examples.
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39 min
August 9, 2018
Ep 308: How to Change the Mind of a Conservative
How do you get someone is is conservative to support climate change? Or stricter controls on guns? There is a way. Research confirms that conservatives tend to be focused on how good the past was, while liberals are "future-focused". So what if you frame a statement about gun control by framing that statement around words and images that support a person's preferences for the past or the future? Let's see how your attitudes are being ever so slightly influenced by the way statements are "framed". You'll be a wiser consumer as a result.
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36 min
July 10, 2018
Ep 307: Do Those i-Statements Actually Work and Did Koko Really Use Language as We Do?
Remember those "i-statements" you're supposed to use when you get mad at someone? "I feel ____ when you ____ because ____". Does that actually work? Does talking in this way resolve problems better and not get the other person defensive? We're going to find out. Also, Koko the gorilla died recently. But did she really master sign language? Or is there less to this story than first appears? In this episode we put on our critical thinking caps and take a look.
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37 min
June 14, 2018
Ep 306: Why Do You Talk To Your Dog Like That? And Does It Understand You?
Alright, let's all admit it - we talk to our pets in that funny pet voice. Who's a good dog? Well, there's been a lot of research on your use of this voice to talk to dogs as well as babies. What exactly are you doing with your voice? And most importantly, does your dog know what the heck you're saying? Does it help to talk this way? Let's find out.  And here's something you never thought of if you've ever tried to train a parrot or parakeet to speak: how come you DON'T use your "pet voice" in this case?
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28 min
May 31, 2018
Ep 305: In the Movies, Why Does the Woman Always Have to Die? And Other Gender Stereotypes
What can we learn from an old, dusty book I found in the basement? Well, if that book is about gender role **stereotypes** then there's a lot of things to uncover that explain why boys and girls act the way they do.   In this episode we get an example of **qualitative research** by really diving into the book called "Those We Love". How do books shape who we think we are and how we act as adults?
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30 min
May 5, 2018
Ep 304: Guess What? Testosterone Doesn't Neccessarily Cause Men to be Aggressive
Most of us assume one of the reasons men tend to act aggressively is that men have higher levels of testosterone. Let's take a look at this "testosterone myth" because this isn't always the case. In fact, in some cases, the higher levels of testosterone actually cause men to be MORE NICE than usual. Don't believe it? Let's take a look at what author Robert Sapolsky has to teach us about the true and subtle effects of testosterone. I think you'll be surprised.
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22 min
April 19, 2018
Ep 303: Significance Quest Theory: How Do We De-Radicalize People?
So now that we know a lot about why individuals join extermist groups, what can we do about it? How do we bring them back to society and help them have meaningful lives again? This is the second of 2 episodes on this topic and what we learn here also applies to school shooters. Here are some concrete suggestions, supported by extensive research.
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21 min
April 5, 2018
Ep 302: Violent Extremism: What's the Psychology Behind It?
What draws people toward violent extremist groups? Psychologists have conducted a lot of research to find this out and in this episode I summarize the findings of key researchers in this area. Researchers Arie Kruglanski, Katarzyna Jasko, David Webber, Chernikova and Erica Molinario explain how their theory, called SQT or Significance Quest Theory explains what leads young men to join extremist groups.
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28 min
March 16, 2018
Ep 301: The Role of CTE in the Life of Aaron Hernandez
You have probably heard a lot about football and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), the brain degeneration that results from repeated head impacts. One of the worst cases so far of CTE was found in the brain of football player Aaron Hernandez. The Oxygen network produced a fascinating account of Hernandez's life entitled Aaron Hernandez Uncovered and I was asked to participate in a panel discussion with other podcasters in which I talk about CTE as well as Toxic Masculinity. Here's the recording of that Facebook Live stream event. I think you'll find it really interesting.
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59 min
February 24, 2018
Ep 300: Jazz Piano Improv - How Do They Do That?
Ever wonder how the fingers of really experienced pianists who are improvising seem to fly across the keyboard? How do they know where their fingers are going? How can they think that fast? In this episode I'll tell you about some of what the brain is doing when pianists play the piano. Maybe you'll be inspired to start playing yourself....?
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29 min
January 11, 2018
Ep 299: How Smart Do You Want Your Fitness Tracker to Be?
Fitness tracking devices are getting smarter. They’re going to have to get a lot smarter if they are going to be powerful tools in your quest to be fit. But how much more “smart” do we really want them to get? Today they keep track of your steps and heart rate, but if your fitness tracker “knew” how you were thinking and whether you were saying things to yourself that are de-motivating (“I’ll never get in shape anyway…”) it might be more effective in getting you off the couch. But do you want it to have this information?    What if your tracker had some of the same GPS-enabled information that many cars and apps (like Waze) have? What if it knew the conditions of the area sidewalks, which walking/jobbing routes were safer than others or which had better scenery? This knowledge sounds like it could be very helpful, but are okay with your device having that info? In this episode I look at some recent research on tracking devices (like those made by FitBit, Garmin, Samsung and others) and how they could be made even more effective by borrowing ideas from Facebook and Netflix.
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36 min
December 13, 2017
Ep 298: Nudge Your Way to Better Health
How can psychologists get you to lead a healthier life? We all have "noble intentions" when it comes to eating well and exercising regularly, but those intentions often don't last too long and you're back to your old unhealthy ways. We can lecture you again about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise, or we can try to "nudge" you toward healthier eating. In this episode I talk about a articles that appeared in the journal Health Psychology about how subtle influences can be used to make big changes in our lives.
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49 min
December 5, 2017
Ep 297: The Movie Coco - What's the Psychology Behind It?
Have you seen the movie Coco? You should - it's a very moving story. But if you pay attention to the music you'll notice that the melody to the son "Remember Me" is played in several different ways - each with a very different effect on the psyche. In this episode I examine the psychology of this music. A;ong the way we'll see how minor chords and musical repetition affect, of all things, the release of dopamine in the brain.
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17 min
November 2, 2017
Ep 296: The Psychology and the Research Behind Why Some People are Angry when Athletes Take a Knee
What is the psychology and the research behind why many people are angry about athletes “taking a knee” during the playing of the national anthem? Part of the explanation lies in what’s called the “empathy deficit” that people in power can sometimes display. That is, those in higher social classes in societies are often not able to correctly interpret the facial expressions and gestures of people in lower social classes. Don’t believe it? In this episode I go through the research on how this “empathy deficit” was discovered. Judge for yourself. There’s also a little evolutionary psychology here so I think you’ll find this episode of interest. Check it out!
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32 min
October 18, 2017
Ep 295: How Can the Ordinary Person Be Inspirational?
It's often asked: why don't we make heroes out of everyday people? Well, what makes some people's stories inspirational and other not? Let's say you want to inspire young people to make the most of their lives - how do you do that? What stories are the best to tell or what videos are likely to be shared the most? We'll tap into the latest psychological research to find out.
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25 min
October 11, 2017
Ep 294: What is Forensic Psychology Really All About?
If you've watched even a few detective shows (like CSI) you may think you have a sense of what the field of Forensic Psychology is like, but my interviewee David Webb is here to talk about what it's really like to work in this field. David is the author of the All-About-Psychology website as well as the All-About-Forensic-Psychology website. Let's separate fact from fiction and find out how psychological findings are applied to the justice system. And if you're interested in this field, or in pursuing a graduate psychology degree in any other area, check out our sponsor's website: Gradschools.com/psych. Let's learn about Forensic Psychology!
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36 min
October 5, 2017
Ep 293: Emotional Intelligence - How Is It Taught?
One of the hardest challenges as we grow up is to know how we feel and to understand how others feel. The next step after we're aware of our feelings is knowing how we're going to best act on them. That's the essence of Emotional Intelligence and in this episode, school psychologist and author Kyle Carlin talks about a book he has written called Bug and Boo. It's a charming story about a young girl and her imaginary friend, but it's also a tool to help parents, educators and therapists help youngsters recognize and deal with their own and others' feelings.
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29 min
September 21, 2017
Ep 292: Yes, Computers Can Guess Your Sexual Orientation
On this episode I talk about a several psych topics, including what computer programs look at when they try to guess your sexual orientation - and they are really accurate at doing so. Also: anxiety blankets and the musical Hairspray - what do we reveal about ourselves sometimes when we don't even know it!
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32 min
September 7, 2017
Ep 291: How Important is Your Name? Maybe A Lot
What do you think of your name? Like it? Do you prefer a nickname or do you prefer when people call you by your full name? Why do you think people have these preferences? That's what we're looking at in this episode - research showing that other people (and yourself) might be shaping you to actually look like and act like your name. It's not a conspiracy - it's science. I also look at the latest research on exercise and how it is that one day's exerise might just make the next day a whole lot better. #exercise #psychology
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26 min
August 24, 2017
Ep 290: Class Demonstrations That Always Work
If you've ever wondered what goes on in a typical psychology class, well, here ar e 4 class activities I do almost every semester that are my “sure fire hits” – they engage the students in the learning process while helping them really grasp what a key term in psychology means. So you’ll learn about how students memorize each other’s names in a matter of minutes (mnemonics), as well as how they use a piano to shape a fellow student’s behavior (reinforcement and shaping), how they deal with solving unsolvable anagrams (learned helplessness), and how their memories of a car crash are easily manipulated by the way they are asked to recall the experience (unreliability of eyewitness testimony). Sure fire class demonstrations.
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29 min
August 9, 2017
Ep 289: Games and Videos as Therapeutic Tools: Dr. Anna Vagin (part 2)
In part 2 of my interview with Dr. Anna Vagin, she talks about some of the videos she uses to help kids and teens better understand the emotions and challenges of characters in the videos and how those characters dealt with their difficult situations. The videos are a launching point for discussion and insight into the clients' own lives.
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37 min
July 26, 2017
Ep 288: Using TableTop Games and Videos in Therapy: Interview with Anna Vagin
In part 1 of my interview with Anna Vagin, Ph.D. we talk about how she uses games and videos as part of her work with children and adolescents. I think you'll be surprised how Dr. Vagin uses short videos she finds on YouTube in her sessions. These are not games or videos that were designed to be used in this way, but she has carefully scoured YouTube to find videos that help youngsters connect with their emotions and to better understand others. What's additionally interesting is that Dr. Vagin's Ph.D. is not in psychology but rather in Speech and Language Pathology. Ever thought of that as a career path - a way to help people in their lives? I think you'll find this episode very interesting. #psychology #psychotherapy #therapy
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24 min
July 11, 2017
Ep 287: What to do About Fake News? Apply a Little Psychology - Part 2
In part 2 of my interview with Gleb Tsipusky we talk more about why so many of us (including me) fall for fake news stories and why such stories can spread so rapidly. We also talk about what he's doing to address the problem: the Pro Truth Pledge. Find out more about how he's applying some psychology to solve a real world problem.
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30 min
June 27, 2017
Ep 286: What to do About Fake News? Apply a Little Psychology
We're all aware of the problem of fake news, but why do we fall for it? When we read a post on Facebook that sounds a little questionable, why don't we check into it further? You better believe there's some psychology going on here. In this episode I interview Dr. Gleb Tsipursky of Ohio State university. He's been studying this in great depth. We'll apply theories from Daniel Kahenmann (Thinking Fast and Slow) as well as examine the "backfire effect", emotional reasoning and emotional contagion to better understand what's going on. In the upcoming second part of this interview we'll look at what Gleb is up to with his Pro Truth Pledge where more psychology is being applied to help us all stop spreading fake news.
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27 min
June 12, 2017
Ep 285: Ketamine and Depression, Raven Intelligence, and Those Darn Fidget Spinners
What are psychologists talking about this week? Well, we're fighting back against the unbelievable claims made by the marketers of fidget spinners (does the toy really help people with ADHD, PTSD and anxiety?), we're astounded by the results of research on the intelligence of ravens (apparently the birds get resentful if you don't treat them fairly), the latest news on the use of the drug Ketamine, and finally, how we're more likely to believe what a scientist says if he/she is not that attractive and instead looks more like our stereotype of a "scientist".
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26 min
June 6, 2017
Ep 284: On the TV Show Luther, Logical Thinking and Crinkly Plates to Lose Weight
Here's a new piece of weight-loss advice: eat on a crinkly plate! Um...sounds weird. It is kinda, but we'll explore why this might be a good bit of advice. We'll also take a minute and a half sound byte from the TV show Luther and wring all kinds of critical-thinking goodies from it. We'll discover why it might be a total waste of time for you to read about how other people became successful (or happy or have a better marriage or whatever else you might want). All those advice-giving books could be a waste of time. It has to do with our self-esteem and confirmation biases. We'll have some fun.
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26 min
June 1, 2017
Ep 283: How To Practice Correctly and is Facebook Rotting Your Brain?
Guess what? Practice definitely does NOT always lead to perfection. When you practice an instrument are you doing it right? In this episode I explore the "10,000 hour" myth and how you can practice something - like an instrument or a language - in a way that is going to result in much faster learning. We'll see that the idea that you don't need to memorize anything because you can always look it up on Google doesn't hold water and we'll take a look at the evidence that Facebook might be rotting your brain (it isn't).
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28 min
May 19, 2017
Ep 282: Psychology and Gaming - Part 2 of an Interview with Josue Cardona and Kelli Dunlap
All of us have probably felt a little "down" every once in a while so we can empathize a little with someone who is depressed, but how about someone who is suffering from schizophrenia? What is it like? Games may hold one answer for helping all of us gain a small experience of what it is like to suffer from schizophrenia. In part two of my interview with Josue Cardona and Kelli Dunlap we continue our discussion of how games can make understanding psychology more impactful.
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25 min
May 11, 2017
Ep 281: Psychology and Gaming - an Interview with Josue Cardona and Kelli Dunlap
Interested in psychology? How about gaming? Did you know that these two fields actually go together quite well? Find out how two people with strong backgrounds in both of these fields are putting their experience to work creating games that educate and that provide players with experiences that really help us understand more about mental health. In part 1 of this two part episode we talk about games and their application to psychology. I think you're really going to enjoy it.
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20 min
April 25, 2017
Ep 280: Bystander Activation: Yes, There Are Things You Can Do To Change the World
We live in a time when facts are being questioned, and when respect for each others' differences is on the decline. How often do we say to ourselves: "Yea, but what can I do about it?". Actually, with a little psychology maybe you can turn things around. In this episode I interview someone who's doing just that: Patrice Jones. He's a marketing VP and he recently created a video on his own time that he hopes will remind viewers - be they New England Patriot's fans or not - that we all share a commitment to basic human values like equality and dignity. If we are to keep those values alive we need to be vigilant. See how Patrice is combining a little psychology with his skills as a marketer to develop empathy and a shared sense of the larger group to which we all belong.
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29 min
April 19, 2017
Ep 279: The United Airlines "Involuntary Deboarding" Incident: from Shock Value to Productive Discussion
The involuntary removal of a passenger on a United Airlines flight has justifiably garnered a lot of attention. And as teachers we certainly want to capture students' attention. But how do we create a discussion among students that goes beyond the simple shock value of showing the video? In this episode I talk both about the connections to psychology and about a series of new books that describe ways - simple ways - that teachers can create powerful, critical thinking, discussions in their classrooms.
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19 min
April 8, 2017
Ep 278: Memorize Your Lines or Lyrics: Techniques You Never Heard Of
Have to memorize lines for a play or musical? There are a lot of techniques. Let me tell you about a few that are backed by science. I've been involved in the theatre for many years and I've done a lot of memorizing of both lines and song lyrics. Typically, actors and singers use repetition - and don't get me wrong - that works, but there are other ways to get those lines into your head. Ever heard of interleaving? How about using the Method of Loci (often called the Memory Palace) to memorize the sequence of an entire play? Impossible? Nope. Let's take a look.
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25 min
March 23, 2017
Ep 277: How to Remember Names and the Psychology of that BBC Interrupted Interview
It's hard to remember names - here's how to do it. You'll use your imagination and some weird imagery - but this works. Here's another great use of mnemonics. I'll give you a bunch of people's names and describe the images I created to help me remember them. Give your brain a little room to roam and put it to practical use. Also, I look at recent research that provides yet another reason why names are hard to remember. By the way, let me ask you a question: How many of each animal did Moses take on the ark? The answer: 0 (re-read the question...). I also take a look at that viral video called the "BBC Interrupted Interview". What's the psychology behind why many people thought the woman in the video was a nanny when she was the mother. We'll see how stereotypes develop. #psychology #memory #stereotypes
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36 min
March 8, 2017
Ep 276: "Because I Said So" Doesn't Work for Teens
How many times when a parent is arguing with a teen has the parent either said - or wish they could say - "Do it because I said so!". As a parent myself, I've had more than a few of those times. But it just doesn't work - especially with teenagers. In this episode I explore the classic three parenting styles first described by Diana Baumrind in 1971. Then I share my reasons why "Because I Said So" won't work especially in the teen years when teens typically have a low self esteem and a strong desire to believe they are right in the way they interpret the world.
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24 min
February 24, 2017
Ep 275: What Makes Some People Funny?
You probably know someone who is just plain...well, funny. They may not necessarily even tell that many jokes, but they know how to come up with funny interpretations for what's going on around you ("That guy looks like...."). They just know how to make you laugh. Researchers have studied this in great depth to find out What kind of personality makes for a good strong ability to just come up with funny stuff. And if you've ever watched the TV show, "Who's Line Is It Anyway", in which comedians have to come up with funny stuff on the spot, you've probably wondered how they do that. Let's take a look.
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19 min
February 6, 2017
Ep 274: Be the First To Act - or Be the Second - Both Are Great
Complete strangers in New York City come together in a simple but moving act: they decide as a group to work together to remove offensive graffiti in a subway car. How did they overcome the social pressures to do nothing? In this episode I show how diffusion of responsibility, Modeling, the Big Five personality types and Social Identity theory were at play in this simple but wonderful few minutes on a subway car. 83rxtpfp
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14 min
January 20, 2017
Ep 273: Stereotypes and How We Get Past Them
One reason stereotypes exist is because, sometimes, there's some truth in them. As an Italian-American I can say that, yes, a lot of the times I use my hands when I talk. And it appears to be true that men think about sex more often and are more easily sexually aroused (in general). So what do we do with these findings? Do we throw up our hands and say, "Boy will be boys"? Or do we decide that we're going to change ourselves - one little step at a time.
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12 min
January 6, 2017
Ep 272: How To Create a Human-Like Voice
Have you used Siri, Hey Google, Aleza or Cortana? These voice-enabled digital assistants are pretty cool and getting smarter, but why do some of them sound more like a "person" than others? What is it about your voice that makes people believe that there is a thinking human being behind it? In this episode I take a look at a research study called "Mistaking Minds: How Speech Affects Dehumanization and Anthropomorphism" to uncover what it is about a voice that makes it more likely that you'll anthropomorphize it into a real human being?
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26 min
December 23, 2016
Ep 271: Great Psych Apps - NovoPsych
There are a lot of mobile apps that include the term "psychology" but many of them are just for fun. Are there any really good apps for psychotherapists? Yes there are and one of them is called NovoPsych. In this episode I interview Dr. Ben Buchanan who is the creator of NovoPsych and he tells us how the app would be used in a clinical setting. The first in a series of interview highlighting solid, credible apps that people seriosly interesting in psychology will want to check out.
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19 min
December 8, 2016
Ep 270: We Are Polarized. Here's What We Can Do About It
The US just had a very contentious election which showed us, if nothing else, that we are a divided nation. How did we become this way? In this episode I talk about group polarization - how it happens and what we can do about it. Along the way, I'll talk about Moral Reframing - and idea researched by Robb Willer and the idea of "emotional correctness" that Sally Kohn suggests is the way that she, a gay woman, is able to get along in a very conservative workplace. The wonderful You Are Not So Smart blog has a great article on how we can better argue when we know we're talking with someone who is on the "opposite side of the fence" politically. #psychology
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22 min
November 29, 2016
Ep 269: How To Get People To Be Creative
Do "Blue Sky" brainstorming sessions actually produce anything creative? If you've ever sat around with a group of people and tried to "just come up with something creative" you probably found that it's pretty hard. We actually don't think that creatively when we're told to just "throw things out there" and "nothing will be judged". It's often more productive to give people a certain constraint on what they can say. See how research Catrinel Haupt-Tromp used as her inspiration the famous children's book "Green Eggs and Ham" to come up with a pretty neat research study on creativity.
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12 min
November 15, 2016
Ep 267: Applying an Established Memory Strategy Literacy (and possibly click through on your blog post...)
The printed word has been around for a long time. Bet you thought there was nothing new in how we put words together in a book or website. Well, guess again. Researchers at Asymmetrica have drawn upon a tried and true memory strategy called "chunking" and applied it to - get this - the amount of white space between words. Would we be able to improve literacy if we ever so slightly adjusted the amount of space between words so that it better reflected our everyday speech patters? Psychologist Chris Nicolas has been tinkering with these word spaces and I think you'll be surprised at what he's doing.
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11 min
October 20, 2016
Ep 266: Productive Confusion with Jeremiah Sullins
We often like it when things are explained to us clearly, but would you believe that sometimes it's better if you're just down-right confused? You could actually learn more if at some point in the learning process you feel like you don't know what's going on. In part 2 of my interview with researcher and professor Jeremiah Sullins, we talk about much more you could learn if you spend a little time being absolutely perplexed at what's going on. You may have heard of this as "desirable difficulties", well here we dig in and find out when it's good for teachers (and students) when everything is not completely clear.
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23 min
October 16, 2016
Ep: 265: Why Do You REALLY Support That Candidate? The Psychology of Voting Behavior
Why do you vote the way you do? Have you read through all the various candidates position statements, or do you just kinda go with your "gut"? Jeremiah Sullins, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harding University has looked at this question in great depth and he's found some really interesting answers to this question. I think you'll really enjoy hearing about his research into your voting behavior.
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23 min
October 1, 2016
Ep 264: How To Make Study Groups Effective
In a previous episode I talked about the kinds of dynamics that can occur in groups (social loafing, diffusion of responsibility) that can make them ineffective learning experiences as well as just not fun. In this episode I interview Dr. Karen Christian who has watched how many study groups in action and she has uncovered quite a few things that study groups need to do differently so that everybody actually learns and gets ready for an upcoming test. She's got some very useful suggestions for teachers and students.
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25 min
September 12, 2016
Ep 263: Using Psychology in Your Work: Part 2 of My Interview with Richard Millington
How do you "apply a little psychology" to tough jobs like building an online community and to creating a product that people will want to use frequently? In part 2 of my interview with author and Feverbee founder Richard Millington we talk about two key theories from psychology: self-determination theory and Robert Cialdini's persuasion techniques. I think you'll find these real world examples very practical.
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25 min
September 6, 2016
Ep 262: Using Psychology to Build Active Online Communities: Interview with Richard Millington
What do you do with a background in psychology? A lot of things. How about running an online community? I found Richard Millington, founder of Feverbee, talking about how he applies psychology to his business of helping organizations build strong, active online communities. As you've probably seen in your travels about the web, there are a lot of communities (such as those on Facebook) and sometimes you join them because you're interested in the person or the product the company sells. Then what happens? A lot to times nothing because that "community" isn't really a community. It's just a Facebook page that an employee created because he/she felt they "had to" because everyone else is doing it, but there's no actual discussion going on. What's an online community supposed to do? It's supposed to be interesting and helpful to its members. A community is supposed to "connect like minded people" and maybe even get them excited about a product and perhaps even, in the best case scenario, communities get their members to be so excited about the cause or the product that some of them become "evangelists" - real fans who spread the word. But how do you make this happen? What can you do to make a community active? Let's hear how Richard Millington effectively uses a little psychology in his work as a community builder.
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22 min
August 19, 2016
Ep 261: Demonic Possession or A Lack of Skeptical Thinking?
Is it possible that some people who we think are mentally ill are actually victims of demonic possession? One psychiatrist says yes. Another psychiatrist says no - believing this is true is a matter of not carefully thinking about what you see and hear from others. In this episode I break down the claims made by Richard Gallagher and a counterpoint to Gallagher which was written by Steven Novella. Along the way we'll learn about logical fallacies such as the "argument for incredulity" and the "argument of ignorance". I think you'll find this fascinating and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
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26 min
July 11, 2016
Ep 261: Which of These Scientific Terms Are You Using Incorrectly?
Do you think you're using the words "control group" correctly? You're probably not. In fact, you're probably also getting these terms wrong as well: "truth serum", "lie detector", "bystander apathy", "personality type", Oxytocin, "closure" and even the "scientific method"? In this episode I review some of the points made by Scott Lilienfeld and his colleagues regarding scientific terms that you're probably using incorrectly.
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28 min
June 22, 2016
Ep 260: We Can't Put Our Phones Down - How You Can Feel Better About That
Cell phones: they're here and they're not going away. So now it's time to "stop worrying and learn to love them". If you're upset about how much time teens spend on their phones I'll give you a few ideas that, hopefully, will make you feel better. After all, cellphones aren't going away. Quite the opposite. They're only going to get more powerful and more ubiquitous. The "pull" of the phone is irresistible. In this follow-up to episode 258 I want to talk about how adults and parents can feel less distressed by a teen's behavior. I hope the ideas in this episode help.
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18 min
May 27, 2016
Ep 259: How Could You Have Missed That?
What is change blindness? How could you miss some of the most obvious things that change right in front of you? Millions of people watch a video of kids playing basketball and they miss the fact that a gorilla walks right through the scene. A gorilla? And people missed it? Yup. We often miss lots of things that happen right in front of us because our attention spans work in strange ways. And because what happened isn't what we expected to happen. Let's learn about change blindness.
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25 min
April 27, 2016
Ep: 258 - 5 Reasons Why You Can't Put Your Phone Down and What to do About it
Why do we find it so hard to put down our phones? I'll give you 5 reasons drawn directly from psychological theories on how we learn, how teenagers are strongly affected by reward and how we are all drawn in by mystery. There is of course no easy answer for how to get teens to put down their phones but I'll share what I'm doing with my teenagers.
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23 min
April 14, 2016
Ep 257: What IS in Baloney Anyway? Let's Find Out Why You Eat What You Eat
I grew up eating baloney without ever giving a thought to where it came from. But psychology is all reflecting on who you are, why you think the way you do and why you do what you do. So let's explore our eating behavior: why do we think it's weird or wrong when we hear that in some cultures people eat cat meat or insects or bats. Is it really that different from eating cows and pigs? How are we influenced to think that some foods are okay while others aren't...?
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30 min
April 4, 2016
Ep 256 (Audio Only): Study Psychology On The Go with the Clammr App
What if you could study for your psychology test in 24 second sound bytes on your iPhone? Now you can. I recently contacted Parviv - the founder of an app called Clammr. Typically, people use Clammr to stay on top of the news, listen to podcasts or "top tweets" and other humorous audio clips. I thought it would make a great test prep tool. So check it out: download Clammr on your iPhone and search for Psych Fest Prep. You can choose from 7 major psychology topics and start studying!
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5 min
February 12, 2016
Ep 255: London Has a Problem and It's a Job for a Psychologist
London needs help and only a person trained in psychology can fix this. There are just too many Londoners using their subway (the "tube") and instead of standing side by side as they go up the escalator, people are doing what they always do - they stand single file on the right of the escalator so that people in a hurry can pass on the left. That's a fine social norm when there aren't that many people, but if London transport is going to be usable as the population grows they're going to have to get people to behave differently. How can we break such a strong norm? It's not just London's problem. When you go up the stairs which side do you stand on? The right of course, and you expect the people coming down the stairs to stay to their right. When someone doesn't follow the norm we can get pretty annoyed. So what can we do to create a wide scale change in behavior? We have to apply a little social psychology.
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19 min
January 20, 2016
Ep 254: How to Create Great Ways for Seniors to Live
What comes to mind when you think "nursing home"? Not so good, right? Let's change that. Let's use what we learn from psychology to create exciting places for seniors to live. We've got the tools provided by Maslow's Hierarchy and by the Self Determination theory. Here's one way we could revolutionize the "senior years".
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16 min
January 11, 2016
Ep 253: How to Prevent Violence in Your Neighborhood
Passengers on an airplane spring to action when a stewardess needs help - but a neighborhood in New York City does very little when a woman is attacked. What's different? How can we take what we learn from the airplane and apply it to the attack? Lecturing the neighborhood residents probably won't help. Can we do anything to the way the neighborhood is laid out to encourage interaction among residents and a greater sense of interdependency among them? That's what we explore in this episode of The Psych Files.
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12 min
December 29, 2015
Ep 252: How Psychology Gets You To Slow Down While Driving
How can we use a little psychology to get you to slow down when you're driving? You'd be surprised. Very often road signs like "Slow" or a posted speed limit of, say 20 mph does not work. Drivers go past these signs and nothing bad happens so after a while they're ignored. We try to make it more personal with signs say, "Drive as if your kids live here", but often that doesn't work. How about something trickier: what if we enlisted the help of those 3D sidewalk artists? What could they possibly do? You'll find out.
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19 min
December 15, 2015
Ep 251: How NOT to Get the Holiday Blues
At the end of the year there are so many cues around us that tell us that we should be happy and that we should reflect on our lives. Humbug! Find out how not to fall prey to the holiday blues that are so common.
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15 min
December 8, 2015
Ep 250: How I Used Snapchat with My Class
Snapchat got a pretty bad rap over the past few years, but did you know that you actually can use this video messaging app in ways that really do help students see the applications of what their teachers are learning in their everyday lives. In this episode I share my experiences using Snapchat with my psychology class. Yes it has it's limitations, but it also has some strengths that I think are worth looking at. Join me as I explore snapchat and give you samples of "snaps" I sent my students.
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21 min
October 27, 2015
Ep 248: Guest Host Bo Bennet on Dysrationalia
What is Dysrationalia? You've probably heard of a lot of intelligences - Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences, Sternberg's Triarchic theory of intelligence and Daniel Goldman's Emotional Intelligence. In this episode, my first guest host Bo Bennett steps in to tell us about the work of psychologist Keith Stanovich's work on "dysratinalia". Do you know someone who seems quite intelligent but they believe in something that is, well...completely irrational? Something that just has no scientific support at all?
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8 min
September 14, 2015
Ep 246: Why Replications Sometimes Don't Agree with the Original Study
What's the connection between life on Mars and the need to properly replicate scientific studies?
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14 min
September 8, 2015
Ep 245: The Reproducibility Project: Incentives Out of Whack
Have you heard that about 100 Psychology studies were replicated and only about 1/3 confirmed the original findings? Why did this happen? Well, one reason has to do with incentives that are out of whack. The "real world" of scientific research is far from the lone researcher looking for the truth. And the other reason has to do with, well, you and the internet. You see, you like to click on things that are surprising or weird (I like to do that too I admit) and that behavior encourages bad research. Let's find out how these things are all connected in this episode of The Psych Files.
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18 min
August 9, 2015
Ep 244: Analyze This - Is This What Therapy is Really Like?
If you have not seen the movie Analyze This with Robert Deniro and Billy Krystal, then you really should. It's not just a funny movie, bit also gets a lot of things about therapy right. So many movies portray psychotherapy so unrealistically but this movie, while it takes a lot of liberties with the therapeutic process, gets some things right and gives you a pretty good idea of how therapy progresses. Through sound bytes from the movie we'll see examples of catharsis, freudian defense mechanisms of denial and minimizing, the analysis of dreams, the breaking of therapeutic boundaries, and Rogerian techniques of reflection. A fascinating movie to take apart and that's just what I do in this episode of ThePsychFiles.
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34 min
July 22, 2015
Ep 243: Did Your Therapy Really Work?
If you have been in therapy you want to believe it "worked". We all do. And hopefully it did have a positive effect on you. But how do you know? How do therapists know if what they're doing really has resulted in improvements in their clients? Yes, we have controlled studies for many treatments which give us confidence that these techniques really do help people, but we also have a lot of "therapeutic" techniques that have not been thoroughly tested. Nonetheless, lots of amazing claims are made for their effectiveness and no doubt the people who provide these therapies really do believe that they work.
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32 min
June 25, 2015
Ep 242: The Psychology of Attractiveness: An Interview with Rob Burriss
One of the most popular topics in Psychology is attraction: why are we romantically attracted (or not) to each other? Whenever anyone asks me about this topic, or they ask me for other psychology podcasts in addition to The Psych Files. I send them over to the Psychology of Attractiveness podcast, hosted by Rob Burriss. Rob has been hosting this podcast for the past 6 years and he never fails to uncover the most interesting new research in this field.
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22 min
June 13, 2015
Ep 241: I know What You DIDN'T Do - the Internet of Things for Dementia and Alzheimer's
How can technology be used to help people with Dementia and Alzheimer's? Here are a few examples. You may have heard of the "Internet of Things" - this is the idea that we can place small Internet-connected devices onto everyday household objects in order to get information from them about what you are doing - and not doing - throughout the day. A simple use of these devices would be to program these devices to turn the heat up (or down), turn your coffee on and feed the cat when the device senses that you just woke up. But how about using these devices with people who have memory problems? We can also detect when you are NOT doing something (and by a certain time) that you ought to be doing (like eating breakfast) and we can give you an automatic reminder or, if you have fallen, automatically send someone a text. In this episode of The Psych Files we apply technology and psychology to your daily life.
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23 min
May 29, 2015
Ep 240: How Do You Treat People Who Are Ill?
We all want to help others - especially those in the "helping professions" - but what's the best way to do that? Therapy? Medication? How about setting up an entire fake village set up to look like the '50s with helping professionals dressed up to look like grocers? Sound bizarre? Well, they're doing it in Amersterdam.
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25 min
May 4, 2015
Ep 239: Racial Divide: Why Does It Happen? How We Can Fix It
Why does conflict emerge as it did in Baltimore last week, among the police and the African-American community? Is it caused by poor parenting? Poverty? Joblessness? I provide a psychological perspective on the situation. I look at how stereotypes develop and conflict among groups develops. The solution is complex but the theories on these two issues give us some insight into what has to happen to resolve the problems.
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34 min
April 10, 2015
Ep: 238: A Robot's Gender, Act Like A Girl and Be A Man
Does it matter if a robot looks male or female? You might not think so, but are we perpetuating stereotypes if if we create a robot that looks "feminine" to help the elderly aren't we continuing the stereotype that these types of jobs are "women's" jobs? If we create "masculine" looking robots to work outside and do adventurous, heavy lifting jobs aren't we discouraging young women from entering such jobs? Something to think about. Also, have you ever said (like I have) "Like a girl"? What effect does that have on young girls? Isn't it, upon reflection, a derogatory thing to say - implying that girls are weak and uncoordinated? And how about "Be a man" - doesn't that encourage young boys to distance themselves from their feelings?
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29 min
March 19, 2015
Ep 237: What is Misophonia? More on La Cage, Empathy, and the Milgram Studies
Does the sound of other people's mouth noises really drive you crazy? Honestly, it does to me. Things like lip smacking, swallowing, cracking and crunching really annoys me. If it annoys you too then you're not alone. Learn about misophonia in this episode. Also, a little more about my experiences playing Albin/Zaza in the musical La Cage Aux Folles, more on how we develop empathy for others and finally a new interpretation for what really was going on in the Stanley Milgram shock studies.
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26 min
February 23, 2015
Ep 236: My Cross-Dressing Experience in La Cage Aux Folles
I was recently cast as "Albin" in the musical La Cage Aux Folles and it has given me the unique opportunity to have to learn how to act more effeminate and to cross dress. As a psychologist who obsesses about the "psychology of everyday life" you can imagine how I've been thinking about what there is to learn from this experience. The show goes up in less than a week but I wanted to share my experiences thus far and talk about issues such as gender roles and why I think the movie (La Cage Aux Folles or the American version which is called "The Birdcage") and the musical have been so popular.
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31 min
January 28, 2015
Ep 235: Body Swapping - Now We Can Make You FEEL Like Someone Else
What if you could swap bodies with someone else? What would it be like to be someone of the opposite sex? A different race? We're getting darn close to being able to do that with new techniques like the Rubber Hand Illusion, the Enfacement illusion, and now the Full body illusion. You can now virtually switch bodies with someone else and thanks to our mirror neurons and other brain systems, you can have a very different sense of body ownership. Come listen to me talk about the latest research on this topic and some potential intriguing applications to problems like bullying.
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25 min
January 8, 2015
Ep 234: Transvestism - Is It Normal? What Is Normal Anyway?
A small number of men cross dress and many movies and broadway shows feature cross dressers (transvestites), so obviously many people find it fascinating and those who cross dress typically enjoy it. Why? What does it mean about the people who do it? I was recently cast as Albin/ZaZa in the musical version of the movie "La Cage Aux Folles" so I've been doing a lot it recently. I decided to take a closer look at cross dressing and see what psychologists think about it. Along the way, I'll also look at some of the ways we determine how or if a behavior, thought or feeling is "abnormal"
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33 min
December 18, 2014
Ep 233: While Policemen and Black Victims - What's Really Going on?
In the US, we've experienced a number of recent incidences of white policemen shooting black men. What's going on? Are these more examples of prejudice and discrimination or unprovoked attacks on police? How do we know what really happened? In this episode of The Psych Files we look at how key social psychological theories are on display in these incidences: false memories, attribution biases, blaming the victim and social identity theory.
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17 min
December 10, 2014
Ep 232: Psychologists Involved in Torture: What Will We Do About It?
You may have heard from the US Senate report on Terrorism and Interrogations that a small group of psychologists were involved in the interrogations of detainees from the 9/11 incident. How could psychologists, who have a long tradition of concern and adherence to ethical standards in the treatment of others, become involved in such activities? Is it justified? More important: would YOU have become involved in these activities in the swirl of confusion and fear after the attacks? We examine these issues in this episode of The Psych Files.
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20 min
December 4, 2014
Ep: 231: Multiple Personalities, and Tips on Getting People to Help
Is there such a thing as a person having multiple personalities? The idea makes for great headlines and fascinating talk shows, but what's the real story? I talk about that in this episode of The Psych Files along with giving tips on how maximize the chances that you'll get help in an emergency and answer the question: is the new generation of teens lazy?
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31 min
November 21, 2014
Ep 230: Questionable Research - With A Famous Psychologist Involved
Might you be able to rid yourself of an illness by "turning back the clock"? That is, by immersing yourself in a time in your life when you were not ill? Psychology has always struggled to separate itself from those who would "borrow" good ideas and take them too far or twist them in ways that promise people too much. We're now more sensitive than ever about how psychological research is conducted and there are a lot of questions about a proposed new study by Ellen Langer that seems to be skirting some serious ethical issues in order to carry out a study with cancer patients - a study that could be done much less elaborately than is planned. Is this groundbreaking research, or as James Coyne suggests, quackery? We'll find out what's going on in this episode of The Psych Files.
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35 min
October 28, 2014
Ep 229: What Makes a Song Popular? Psychology of Music: How We Detect Melody
What makes some songs so popular? Guess what - psychologists actually know a lot of the answers. In this episode we'll listen to excerpts from Leonard Cohen's song Hallelujah, as well as Noisestorm's Ignite, Adele's Someone Like You, the Enterprise Theme from Star Trek, and even two pieces of music from the motion picture Koyaanisqatsi. We'll especially deconstruct "Hallelujah" to figure out why it is such a popular song. Many thanks to musician extraordiaire - Steve Kessler.
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30 min
October 6, 2014
Ep 227: I Remember How I Felt (Or Do You)?
Do "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation" or are we actually pretty happy most of the time? As it turns out humans are far more resilient than you think. Ever heard of the term "affective forecasting"? It's something we do every day and very often we make mistakes doing it. In this episode you'll learn more about positive psychology from the authors of a new book called Pollyanna's Revenge. Another myth put to rest: "depressive realism" - the idea that there's an advantage to being depressed - that depressed people are more realistic about the world than non-depressed people. That's not so either and I think you'll find a lot of interesting information in this episode about what affects your own level of happiness. Join me for a fascinating discussion about how we really react to the ups and downs of life.
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32 min
September 16, 2014
Ep 225: What's Best for Memory - Coffee or a Nap - or Both?
You may have been heard that taking a nap or going to sleep after you learn something helps you to retain it (which is true), but you may also have heard that drinking coffee helps your memory. So which is it? How can you drink coffee AND take a nap? Well, apparently you can get the benefit of both - if you do it right. In this episode we not only learn about the so-called "students' coffee" but we learn about the "coffee nap". If you do it just right you can get some great memory boosts.
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18 min
July 24, 2014
Ep 223: Little Albert's Real Identity - Time to Rewrite the Textbooks
What was the name of that baby in John Watson's famous videos in which he attempts to demonstrate that fears can be acquired through conditioning (pairing a loud noise with a furry animal)? A few years ago we were presented with information indicating that a boy named Douglas Merrite was the true identity of "Little Albert". The data looked pretty convincing at that time. However, a few pieces of that data simply did not fit together for researchers Nancy Digdon, Russell Powell and Ben Harris. After another lengthy search into the past, these researchers determined that another child fits the description and the facts of who "Little Albert" really was and that boy's name is William Albert Barger. As is often true in life, the simple facts require fewer leaps in logic and these facts make the conclusion that William Albert is "Little Albert" inescapable. In this episode I lay out some of these facts and I think you'll be convinced as well. One of those facts: unfortunately, William Albert Barger died in 2007 so although we weren't able to talk with him, it appears that he lead a full and rewarding life.
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19 min
July 7, 2014
Ep 222: How To Remember Jokes
How many times have you wanted to remember a joke at a party but you just can't? Well, there IS a way to remember jokes and I have got 4 jokes to tell you along with a mnemonic that will help you remember all 4 of them. I challenge you to listen to these 4 jokes, then listen to my mnemonic and then wait a little while and go through the mnemonic and I guarantee that you'll remember all 4 jokes. Remembering anything for more than a few minutes requires not only repetition, but also something else that will make the to-be-remembered thing stick in your head. That thing can be a mnemonic device. In this episode I'll use a combination of the keyword technique, crazy images and a modified approach to the method of loci. I'll use your body to help you remember these jokes. Let's have some fun.
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22 min
July 1, 2014
Ep 221: Facebook Study: A Brief Summary and Did They Use Informed Consent?
You may have heard that Facebook manipulated the content of user's New Feeds during January of 2012 so that some users saw more positive posts than others, which other Facebook users saw more negative posts. How did this affect these users? Did those who say negative posts become more negative and vice versa? The answer is that the research indicates that some of them - though a very, very few of them - did subsequently write posts that were similar to the ones that saw on their News Feed. How big of an effect is this? Is it unethical? Does agreeing to Facebook's Terms of Use constitute "informed consent". I examine these questions in this episode of The Psych Files.
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35 min
June 16, 2014
Ep 220: PsycExplorer Roundup: More Evidence That Animals Think and Feel
In episode 217 I asked you to be frank with yourself: does your animal really think? It's easy to believe they do, but if you're going to study this issue scientifically you have to eliminate our human tendency to anthropomorphize - to want to believe that animal actions are motivated by internal states. Well, here's a roundup of a few articles I found in my PsycExplorer app (PsycExplorerHD for iPad) which show exactly what psychologists are doing to find out what exactly is going on (if anything...) in the minds of dogs, cats, rats, chickens and yes fruit flies. Are they really thinking in there? Well, maybe so. These examples certainly convinced me, although it might all depend on what you mean by "thinking" and "feeling". We also find out how we react to those sudden thoughts that jump into our minds - what do they mean? Are thoughts that jump into our mind more significant than thoughts that we actively think about?
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32 min
May 27, 2014
Ep 219: Mental Health Professionals: Why So Liberal?
Surveys find that psychologists tend to align themselves with a liberal political orientation. Why is that? Are liberal-minded people drawn to human service professions or is there something about working in human services that causes people to become more liberal in their political views? In this episode I propose a few ideas that I think explains why mental health professionals tend to be on the liberal side of the political spectrum. I invite your constructive feedback on these suggestions.
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22 min
May 4, 2014
Ep 218: Good News for Older Folks
Guess what? There are a good number of positives to growing older. Let's put aside all the negative stereotypes of older folks and realize that they can demonstrate a surprising level of "coolness" about life. There's a certain perspective you get when you're older that's enviable. Older folks have passed many of life's challenges and they can look back with satisfaction. But they also can have a surprising nonchalance about the challenges they face which we - as younger people - often think would make us terribly unhappy. Let's take another look at aging and see if from a different light.
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20 min
April 5, 2014
Ep 217: Let's Be Honest: Is Your Dog Really Intelligent?
It's easy to find videos on the web of animals showing what appears to be some pretty smart behavior. But is it really "smarts"? How can you tell? In this episode I'll point out examples that look like intelligence but probably aren't - as well as an example of animal behavior that is really hard to dismiss as anything but "smarts".
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31 min
March 9, 2014
Ep 216: Working Remotely - the Psychological Advantages and Disadvantages
The idea of working from home sounds great - but be aware of the downside. In this episode of The Psych Files I talk about what factors influence your job satisfaction and motivation when you work from home. I also discuss the interesting concept of "emotional labor" - what is it like when you know your boss is watching you and judging whether you are "acting happy" to customers? What's the cost to you of acting in a way that is contrary to how you actually feel?
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33 min
February 19, 2014
Ep 215: What Was Life Like in an Asylum?
Have you ever wondered what it was like to be a patient in an "insane asylum"? "Asylums" changed names over the years (including "State Hospital" and "Psychiatric Center") and so did the treatment of the mentally ill. Hear from Dr. Jennifer Bazar how we went from chaining people up to hydrotherapy to sexual surgery and finally to what is called "moral treatment". A fascinating walk down the history of psychology with an engaging psychology historian.
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49 min
February 3, 2014
Ep 214: Your Adolescence is Giving Me A Mid-Life Crisis
We all know that adolescence is a time of change and often a tough time for the teen. But what about the parent? Today's parents are often older than years ago, and today's parents are sometimes going through their own self-examination, their own doubts, their own exploration. What happens when you bring those two together? Sometimes a lot of yelling frankly. In this episode I talk about the changes going on in the adolescent and in the older parent and how parents can avoid the yelling and the accusations that only undermine what the teen is going through and how parents can step back and examine themselves. A little understanding can go a long way.
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29 min
January 16, 2014
Ep 213: Leveraging Our Natural Curiosity for Learning and Blog Clicks
We don't have to pay you to get you to do things - you're already a curious person. How does our attraction to puzzles, questions, and unsolved mysteries get used to get us to click on videos or blog posts? And how can it be used to get students to want to learn? You'll find out that there are ways to get students excited about learning without having to pay them and there are ways to attract people to your content by tapping into their curiosity. Just don't overuse it (watch out UpWorthy) and don't fail to deliver! Hopefully this episode will deliver on introducing you to some new ideas to help you motivate others.
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28 min
January 10, 2014
Ep 212: The Psychology of The Matrix Movie
What are the psychological themes in the movie the Matrix? In this episode I talk about connections between the Matrix and Jung's idea of the Collective Unconscious, Joseph Campbell's notion of the Hero's Journey and some recent research that explains why you experience Déjà vu. Also, can you change your whole world by thinking differently about it? Let's find out what psychologists (well at least me) think about this fascinating movie.
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32 min
December 16, 2013
Ep 211: Is a Little Deception Okay? Paid Crowds and Native Advertising
We face more moral "dilemmas" in everyday life than maybe we don't realize. How do we resolve them? In this episode I discuss two interesting moral dilemmas: a) should you employ for-hire crowds of actors to attend your event in order to make it look like you're more popular than you really are? and b) should you place your advertisements on web and print pages in such a way that they don't really look like ads at all? I discuss the moral questions involved in "native advertising". You'll find some unique examples of Kohlberg's stages of moral development.
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31 min
November 21, 2013
Ep 210: How to Memorize Kolhberg's Stages of Moral Development
Need to memorize Lawrence Kohlberg's stages of moral development really quickly? This is what you're looking for - a brief audio podcast in which I give you some crazy images that will stick in your mind for a really long time. You'll be surprised at how quickly you'll have the six stages memorized. Some of my listeners have actually said that the mnemonics have stuck in the stuck in their head for years! Whether you are studying for a psychology test or a nursing exam, you will find this a fun and effective way to learn. I challenge you to listen to this episode and then quiz yourself a few hours later. You'll be pleasantly surprised. Let's memorize!
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17 min
November 16, 2013
Ep 209: If Freud Worked in Tech Support
In this actual fake recording we hear how Freud might have handled your call to an anonymous technical support service. Can you identify each of the following Freudian techniques in this episode?
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7 min
November 2, 2013
Ep 207 (audio): The Psychology of Vine
Would you believe there's a lot of psychology you can fit into a 6 second vine? Well there is. In this video episode I show you a few of there vines I like and which are also good (unintended) demonstrates of a variety of psychological concepts. I think you'll have fun with this one.
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10 min
October 22, 2013
Ep 206: What It's Like to Have Autism - Interview with Alex Lowrey
Its time to hear from someone who has been diagnosed with autism what life is like. Alex Lowery joins us to talk about growing up with autism - about the heightened sensations, the frustrations of not being understood and what has helped him get to where he is today. At 20, Alex gives talks about his life. I think you'll get some fascinating insights.
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35 min
October 6, 2013
Ep 205: Secondhand Autism: What is it Like to Grow Up with an Autistic Sibling?
In this interview with Paul Brodie, author of Secondhand Autism, we talk about what it is like to grow up in a family with an autistic individual. As you can imagine, there are challenges, but ultimately there lessons to be learned about life. Listen to what Paul has to say about his brother Scott and to what it was like for Paul, his siblings and his parents - what they sacrificed and how they grew from it.
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38 min
September 27, 2013
Ep 204: The Psychology of Fundraising
How do you use psychology persuasion techniques to get people to contribute to your cause? That's what I discuss in this episode of The Psych Files. I'm trying to help my friend raise money and in doing so I employed a number of persuasion strategies to get people to help him out and I'm sure these ideas will be helpful to you as well. We'll look at how Cialdini's ideas can be applied to fundraising and we'll look at other topics you may have studied in a psychology class: goal setting, bystander apathy, and the need to generate excitement in order to persuade people to part with their money. I'll also look at the ethics of all this. Is it okay to use these strategies on people? When is it not okay? Hopefully an interesting an useful episode up ahead.
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34 min
September 13, 2013
Ep 203: Psychology of Dance & Growth Mindset
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15 min
September 13, 2013
Ep 202 (audio): How To Memorize Freud's Stages of Psychosexual Development
Need to memorize Freud's stages for a test? Here's a mnemonic that should do the trick. This is the audio version of video episode 202 in which the founder of psychoanalysis gives you a mnemonic and explains the 5 stages for you. Make sure to check out these other Psych Files episodes for psychology mnemonics: How to Memorize the Parts of the Brain, How to Memorize Erikson's Eight Stages, and How to Memorize Piaget's Stages of Cognitive Development. I love mnemonics here on The Psych Files so if you need to memorize anything else let me know!
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6 min
August 29, 2013
Ep 201: Mother Nature and Blaming the Victim
We know that many people have a tendency to blame victims even when something tragic and unexplainable happens to them. But did you know how easily this blaming can be triggered? If I were to describe a natural disaster and tell you about "mother nature's wrath" would you be more or less willing to help the victims? I'll also talk about two common occurrences in adolescence: the imaginary audience and the personal fable. Find out them in this episode of The Psych Files.
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23 min
August 16, 2013
Ep 200: Reflections on the 200 Show
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44 min
July 11, 2013
Ep 198: What's it Like to Work in Psychology?
A lot of people find psychology interesting. But what is it really like to work in the field? A tough question to answer because the field is so broad. In this episode of The Psych Files podcast I'll share my thoughts on the difference between learning about psychology and actually doing psychology as a career. It's a tough thing to capture because psychologists could spend their day doing psychotherapy, or working with inmates in prison, conducting research with children or doing complex statistical analyses. Some careers in psychology pay well while others pay poorly. A job in psychology can also cause burnout because of the heavy demands. I hope to give you some valuable things to think about it you're thinking about a career in psychology.
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28 min
June 27, 2013
Ep 197: Using the Word Guys for Women, Robots Helping the Elderly and Supernormal Foods
Should we stop using "Guys" to refer to groups of women and mixed sex groups? Why do we (particularly men) refer to many objects - like cars and boats - as "she"? Are everyday foods actually "SuperNormal" foods - created to be absolutely irresistible and therefore causing us to be overweight? Is it okay to employ robot to care for our elderly? And finally, how come the ending of a movie can "ruin the whole thing" if it's not a good ending? After all, you enjoyed most of the movie. In this episode I try to address these questions. We'll talk about all these things in this episode of The Psych Files.
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34 min
June 3, 2013
Ep 196: What Men Need to Do to End Violence Against Others
Are jail time and new laws the only answers to men's violence against women, children, and other men? Or is there something every man can do to end these tragedies? In an earlier episode of The Psych Files in which I discussed Blaming the Victim, I talked about why there's a tendency to blame victims and to overlook the Optimism Bias that we all share (particularly younger folks). But podcast listener and psychotherapist Jackie Henry felt that I didn't go far enough in that episode, and she was right. We - especially men - need to think carefully about the way we talk about women in our everyday lives. Was that joke really funny? Or was it one of the small ingredients that eventually adds up to - or contributes to - the ongoing violence and lack of empathy that those with power express toward those without it. We take up this important issue in this episode of The Psych files.
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40 min
April 17, 2013
Ep 194: What Do I/0 Psychologists Really Do? Testing and Evaluation
What do I/0 psychologists do anyway? Are you interested in this subfield of psychology? Well, here are a few things they DON'T do: they don't do "therapy in the workplace" and they don't do "motivational speaking". It's not what you think. Industrial/Organizational psychology is practiced by professionals who's goal is to make sure that employees are productive and - and here's what I'll focus on in this episode - that job applicants are chosen based upon the skills and personality characteristics that are relevant to the jobs they are applying for. Find out more in this episode of The Psych Files.
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33 min
April 10, 2013
Ep 193: Mindfulness Benefits on the GRE and at Work
There is a lot of talk about mindfulness among psychologists today. Find out what mindfulness is and how it differs from meditation in this episode of The Psych Files. What might you use mindfulness for? Well, in addition to what you might expect - reducing stress - mindfulness training is also being used to improve job satisfaction and productivity. Interested in increasing your score on the GRE? Being more mindful might also help out there as well.
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29 min
March 21, 2013
Ep 192: An Example of How Psychoanalysts Really Interpret Dreams
What do psychologists really think about your dreams - do they have meaning? In this episode I talk about what psychologists think today about dreams. You probably know that Freud thought that dreams had a manifest content (the people and things that happened in the dream that you remember) and a latent content (the unconscious meaning of the dream). Do we still think this? Also: can you look up in a book or online to find out what your dreams meant? If you dream about a cat for example - what does this mean? In this episode I explore these questions with author and psychoanalyst Kerry Malawista. She and her colleagues discuss this topic in their book, Wearing My Tutu To Analysis. I'll talk to her and include my own thoughts about whether or not dreams have meaning and whether you should be taking the time to analyze them.
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23 min
March 11, 2013
Ep 191: What Was B. F. Skinner Really Like?
Would you be surprised to learn that B.F. Skinner was a very likable guy and that you may actually be very much in agreement with his ideas? Many people who study psychology have a negative impression of Skinner. Well, I'm about to challenge those impressions by presenting a side of Skinner you probably haven't been exposed to. In these sound bytes you'll hear his ideas about learning to play music, about discovery, having fun and becoming the most that you can be.
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35 min
February 26, 2013
Ep 190: Why Do You Get So Absorbed in that Book (or Movie)?
Have you ever gotten to immersed in a book or movie that you actually felt like the character? Or you felt the character's pain or joy? Why does this happen? When does this happen? What is it about the book or the movie and its characters that draws us in like this? It's amazing isn't it? To be so moved like this. Psychologists have studied this experience and we have some ideas regarding what factors have to be present in order for this to happen. And would you believe that this understand might help us to combat racism and bullying? Pretty amazing stuff. Join me as I explore what psychologists call "experience taking".
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39 min
February 13, 2013
Ep 189: The Psych Files Brief #6 - Facebook Untagging, Money and Happiness, and Memory and Aging
We have some great articles covered in this episode so I hope you find them thought-provoking and leave your comments below! We cover four topics, all of which can be relevant to your everyday life.  First, a throwback to a previous episode on how to spend your money; experiences only beat out material possessions if they are spent with others. Social settings beat solitary settings every time.
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35 min
February 1, 2013
Ep 188: Psychologists Are Keeping You From Getting the Flu
Didn't get the flu this past winter? Thank a psychologist. What? Well, it could be that a psychologist was involved in helping health care professionals to do what they know they need to do (but sometimes don't): wash their hands. The issue here is persuasion and motivation: how to we get people to do something - and keep doing it? Health care workers like doctors and nurses can fall prey to the availability heuristic: they can easily remember times when they didn't wash their hands and they didn't get sick so they might develop an "illusion of invulnerability". How do psychologists get involved? Listen to this episode and find out!
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19 min
January 23, 2013
Ep 187: I'd Like to Have an Argument Please (critical thinking part 3)
How would you like to have an argument? Turns out that learning how to have a good argument might just be the best way to learn to think critically. In this episode I discuss a neat piece of research in which 7 and 8 year olds are taught how to effectively argue. And they do a darn good job of it as it turns out. Perhaps this is the way to teach our young people critical thinking: give them some great books to read - like The Giving Tree - and have them discuss what they think about it. The key ingredient: making sure that they fully understand the point of view of the other person. This'll be fun. I promise. Especially since I've got a couple funny clips from Monty Python's Argument Clinic sketch to help move things along.
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35 min
January 6, 2013
Ep 186: The Shootings at Newtown - Could We Have Prevented It?
Everyone was horrified to hear that an adolescent, Adam Lanza, walked into an elementary school and killed 20 children and 6 adults as well as killing himself. Many people have offered their view as to what was wrong with Adam and about what we could have done and should do to prevent these incidents. In this episode I'll share my concerns over what I think is going wrong with community mental health centers and why they probably would NOT have been able to help Adam, which is the extraordinary focus on productivity - the application of the factory model - to current mental health settings. I also introduce one approach that might help if more mental health centers adopted it, which is the "Sanctury Model".
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25 min
November 20, 2012
Ep 185: The Dynamics of Therapy: Transference and Counter Transference: An Interview with Kerry Malawista
Transference and Countertransference are two key concepts in psychoanalysis and they are fascinating. If you're interested in the therapy side of psychology - particularly psychoanalysis - this is the episode for you. Kerry Malawista, psychoanalyst and author, along with Anne Adeleman and Catherine Anderson, talks about their new book, "Wearing My Tutu To Analysis". In this episode we focus on two of the stories in the book, which focus on transference and countertransference.
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34 min
November 3, 2012
Ep 184: Critical Thinking Part 2 - Important? Yes. But Can We Teach It? Well….
In episode 183 I talked about what critical thinking is and why it's important. Now we talk about why it's so darn hard to teach and to use critical thinking in our everyday lives. In this episode I'll discuss Dr. Daniel Willingham's advice to teachers on what they can do to effectively teach critical thinking - something that couldn't be more important in today's world where misinformation is all around us. Make sure to take a look at the concept map below.
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31 min
October 28, 2012
Ep 183: Critical Thinking – Important? Yes. But Can We Teach It? Well….
Why does it concern psychologists that the Texas GOP platform recently opposed the teaching of critical thinking? Most of us have been told since we were very young that critical thinking is very important. Psychologists certainly agree and a lot of time spent in most psychology classes is spent learning how to think critically. Why is it such a central part of our classes? And here's a kicker: it might be a lot harder to teach it than we had hoped. Find out why critical thinking is so central to psychology. Sounds kinda dry? I think you'll find this a lot of fun (in a mental kind of way…).
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36 min
October 12, 2012
Ep 182: Gamification - Here's How To Do It
Maybe you've heard of gamification, but how do you do it exactly? How do you use game principles to increase people's motivation when they are doing everyday ordinary activities? Find out in this episode of The Psych Files when I show you how I would gamify an ordinary uHaul drive. Listen as I describe "uWin!". I'll first describe some gamification ideas and then show you how I'd put them to work in this rather ordinary truck driving situation. I'll think you'll have fun.
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35 min
September 24, 2012
Ep 181: How Does Self Talk Improve Your Game?
Let's talk sports psychology. When you participate in a sport do you talk to yourself? Do you try to "psych yourself up", or do you give yourself instructions on how to hold a part of your body or how much energy to exert or when to hold back? This is the kind of self-talk that psychologists study and it's interesting to learn when you say these things to yourself and when they'll be most effective. Also, some athletes feel that time slows down for them and they can really "see the ball". Every happen to you? Let's find out what's going on in your brain when these kinds of time illusions (or "chronostasis") events occur. Some fascinating stuff from the world of sports psychology
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27 min
August 28, 2012
Ep: 180 - Body Language: What Are Your Thumbs Revealing About You?
What is your body position revealing about you? Some things are obvious - you probably know that crossed arms indicate a certain distrust. There are also flirting gestures that I'll bet you think you know well (like women playing with their hair and men sticking out their chests), but what about your thumbs? My thumbs? Yes, you might well be revealing something about yourself by where you're putting them would you believe. Listen in as I talk with Craig Baxter, owner of the website All-About-Body-Language.com who will tell us a bit more about the fascinating topic of body language.
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42 min
August 13, 2012
Ep 179: Lipstick Effect, Stereotype Threat and other Gender Matters
Do women who work in typically male dominated jobs "play down" their femininity in order to be gain more respect from their male co-workers? In this episode we'll explore this stereotype threat as well as something you may not have heard of: the lipstick effect. How do men and women change their appearance or their behavior during times of economic depression? In this all-gender episode we look at these issues as well as why the new Volkswagen Beetle has changed its appearance. Yes, the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle has become more masculine, but why?
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37 min
July 3, 2012
Ep 178: What Does Embodied Cognition have to do with Baseballs and Robots?
There is a lot of talk these days about a fascinating idea called embodied cognition. What is it exactly? In this lively interview I talk with two people who are actively looking into this question. We discuss how the body and mind "talk" to each other when baseball players catch fly balls and what role psychology plays in the design of robots.
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46 min
June 24, 2012
EP 177: Why You Hate Psychology - Media Bias and Misunderstandings about How Science Works
In this follow-up to episode 176 I discuss two more reasons why I believe some people either don't like or just distrust psychology: 1) the belief that it is not a science, and 2) the belief - created by the media - that psychologists make a lot of money for giving out common sense advice. I hope you'll see that psychology is not unlike other sciences in that we study something extremely complex and yes, sometimes our findings are contradictory and they change over time. Also, the media focuses - as usual - on only the most unlikely behavior of psychologists (like having sex with patients) or portraying them as having messed up personal lives. Let's find out the truth (well, at least from one psychologist's perspective).
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27 min
June 19, 2012
EP 176: Why You Hate Psychology – Self Esteem Movement and Positive Thinking
Why do so many people have strongly negative feelings about the field of psychology? I think there are a handful of reasons and in this episode I talk about two of them: the so-called "self-esteem movement" and the "positive thinking" movement. Are psychologists responsible for why "kids today" appear to be so self-centered? Do psychologists think that changing yourself is as simple as just changing the way you think? Hear one psychologists opinion on this and my explanation on two reasons why I think maybe you hate psychology. Just hear me out.
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24 min
April 23, 2012
Ep 174: The First Replication of Daryl Bem's Research on Psychic Phenomenon
Have psychologists recently found evidence for the existence of psychic ability? Last year, well-known psychologist Daryl Bem published an article called Feeling the Future in which he describes a number of studies, all of which provided support for a kind of phi phenomenon he calls "retroactive influence". The research appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The article caused a storm of controversy and calls for changes to how research and the peer review process is conducted. I covered some of those recommendations in video episode 165 Psychological Research Under Fire. In this episode I interview the lead author, Stuart Ritchie, of the first published replication of one part of Bem's work. Listen as Stuart describes what he did and what he found on this very controversial topic.
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57 min
April 4, 2012
Ep 172: Interview with Natalie Nahai - The Web Psychologist
Did you know that you can apply your psychology skills to the development of effective websites? Meet one woman - Nathalie Nahai - who does exactly that and she has a background in not only psychology, but also Art, Physics and English Literature. She's putting all those together to help people improve their websites and the power of their online influence, which by the way, is the title of the book she's working on: The Psychology of Online Influence.
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31 min
March 8, 2012
Ep 171 Psych Files Brief #5: Yawning, Telling Jokes to Babies, Politics and Looks
A whole bunch of fascinating studies in this episode of The Psych Files! I cover the "Red Dress Effect", what exactly we're looking for in the facial characteristics of our leaders, how dark rooms might make you more likely to cheat, and how "contagious yawning" really works. Join me on this jaunt down some of the recent and fun research coming out of the fascinating field of psychology.
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36 min
February 15, 2012
Ep 170: Is the Web Making You More Narrow-Minded?
You probably know that sites like Facebook are using the information they have about you - like your age, gender and interests - to serve up ads that are most likely to appeal to you. That's a little bit harmless and perhaps even helpful. But how about the more subtle filtering that is going on that you may not be aware of? Search engines are using information they have about you to show you news that these search tools think will most likely appeal to you based on your previous search activities. The problem with that? You might find yourself living in a bubble - sheltered from ever hearing about things you might not agree with, but which might also open your mind a bit and make you what your parents always wanted for you - to be "well-rounded".
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26 min
January 3, 2012
Ep 167: The Fat Trap – How Not to Get Discouraged About the Difficulty of Losing Weight
Guess What? Bad news: if you've ever been overweight and you're trying to lose weight it's even harder than you think. Yikes. Pretty de-motivating. However, let's see what motivational psychologists would have to say about this. How to keep from throwing up your hands at the whole effort.
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17 min
December 31, 2011
Ep: 166: The Secret Life of Pronouns - an Interview with James Pennebaker
What do you reveal about yourself in the way you use the smallest and seemingly most insignificant words you use every minute? That's the focus of Dr. James Pennebaker's fascinating book and one of the most interesting psychology books of 2011: The Secret Life of Pronouns. If you're fascinated by language then you'll find this episode especially interesting.
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28 min
November 5, 2011
Ep 164: What’s So Disgusting About Poop?
Just about everyone finds poop disgusting right? So who finds it not so disgusting? Would you believe women in their 20s who are in the middle of their menstrual cycle, and who have motherhood as one of their goals in life? Disgust has become quite a popular topic in psychology lately. Join me as I discuss one of the more interesting studies that looks at how the intensity of our emotions can be affected by our nonconscious goals. MOre interesting than you might think really. And certainly not to be poo-pooed at…
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31 min
October 22, 2011
Ep 163: Psych Files Brief#4: Animals Smiling, Yogurt Destressing, and the Psychology of Success
Do animals smile? Do they feel emotions and if so how many kinds of feelings do they share with us? In this episode we also take a look at the probiotics in yogurt - how do they affect your thinking and do they might help protect you from stress. It turns out that these probiotics increase the production of the neurotransmitter GABA which helps quiet down your neurons. I also talk about the work of female psychologists: Carol Dweck on the psychology of success, and and a tribute to Evelyn Hooker whose research helped in removing homosexuality from the DSM in 1973.
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32 min
October 11, 2011
Ep 162: How to Spend Your Money and Truly Make Yourself HappyEp 162: How to Spend Your Money and Truly Make Yourself Happy
In episode 160 I discussed the first 2 ideas on how to spend your money wisely. In this episode I'll talk about 4 more great ideas on how to get the most from your money and 2 things you have to be careful about. Get the latest findings from positive psychologists like Elizabeth Dunn
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23 min
October 3, 2011
EP 161: Self Help You Can Believe In: Interview with Dr. Tim Wilson, Author of Redirect
Looking for a self-help book with some meat? One that won't insult your intelligence with flowery words and hyped up promises and pseudoscience? Take a look at the book Redirect by psychologist and author Tim Wilson. Redirect will give you a lot to think about and some new insights into human nature.
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35 min
September 6, 2011
EP 159 Psych Files Brief #3: Evidence in Favor of Affirmations? The Licensing Effect and the Power of Gossip
What's Wrong With a Little Gossip? While some research points out that gossipers are in general disliked, there is an upside: sharing negative gossip can actually help two people like each other better. In this episode we'll find out the benefits of sharing a tasty piece of negative gossip. The Licensing Effect If you take supplements you need to hear this news about how you might be using your taking of the supplements to "license" other activities that aren't so good for your health. Evidence in Favor of Affirmations? In a previous episode on self affirmations I presented some strongly negative evidence. However, in this study there might be a role for affirmations - especially in helping people with social anxiety to feel a bit more confident.
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32 min
August 19, 2011
Ep 158: Tired of Low Grades? 5 Ways to Raise Your Test Scores (and 1 Warning!)
But I studied!! Don't be frustrated with low grades. If you study RIGHT you will get good grades. What does that mean to study right? I've got 5 techniques that will help you get better grades and one very important warning about something you may be doing that you have to stop! Find out how to study right in this episode of The Psych Files.
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30 min
August 10, 2011
Ep 157: Do Pets and Religion Make You Happier?
You hear a lot these days about how pets make us happy. This is called the "pet effect". But is it so? The answer appears to be a qualified yes. But in what ways do pets make us happy? How strong is their effect on our lives? Also, how about religion? We also hear that religious people are happier, but is this true everywhere in the US or everywhere in the world? Why does religion make us happy and in what societies are people likely to benefit from this "religion effect"? Finally, some helpful advice on getting into grad school.
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36 min
July 29, 2011
Ep 156: Grad School in Psychology: What's It Like and How To Get In?
What do you have to do to get into grad school in Psychology? A lot of people apply. Who ARE these people and how are you going to stand out among them? Meet one future grad student - Erin Breedlove - who is a college junior and she's already positioned herself very well for grad school. How did she do it? What is she doing that you ought to do? And how, of all things, is she using Twitter to get into grad school?
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30 min
July 19, 2011
Ep 155: On Cuddling, Baths, Google, Body Language and Phantom Cell Phone Vibration - Psych Files Brief #2
Is cuddling good - especially for men - in marriage? Do baths make you feel less lonely, is Google really making you stupid, how does your body language affect your feelings, and....is that your cell phone vibrating? In this 2nd Psych Files brief I take a look at some of the more interesting psychological research circling around the web this past month.
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32 min
July 8, 2011
Ep 154: 5 Reasons Why Casey Anthony MIGHT Be Innocent
The trial of accused child murdered Casey Anthony is over and Casey was found not guilty. Most people are extremely upset because she appeared to be guilty for many reasons. I give you 5 reasons why Casey Anthony might not be guilty. None of these are based on evidence, but instead on what might be going on inside your mind that made you think she was guilty. Caution: open mindedness required!
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28 min
June 28, 2011
The REAL Truth About Why You Support (or Oppose) Gay Marriage - Episode 153
What is the REAL reason why you either support or oppose gay marriage? We may give logical reasons for our opinions, but the roots behind your opinion lies - where else? - in your past. So let's dive into your mind as we always do here in the Psych Files and learn how our attitudes develop over time and how strong attitudes especially come to be held.
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24 min
June 21, 2011
How Do You Change Your Behavior? Interview with Scott Milford Episode 152
How does Behavior Modification work? Find out in this episode as I interview Scott Milford, author of the Behavior and Motivation website. If you're about how to apply Psychology to everyday life then this is the guy to show you how he does it. In this episode we talk about how to get kids to practice the piano, but you'll quickly see how this approach could be applied to all kinds of other life challenges. Scott developed his approach over many years of working with young people both at the piano and with at-risk adolescents in school. See how Psychology can be put to work!
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25 min
June 7, 2011
Audio: Object Permanence - Does Your Dog Have It? Episode 150
Piaget's concept of object permanence is essential to understand. But how did they study this idea among 1 year olds? Obviously children can't tell you that they believe that something no longer exists when they can't see it, so how do we know what is going on inside a child's mind? How about this challenge: do animals also understand object permanence? If you've ever seen your cat or dog look under or around objects for a lost toy then yes - you've seen that they do understand object permanence. How can you study object permanence - or a related idea called "expectancy violation" - in animals? Let's take a look in this 150 episode of The Psych Files.
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16 min
May 31, 2011
Date Rape: How Can We Prevent It? Episode 149
You've probably heard of many times when people knew that someone was hurt or might be hurt and they did not help. How can we prevent that from happening? You may have learned about bystander apathy and the concept of diffusion of responsibility. But now what do we DO with what we know? How can we put that knowledge into action? Meet Vicky Banyard and see what she and her colleagues at the University of New Hampshire are doing with a program called Bring in the Bystander.
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32 min
May 22, 2011
What Can We Do To End Anti-Gay Bullying in Schools? Episode 148
What can we do to end bullying against gays? There is a shocking increase in the number of young homosexuals who are commit suicide. Many anti-bullying programs don't work and in this episode I talk to Dr. Elizabeth J. Meyer of Concordia University about what can be done. No one should be bullied and we all need to care about those who are bullied to the point of considering suicide.
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34 min
May 18, 2011
On Yawning, Swearing, Credit Cards and Sex: Psych Files Brief #1
In this first Psych Files Brief episode, we look at whether swearing actually reduces your sensation of pain (ever stub your toe?), whether or not vertical stripes actually do make you look thinner (no surprise - the answer is no), whether you're more likely to run up that credit card when you're feeling low, and why is it (and when is it) that yawns become contagious?
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22 min
May 12, 2011
Borderline Personality: What is it? Could Your Cell Phone Help Deal With It? Episode 146
Borderline Personality Disorder is a difficult disorder to understand and treat. Briefly, people who suffer from BPD tend to have a heightened sensitivity to rejection. When they feel that they are being rejected they can react with strong feelings of anger. Their emotions can be very intense and vary widely during the day. This can also make their relationships very unstable. They can also be very impulsive. However, a recent fascinating piece of research used a mobile device and what's called an "experience sampling" technique to gain further insight into what it is like to have BPD. In this episode I discuss that research and then wonder what else we might be able to learn as our mobile devices become even more powerful.
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27 min
April 12, 2011
Why a Tiger Mom Approach to Parenting Does NOT Work: Episode 145
Feeling guilty about not being a "Tiger Mom" (or Dad)? Let me give you 3 reasons why you don't have to feel that way. Get yourself ready for the next time that someone says that you (or parents in general) have to be tougher on our kids. You've probably heard about the authoritarian parenting style advocated by Amy Chua in her Tiger Mom book. Lots of Americans think she has good point that the problems with American kids is that they are being raised with too much leeway, and that we're not being tough enough on them. The reason, they say, that our Math scores are too low is that we're not strict enough and we don't have high expectations for our children. Are they right? Or are there other ways that our children are being successful that we don't take into account? If you're feeling discouraged about parenting let me raise your spirits.
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30 min
March 25, 2011
Episode 144: The Drowsy Chaperone Holds the Key to Life!
Americans spend billions of dollars on self-help products each year, but does someone else hold the answers to your questions about what your life is all about? Join me as I discuss a fascinating book called If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him!. We also see how a wonderful recent broadway musical, The Drowsy Chaperone has some very intriguing things to say about life. Could it be that there is some existentialism in that musical? Listen to this episode to find out.
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25 min
March 19, 2011
Episode 143: EMDR - An Interview with Founder Francine Shapiro
Curious about EMDR? Listen to this interview with the founder of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Dr. Francine Shapiro talk about EMDR and how it is different from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is an intriguing and unique type of therapy and if you want to learn more about it you've come to the right place.
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24 min
March 6, 2011
Episode 142: How To Make Jobs More Satisfying and Motivating
Do you have a dull job? Wonder how it can be made more motivating? That's the challenge - how can we make jobs that are typically not much fun (like an assembly line job) more interesting to do? This is one of the challenges facing I/O psychologists and in this episode I discuss the Job Characteristics theory by Hackman and Oldham and apply it to assembly line jobs in China where your iPhone is made and where a record number of suicides have occurred over the past few years. Can we use job redesign to make such jobs more tolerable?
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19 min
February 27, 2011
Episode 141: Psychology Gets Smart: A New Kind of Lie Detector?
Join me as I describe a psychological study that tested a new kind of lie detector. The study involved Agents, Missions, an Interception, and a mysterious package. This is psychology? You better believe it.
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18 min
February 6, 2011
Episode 140: Psychoanalyzing Jack Lalanne
In this episode I put Jack Lalanne on the couch. I take selections from several of his vidoes and see what they reveal about his personality. He was clearly passionate about exercise, but what drove this passion? What was his underlying motivation? I suggest that his relationship with his father was crucial to his passion for exercise and fitness. Join me as I do a little armchair psychoanalysis of Jack Lalanne.
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27 min
January 23, 2011
Episode 139: Blaming the Victim in Reverse - the Justice Motive
I'll bet you've heard of the expression, "Whatever doesn't kill you...", or "Suffering is good for the soul". Could these expression represent another way that we deal with our own anxiety after we hear about someone else's tragedy?
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20 min
December 23, 2010
Episode 138: Zombies - 6 Reasons Why We Are So Fascinated By Them
Have you watched the TV show Walking Dead or ever seen a movie about Zombies (perhaps Zombieland or Dawn of the Dead? What is so fascinating about the undead? Why do many of us get a strange pleasure out of seeing a zombie get killed? In this episode I explore that strange part of ourselves which for some reason seems to enjoy watching the undead get really dead.
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41 min
December 13, 2010
Episode 137: Objectivity and the Scientific Impotence Excuse
Can science study love? Are we able to scientifically determine what romance is all about? There seem to be times, particularly when people hold strong beliefs, that we just don't want to hear what scientists have to say. We talk a lot these days about the importance of objectivity, but are people - even scientists - capable of being objective? In this episode I'll talk about the scientific impotence excuse. Another interesting cognitive bias we seem to carry around with us.
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26 min
November 28, 2010
Episode 136: Adele Faber Interview on Parenting (Part 2)
In part 2 of my interview with Adele Faber, co-author along with Elaine Mazlish of "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" we talk about what do do when you've got nothing left emotionally to give to your children, how to handle foul language, how to problem solve with your children, and being authentic with your children about own feelings. Finally, Adele gives her opinion on whether or not we need to be tougher with our children.
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38 min
November 19, 2010
Episode 135: Adele Faber Interview on Parenting (Part 1)
Are you familiar with Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish's classic book "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk"? You should be. It's not just for parents. The ideas in this book and in their other books should be required reading for all of us, but especially for parents, therapists and anyone interested in what we can do to better communicate with each other. I think you will be as charmed as I was listening to Adele and I encourage you to listen to part 2 of this interview (to be released in about a week).
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28 min
November 2, 2010
Episode 134: Hypnosis - Myth and Reality
What do you think of hypnosis? might you be surprised to hear that it has been accepted by the American Psychological Association? Hypnosis has a fascinating and controversial history but today it deserves some respect. Still, it's not a cure-all. Take a trip with me through the history of this fascinating topic on The Psych Files.
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39 min
October 22, 2010
Episode 133: Replace Your Doctor With a Robot?
Are you embarrassed to take your clothes off in front of your doctor? Most of us are. Well, what if your doctor was a robot? Would this make it easier or harder to remove your clothes? Before you answer - would it matter if the robot looked like a real person or if it looked like R2-D2? That's the question we examine this week on The Psych Files.
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21 min
October 8, 2010
Episode 132: Opera Singing on the Brain
What part of your brain is lighting up when you're singing? In this episode I take a look at a neat new study that involved having singers lie down in an MRI while their brains were scanned.
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15 min
September 16, 2010
Episode 131: Even Children Do Statistics!
Here's a fun piece of psychological research: finding out whether children use statistical information to figure out other people. We know kids are very perceptive and learn quickly. This study shows just how smart they really are.
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31 min
July 13, 2010
Episode 128: Do Brain Training Games Work?
You've probably heard about these Brain Training games. Do they really help you to keep your mind sharp? Will they prevent cognitive decline or slow the effects of alzheimer's disease? In this episode I review some recent studies on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of these popular games.
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20 min
June 7, 2010
Episode 125: False Memories - How Can Your Memory Be So Bad?
For some reason we believe that our memories are accurate. They are far from it. What we remember is a hodge-podge, a patchwork of images, stories, and bits and pieces from our past. In this episode I describe some of the very interesting research showing how our memories can be manipulated in surprising ways. Learn why you loved asparagus as a kid (really you did, really).
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34 min
May 31, 2010
Episode 124: Flashbulb Memories - Are They As Accurate As We Think?
Would you be surprised if I told you that your memories of the attacks on September 11, 2001 are inaccurate? How much of what you remember of that day or of other Flashbulb Memories actually happened? Where were you, for example, when the Challenger shuttle blew up? Or when Princess Diana died? Join me as I explore the research that reveals how inaccurate our memories are (no matter how confident we feel). And by the way, was President Bush involved in a conspiracy over the events of September 11? Let's find out.
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23 min
April 22, 2010
Episode 122: DSM-V and On Being Sane - Are Psychiatric Labels Really Harmful?
What does the movie Shrek have to do with labeling, psychiatric illness and the self-fulfilling prophecy? In this episode I take a close look at the well-known Rosenhan study. This was the study in which pseudopatients pretend to hear voices and on the basis of this they get admitted to psychiatric centers. Then they were told to act normally. It took an average of 19 days for these pseudopatients to be discharged from the hospital and even then they were diagnosed as schizophrenia in remission. Does this study show that psychiatric diagnoses are not only useless but also possibly harmful? Or do we find what we found back in episode 47 on Little Albert, and what we found in episode 36 on Kitty Genovese that what we thought we knew is largely wrong.
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34 min
March 29, 2010
Episode 120: Big Words Make You Look Less Intelligent
Have you ever deliberately replaced small words with bigger ones in order to sound more intelligent? Guess what - it usually doesn't work. In a series of studies Daniel Oppenheimer showed that writers actually came across as less intelligent when they used big words where smaller ones would have worked just as well. The bottom line: take the time to understand what you want to say and then say it in plain, ordinary language.
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28 min
March 23, 2010
Episode 119: Are You Lying in that Email?
Have you ever been less than truthful in an email? Or perhaps a little more blunt or emotional than you might have been if you delivered your message in person? Why is it that people can sometimes be so mean in their online comments? In this episode I explore why we communicate differently in the online world than we do in person by discussing an article on the finer points of lying online.
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22 min
March 12, 2010
Episode 118: Are You REALLY Listening? Sanford Meisner, Acting and Psychology
A lot of people get into psychology because they think they are good listeners, but are you really a good listener? What does it mean to be a good listener? In this episode I look at a fascinating acting exercise created by Sanford Meisner called the "repetition exercise" which trains actors how to truly listen. Are you as good a listener as these trained actors?
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25 min
February 23, 2010
Episode 117: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - An Interview with Bobbi
What is it like to live with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD? Listen to this interview with a young woman who deals with OCD every day and you'll get a much better understanding of what OCD is like. You have probably heard of the term OCD and perhaps you've seen shows like Monk or you've seen characters on TV and in the movies who show symptoms of obsessional thoughts or compulsive behaviors and perhaps you've wondered yourself about some of your own thoughts and behaviors.
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27 min
February 12, 2010
Episode 116: Social Loafing - Don't Be a Sucker or a Free Loader!
Do you like working in a group? Most people don't because they're afraid that they'll have to do most of the work (wind up being a sucker) and that other group members won't do their share of the work (free loaders). Want to find out how to avoid this and make your group work productive? Learn how the Agile software development technique can be adapted to your help your next group project be a success.
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27 min
January 5, 2010
Episode 114: Finding Little Albert
Little Albert - one of the most famous subjects in the history of psychology - has finally been identified. Researchers spent 7 years tracking down every possible lead in order to discover who John Watson's "Albert B" really was. In this video episode I take you through each step of the extensive detective work to uncover his identity. It's a fascinating, creative, and in the end touching journey. Some never seen before pictures are included. Join me in this episode of The Psych Files.
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19 min
December 28, 2009
Episode 113: Interview with Scott Lilienfeld on the 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology
I interview Dr. Scott Lilienfeld, author of 50 Myths of Popular Psychology and we talk about, a) whether the polygraph actually works, b) whether women really talk more than men, c) does handwriting analysis reveals your personality and d) when you're taking a multiple choice test should you change your first answer or leave it alone? Along the way we also talk about whether the full moon really does make people act strangely (and cause more dog bites). Finally, Dr. Lilienfeld provides his opinion on whether psychotherapists need to be more up-to-date on the scientific research behind the various types of psychotherapy.
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44 min
December 17, 2009
Episode 112: Evolutionary Psychology - David Buss Responds to Critics Part 2
In part 2 of my interview with David Buss, he responds to more criticisms of evolutionary psychology. Here's what we cover: a) does evolutionary psychology just give criminals another reason not to take responsibility for themselves?, b) is all the research in evolutionary psychology done on American college students?, c) are evolutionary psychology theories falsifiable? We cover such topics as whether women's mate strategies change depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle? and How does evolutionary psychology might explain homosexuality? and what does evolutionary psychology say about cultural differences in the desire for women with a low waist-hip ratio? All in this episode of The Psych Files.
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27 min
December 6, 2009
Episode 111: Evolutionary Psychology - David Buss Responds to Critics
There has been a lot of criticism of evolutionary psychology. How do researchers respond? One of the leading researchers in this field - Dr. David Buss of the University of Texas responds to these critics in part 1 of this 2 part episode. Find out how he responds to these questions: a) is evolutionary psychology sexist?, b) doesn't evolutionary psychology just give people the ammunition they need to not take responsibility for themselves? c) theories from evolutionary psychology are not falsifiable, this it's not scientific and d) human society is always changing - it hasn't been stable enough long enough for any human behavior to have evolved.
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29 min
November 22, 2009
Episode 110: Narcissism Among Celebrities, on Facebook and in Shakespeare
Are celebrities really more narcissistic than you are? Is your Facebook page telling the world that you are a narcissist? And finally: who is Shakespeare's most narcissistic character? I'll give you a hint: the character can be found in Twelfth Night. In this episode of The Psych Files I look at the concept of narcissism and how you can see it in everyday life.
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29 min
October 26, 2009
Episode 108: More Harm Than Good? Kubler-Ross' Five Stages of Grief
Almost everyone has heard of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, her book On Death and Dying, and her five stages of grief. But are these stages accurate? Could the five stages of grief actually be doing more harm than good? Are they helping us to better understand what dying people go through or are they making it more difficult for us to truly understand and relate to them? Find out in this episode of The Psych Files.
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31 min
October 18, 2009
Episode 107: Freud, Projective Tests and .... Poetry
How do the Rorschach, the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the House, Tree Person tests work? Do you reveal something about yourself when you tell stories about pictures or tell what you see in an inkblot or even when you do something as seemingly innocent as drawing a picture of a house? In this episode I try to answer these questions as well as show you how a wonderful poem called How It Will End by Denise Duhamel could be an excellent example of psychology in everyday life.
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35 min
October 12, 2009
Episode 106: Your Sexual Orientation - How Did It Develop?
How did you get to be heterosexual? Homosexual? Bisexual? Was it nature or nurture (or both?). Were you born with a sexual orientation or did it develop as you grew? What role did your parents play? In this episode I present the most recent scientific research on the topic of how we develop our sexual preference. You'll find out whether heterosexual men have more testosterone than homosexual men, how most people know their sexual orientation when they are as young as 10 years old, how your third intersitial nucleus might be playing a role and finally, finally, could it something to do with the length of your fingers?
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33 min
September 10, 2009
Episode 104: Can Positive Affirmations Improve Your Self Esteem?
Can positive affirmations really help raise your self esteem? People use daily affirmations and money affirmations to help them feel more confident, build their self-esteem and bring positive events into their lives. But do they really work? If not, then what will?
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24 min
August 30, 2009
Episode 103: Raising Children - Interview with Author Jamie Raser
Having trouble raising your children? Join the crowd. There are lots and lots of parenting books out there, but here's one I think you should know about. It's called Raising Children You Can Live With by Jamie Raser. He has an approach to parenting that is not about picking your battles, but about staying out of battles altogether and talking with your child in a way that doesn't lead to shouting, screaming and anger. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Listen to Jamie Raser talk about his ideas in this episode of The Psych Files.
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32 min
August 1, 2009
Episode 101: The Psychology of Music: The Role of Expectations and Minor Chords
How does music affect us emotionally? Why do minor chords sound so sad? In this episode of The Psych Files I explore ideas from Daniel Leviton's fascinating book, Your Brain on Music, especially those ideas concerned with what composers do to draw you into their music by first conforming to your musical expectations and then carefully confounding them in order to surprise and delight. I talk with guitarist and composer David Temple to get his perspective on this process as well. Along the way you'll hear excerpts from some fascinating pieces of music and David and I will discuss what makes them so compelling, especially those in the minor key. My My piano playing skills are pretty rough but get ready for some fun.
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45 min
July 20, 2009
Episode 100: Reflections on 100 Episodes of The Psych Files
Well, it's here - episode 100. I take this time to reflect on which episodes have made the most impact on the podcast and the episodes and listeners that have taught me the most. Also, I provide a little background on how the podcast is produced, along with what programs and equipment are used. Thank you to everyone who has emailed me over the years to provide feedback and thanks to everyone else for being listeners and contributing to the success of The Psych Files!
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50 min
July 15, 2009
Episode 99: Animal Emotions - Does Your Pet Really Have Feelings?
Does your dog have thoughts and feelings? How about your cat? In this episode we find out what scientists have to say about how we should study this question. I also review a fascinating new study by Dr. Alexandra Horowitz of Barnard College who studied whether or not dogs who have that guilty look actually do feel guilty. We take a look at the idea of anthropomorphism and your dog in this episode of The Psych Files.
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27 min
June 20, 2009
Episode 98: Evolutionary Psychology - An Interview with Dr. David Buss
Do you know your own mate value in the dating world? Curious about evolutionary psychology? In this interview with Dr. David Buss we discuss a number of interesting and controversial topics, such as the matching hypothesis and date rape. Are there evolutionary roots to the battle of the sexes and can we change our behavior? Find out in this interview.
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41 min
June 8, 2009
Episode 97: Stanley Milgram Obedience Study Finally Replicated
The obedience studies originally conducted by Stanley Milgram (sometimes referred to as the Milgram Shock studies) have finally been replicated in a university setting. Will people obey an authority figure and give a stranger a dangerous shock? Or have things changed in the last 40 years such that people will be more willing to be disobedient to authority? Even if you are familiar with the Milgram Obedience studies I guarantee you will learn something new in this podcast. I certainly did. Don't miss this episode of The Psych Files as I review both the original Milgram obedience study and the new study conducted by professor Jerry Burger at Santa Clara University.
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41 min
May 19, 2009
Episode 94: How Do You Learn to Act Like a Woman or like a Man?
How do we learn to act in what are called gender appropriate ways? How did you learn to act like a girl and then a woman? Or like a boy and then like a man? Did you experience either penis envy or womb envy? Did this happen as a result of what Freud would call an oedipal complex or perhaps does our tendency to behave in stereotypical masculine and feminine ways come about more simply as a result of watching other males and females in your family, among your friends and on TV? In this episode of The Psych Files we look at the interesting and complex issue of gender identity.
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27 min
May 13, 2009
Episode 93: Your Brain on a Website
How can you use psychology to design a website so people are likely to buy products from you? Or design a website so people are likely to donate money to your cause? In this episode Dr Susan Weinschenk discusses some of these ideas from her book Neuro Web Design. Ever thought you could apply brain science to web design? Find out how in this episode of The Psych Files.
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47 min
April 24, 2009
Episode 92: Passion For Your Work is Overrated
Everyone tells you that you should have "passion for your work". Personally, I think that's a bunch of malarky, balderdash and hooey. And much of it could be the fault of psychologists. You might actually enjoy work that you never dreamed could make you happy. In this episode I talk about what Mike Rowe of the show Dirty Jobs had to say about work and how that ties into the work of Dan Gilbert (author of Stumbling On Happiness).
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18 min
April 14, 2009
Episode 91: The Psychology of Effective Meetings
Do you hate meetings as much as I do? How do you make them work? Business people and students often hate meetings and group projects because it's hard to get everyone to participate and it's hard to just get things done. In this episode of The Psych Files I show the many connections between a typical Introductory Psychology textbook and the everyday event of a business or group meeting. In the end I talk with professional project manager April Montana who shares with you some of her secrets to making group members get things done.
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34 min
March 29, 2009
Episode 90: The Learning Styles Myth: An Interview with Daniel Willingham
Guess what? There's no such thing as a learning style! Don't believe it? Listen to this interview with professor and author Daniel Willingham as he and I discuss the topic of learning styles. If there is no scientific support for learning styles then whey do we believe they must exist? We also discuss the multiple intelligence. While there is support for this idea, many people are confused as to what Howard Gardner really says about his own theory. Let's see if we can set the record straight about learning styles, abilities, and intelligences in this episode of The Psych Files.
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40 min
March 16, 2009
Episode 89: Don't Touch That Dial! Why You Should Love Commercials
Watching commercials actually increases your enjoyment of the show. Do you believe it? Did you, like myself, pay good money on a Tivo or video digital recorder just so you could avoid commercials? Well, before you skip passed those commercials check out this episode of The Psych Files.
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23 min
March 7, 2009
Episode 88: Sexual Harassment: Who is Most Likely to be a Victim?
Who is most likely to be a victim of sexual harassment? Is it the attractive female secretary? The attractive female employee by a man who is higher up in the organizational hierarchy? These are the stereotypes that many people hold but there may be qualities that some women have that make some men uncomfortable and this may result in sexual harassment. Learn more about this complex issue in this episode of The Psych Files.
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21 min
February 27, 2009
Episode 87: Manhood: Are You A "Real Man"?
Why does it seem that males in many cultures have to prove their manhood? Do women have to prove their womanhood? Why is this and what happens when men feel like they are less than a man? In this review of a recent research article entitled, Precarious Manhood, we take a look at this intriguing issue.
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27 min
January 30, 2009
Episode 85: How to Make Learning Fun Again? Constructivism and Democratic Schools - Part 2
What the heck is constructivism anyway? In this episode I explore that topic with Dr. Eugene Geist. We also explore what some would consider a radical concept in education:democratic schools. What would happen if we let children decide how they wanted to learn? Complete Chaos? Or an exciting new way to get students involved in and taking responsibility for learning? Find out in this episode of The Psych Files.
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26 min
January 19, 2009
Episode 84: How To Make Learning Fun Again Part 1 - Piaget
How can we make learning as fun as it was when you were a child? We can. Listen to Dr. Eugene Geist as he explains the cognitive development theories of Jean Piaget and you'll understand why we are all geared to learn. We actively seek out learning experiences. How can we keep that excitement alive? Find out in this episode and in the episodes to follow as we examine ideas such as constructivism, problem-based learning, inquiry-based learning and democratic schools. This episode will also be helpful if you need to learn the different stages of Piaget's theory of cognitive development.
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30 min
December 29, 2008
Episode 82: What's the Best Personality to be a Waiter?
What kind of personality do you need to be a good waiter/waitress? In a previous episode we talked about the tactics: touching customers, drawing smiley faces on bills, crouching down to the customer's level, etc. But these strategies don't always work, so what kind of person do you need to be? We find out in this episode as we explore the personality trait called the Self-Monitoring personality.
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30 min
December 9, 2008
Episode 81: Talking (and not Talking) in Psychotherapy - Part 2
Are you interested in play therapy or therapy with children and adolescents? Do you have a child in therapy and you wonder how playing with toys is going to possibly help you child? Learn more about therapy with children and adolescents in this episode of The Psych Files. In part 2 I interview Dr. Martha Strauss - experienced therapist and author of No Talk Therapy and the book Adolescent Girls in Crisis. In this part of the interview Dr. Strauss talks specifically about No Talk therapy and how she explains her work to the parents of her clients. Come have a listen to an experienced therapist talk about her work.
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28 min
December 8, 2008
Episode 80: Talking (and not Talking) in Psychotherapy - Part 1
Are you interested in play therapy or therapy with children and adolescents? Do you have a child in therapy and you wonder how playing with toys is going to possibly help you child? Learn more about therapy with children and adolescents in this episode of The Psych Files. In part 1 I interview Dr. Martha Strauss - experienced therapist and author of No Talk Therapy and the book Adolescent Girls in Crisis. If you've ever wondered what psychotherapists do and say in therapy then this episode is for you. We also touch upon evidence based treatment, goals in therapy, and parent expectations of therapists. Come have a listen to an experienced therapist talk about her work.
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35 min
November 24, 2008
Episode 79: Models of Leadership - Joan of Arc, Alexander the Great and Ginger the Chicken?
Who's the best role model for a leader? How about a chicken? In this episode of The Psych Files we examine Ginger from the movie Chicken Run to see how she embodies some of the best qualities of a leader. I'll apply several leadership theories to Ginger and her vision.
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37 min
November 11, 2008
Episode 78: The Psychology of Tipping
How can a waiter increase his tips? Would you believe that psychologists have devoted a great deal of research to this question? We've looked at the effect of smiley faces, touching, telling jokes, giving customers a fun task to do, drawing suns (yes, suns) on checks and many others. Join me as we take a look at what waiters and waitresses can do to increase the amount of the tip their customers give them.
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36 min
November 3, 2008
Episode 77: Lost at School - An Interview with Ross Green Part 2
Still looking for an alternative to Time out? If you are a teacher, a childcare worker, or anyone who works with kids and is frustrated at the fact that for some children time out just doesn't work. In fact, for some kids time out may actually be a reward because of the popularity it may provide for them from other kids. If you're worried that time out is not helping, and that the child is headed down a road of developing a personal identity that includes rebel or troublemaker and the end of that road can only be jail, then you need to listen to Dr. Ross Green talk about Collaborative Problem Solving. We need to treat children different today and this approach holds a lot of insights into that new approach.
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34 min
October 29, 2008
Episode 76: Lost at School - An Interview with Ross Green Part 1
Dr. Ross Green, author of The Explosive Child, has just published his second book, Lost at School in which he shows how the principles of Collaborative Problem Solving can be used by teachers and other caregivers in school settings. If timeout hasn't worked for you as a parent or teacher, and especially if you're a teacher dealing with "problem kids", then perhaps you should look into Collaborative Problem Solving. Join me for another fascinating interview with Dr. Ross Green.
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28 min
October 21, 2008
Episode 75: Science Proves Subliminal Tapes Work! Well....not really
Do subliminal messages in self-help tapes really work? There actually is some evidence that people can be influenced by subliminal messages. Can your self-esteem be raised with subliminal tapes? Can subliminal persuasion help you lose weight? Are there even subliminal messages in Disney files?? Are there subliminal messages in advertising that can make you buy certain products? These questions answered once and for all at The Psych Files podcast.
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27 min
October 7, 2008
Episode 74: Social Influence in a Virtual World - A Virtual Door in the Face
The Foot in the Door and the Door in the Face are two classic social influence techniques that have been heavily studied by psychologists. However, until now, no one has attempted them in a virtual world. Join me for this fascinating conversation with Paul Eastwick, who along with Dr. Wendy Gardner from Northwestern University ventured into There.com to see if these very effective real-world techniques were equally effective on avatars.
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29 min
October 2, 2008
Episode 73: On the Folly of….Politics
On The Folly of Rewarding A While Hoping For B is a well known article by Steven Kerr that appeared in The Academy of Management Executive. Want an example of how insightful Steven Kerr was with this article that is still relevant today? Look no further than the US election and Comedy Central.
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21 min
September 18, 2008
Episode 71: Horse Sense or Nonsense? Clever Hans is Alive and Well
Can horses be used for corporate training or is this nonsense? If you listened to the NPR piece called, "Horse Sense: New Breed Of Executive Training" you might have had the same reaction I did: sounds a little "fishy". Find out why "Clever Hans" just might be alive and well in the field of management training.
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27 min
September 10, 2008
Episode 70: Coincidence or Synchronicity? You Be The Judge
Have you heard that president Abraham Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and president John F. Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln? In this episode of The Psych Files we explore strange coincidences like this one and we also examine Carl Jung's concept of Synchronicity. Does it mean that everything happens for a reason - or is the idea more complex than that? Let's find out. Oh and by the way - turns out Lincoln never had a secretary named Kennedy. This and more revealed on The Psych Files podcast.
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40 min
September 2, 2008
Episode 69: Personal Space Invasions - Ethical Implications of one of Psychology's Strangest Studies
Remember the psychological study conducted in a men's room? Think it was silly? Unethical? Let's revisit this study and take a close look at what the critics say and what the authors themselves have to say in response. A fascinating look at the ethics and history of research in psychology.
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33 min
August 13, 2008
Episode 67: The Olympic Silver Medal? What a Bummer!
Psychologists say that winning the silver medal - coming in second - is actually less satisfying than coming in third - the bronze. Why is that? Sounds weird, but it also sounds right, doesn't it? Have you ever come in second in a contest or received an A- instead of an A? Find out why winning the silver is...a bummer.
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20 min
August 11, 2008
Episode 66: What to do about Mom? Personal Control and Aging
Do nursing homes and assisted living facilities have to be so depressing? Is there a way to help senior citizens have more energy and more enthusiasm for life? What do psychologists know that you should know about how to help the elderly feel good about life? It has to do with the concept of personal control (also referred to as locus of control). Learn about it in this review of a classic study in psychology. This week on The Psych Files podcast.
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20 min
July 30, 2008
Episode 65: God and Self Help, Synchronicity, and Listener Feedback
Some of the most popular self help books such as the Power of Positive Thinking and A Course in Miracles rely on references to god and religion. In this episode I add a few thoughts to the previous episode on how scientists view self help books which rely on references to god. I also share emails listeners send to me and I let you know how I will be adjusting The Psych Files podcast in response to your feedback.
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30 min
July 21, 2008
Episode 64: A Scientist Goes Looking for a Self Help Book....
Self Help books: there are so many such books out there. How do you choose? Can they cure depression? Help you lose weight? Stop smoking? Can they replace psychotherapy? Find out how critical thinking can help you weed out the best self-help book. Here's a list of the top 14 things that really bother psychologists or any scientists about self-help books. Agree? Disagree? Want to add something to the list?
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32 min
July 14, 2008
Episode 63: Cognitive Dissonance, the Monty Hall Problem and a Possible Solution?
Cognitive Dissonance - one of the most established and respected theories in psychology - is under attack. An economist - M. Keith Chen - uses what is called the "Monty Hall problem" to show that the research on cognitive dissonance may be seriously flawed. In this episode I explain Chen's concerns about the research on and then I propose that a new study which uses neurofeedback to study cognitive dissonance may come to rescue at just the right moment. Join me to find out how.
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32 min
July 8, 2008
Episode 62: Sustainability and Human Behavior
Sustainability - what does it mean? Are you concerned about how human beings are using up our natural resources and are you perhaps worried about the future of our planet? Listen to Dr. Deborah Rowe talk about this concept of sustainability - "Meeting the needs of the present while allowing future generations to meet theirs". Find out what this movement has to do with psychology and get information in case you're interested in being active (or perhaps finding a job) in this cause. This week on The Psych Files podcast.
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30 min
June 24, 2008
Episode 61: The Mozart Effect - Is There Anything To It? Part 2
This is part 2 of my interview with Dr. Kenneth Steele of Appalachian State University on his research on the so-called Mozart Effect. Listen to Dr. Steele talk about how rats were brought into the lab to listen to Mozart music. Did it make them smarter? Find out in this episode of The Psych Files podcast.
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28 min
June 17, 2008
Episode 60: The Full Monty Backstage - Body Image and Gender Differences
The Full Monty: maybe you've seen the movie or the musical, but what is it like backstage? What are the actors thinking? What would you be thinking if you had to take your clothes off in front of an audience? Would it make a difference if you were a man or a woman? How so? This week I take a look at the Full Monty and issues like body image and gender. I interview the cast and I think you'll find their views very interesting. Join me as I go backstage and explore the psychological and societal issues brought up by The Full Monty musical.
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38 min
June 10, 2008
Episode 59 - The Mozart Effect: Is There Anything To It?
The Mozart Effect - almost everyone has heard about it, but is there really anything to it? Can the Mozart Effect increase your child's IQ? Will listening to Mozart make you more creative? Does it have an effect on babies in utero? A lot has been claimed, but there is a lot of controversial research out there on the Mozart effect. In part one of my interview with one of the leading researchers and critics of the Mozart Effect - Dr. Kenneth Steele - you get the real story behind the hipe.
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37 min
May 25, 2008
Episode 58: Speed Dating - You Don't Know What You Want
Do you really know what you want in a romantic partner? The answer is....no. How often have you heard that men want women with great bodies and women want a good provider? Do you agree with it? It may not be true at all. Surprised? Learn more about what women (and men) really want in this fascinating study conducted in of all places a speed dating event. Psychology studies finally get interesting for subjects!
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25 min
May 16, 2008
Episode 57: Expectancy Theory, Goal Setting and Getting in Shape!
Trying to get in shape and lose weight? What's the psychology behind getting in shape? Well, first forget the psychobabble. In this episode of The Psych Files podcast I examine two established theories of human motivation - goal setting and expectancy theory. If you've tried the Atkins diet, the south beach diet some other low carb diet plan or even (yikes!) a lemonade diet, then it's time to try something different - get into your head just a little bit and see what's going on in there. Join me for a different perspective on weight loss, exercise and fitness.
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25 min
May 10, 2008
Episode 56: What is Music Therapy?
Interested in Music Therapy? Music therapy, which is often used with children with autism, can also be used in the classroom to help children learn patterns. In this interview music therapist Kamile Geist talks about types and techniques of music therapy along with her research in this fascinating field. On the website Kamile talks about courses and programs that will prepare you to be a music therapist, as well as how insurance programs deal with this type of therapy.
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39 min
April 24, 2008
Episode 55: Is It Really Better to Give Than to Receive?
We've looked at the story of the Good Samaritan so now it's time to scientifically answer the question: is it better to give than to receive? Psychologists have recently examined the relationship between happiness and charitable giving. Will you be happier if you donate money rather than spend it on yourself?
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19 min
April 13, 2008
Episode 54: Math Anxiety - Causes and Cures
Could it be that the roots of this anxiety lie not with the topic itself but with the way math is taught? In this episode I am extremely fortunate to speak with Dr. Eugene Geist, Associate Professor at Ohio University - Athens, Ohio and specialist in early childhood education. We talk about math anxiety - how it develops and what can be done to help kids overcome it. So if you have math anxiety, are a parent of a child with math anxiety or are a teacher of math you'll want to hear what Dr. Geist has to say about this topic. Don't let your kids say "I hate math!" Children are, as Dr. Geist will point out, natural born mathematicians and you can help them with their math homework and in the process help them overcome math anxiety.
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45 min
April 2, 2008
Episode 53: Mindful Learning, NCLB, and the True Foundations of Success
Tired of rote memorization? Tired of NCLB? Try mindful learning. In this episode I explore psychologist Ellen Langer's concept of mindful learning. What does it mean to teach and learn in a mindful way? How does this concept differ from what is being encouraged in the new report on the teaching of math in this country called Foundations of Success? Find out the answers to all these questions in this episode of The Psych Files podcast.
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24 min
March 18, 2008
Episode 51: Elliot Spitzer's Wife: Hero or Victim?
This past week it seems like people have been talking as much about Elliot Spitzer as they have about his wife Silda. In fact, emotions may be running higher about her behavior than about his. Why did she stand by and support him when it appears that he clearly betrayed her trust? Aside from gossip, what's the tie-in to theories in psychology? Would you believe that the "Covariation Principle" can be applied to this and many similar situations where we are trying to figure out why people do what they do? Have a listen and learn how we use consensus, consistency and distinctiveness information to make important decisions.
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23 min
March 13, 2008
Episode 50: Psychological Study Ripped Straight from....the Bible?
How many scientific studies find their inspiration from a parable in the bible? Well, this one does and for my 50th episode I'll go over a very interesting study based on the Good Samaritan parable. We'll take another look at the topic of bystander intervention by asking the question: are people more likely to help someone if they are thinking "pious" thoughts at the time? After reviewing the study I'll take a look at a couple articles that cite the good samaritan parable and ask the question: what does the results of this study imply about the value of character education, virtues programs, codes of ethics, citizenship and ethical behavior in general?
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32 min
March 6, 2008
Episode 49: Classroom Management - An Interview with Dr. Ross Green part 2
In this episode I continue the interview on Collaborative Problem Solving in the classroom with Dr. Ross Green, author of The Explosive Child. As I stated in the previous episode, there are a variety of classroom management techniques, all designed to help solve the issue of how to discipline children who are having behavioral problems. I think you'll find that Dr. Green's approach makes a lot of sense and it can be implemented in the classroom as well as at home. A fascinating interview.
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34 min
March 1, 2008
Episode 48: Classroom Management - An Interview with Dr. Ross Green part1
Classroom management techniques - there are a lot of strategies for dealing with behavior problems in the classroom. It's time to add Collaborative Problem Solving to your toolkit. Learn an alternative to traditional classroom discipline techniques like timeout or sending the child to the principal. A recent Time magazine article entitled "How to Make Great Teachers" mentions that in a 2001 survey of teachers, 44% listed "student behavior problems" as the reason they left the profession. What can be done? In this episode I interview Dr. Ross Green, author of The Explosive Child and the upcoming book "Lost in School". He'll tell you how to use collaborative problem solving with your students. This episode is also for parents, daycare workers, babysitters - anyone who wants to help young people learn to think their way through everyday behavior problems.
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20 min
February 20, 2008
Episode 47: The Little Albert Study: What You Know is...Mostly Wrong
Think you know a lot about the little Albert experiment conducted by John Watson? Well, guess what - you'd be surprised at how much of the story is simply not true. If you're wondering whatever happened to little Albert, whether the little Albert study created a lasting phobia in a small boy, or even what place this story has in the history of behaviorism, then I suggest you take a listen to this episode of The Psych Files and get the facts on this fascinating part of psychology's history.
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20 min
February 9, 2008
Episode 46: Thinking Positively - or Running Away from Your Feelings?
What’s wrong with thinking positively? Could be a lot. Let’s take another look at the "positive psychology" movement in this episode of The Psych Files podcast. I’ll share some additional ideas for bringing about more positive events in your life, talk about social comparison theory, and then discuss how important "negative" - that is sad - feelings are in our lives. Those are moments not to run from, but to embrace.
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28 min
January 30, 2008
Episode 44: Human Emotions: The Two Factor Theory
Where do our emotions come from? From our thoughts? Or do they begin somewhere else - like in our bodies? This week we look at the work of James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and Schachter and Singer. Also, I review two classic studies in the history of psychology: the Suproxin study (the basis for the well known (two factor theory of emotion) and the Suspension Bridge study. This week the Good, the Bad and the Ugly....Betty of emotions. Oh yes, and what does the TV show Ugly Betty have to do with all this? Find out this week on The Psych Files.
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17 min
January 22, 2008
Episode 43: Email Feedback
The Psych Files podcast started one year ago this week, so I thought I’d share some emails I’ve received over the past year. I just want to thank all of you for being listeners and for sharing your... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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24 min
January 18, 2008
Episode 42: Taking A Psychology Class?
Are you taking Introduction to Psychology? General Psychology? Or are you looking for online lectures in psychology? You've come to the right place. The Psych Files podcast is 1 year old this... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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30 min
January 8, 2008
Episode 41: EMDR - A Critical Perspective
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing - what is it about this type of psychotherapy that draws such criticism? In this episode I interview Dr. Scott Lilienfeld of Emory University. Dr.... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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24 min
December 31, 2007
Episode 40: Performance Anxiety - How to Deal With It
Do you get nervous when you perform? Want to learn how to overcome performance anxiety? Listen to a few experienced actors talk about performing and then I'll share some thoughts about what... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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32 min
December 18, 2007
Episode 38: How Big is Your Office: Another Classic Study in Psychology
Equity and the lack of fairness strike again! What would happen if you were suddenly (even temporarily) moved to an office (or dorm room) that was smaller than the one you’re in now? Would you be... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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24 min
December 7, 2007
Episode 37: The Effects of Video Game and Media Violence
What do psychologists think about the effects of violent video games and violence in the media on viewers? Does it lead people to be more aggressive? More violent? Or is it the other way around -... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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29 min
November 25, 2007
Episode 36: The Myth of the Kitty Genovese Story
Have you heard the story about how young Kitty Genovese was repeatedly attacked one night in New York City over a period of a half and hour while 38 people watched from their windows and did nothing?... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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23 min
November 4, 2007
Episode 34: Timeout Revisited - Dealing with Challenging Kids Part 2
Here’s the second part of my episode on alternatives to timeout. In this part of the interview, Dr. Ablon discusses Plan B in more detail. How do you work with your child to come up with solutions... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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33 min
October 28, 2007
Episode 33: Timeout Revisited - Dealing with Challenging Kids Part 1
In part of 1 of this interview Dr. J. Stuart Ablon we talk those children for whom timeout sometimes does not work. What’s your alternative then? Listen in and learn about the Collaborative Problem... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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32 min
October 14, 2007
Episode 32: Midterms, Mnemonics and Two Keys to Learning
To learn or not to learn that is the question this week on The Psych Files. Come with me as I explore mnemonic techniques, learn to memorize Hamlet's famous speech, and learn 2 keys to true, lasting... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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32 min
September 23, 2007
Episode 30: Equine Assisted Therapy
If you think that therapy with horses is just another form of “pet therapy” well…so did I…at first. But Equine Assisted therapy is something different. Learn more about this unique form of therapy... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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31 min
September 5, 2007
Episode 28: Is Time Out Really Effective?
Everybody advocates the use of time out over forms of punishments like spankings, but how exactly do you administer time out in a way that is effective? Could we be doing it all wrong? Is time out... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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33 min
August 28, 2007
Episode 27: From Insane Asylum to Psychiatric Center: A Brief History
Join me for an interview with Dr. Roger Christenfeld, Research Director of the Hudson River Psychiatric Center. Dr. Christenfeld and I talk about how psychiatric patients were treated in the heyday... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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34 min
August 22, 2007
Episode 26: Why Do Statistics Make Us So Queasy?
Why are we often anxious about or even suspicious of statistics? Let’s take a look at this topic. Along with some interesting examples I’ve got some statistics-oriented jokes I hope you’ll find funny... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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36 min
August 11, 2007
Episode 25: The Brains Behind Erikson Part 3
We finish off this series looking at your brain as you develop by examining what is happening in your brain as you age from adolescence to older adulthood. Also: an impersonated celebrity endorsement... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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24 min
August 10, 2007
Episode 24: The Brains Behind Erikson Part 2
What is happening in your brain as you progress through life? In this episode we take a look at some of the changes that occur in your brain from birth to age 12. Be sure to listen to part 3 of this... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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28 min
August 1, 2007
Episode 23: Do Teachers Have to be Actors Today?
We often heard it said that teachers have to be actors today in order to keep the attention of today’s low attention span students. Well, in this episode I agree that teachers and actors do think... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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27 min
July 9, 2007
Episode 21: Erikson's Eight Stages of Life
This week on The Psych Files we take a stroll through the various phases of life: from childhood, to adolescence, into mid-life and then we listen to two interesting voices of men nearing the end of... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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49 min
June 27, 2007
Episode 20: The Robber's Cave Study - Exactly What Happened?
What do gangs, asteroids, a giant octopus and little boys at a summer camp in Robber's Cave State Park in 1954 have in common? Find out this week as we take a look at a wonderful study in psychology... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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24 min
June 19, 2007
Episode 19: Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing: an interview with Jamie O’Neil
Want to learn more about EMDR? Listen to this interview with Jamie O’Neil who explains how EMDR works. Turns out it’s about a lot more than just eye movements. Learn more about Bilateral Stimulation... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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30 min
June 11, 2007
Episode 18: Critical Thinking and the Overflowing Cup
Everyone thinks critical thinking is a great thing. I don’t disagree, but how about a little open mindedness? I take a look at last week's episode on energy medicine and discuss being critical, the... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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24 min
May 28, 2007
Episode 16: Personal Space Invasion: What Happens When Someone Invades Your Personal Space?
I thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the studies in psychology that I remember not so much because they were groundbreaking or well known (like Pavlov’s dogs or Milgram’s studies on... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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25 min
May 19, 2007
Episode 15: It’s Not Fair! Equity in Life and Work
The battle cry of childhood - It’s not fair - tends to follow us throughout life. Let’s take a look at how fairness, or the lack therof, plays itself out in the work place. Get ready for a little... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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24 min
May 3, 2007
Episode 13: Big Brother? What Your Grocery Store Knows About You
The question this week: Does your local grocery store know more about you than you do? We take a look at the research that’s been done to learn more about your behavior in the supermarket and how... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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21 min
April 25, 2007
Episode 12: The Necessity of the Frame in Psychotherapy
What is the “frame” in psychotherapy and why do we need to keep it from breaking? This week I discuss some guidelines set forth by Robert Langs, MD regarding how to know when your relationship with... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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36 min
April 12, 2007
Episode 10: What does your search behavior on Amazon.com say about you?
Today we take a look at how your innermost feelings are reflected in what information you pay attention to or ignore as you search around on Amazon. Cognitive dissonance strikes again! Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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12 min
March 20, 2007
Episode 8: Why do Contradictions Bother Us So Much? Cognitive Dissonance in Our Daily Lives.
Can you be pro choice and against the death penalty, or vice versa? That’s the question we examine this week along with other quandries such as Gingrichs’ affair and Al Gore’s house. This week on The... Show notes and more available at http://www.thepsychfiles.com
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24 min
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