Speaking of Psychology
Speaking of Psychology
About Speaking of Psychology
Misleading news stories. Propaganda. Conspiracy theories. Misinformation has always been with us, but with the rise of social media it can spread farther and faster than ever. Sander van der Linden, PhD, of Cambridge University, talks about why we’re so vulnerable to misinformation, how much we’re really all exposed to, why misinformation spreads like a virus and how we can “inoculate” people against it, and how AI is changing the landscape of misinformation. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Among the many challenges people with serious mental illness face is the stigma surrounding illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Kim Mueser, PhD, of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University, talks about the progress psychology has made in treating serious mental illness; the role of both medication and psychosocial interventions; why meaningful work can play a critical role in recovery; and the truth about the connection between violence and mental illness. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Conversational chemistry might seem intangible, but psychologists are beginning figure out what makes some conversations work while others fall apart. Charles Duhigg, author of the upcoming book “Supercommunicators,” and conversation researcher Michael Yeomans, PhD, talk about how anyone can learn to communicate better, the best way to build rapport with someone you just met, why it’s important to think about your goals in a conversation, how to have a productive conversation about a disagreement and how technology changes conversation.
Millions of people in the U.S. are caregivers for their family members and other loved ones, providing billions of dollars worth of unpaid care to loved ones with dementia, cancer, and other long-term illnesses. William Haley, PhD, of the University of South Florida, discusses the mental and physical health effects of caregiving, interventions that can help buffer caregivers against stress, how society could better support caregivers, and how caregiving can be a source of strength as well as stress.
Have you heard people say, “I’m so OCD”? There are a lot of myths around obsessive compulsive disorder. In reality, it’s a multi-faceted mental health disorder that seriously affects people’s lives – but is also treatable with evidence-based therapies. Psychologist Dean McKay, PhD, and OCD advocate Uma Chatterjee talk about what obsessive compulsive disorder is, how it differs from the stereotypes, why it is so often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, and what effective treatments are available. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
October may be the month that our fascination with all things ghoulish and grisly reaches its peak, but for many people, a fascination with the darker side of life isn’t limited to Halloween. Coltan Scrivner, PhD, talks about why people are drawn to horror, true crime and other scary genres; and whether terrifying entertainment can actually be good for some people’s mental health and leave them better equipped to handle real-life challenges. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Whatever your dreams consist of, you’ve probably wondered where they come from and what they might be trying to tell you. Psychologists, too, have long studied the origin and purpose of dreams. Mark Blagrove, PhD, of Swansea University, talks about what we know – and don’t know – about why we dream; the relationship between our dreams and what’s happening in our waking life; why some dreams seem so common – like being unprepared for class or flying; why some people have particularly vivid and memorable dreams while others hardly dream at all; whether animals dream; and whether our dreams are entirely out of our conscious control or whether it’s possible to influence their content. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Parasocial relationships -- the relationships that people have with media figures such as actors, celebrity influencers, or even television characters -- sometimes get a bad rap. But psychologists who study parasocial relationships say that they can be good for us: They can help us expand our world view and can have positive effects on our mental health and well-being. Researchers Rebecca Tukachinsky Forster, PhD, and Karen Dill-Shackleford, PhD, talk about how a parasocial relationship is different from fandom, whether these relationships give us any of the benefits of real-life friendship, and what happens when a parasocial relationship goes sour -- when your favorite character or your celebrity crush disappoints you? For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Math is essential to our everyday lives, from household budgeting to buying the right size rug for your room. But for people with math anxiety, any tasks involving math can cause dread and fear. Molly Jameson, PhD, of the University of Northern Colorado, talks about where math anxiety comes from, whether you can be good at math but still suffer from math anxiety, how it affects people’s lives, and what parents and teachers can do to help math-anxious kids overcome their fears and excel in math. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage. This episode is sponsored by NPR's special 6-part series Body Electric with Manoush Zomorodi on the TED Radio Hour Podcast. Listen to Body Electric with Manoush Zomorodi today.
People often use the words “guilt” and “shame” interchangeably, but the two emotions affect us in different ways. June Tangney, PhD, of George Mason University, talks about the difference between shame and guilt, what role these emotions play in our mental health and how they affect our behavior, why some people are especially prone to shame or guilt, and what you can do when guilt or shame is harming your mental health – especially when you feel guilty over something that isn’t your fault or that you cannot change. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
For most of us, the idea of jumping off a bridge with a parachute or surfing a wave 70 feet tall seems to defy comprehension. Psychologists, too, have wondered what drives people to participate in extreme sports. Eric Brymer, PhD, talks about why many of our preconceived notions about adventurers are wrong, what draws people to extreme adventure, the role fear plays in how adventurers approach what they do, and what lessons less adventurous people can learn from research on extreme adventure sports. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage. Learn a new language. Get 55% off at babbel.com/apa. (Rules and restrictions may apply.)
We’ve all heard the advice: Save for retirement, start saving early, don’t spend more than you earn. But rules like these are far easier said than followed, especially when you’re short on time, or money, or both. Wendy De La Rosa, PhD, of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about why it’s so hard to take financial action, how financial stress affects us and our relationships, and why we need to get rid of ‘financial shame’ and talk more openly about money. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Despite the sexist jokes, the menstrual cycle doesn’t cause significant changes in mood or behavior for most people. But a small percentage do suffer severe premenstrual symptoms, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Tory Eisenlohr-Moul, PhD, of the University of Illinois Chicago, talks about how hormones and the menstrual cycle interact with mental health, why premenstrual symptoms are not caused by a “hormone imbalance,” and what treatments are available for severe premenstrual symptoms. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Microaggressions, the indirect, subtle, sometimes unintentional incidents of racism and bias that members of marginalized groups experience every day, can take a large toll on people’s mental and physical health. Dr. Derald Wing Sue, PhD, of Teacher’s College Columbia University, discusses what makes something a microaggression, why microaggressions are so harmful, and what you can do to disarm and neutralize these everyday instances of racism and bias. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
When you’re sad, do you say that you’re feeling blue? Have you ever felt green with envy? Domicele Jonauskaite, PhD, of the University of Vienna, discusses why language so often links color with emotion, whether those links are universal or differ by culture, whether colors can actually make us feel calm or sad or angry, why people’s favorite colors don’t really tell us anything about their personality, and more. This episode is supported by Babbel, get 55% off at babbel.com/apa. And, Rocket Money, learn more at rocketmoney.com/apa. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Almost everyone lies occasionally, but for a small percentage of people, lying isn't something that they do every once in a while -- it's a way of life. Drew Curtis, PhD, of Angelo State University, and Christian L. Hart, PhD, of Texas Woman’s University, authors of a new book on pathological lying, talk about what drives “big liars” to lie, why they believe pathological lying should be classified as a mental health disorder, whether liars really are more prevalent in some professions, such as politics and sales, and how you can recognize lies and protect yourself from being duped. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
There’s a common stereotype is that teenagers’ brains are immature and underdeveloped, and that teens are “hard-wired” to take unwise risks and cave to peer pressure. But psychologists’ research suggests these negative stereotypes are unfounded and that the teen years are a time opportunity and growth as well as risk. Eva Telzer, PhD, explains why teens take more risks and why that risk-taking is sometimes beneficial, why parents have more influence than they think, and how social media and other technology use may be affecting teens’ behavior and development. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
Is there anything more agonizing than being in limbo? Time may seem to slow to a crawl when you’re waiting for high-stakes news like a hiring decision, a biopsy result – or the end of a pandemic. Kate Sweeny, PhD, of the University of California, Riverside, discusses what makes waiting so stressful, how the stress of waiting differs from other types of stress, the relationship between waiting and worrying, and strategies people can use to lessen anxiety and make waiting easier. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
It used to be that if you wanted to gamble, you had to go to a casino or a racetrack to do it. But the expansion of online gambling and newly loosened laws around sports betting mean that people can now place bets from just about anywhere. Shane Kraus, PhD, of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Lia Nower, PhD, JD, of the Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies, talk about whether that increased access could lead to an increase in gambling addiction, who is at risk, stigma around gambling, what treatments are available, and the increased exposure kids now have to gambling via ads and video games. This episode was supported by Babbel, get 55% off at babbel.com/apa. And, Rocket Money, learn more at rocketmoney.com/apa. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
From Ponzi schemes to e-mail phishing identity thieves, the world can seem full of people who want to deceive us. Daniel Simons, PhD, and Christopher Chabris, PhD, co-authors of the “Nobody’s Fool: Why We Get Taken In and What We Can Do About It,” talk about the cognitive habits that put us at risk of believing lies; famous frauds and cons from the worlds of business, science and competitive chess; and what you can do to protect yourself, and your wallet, by spotting scammers before it’s too late. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.