Psychology in Everyday Life: The Psych Files
Summary: The Psych Files is a podcast for anyone interested in the topic of psychology and how ideas in this field apply to everyday life. Dr. Michael Britt brings you an upbeat, fun podcast of interest to everyone from psychology majors to those just interested in why people do what they do.
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.
Do you need to memorize Piaget's stages for a test? You've found what you're looking for. I'll use some familiar mnemonics ("1 is a bun", etc.) and some wacky images to get those stages - and what during them - into your mind. You'll be able to remember when object permanence occurs, when children are capable of assimilation and accomodation, abstract and logical thinking, conservation of energy - it's all here. Take the time to watch this video, learn about mnemonics and memorize Piaget's stages of cognitive development once and for all!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
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.
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!
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.
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".
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.
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.
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…).
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.