You’ve probably heard that the so called “Lie Detector” test (the polygraph ) doesn’t actually detect when you’ve lied, but rather just takes some physiological measures from your body and these have to be interpreted by experts. Sometimes those experts make mistakes. Join me as I describe a psychological study that tested a new kind of “Lie Detector” – drawings. This study involved Agents, Missions, an Interception, and a mysterious “package”. This is psychology? You better believe it.
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.
Okay, admit it – you have some kind of lucky charm on you, in your car or in your house. And if you participate in any sport or performance activity you have some sort of ritual that you believe will help make you more successful. Well guess what – there is research to show that such charms and rituals really do help you perform better.
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.
In this interview Dr. Scott Lilienfeld, author of 50 Myths of Popular Psychology and we talk about, a) does the polygraph actually work?, b) do women talk more than men?, c) does handwriting analysis reveal 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.
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.
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? These questions answered once and for all at The Psych Files podcast.
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”.
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?