When Good People Do Bad Things

woodrowSocial Psychology, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

prison

For years, the Stanford Prison Study has been used to tout the idea that putting any individual in a position of absolute control brings out the worst in them (and in a more general sense, that people conform to the roles they’re placed in). An article appearing in Scientific American (Rethinking the Infamous Stanford Prison Experiment) includes new information leading researchers to … Read More

Ep 340 What’s a High Sensation Seeker?

woodrowPersonality2 Comments

Kenneth Carter's book on Sensation Seeking: Buzz

Do you like to bungee jump? Perhaps you’re into parachuting or wing suit flying? If so, you’re probably a “high sensation seeker”. In this fascinating interview with Dr. Kenneth Carter, author of the new book “Buzz!”, we talk about what kind of personality a sensation seeker has and what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone like this. … Read More

Ep 339: What Makes a Song Appealing?

woodrowEmotion1 Comment

What Makes a Song Appealing?

Music researchers analyzed over 700 top Billboard songs (which included examining over 80,000 chords) and they determined that the “Ob-La-Di-Ob-La-Da” is the most appealing song ever written. How in the world, you might ask, did they choose that (some would say annoying) song?! Let’s find out how two key ingredients – surprise and uncertainty – combine to create songs that … Read More

Ep 338: What Role Are Women Really Playing? The Bechdel Test

woodrowGender/Sexuality1 Comment

The Bechdel Test

In movies and TV, women are understandably tired of playing roles like the “Wife” or the “Girlfriend”. Nowadays we’re seeing more women in film and TV but has their role in the production really changed all that much? That’s what the “Bechdel test” is all about.  It’s not a test per se but rather a few questions to help you … Read More

Ep 336: Why is it Usually Men Who Commit Violent Acts?

MichaelGender/Sexuality2 Comments

The Ape That Understood The Universe by Steve Stewart-Williams

Another violent act in America. Another man who committed it. Why do men in our society seem to always be the ones who carry out violent acts? Is it how we bring up boys? Or is there another influence – genes. I was lucky enough to get professor Steve Stewart-Williams, author of the book The Ape That Understood the Universe, … Read More

Ep 335: Conspiracy Theories – Why So Easy To Believe?

MichaelCritical Thinking, TherapyLeave a Comment

Why Do We Believe In Conspiracy Theories?

Why do some conspiracy theories seem to have so much evidence to support them? Well, that’s because if you look hard enough at any event, and you don’t have any particular theory before you start looking, you’re eventually going to find something. And you’ll probably think that thing is AMAZING. This is what careful thinkers and researchers have to learn: if … Read More

Ep 333: Bible Codes, Anti-Vaccination Beliefs and the Look Elsewhere Effect

MichaelCognition, Intelligence and Language, Critical Thinking, Social Psychology, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

Bible Code and the Look Elsewhere Effect

In this episode I talk about whether there really is a bible code, anti-vaccination beliefs and whether jellybeans cause acne. It’s all part of how we humans love to find patterns in the world and the amount of wiggle room we’re willing to give ourselves to find them. Too often we make the Look Elsewhere error. And not just of … Read More

Ep 332: How the Brain Lost Its Mind

MichaelDisorders, History of PsychologyLeave a Comment

Most of us have heard of Anton Mesmer and Jean Charcot. They were some of the first to dabble in the “mind cure” using hypnosis and the power of suggestion. But what role did syphilis play in the development of psychology? You’d be surprised. Join me and authors Dr. Allan Ropper and Brian David Burrell as we discuss their new … Read More

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