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The Psych Files

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The Psych Files is a podcast for anyone who wonders why we do what we do. Experienced educator Michael Britt, Ph.D., in an upbeat and friendly style, shows you how ideas from the field of psychology apply to everyday life. If you’re a life-long learner, a student or a teacher, you’ll find his 20-30 minute episodes enjoyable and educational. Over 14 million episodes have been downloaded to date with over 100,000 people listening every month. See what all the talk is about!

The Psych Files is a podcast for anyone who wonders why we do what we do. Experienced educator Michael Britt, Ph.D., in an upbeat and friendly style, shows you how ideas from the field of psychology apply to everyday life. If you’re a life-long learner, a student or a teacher, you’ll find his 20-30 minute episodes enjoyable and educational. Over 14 million episodes have been downloaded to date with over 100,000 people listening every month. See what all the talk is about!

Location:

New York, NY

Description:

The Psych Files is a podcast for anyone who wonders why we do what we do. Experienced educator Michael Britt, Ph.D., in an upbeat and friendly style, shows you how ideas from the field of psychology apply to everyday life. If you’re a life-long learner, a student or a teacher, you’ll find his 20-30 minute episodes enjoyable and educational. Over 14 million episodes have been downloaded to date with over 100,000 people listening every month. See what all the talk is about!

Twitter:

@mbritt

Language:

English


Episodes

Final Episode of The Psych Files

2/21/2020
I’ve decided, after 13 years, to bring the show to a close. Time to move on to other things. It’s been great, I’ve learned so much and I wanted to thank all of my listeners! Take care. - Michael

Duration:00:01:42

Ep 340 What's a High Sensation Seeker?

12/11/2019
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. Here's where you can learn more about Buzz! on the Cambridge.org site. (http://www.cambridge.org/buzz) Don't forget to use the promo code CARTER to...

Duration:00:31:56

Ep 339: What Makes a Song Appealing?

12/6/2019
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 you really like to hear over and over.

Duration:00:16:09

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

11/21/2019
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 determine whether the women in that movie, TV show, play, or book are characters with agency, or are just there to fill out the background for what the male characters do....

Duration:00:29:32

Ep 337: Why Do We Think Women Aren't Funny?

11/7/2019
Have you ever heard someone say that they don’t think that women can be funny? I have to admit that I didn’t hear that until recently, so I looked at some of the research on gender and perceptions of humor. I think you’ll be surprised. In this episode I summarize some of that research and I give you four jokes and a handy way to remember jokes.

Duration:00:28:44

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

10/24/2019
Another violent act in America. Another man who committed it. Why Is it that men in our society are the ones who usually 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, so come back to the show and share more about the evolutionary Psychology perspective on this complex issue. And by the way, you can use the promo code APE20 to...

Duration:00:34:19

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

10/17/2019
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 you’re going to find something truly amazing, you have to make your predictions FIRST. In this episode I talk about how we can be...

Duration:00:21:12

Ep 334: The Psychology of the Fantasticks

10/1/2019
Have you seen the musical The Fantasticks? Not only does it have wonderful music but it also has pearls of wisdom. Oh yea, and gender issues. In this episode I talk about the psychology inside this great show. I also talk about how you know when something you read online is probably true (hint: if what you read is boring then it's probably true) and other ways to judge the value of psychological research. And finally, it looks like we might have been wrong in prior research: rich people are...

Duration:00:31:55

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

9/19/2019
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 everyday folk do this - scientists can as well. We've got to be more careful in our thinking if we're going to find relationships that really do exist in the world -...

Duration:00:29:56

Ep 332: How the Brain Lost Its Mind

9/3/2019
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 book called "How the Brain Lost Its Mind".

Duration:00:33:00

Ep 331: Hatred and Violence in America: It's Not About Mental Illness

8/21/2019
There are too many knee-jerk, brief (and incorrect) explanations for why the US is experiencing such a rise in hatred and violence. Claiming that violent perpetrators are "mentally ill" is wrong. We have research and we understand the dangerous path that some young men get involved in and which ultimately leads them to violence. The right answers are more subtle, but we do know them and we do know what to do about them. We take another look at Significance Quest theory.

Duration:00:26:40

New Podcast You're Going to Love

8/12/2019
I talk about tech many times here on The Psych Files so where do I learn about Phone Addiction, Voice Assistants, Smart Watches and so forth? By listening to tech podcasts. There's a new one out I really like. It's called Waveform with MKBHD and I've got a clip from the show to listen to. I'm already learning a lot so check it out! Click here (http://bit.ly/WaveformPF) to subscribe to Waveform with MKBHD

Duration:00:09:33

Ep 330: Trouble Sleeping? Psychologist Dr. Shelby Harris' Approach to Treating Insomnia

8/6/2019
I haven't talked about sleep problems yet here on the Psych Files so I brought in the perfect person to talk to us about sleep and insomnia. Dr. Shelby Harris has written the Woman's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia and I learned a lot about how Cognitive Behavioral therapy is applied to this specific problem. Dr. Harris also has some tips you'll want to hear to help you get a better night's sleep.

Duration:00:41:18

Ep 329: Beauty and the Beast: Psychological Themes

7/17/2019
I'll bet you're like me and you enjoyed the Disney musical Beauty and the Beast. As wonderful a story it is, let's take a moment just to acknowledge that there are some themes in the show that are, well, not so nice. I’ll take a look at this show from an angle of toxic masculinity in the Gaston character and possibly co-dependency in the relationship between Belle and the Beast. I promise - it'll still be fun.

Duration:00:27:03

Ep 328: Authenticity - Is There a Hidden You?

7/4/2019
Have you ever wondered if you're really being true to some inner person of yours? Wondered if there isn't someone else inside that you that you're supposed to be actualizing? Guess what? Maybe not. What is authenticity anyway? That's what we'll explore in this episode, along with a discussion of some of the doubts being cast on the famous Stanford Prison Study by Philip Zimbardo. Maybe it's actually not time to updater the textbooks after all.

Duration:00:25:06

Ep 327: The Team Behind Q - World's First Genderless Digital Voice

6/19/2019
In the last episode I talked about the potential downside to having most of our digital assistants speak to us using a female voice. "Q" - will give us an option. Here's my interview with Emil Rasmussen, who will give you some of the background behind Q and his hopes for the future of Q.

Duration:00:18:44

Ep 326: Giving Voice To Our Digital Assistants

6/5/2019
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...

Duration:00:24:11

Ep 325: Love Your Work? Someone Will Take Advantage of That

5/13/2019
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...

Duration:00:42:04

Ep 324: Put Your Love Life on Automatic

5/2/2019
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...

Duration:00:31:11

Ep 323: Computer Programmers: Obsessed With Efficiency

4/17/2019
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...

Duration:00:38:07