Psychology en 7.20.14: TV On The Radio <p>From airplanes to high school cafeterias, television is everywhere these days. Whether you are a <em>Game of Thrones</em> diehard or an<em> Orange is the New Black</em> binger, most of us have found ourselves entrenched in what some call the Third Golden Age of Television. Today on Word of Mouth we talk all things television. First<strong>, Matt Zoller Seitz</strong>&nbsp; makes the case that <em>Seinfeld</em> was the original anti-hero. Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:21:15 +0000 Word of Mouth 52185 at 7.20.14: TV On The Radio 6.03.14: The Psychology Of Killers, Weathermen Get Serious, And Product Placement <p>In a world filled with tough news, we’ve come to expect our weather updates to include a bit of comic relief. But is it time for them to sober up?&nbsp; Today we’re challenging our expectations with the case against kooky weather-reporters. And, amid calls to prevent the mentally ill from buying guns, we’ll hear a challenge to the notion that health-care professionals can weed out America’s killers. Plus, we take a look at the funniest and most culturally resonant examples of product placement from the last ten years.</p><p>Listen to the full show and click <strong>Read more </strong>for individual segments.</p><p> Tue, 03 Jun 2014 16:32:08 +0000 Word of Mouth 49605 at 6.03.14: The Psychology Of Killers, Weathermen Get Serious, And Product Placement Famous Germaphobes <p></p><p>We wash. We sanitize. We might wash again, <em>just to make sure. </em>But in the end, we will probably allow ourselves to believe that it (whatever <em>it </em>is – a hand, a dish, a children’s toy that the dog confused for its own) is clean <em>enough. </em>We carry on.</p><p>At least, some of us do.</p><p>This is the time that all the germaphobes out there reading this raise their sanitized hands and say “Me! Me! That toy is <strong><em>not </em></strong>clean. For the love of Clorox – <em>it is not clean!</em>” Was this your reaction? You may be suffering from <a href="" target="_blank">mysophobia</a>, the fancy term for “fear of germs.”</p><p>Keep calm; you’re in good company.</p><p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 17:49:48 +0000 Sarah Thomas 45531 at Famous Germaphobes Can Utilities 'Nudge' Consumers To Use Less Electricity? <p>Public Service of New Hampshire is an energy utility – but it’s about to try an experiment in psychology, <a href="" target="_blank">which it hopes might prompt consumers to use less electricity</a>.</p><p>It's known as "nudging," and to explain how it works we turn to <strong>David Brooks</strong>, who writes the weekly GraniteGeek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and</p><p></p><p></p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 22:52:53 +0000 Brady Carlson 44531 at Entering The 'Promise Land' Of Self-Help <p>Three weeks into the New Year, sticking to that resolution to exercise more or stop eating sugar or drink less may feel a little extreme. So, what do you do? Shrug your shoulders and reach for another cupcake? Log onto Head for the bookstore to find somebody, anybody, who can guide us to be fitter, happier, radiant human beings? From the meditations of Marcus Aurelius to Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac,”&nbsp; people have been reaching for advice on how to be more fully actualized since long before being self-actualized was a term. The writer <a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Jessica Lamb-Shapiro </strong></a>set out to explore the 11-billion dollar industry of self-improvement books, seminars, and coaching to figure out why people follow them so devoutly--if they work--and what happens when they don’t. She’s written a memoir called, <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Promise Land: My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture.</em></a></p><p> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 17:05:34 +0000 Virginia Prescott 42240 at Entering The 'Promise Land' Of Self-Help Rethink 2014: The Psychology of Scarcity <p>Scarcity is a kind of great equalizer. Whether it be less sleep, security, time, food, money or whatever a person needs, scarcity hijacks the mind, diminishes intelligence, and lowers resistance to temptation. <strong>Eldar Shafir</strong>, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton set out to find evidence for what happens to our minds when we have too little – and how scarcity shapes our choices and behaviors.&nbsp; He's coauthor of the new book is <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much</em>.</a> Wed, 15 Jan 2014 16:27:01 +0000 Virginia Prescott 41881 at Rethink 2014: The Psychology of Scarcity Effects Of Spanking Kids Can Linger Into Adulthood, UNH Researcher Says <p><a href="" target="_blank"><strong>Dr. Murray Straus</strong></a> has studied the use of spanking and corporal punishment with children for decades, as a professor of sociology and founder and co-director of the <a href="" target="_blank">Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire</a>.</p><p>He compares the research on spanking to studies on cigarettes – people use it because it seems right at the time, but that’s because they can’t see the long-term dangers.</p> Mon, 06 Jan 2014 22:17:47 +0000 Brady Carlson 41349 at Effects Of Spanking Kids Can Linger Into Adulthood, UNH Researcher Says Sherlock Holmes, Zen Master? <p>Enthusiasm for the fictional British detective is hardly new. When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in an 1893 issue of Strand magazine, 20,000 readers canceled their subscriptions. Doyle succumbed and revived the character in dozens more stories before his own death in 1930. While the appeal of Sherlock Holmes coincided with the rise of popular science in the late Victorian era, today’s Sherlock-mania may be connected to a more 21<sup>st</sup> century concept: mindfulness. Wed, 01 Jan 2014 19:00:00 +0000 Virginia Prescott 20574 at For Struggling Youth, The Webster House A Second Home <p><a href="" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">The Webster House</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is a children's home in Manchester that has been in operation since 1884, caring for youth who are unable to live at home.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Gabrielle Dante came to The Webster House when she was in her mid-teens. She had been experiencing problems at home and at school, and was struggling to overcome an eating disorder.</span></p> Sat, 14 Dec 2013 05:47:00 +0000 Deborah Schachter, Lois Shea & Andrew Parrella 39389 at For Struggling Youth, The Webster House A Second Home The Philosophy Of Tickling <p>The sensation of tickling has baffled great thinkers &nbsp;since the days of Aristotle, who used human ticklishness to distinguish people from animals. Later, Freud puzzled over the strange mix of pleasure and pain caused by tickling. &nbsp;</p><p>Indeed, we tickle kids or siblings, sometimes affectionately, sometimes edging towards cruelty.&nbsp; Still unknown is <em>why</em> people laugh when tickled, and why you can’t tickle yourself? Why do some people enjoy tickling and others not? And what is tickling, after all? Contemporary philosopher <strong>Aaron Schuster </strong>picks up those questions. He’s on the faculty at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam and wrote “A Philosophy of Tickling” for <a href="">Cabinet Magazine.</a></p><p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 16:22:14 +0000 Virginia Prescott 38058 at The Philosophy Of Tickling Do You Believe In Satan? How Belief In Pure Evil Affects Behavior <p>Lucifer, Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness…whatever he's called, some seventy percent of Americans believe in the existence of the Devil. That’s according to a 2007 Gallup Poll, and that number has increased steadily since 1990, when only fifty-five percent believed in evil personified in the form of Satan.</p><p>Now, researchers are looking at the implications of belief in “pure evil” on psychological and social behaviors.&nbsp; <strong>Piercarlo&nbsp;Valdesolo </strong>is Assistant Professor of Psychology at <a href="">Claremont Mckenna&nbsp;College</a> and contributor to Scientific American’s “Mind Matters” blog, where we found <a href="">his article</a>, “The Psychological Power of Satan.”&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 06 Nov 2013 16:07:57 +0000 Virginia Prescott 38053 at Do You Believe In Satan? How Belief In Pure Evil Affects Behavior The Sometimes Positive Effects Of Trauma <p>The number of&nbsp; shocking events over the past year is overwhelming &hellip; the Newtown school massacre; the Boston Marathon bombings; devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma.</p><p>Although the specifics of each catastrophe varies, media coverage adheres to a similar script involving communal resilience, collective support, and predictions of post-traumatic stress among victims and witnesses &ndash; even those thousands of miles away. In recent years, a small branch of positive psychology has been exploring the possibility that adversity can be a source of strength and wisdom. &nbsp;<strong>Mark Obbie </strong>recently <a href="">wrote about post-traumatic growth for <em>Pacific Standard</em> magazine</a>.</p><p> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 18:43:55 +0000 Virginia Prescott 31099 at The Sometimes Positive Effects Of Trauma Loneliness Can Kill <p>Humans are vastly more social than most other mammals. Neuroscientists point to the development of our social brain as key to the survival of our species; early humans survived by cooperating with each other in the rearing of children, by hunting in bands, by organizing night watches. A battery of research reveals that people still need people.</p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 14:02:00 +0000 Virginia Prescott 27458 at Loneliness Can Kill New Research Indicates Just Thinking About Science Increases Moral Behavior <p>Science is supposed to be objective, value neutral, a noble pursuit of truth – whatever that may turn out to be. In recent years though, some science skeptics have sought to associate objectivity with amorality - and meanwhile, a few well-publicized academic frauds and political battles over funding have revealed that researchers are just as capable at deception as anyone else.&nbsp; Despite these setbacks, research at the University of California Santa Barbara reveals that people do indeed carry deep and p<em>ositive</em> associations with the scientific method. <strong>Piercarlo Valdesolo</strong> wrote <a href=";page=2" target="_blank">about the experiments</a> for Scientific American.</p><p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 16:01:22 +0000 Virginia Prescott 34491 at New Research Indicates Just Thinking About Science Increases Moral Behavior Insta-Envy: Why Social Networking Is Depressing <p>One in thirteen people on earth use Facebook. It’s a staggering number, and evidence of the human desire to connect with others through social media. Research at the Human-Computer Institute at Carnegie Mellon and other places have found that passively following the lives of others on Facebook can have the opposite effects, triggering feelings of depression, envy, and isolation. <strong>Jessica Winter </strong>is senior editor at Slate, and <a href="" target="_blank">argues that the hipster-centric photo-filtering social network </a>Instagram, is even worse.</p><p></p><p></p><p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 14:20:53 +0000 Virginia Prescott 32654 at Insta-Envy: Why Social Networking Is Depressing