Psychology

Word of Mouth
2:43 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

The Sometimes Positive Effects Of Trauma

Credit Texas to Mexico via Flickr Creative Commons

The number of  shocking events over the past year is overwhelming … the Newtown school massacre; the Boston Marathon bombings; devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma.

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 – 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.  Mark Obbie recently wrote about post-traumatic growth for Pacific Standard magazine.

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Word of Mouth
10:02 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Loneliness Can Kill

Credit Vermario vis flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Word of Mouth
12:01 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

New Research Indicates Just Thinking About Science Increases Moral Behavior

Credit Zach Stern via flickr Creative Commons

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.  Despite these setbacks, research at the University of California Santa Barbara reveals that people do indeed carry deep and positive associations with the scientific method. Piercarlo Valdesolo wrote about the experiments for Scientific American.

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Word of Mouth
10:20 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Insta-Envy: Why Social Networking Is Depressing

Credit Taylor Quimby

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. Jessica Winter is senior editor at Slate, and argues that the hipster-centric photo-filtering social network Instagram, is even worse.

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Word of Mouth
9:17 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Making Ourselves Happier

Credit happier.com

What makes you happier? This simple question lies at the heart of a new app called “Happier” – a social media community and iPhone app which collects and shares the little actions, moments and gesture that brighten their day. The app was developed with the idea that the key to happiness is focusing on the positive and plenty of people have joined so far. We wanted to know – are they any better off? Nataly Kogan is co-founder of the Boston-based Happier Inc. and she spoke with us about the app.

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Word of Mouth
10:06 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Good Things Come To Those Who Wait...In Lines

Credit TheQ! via Flickr Creative Commons

Long lines are a part life for most of us…at the DMV, grocery store, post office… we line up by choice for some things…maybe you’ve heard of people queuing up for hours outside the New York City bakery that sells the “Cronut” – an apparently delicious cross between a croissant and doughnut.  Francesca Gino wrote about new research suggesting that one reason we’re willing to wait in long lines for midnight movies, the latest smartphone, or bizarre baked delicacies is because they help us learn more about ourselves.  Francesca is a behavioral scientist and associate professor at Harvard Business School. She wrote about the psychology of waiting in line for Fast Company, and joins us now on the line.

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Word of Mouth
9:48 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Word Of Mouth 07.20.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Our favorite content of the week, wrapped up in one audio-licious program. This week, author Chuck Klosterman defines villainy, the Cronut craze catches a Harvard researcher's eye, head transplants are given an examination, robots roll into vinyards, and a pair of hard-partying vegetarians share their take on potato salad (spoiler alert: it's got Doritos in it!)

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All Things Considered
5:18 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Effects of "Sibling Aggression" On Kids Can Be Significant

Corinna Jenkins Tucker says society looks at fights between siblings differently than those between classmates - but aggressive behavior in either case can leave kids stressed.
Credit meaganmakes via Flickr/Creative Commons - http://www.flickr.com/photos/meaganmakes/6980624734/in/photostream/

Siblings fight. Almost any family with children knows this- and yet what we know about the effects of that fighting may be changing.

A new study from the University of New Hampshire shows that sibling aggression may leave deeper marks on children than we’ve previously understood.

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Word of Mouth
11:13 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Why We Love Tiny Packages Of Treats

Credit elmachuca via Flickr Creative Commons

You know those individually wrapped chocolates that you find in office candy jars and Halloween sacks ?  Turns out, the troublesome need to unwrap chocolates makes them hard to eat in certain settings, like the car, which is why some years back, Hershey released Reese’s Minis, small, resealable bags of candy designed to be snarfed on the go.

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Word of Mouth
8:00 am
Wed April 24, 2013

What Does Your #Selfie Say About You?

Selfies of Rebecca Lavoie, Taylor Quimby, Zach Nugent, and Virginia Prescott.
Credit WoM Team for NHPR

The growing emergence of self-portraits – “selfies” – shows no signs of stopping its domination of the social media sphere. By 2012, 86% of the U.S. population had a cell phone. Moreover, research indicates that six out of every ten women use their mobile devices to take self-portraits, most of which end up on Facebook. Narcissism, egotism and vanity are commonly associated with these snapshots – but our guest, Dr. Pamela Rutledge, argues that “selfies” are important, and expand on a rich history of self-portraiture. Pamela is the director of the Media Psychology Research Center.

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Word of Mouth
11:18 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Psychology Of A Terrorist

Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev
Credit via fbi.gov

The shock and horror of the Boston marathon explosions one week ago today gave way to an almost incomprehensible sequence of events leading to a dramatic day-long dragnet that shut a major American city and several surrounding neighborhoods down. Now, with one suspect dead and his younger brother in critical condition at a Boston hospital, citizens and media alike are grappling to fill in motivations and create narratives that we can understand.  Among the most combed-over questions is whether 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev somehow radicalized his popular, athletic, seemingly well-adjusted 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar.

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Word of Mouth
1:19 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

The Robot Inquisition

A NAO Robot
Credit roboticage via flickr Creative Commons

They may not be able to dream or feel emotion, but a recent study suggests that robots do a better job of getting accurate witness statements than their human counterparts.  Cindy Bethel, is an assistant professor at Mississippi State University that specializes in human-robot interaction and the lead author of a study recently covered by The New Scientist. Also joining us is Deborah Eakin, the psychologist on the project.

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Word of Mouth
10:47 am
Wed February 20, 2013

A Mass Shooter's First Victim

Credit Photo courtesy allvoices.com

Patrick Radden Keefe's stunning investigation into mass shooter Amy Bishop's past has gone hyper-viral. The New Yorker writer joins us to talk about Bishop's 1986 shooting of her younger brother, and how family dynamics may have played into her 2010 murder of three colleagues at the University of Alabama.

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All Things Considered
6:14 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

How Do Repeat Military Deployments Affect Servicemembers' Children?

Later this week 110 members of the New Hampshire Army National Guard will mobilize in support of combat operations in Afghanistan. The 237th Military Police Company will train in Texas for several months before departing to Khost Province.

77 of the soldiers are deploying for the first time. But others are on their second and third; one is one his fifth deployment.

It’s those repeated deployments that have been a signature of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – and a researcher at UNH, they could take a toll on servicemembers’ families.

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Word of Mouth
12:26 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Word of Mouth 01.26.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth's weekly show that wraps up the best of our content in one great-to-listen-to package.

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