Psychology

The Exchange
9:00 am
Fri August 31, 2012

The Righteous Mind (REBROADCAST)

In a new book, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt explores how we reach different moral judgments about the same issue. Haidt says we join groups to reinforce these judgments, and this "groupishness" contributed to the survival of our species, but it has also been cause for fierce divisiveness. Haidt says there’s another option: mutual understanding and respect.

Related links:

www.RighteousMind.com to learn more about the book

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Word of Mouth
11:06 am
Wed June 27, 2012

What if that carrot ISN'T just a carrot?

(Photo by jaBB via Flickr Creative Commons)

In 1968, L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, declared as the result of a scientific experiment an unusual and disturbing notion: that tomatoes scream when sliced.  However strange his declaration may have seemed, Hubbard is in good company when it comes to prodding garden produce in search of an emotional response.

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Word of Mouth
12:34 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Super Problems, Super Shrink

Photo by rmarchall, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Last weekend, the box-office bowed to the marvel blockbuster dream-team The Avengers, which pits a group of righteous superheroes against their greatest villain yet:  their own neuroses.

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Humans
7:50 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Can You Think Your Way To That Hole-In-One?

Bo Van Pelt celebrates his hole-in-one during the final round of the Masters on April 8. New research suggests that golfers may be able to improve their games by believing the hole they're aiming for is larger than it really is.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Psychologists at Purdue University have come up with an interesting twist on the old notion of the power of positive thinking. Call it the power of positive perception: They've shown that you may be able to improve your golf game by believing the hole you're aiming for is larger than it really is.

Jessica Witt, who studies how perception and performance are related, decided to look at golf — specifically, how the appearance of the hole changes depending on whether you're playing well or poorly.

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Word of Mouth
2:50 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Wealth Therapy for the .01 Percent

In 2006, Wells Fargo became the first bank to offer one-on-one psychological consults to wealthy customers. Unlike the counseling offered for debt-ridden, financially insecure Americans, Wells Fargo’s therapists were there to address emotional issues associated with having a huge portfolio. The service is becoming an industry standard for banks and brokerage firms.

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Research News
6:08 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Bigger, Taller, Stronger: Guns Change What You See

Survey participants in a UCLA study were asked to look at pictures of a hand holding different items and guess how tall, how big and how muscular the person connected to that hand actually was.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

A new study out of UCLA suggests that when people wield a gun, they don't just feel bigger and stronger — it makes others think they are bigger and stronger.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:01 am
Mon March 26, 2012

Facebook May Not Be So Friendly For Those With Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem and Facebook aren't the best mix.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 8:44 am

Posting on Facebook is an easy way to connect with people, but it also can be a means to alienate them. That can be particularly troublesome for those with low self-esteem.

People with poor self-image tend to view the glass as half empty. They complain a bit more than everyone else, and they often share their negative views and feelings when face to face with friends and acquaintances.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:03 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Inconsistency: The Real Hobgoblin

Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney clashed often during Wednesday's GOP debate.
Jae C. Hong AP

This campaign season, inconsistency seems to be, well, almost everywhere. Each flip-flopping politician revels in pointing out the flip-flopping ways of his opponents.

Why are politicians and those of us who vote for them so obsessed with inconsistency? We take that question on from three angles: how our brains are wired; the psychology of judging what's consistent; and how consistency plays out in leadership styles.

Jon Hamilton: Why Our Brains Hate A Flip-Flopper

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:25 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Beautiful Souls: How Humans Overcome Evil

Amid stories of horrific atrocities like the Holocaust and the ethnic cleansing that took place in the Balkans in the 1990’s, occasional tales of courage emerge: the stories of individuals who fly in the face of convention – or even the law – to stand up for what they know is right.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
2:02 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

An Evolutionary Upside to Depression? Not Necessarily.

We’ve spoken on the program before about the tendency in science to connect today’s  traits and ailments to evolutionary adaptations for survival from which they presumably developed.  Not every aspect of humanity derives from Darwinian roots, argues Dr.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:22 pm
Wed January 4, 2012

Context, not Character

Photo by, Reigh LeBlanc, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

Character is the currency of political ads and attacks. It makes business deals attractive or unsavory. Character is described in court trials and novels as what makes a person tick. We’re going to introduce you to the proposition that human behavior is not driven by character, but context.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
8:04 am
Sat November 5, 2011

Word of Mouth for November 5th, 2011: Part 1

scooter race
(Photo by Simon Webster via Flickr Creative Commons)

The other drug war South of the Border. An investigative reporter uncaps Big Pharma's secretive drug trials in South America. And researchers uncover the strange paradox of why Americans want to give their money to those with more, not less.  A   

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Word of Mouth - Segment
8:00 am
Sat November 5, 2011

Word of Mouth for November 5th, 2011: Part 4

Zombie in San Fran
(Photo by Laughing Squid via Flickr Creative Commons)

Author Richard Asma explains why we're afraid of monsters.  And what to do when the zombie apocalypse happens (because it SO will).  

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11 for '11
12:00 am
Tue October 4, 2011

11 for '11: Stephen Pinker

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with Harvard experimental psychologist Stephen Pinker about his new book, Better Angels of Our Nature, about the history of violence, and why it's declined

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