Show cover of Speaking of Psychology

Speaking of Psychology

"Speaking of Psychology" is an audio podcast series highlighting some of the latest, most important and relevant psychological research being conducted today. Produced by the American Psychological Association, these podcasts will help listeners apply the science of psychology to their everyday lives.


What does modern retirement look like? With Mo Wang, PhD
Forget the stereotype of a good-bye party in the break room followed by endless days on the golf course. Today, workers are staying on the job longer and taking on more “bridge employment,” or post-retirement jobs. Mo Wang, PhD, of the University of Florida, talks about what these shifts mean for modern retirement, how retirement can affect people’s mental and physical health, and what workers – even those who still have many years left in the workforce – can do now to help set themselves up for a happy retirement in the future. Please help us know more about you and what you would like to hear more of from Speaking of Psychology by filling out our 2023 Audience Survey. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
31:40 3/29/23
What’s behind the crisis in teen mental health? With Kathleen Ethier, PhD
Recently released CDC data found that teen girls are experiencing startling levels of sadness and violence -- nearly 1 in 3 had seriously considered suicide and 57 percent felt persistently sad or hopeless. The report also found high levels of distress among LGBQ+ teens. Dr. Kathleen Ethier, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, discusses what’s behind this crisis in teen mental health, why girls seem to be suffering more than boys, and what parents, peers, schools and communities do to help teens cope. Please help us know more about you and what you would like to hear more of from Speaking of Psychology by filling out our 2023 Audience Survey. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
37:04 3/22/23
Psychedelic therapy: Will it be a game changer for mental health treatment? with Albert Garcia-Romeu, PhD
In just a few years, psychedelics have gone from being a symbol of the 1960s counterculture to being touted as highly promising mental health treatments. Dr. Albert Garcia-Romeu, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University, talks about whether the research backs up the hype; the state of psychedelic therapy research for PTSD, depression, addiction and other mental health disorders; how psychedelics work in the brain and mind; and whether psychedelic treatments are likely to be approved in the U.S. any time soon. Please help us know more about you and what you would like to hear more of from Speaking of Psychology by filling out our 2023 Audience Survey. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
38:46 3/15/23
Hypnosis in therapy - pain management for the body and mind, with David Patterson, PhD
Hypnosis is more than just a stage trick. Psychologists and other researchers have found that it can be useful in treating pain, anxiety, and a range of other physical and mental health problems. David Patterson, PhD, of the University of Washington, talks about what’s happening in people’s bodies and brains when they’re hypnotized, whether anyone can be hypnotized, the differences between stage hypnosis and hypnosis in therapy, the physical and mental health problems it can help address, and what to look for to find a qualified practitioner. Please help us know more about you and what you would like to hear more of from Speaking of Psychology by filling out our 2023 Audience Survey. For transcripts, links and more information, please visit the Speaking of Psychology Homepage.
36:27 3/8/23
The secret to living a happy life, with Marc Schulz, PhD
What makes for a good life? What makes for a happy life? Marc Schulz, PhD, associate director of the 85-year-old Harvard Study of Adult Development, talks about what researchers have learned from the world’s longest scientific study of happiness about relationships, money, success and what really leads to a happy life.  For more information and transcripts visit Speaking of Psychology.
34:03 3/1/23
Why clutter stresses us out, with Dn. Joseph Ferrari, PhD
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by all your stuff? If so, you're not alone. In recent years, a thriving decluttering industry has sprung up to help us deal with our ever-accumulating piles of things. Dn. Joseph Ferrari, PhD, of DePaul University, talks about why we accumulate so much stuff and why we find it so hard to deal with it, what the research says about clutter, stress and anxiety, and the best ways to get started clearing the clutter in your home.
35:35 2/22/23
Why you should aim to be a “good enough” parent, with Tim Cavell, PhD, and Lauren Quetsch, PhD
Being a parent can be tough these days. Dozens of books and articles offer competing answers to questions from how to help siblings get along to how much screen time is too much, and every decision you make feels important. It's no wonder that many parents feel tired, stressed, and unsure of whether they're doing a good job. Tim Cavell, PhD, and Lauren Quetsch, PhD, authors of Good Enough Parenting: A Six-Point Plan for a Stronger Relationship With Your Child, talk about what “good enough parenting” means and why it’s a worthy goal, why nurturing the parent-child relationship is parents’ most important job, why science backs the old adage “choose your battles wisely,” and how to develop loving, supportive relationships with your kids that will stand the test of time. More info: Tim Cavell, PhD, Lauren Quetsch, PhD, Good Enough Parenting: A Six-Point Plan for a Stronger Relationship With Your Child, and Speaking of Psychology home page.
42:42 2/15/23
Why our attention spans are shrinking, with Gloria Mark, PhD
These days, most of us live our lives tethered to our computers and smartphones, which are unending sources of distraction. Research has shown that over the past couple of decades people’s attention spans have shrunk in measurable ways. Gloria Mark, PhD, of the University of California Irvine, talks about how the internet and digital devices have affected our ability to focus, why multitasking is so stressful, and how understanding the science of attention can help us to regain our focus when we need it. Learn more: Gloria Mark, PhD, Speaking of Psychology Home Page
37:09 2/8/23
How to live with bipolar disorder, with David Miklowitz, PhD, and Terri Cheney
Up to 4% of people in the U.S. have bipolar disorder, but as common as this mood disorder is, it is also often misunderstood. Psychologist and researcher David Miklowitz, PhD, and writer and mental health advocate Terri Cheney talk about what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder; how it’s diagnosed; and what researchers have learned about effective treatments including therapy and medication. Links David Miklowitz, PhD Terri Cheney   Speaking of Psychology Home Page
41:15 2/1/23
How psychology can help people make better decisions, with Lace Padilla, PhD, and Hannah Perfecto, PhD
All day, every day, we have to make decisions, from what to have for breakfast to how to spend our money to whether to evacuate ahead of a hurricane. Psychologists’ research is helping us understand why people make the decisions they do, from trivial choices to life-and-death ones. Decision scientists Lace Padilla, PhD, and Hannah Perfecto, PhD, discuss why people make bad decisions, how even small changes in the way choices are presented can nudge us to make different ones, and how can decision researchers’ findings could best be deployed in the real world. Links Lace Padilla, PhD Hannah Perfecto, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
35:55 1/25/23
Can a pathological liar be cured? with Drew Curtis, PhD, and Christian L. Hart, PhD
Almost everyone lies occasionally, but for a small percentage of people, lying isn't something that they do every once in a while -- it's a way of life. Drew Curtis, PhD, of Angelo State University, and Christian L. Hart, PhD, of Texas Woman’s University, authors of a new book on pathological lying, talk about what drives “big liars” to lie, why they believe pathological lying should be classified as a mental health disorder, whether liars really are more prevalent in some professions, such as politics and sales, and how you can recognize lies and protect yourself from being duped.   Links   Drew Curtis, PhD   Christian L. Hart, PhD   Pathological Lying: Theory, Research and Practice by Drew A. Curtis and Christian L. Hart, APA Books   Speaking of Psychology Home Page
36:06 1/18/23
Understanding and overcoming phobias, with Martin Antony, PhD
Specific phobias – such as fear of heights, needles, flying or spiders – affect up to 13 percent of people at some point in their lives. Clinical psychologist Dr. Martin Antony, PhD, of Toronto Metropolitan University, talks about the difference between a fear and a phobia, where phobias come from, what the most common phobias are, and the effective therapies and strategies that can help people overcome them.   Links Martin Antony, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
31:34 1/11/23
What our possessions mean to us, with Russell Belk, PhD
The things that we own can be central to our identity, part of how we see ourselves and how other people see us. Russell Belk, PhD, of York University, talks about the role our possessions play in our lives; what drives collectors to collect items as disparate as stamps, art and Pez dispensers; how the word “possessions” can encompass physical, digital and even completely intangible items; and how has the rise of the sharing economy is changing the way people think about the importance of ownership. Links Russell Belk, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
32:44 1/4/23
Encore - The people who never forget a face, with Josh Davis, PhD, and Kelly Desborough
Super-recognizers have an extraordinary ability to recognize faces—they can pick faces they’ve seen only briefly out of a crowd and can recognize childhood acquaintances they haven’t seen in decades. Josh Davis, PhD, a professor of applied psychology at the University of Greenwich, and super-recognizer Kelly Desborough discuss the origins of this ability, why you can’t train yourself to be a super-recognizer, how super-recognizers compare with facial-recognition algorithms, and why police departments and security organizations are interested in working with super-recognizers.
33:36 12/28/22
Encore - Psychology takes toys seriously, with Barry Kudrowitz, PhD, and Doris Bergen, PhD
Just in time for toy-buying season, Barry Kudrowitz, PhD, a toy designer and professor of product design at the University of Minnesota, and Doris Bergen, PhD, a professor emerita of educational psychology at Miami University in Ohio, discuss the psychology of toys. What makes something a good toy? Why do some toys stand the test of time while others fizzle out after one season? How has technology changed the way kids play with toys? Does gender affect kids’ toy choices? And do we ever grow out of toys?
44:07 12/21/22
The challenge of long COVID, with Tracy Vannorsdall, PhD, and Rowena Ng, PhD
Nearly three years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, millions of Americans are still living with the effects of the virus. Neuropsychologists Tracy Vannorsdall, PhD, and Rowena Ng, PhD, talk about the cognitive and mental health symptoms of long COVID, what treatments are available, and the most pressing questions that researchers need to answer to get help to patients who need it. Links Tracy Vannorsdall, PhD Rowena Ng, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
30:16 12/14/22
How our brain makes sense of a noisy world, with Nina Kraus, PhD
Our life experiences shape the way that our brain processes sound, and sound is deeply intertwined with everything from our ability to read to our cognitive health as we age. Dr. Nina Kraus, of Northwestern University, talks about why we undervalue our sense of hearing; why musicians, athletes and bilingual people often have superior sound-processing abilities; why sound is crucial to language and reading; and how unwanted noise can harm not only our ears but also our brain.
34:11 12/7/22
How to learn better using psychology, with Regan Gurung, PhD, and John Dunlosky, PhD
From kindergarten through college, very few students are taught a crucial skill set – how, exactly, to study effectively. Regan Gurung, PhD, and John Dunlosky, PhD, authors of “Study like a Champ: The Psychology-based Guide to “Grade A Study Habits,” talk about the biggest studying myths, which study techniques work and which don’t, and why finding studying difficult can be a sign that you’re doing it right. Links Regan Gurung, PhD John Dunlosky, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
44:07 11/30/22
How to cope with news overload, with Markus Brauer, PhD, and Don Grant, PhD
Are you suffering from news overload? Do you find yourself doomscrolling when you should be sleeping, eating, playing with your kids or doing your job? Do you feel hounded by algorithms that keep sending you more bad news? Media psychologist Don Grant, PhD, and Markus Brauer, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin, discuss why it’s so hard to shut off the news spigot and what you can do to cope with media overload while still staying informed.
43:39 11/23/22
Living a happy single life, with Geoff MacDonald, PhD
More Americans than ever before are single -- about half of American adults are unmarried and close to three in 10 are not in a committed relationship. Geoff MacDonald, PhD, of the University of Toronto, talks about how relationship status is related to well-being, whether there is a societal stigma against singles, and why there is so much more research on being in a happy relationship than there is on being happily single.
29:11 11/16/22
Why humans and other primates care so much about fairness, with Sarah Brosnan, PhD
Questions of fairness, justice and morality might seem unique to humans. But research suggests that non-human animals notice inequality as well. Dr. Sarah Brosnan, of Georgia State University, talks about how non-human primates and other animals react to unfair situations, why we humans care so much about fairness, and how studying non-human animals can help us better understand how our human sense of justice evolved.
33:43 11/9/22
Why you should apologize even when it’s hard to, with Karina Schumann, PhD
Apologies have the potential to heal relationships, soothe hurt feelings and even begin to address historical wrongs. But they’re not always easy to offer. Karina Schumann, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh, discusses why apologies matter, what makes for a good, effective apology and what makes for a bad one, whether women really do apologize more than men, what to do when someone wants to apologize to you but you’re not ready to forgive them, and the role of institutional and government apologies in addressing historical injustice.
37:25 11/2/22
Understanding medical marijuana, CBD and more, with Ziva Cooper, PhD
Over the past few years, the number and variety of cannabis products legally available to American consumers has soared. Ziva Cooper, PhD, of the UCLA Center for Cannabis and Cannabinoids, talks about how researchers are exploring both the potential health benefits and the risks of marijuana, CBD and more, aiming to make sure that the science keeps up with policy changes and the evolving marketplace. Links Ziva Cooper, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
45:01 10/26/22
Relationship advice from a couple psychologist, with Anthony Chambers, PhD
When relationship issues arise -- around money, fidelity, kids or even just coping with the stress of everyday life -- couple therapists can help partners work through them together. Couple and family psychologist Anthony Chambers, PhD, talks about how couple therapy works, when it’s useful, when couples are most likely to break up, and why it’s helpful to think of talking with your partner as a game of catch rather than a tennis match. Links Anthony Chambers, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
37:12 10/19/22
Why we procrastinate and what to do about it, with Fuschia Sirois, PhD
We all know the feeling of scrambling at the last minute to finish a task that we could have and should have tackled much sooner. Fuschia Sirois, PhD, of Durham University, talks about why procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not one of laziness or poor time management skills; how it can harm our mental and physical health; why it’s so tied up with guilt and shame; and how self-compassion can help us overcome it.   Links Fuchsia Sirois, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
35:33 10/12/22
How to stop mass shootings, with Jillian Peterson, PhD
Americans have become accustomed to tragic headlines of mass shootings in schools, grocery stores and other public places – these shootings still shock, but they no longer surprise. Jillian Peterson, PhD, of Hamline University, talks about research on what drives most mass shooters, why thinking of mass shootings as suicides as well as homicides can suggest new ways to combat them, and what can be done in schools, workplaces and elsewhere to make the next mass shooting less likely.   Links   Jillian Peterson, PhD   Speaking of Psychology Home Page
34:01 10/5/22
The psychology of political messaging, with Drew Westen, PhD
Psychologists’ research has found that it’s not the nuances of policy debates that drive voter behavior but instead how voters feel about candidates and political parties -- and whom they trust to share their values. Drew Westen, PhD, of Emory University, talks about how emotions drive our political behavior, what makes for an effective political speech or ad campaign, and what role political messaging may be playing in shaping our increasingly polarized public discourse.    Links   Drew Westen, PhD   Speaking of Psychology Home Page
41:42 9/28/22
Reading minds using brain scans, with Kenneth Norman, PhD
The idea of a machine that can read your thoughts sounds more like science fiction than actual science. But in recent years, it’s come closer to reality. Kenneth Norman, PhD, of Princeton University, talks about how scientists decode thoughts from patterns of brain activity, what we can learn about thinking, learning and memory from this research, how it could be useful in mental health treatment, and more. Links Kenneth Norman, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
40:56 9/21/22
How the need to belong drives human behavior, with Geoffrey L. Cohen, PhD
The desire to belong is a fundamental part of human nature. Geoffrey Cohen, PhD, of Stanford University, talks about how feeling like an outsider can harm us; why threats to belonging drive problems as varied as achievement gaps and political polarization; and how to boost people’s sense of belonging, especially among those most at risk of feeling like outsiders. LInks Geoffrey Cohen, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
32:58 9/14/22
How to spend your time more wisely, with Cassie Holmes, PhD
When you feel time-poor, endless hours of free time might sound like the ultimate luxury. But psychologists’ research suggests that it’s not simply the amount of time that you have, but how you spend it, that determines your happiness. Cassie Holmes, PhD, discusses whether there’s an ideal amount of free time, how to increase your sense of “time affluence” and how tracking your time can help you live a happier life.     Links     Cassie Holmes, PhD Speaking of Psychology Home Page
41:01 9/7/22