Psychcrunch

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Synopsis

PsychCrunch is the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. Each episode we explore whether the findings from psychological science can make a difference in real life. Just how should we live, according to psychology? We speak to psychologists about their research and whether they apply what they've discovered in their own lives.

Episodes

  • Episode 20

    Episode 20

    02/03/2020 Duration: 19min

    This is Episode 20 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.  What can psychology teach us about dealing with pain? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns that swearing can have a pain-reducing effect, and puts the theory to the test with an experiment on editor Matthew Warren. Ginny also hears about how virtual reality could provide a welcome distraction to patients suffering from chronic pain. Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Dr Richard Stephens, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University, and Dr Sam Hughes, Research Fellow in pain neuroimaging at King’s College London. Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith, with additional content from Matthew Warren and Sana Suri. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw. Background reading for this episode: Managing limb pain using virtual reality: a systematic review of clinical and experiment

  • Episode 19

    Episode 19

    28/01/2020 Duration: 16min

    This is Episode 19 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.  Do we worry too much about screen time? The issue of screen use by children and teenagers is rarely out of the headlines, and institutions including the World Health Organization have recommended specific limits on screen time for the youngest age groups. But what does the science actually say about the effects of screen time? To find out, our presenter Ella Rhodes talks to Dr Amy Orben, Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and winner of the 2019 BPS award for Outstanding Doctoral Research, who has explored the psychological effects of screen time in her research.  Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist, with help from the Research Digest and Psychologist teams. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler; additional music by Ketsa. Artwork by Tim Grimshaw. Ba

  • Episode 18

    Episode 18

    09/09/2019 Duration: 20min

    This is Episode 18 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help us become more creative? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns how we can develop our creativity with practice, and discovers that our best “Eureka” moments often come when we step away from the task at hand. She also investigates how members of the public fare with the riddles psychologists use to study creative problem solving — see how you get on at home. Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Professor James C Kaufman, an educational psychologist at the University of Connecticut and author of several books on creativity, and Dr Gillian Hill, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Buckingham and member of the CREATE research team. Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw. Background reading for this episode: James C K

  • Episode 17

    Episode 17

    23/07/2019 Duration: 21min

    This is Episode 17 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help make running more enjoyable? Our presenter Christian Jarrett speaks to several experts about various strategies including "cognitive reappraisal" and the benefits of taking part in organised runs. He also hears how some of us are genetically disposed to find running less enjoyable than others, and why that isn't an excuse for giving up. Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Dr Grace Giles (US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, Natick), Dr John Nezlek (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty in Poznan and College of William & Mary, Williamsburg VA), Dr Marzena Cypryańska (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw), and Professor Eco de Geus (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). Episode credits: Presented and produced by Christian Jarrett. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme m

  • Episode 16 (bonus episode)

    Episode 16 (bonus episode)

    03/05/2019 Duration: 29min

    Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist magazine, delves into the growing body of research exploring aphantasia – a condition she has personal experience of. While most people can see images formed in their minds people with aphantasia draw a blank, what might this mean for autobiographical memory, face perception and imagination?  Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Zoe Pounder at the University of Westminster and Professor Adam Zeman at the University of Exeter.  Background resources for this episode:  This man had no idea his mind is "blind" until last week. Mental rotation performance in aphantasia. Loss of imagery phenomenology with intact visuo-spatial task performance: a case of "blind imagination". Lives without imagery – Congenital aphantasia. The neural correlates of visual imagery vividness – An fMRI study and literature review. The neural correlates of visual imagery: A co-ordinate-based meta-analysis. On Picturing a Candle: The Prehistory of Imagery Science. The Eye’s Mind - Zeman’s

  • Episode 15

    Episode 15

    19/03/2019 Duration: 14min

    This is Episode 15 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.  Mindfulness is everywhere these days, but is it really as beneficial as it's often made out to be? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears from clinical psychologist Dr Catherine Wikholm(co-author of The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You?); she visits the Cambridge Buddha Centre to meet people who have taken up mindfulness meditation; and she discusses some of the latest mindfulness research trials with Professor Barney Dunn, a clinical psychologist at Exeter University. Some of the evidence is indeed promising, and mindfulness meditation could offer a cost-effective way to help many people with mental health problems. However, Ginny also discovers that many trials are ongoing, mindfulness is not risk free, and it may not suit everyone.   Some of the studies mentioned in this episode: Mechanisms of action in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based

  • Episode 14

    Episode 14

    07/11/2018 Duration: 14min

    This is Episode 14 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help your cooking taste better? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears about the importance of food presentation, pairing and sequencing, and how our perception of food is a multi-sensory experience. She and her friends conduct a taste test using "sonic seasonings" that you can also try at home. Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Professor Debra Zellner at MontClaire State University and Professor Charles Spence at Oxford University. Background resources for this episode: The multisensory perception of flavour The supertaster who researches supertasting Wine tastes like the music you’re listening to Plating for pleasure: Debra Zellner at TEDxMontclair Do Appetizers Whet or Ruin Your Appetite? Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimsha

  • Episode 13

    Episode 13

    29/08/2018 Duration: 13min

    This is Episode 13 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help us to learn better? Our presenter Christian Jarrett discovers the best evidence-backed strategies for learning, including the principle of spacing, the benefits of testing yourself and teaching others. He also hears about the perils of overconfidence and the lack of evidence for popular educational ideas like "learning styles" and "brain gym". Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Nate Kornell, associate professor at Williams College; Paul Howard-Jones, author of Evolution of the Learning Brain(find out more), and professor of neuroscience and education at the University of Bristol; and Abby Knoll, doctoral student at Central Michigan University. Background reading for this episode: It feels as though we learn better via our preferred learning style, but we don’t “Another nail in the coffin for learning styles” – students did not benefit from st

  • Episode 12

    Episode 12

    27/06/2018 Duration: 17min

    This is Episode 12 of PsychCrunch the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here. Can psychology help us to be funnier? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears how a key ingredient of humour is "incongruity" and the surprise of unexpected meanings. Individual words too can be amusing, but actually most of the time we laugh not because we've seen or heard a joke, but as a natural part of friendly interaction. Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Cardiff University neuroscientist Dean Burnett, author of The Happy Brain; psychologist Tomas Engelthalerat the University of Warwick, who co-authored a paper on the funniest words in English; and "stand up scientist" Sophie Scottat UCL, who gave the 2017 Christmas lectures on the neuroscience of voices, speech and laughter. Background reading for this episode: Research on jokes in the Research Digest archive Research on laughter in the Research Digest archive Engelthaler's study of the funniest word

  • Episode 11

    Episode 11

    21/02/2018 Duration: 14min

    This is Episode 11 of PsychCrunch the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help us get a better night's sleep? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears how worry about sleep is sometimes more of a problem than lack of sleep itself. She gives us some evidence-backed sleep tips and finds out about "sleep engineering" – deliberately manipulating the sleep process to aid memory and enhance its health benefits. Our guests are Professor Kenneth Lichstein at the University of Alabama and Professor Penny Lewis at the University of Cardiff. Background reading for this episode: “Insomnia identity” – misbelieving you’ve got sleep problems can be more harmful than actual lack of sleep BBC News: Sleep engineering: Cardiff scientists working on designer rest Targeted memory reactivation of newly learned words during sleep triggers REM-mediated integration of new memories and existing knowledge Also, find many more studies on sleep and dreaming in our

  • Episode 10

    Episode 10

    01/11/2017 Duration: 13min

    It's been a while coming, but this is Episode 10 of PsychCrunch the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help us avoid procrastinating and get on with the important things we know we should be doing? Our presenter Christian Jarrett hears about what causes procrastination, how to stop it, and whether it has any upsides. Also, we put the psychologists on the spot and ask whether they've managed to cure their own procrastination. Our guests are the world experts in the psychology of procrastination Professor Tim Pychyl at Carleton University and Dr Fuschia Sirois at the University of Sheffield. Studies discussed or alluded to in the episode: A critique of the construct validity of active procrastination I forgive myself, now I can study: How self-forgiveness for procrastinating can reduce future procrastination Procrastination and Stress: Exploring the Role of Self-compassion Procrastination and the Priority of Short-Term Mood

  • Episode 9

    Episode 9

    21/02/2017 Duration: 14min

    This is Episode 9 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help us work together better in teams? Our presenter Christian Jarrett hears about the benefits of appointing a "meta-knowledge champion" for the team, making sure everyone has contact with the team's "extra miler", and why you should think carefully about the physical space that you do your teamwork in. Our guests in order of appearance: Dr Julija Mell (Essec Business School), Dr Alex Fradera (Research Digest writer), and Dr Katherine Greenaway (University of Queensland). Studies discussed in the episode: Why your team should appoint a "meta-knowledge" champion – one person who’s aware of everyone else’s area of expertise Team effectiveness is disproportionately influenced by your group’s best performer or "extra-miler" Minimalist, anonymous rooms are probably not a good place to do teamwork In home or at home? How collective decision making in a new c

  • Episode 8

    Episode 8

    07/11/2016 Duration: 10min

    This is Episode 8 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can we trust psychological studies? We speak to Brian Earp, of Oxford University and Yale University, about how to respond when we're told repeatedly that the veracity of eye-catching findings, or even cherished theories, has come under scrutiny. Brian also talks about his own experience of publishing a failed replication attempt – a must-listen for any  researchers who are fearful of publishing their own negative findings. Find Brian on Twitter @BrianDavidEarp Episode credits: Presented and produced by Christian Jarrett. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Additional music Legrand Jones (via Pond5). Art work Tim Grimshaw. Studies discussed: Assessing the Robustness of Power Posing See also Dana Carney statement on power posing (pdf) and Amy Cuddy's response. A Multi-Lab Pre-Registered Replication of the Ego-Depleti

  • Episode 7

    Episode 7

    09/08/2016 Duration: 11min

    This is Episode Seven of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology give you a competitive edge in sport? Our presenter Christian Jarrett learns about the importance of having the right competitive mindset, and how to use self-talk and positive imagery to boost your sporting performance. Our guests, in order of appearance, are George Hanshaw (International Sport Achievers and HanshawPerformance.com), Marc Jones (Staffordshire University) and Sanda Dolcos (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Studies discussed in the episode include: Cardiovascular indices of challenge and threat states predict performance The inner speech of behavioral regulation: Intentions and task performance strengthen when you talk to yourself as a You Effect of self-talk and imagery on the response time of trained martial artists. Episode credits: Presented and produced by Christian Jarrett. Mixing engineer Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme m

  • Episode 6

    Episode 6

    13/06/2016 Duration: 10min

    This is Episode 6 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Have you ever sent a sarcastic email or text message and discovered to your horror that the recipient thought you were being literal? If so, this episode is for you! Research Digest editor Christian Jarrett speaks to Dr Ruth Filik (University of Nottingham), lead author of a recent study into how emoticons and punctuation can help you convey written sarcasm more effectively. After listening, you'll realise those little winking faces ;-) are no laughing matter. Seriously!  Research discussed in this episode includes:  How and when to send sarcastic emails and texts, according to science Emotional responses to irony and emoticons in written language: Evidence from EDA and facial EMG Episode credits: Presenter/editor Dr Christian Jarrett. Mixing Dr Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw. PsychCrunch is sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

  • Episode 5

    Episode 5

    30/03/2016 Duration: 12min

    This is Episode Five of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. In this episode we explore whether psychology can help us learn a new language.We hear about research showing the benefits of music training to language learning, and how it may be possible to boost your learning of foreign words while you sleep. Our presenter Christian Jarrett also hears about the anxiety that many people feel when trying to speak a foreign language and why it's so important to just give it a go!Our guests in order of appearance are Dr Christina Gkonou of the University of Essex, Dr Sylvain Moreno, Director of Canada's Digital Health Hub at Simon Fraser University, and Professor Björn Rasch at the University of Fribourg.  Among the research studies that we talk about in this episode are:  Short-Term Music Training Enhances Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function Foreign languages easier to learn when they're sung rather than spoken Boosting Voca

  • Episode 4

    Episode 4

    16/12/2015 Duration: 12min

    This is Episode Four of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this festive episode we explore whether psychology can help us with gift giving.  Our presenter Christian Jarrett and his guests discuss the benefits of giving "giver-centric" gifts; how recipients like to receive gifts on their wish lists; why ethical or pro-social gifts are sometimes not so warmly received; and the two words that can salvage that awkward situation when a gift doesn't go down too well.  Our guests in order of appearance are Lisa Cavanaugh USC Marshall School of Business, Lara Aknin of Simon Fraser University, and Alex Fradera, contributing writer to the BPS Research Digest blog.  The studies discussed in this episode, in order of appearance, are: Give a piece of you: Gifts that reflect givers promote closeness Give them what they want: The benefits of explicitness in gift exchange When doing good is bad in gift giving: Mis-predicting appreciation of socially responsible gifts Moments

  • Episode Three Bonus Material

    Episode Three Bonus Material

    19/10/2015 Duration: 12min

    On October 1, 2015 Dr Christian Jarrett (Editor, BPS Research Digest) met with Dr Jon Sutton (Editor, The Psychologist magazine) to debate Michael Jackson's legacy. This is their full argument! Excerpts from their debate about MJ appear in Episode Three of PsychCrunch, which explored whether psychology can help you to win an argument.

  • Episode Three

    Episode Three

    19/10/2015 Duration: 12min

    This is Episode Three of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we explore whether psychology can help you to win an argument. After our presenter Christian Jarrett tries his luck with an argument about Michael Jackson's legacy, we find out why convincing people of your point of view is so difficult, and we hear about a paradoxical technique that's encouraging people to change their own minds about one of the most serious arguments in the world – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We'll also touch on why neurobabble appears to be so convincing. Our guests are Dr Jon Sutton (Editor, The Psychologist); Dr Tom Stafford (University of Sheffield); Boaz Hameiri (Tel Aviv University); and Sara Hodges (University of Oregon).  Some of the research discussed by our guests has been covered previously on the Research Digest blog, including how superfluous neuroscience can be so persuasive, and other relevant research is in our archive. Boaz Hameiri's research

  • Episode Two

    Episode Two

    18/06/2015 Duration: 11min

    This is Episode Two of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we speak to psychology researchers in the field of habit change to see if their findings can provide real-life tips for people hoping to break bad habits or form new healthy ones. We can't promise you a life of health and success as some self-help authors do, but we might be able to help you eat less chocolate! Our guests are Dr Benjamin Gardner (Kings College London and University College London; UCL), Dr Katy Tapper (City University, London) and Dr David Neal (Catalyst Behavioral Sciences). Much of the research discussed by our guests has been covered previously on the Research Digest blog, including the Mindbus Technique; the time it takes to form new habits; and switching hands as a way to break the popcorn habit. Other research on habit change is also covered in our archives and there are many relevant articles available from The Psychologist magazine, including Self-control - the

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