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Speaking of Psychology

American Psychological Association

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"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.
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On The Issues With Michele Goodwin at Ms. magazine is a show where we report, rebel, and tell it like it is. On this show, we center your concerns about rebuilding our nation and advancing the promise of equality. Join Michele Goodwin as she and guests tackle the most compelling issues of our times.
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show series
 
This week, we’re continuing our series unpacking the litigation and criminal charges levied at former president Donald Trump: The Trump Indictments. In this episode, Dr. Goodwin is joined by Professor Anthony Michael Kreis as they discuss the status of the Georgia criminal prosecution against Trump and the allegations facing Fulton County DA Fani W…
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The world is an increasingly urban place, and with urban living comes traffic, noise, pollution and other hassles. But cities don’t have to wear us down. Jenny Roe, PhD, of University of Virginia, talks about how to design cities that support mental health and well-being with elements like access to nature and spaces that encourage community, how o…
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Over the past two decades, dating apps have become the most common way for people to meet a partner. Liesel Sharabi, PhD, director of the Relationships and Technology Lab at Arizona State University, discusses how that shift has changed how people meet and form relationships, whether relationships that start online are more or less likely to succee…
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Video games get a bad rap -- but the right games can be a tool to reach kids and teach them important social emotional and academic skills. Susan Rivers, PhD, chief scientist at the nonprofit iThrive Games, talks about how to design games that are both entertaining and educational, what kinds of skills kids can learn through gaming and how parents …
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Artificial intelligence is already changing how people work, learn, play and live. As these technologies develop, it will be crucial to understand how they interact with human behavior to make sure we use AI safely and ethically. Nathanael Fast, PhD, executive director of the Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making at the USC Marsha…
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In this special episode, Dr. Goodwin is on the road, broadcasting from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She's joined by Dutch physician and reproductive rights activist and pioneer, Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, founder of Women on Waves—an organization that took to the seas to provide women abortions and reproductive healthcare. They unpack victories and the h…
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Regret is painful – but it can also be productive, pushing us to make better decisions and needed changes in our lives. Dr. Robert Leahy, author of the book “If Only…Finding Freedom From Regret,” talks about the difference between productive and unproductive regret, why some people seem to ruminate on their regrets more than others, what to do if r…
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Remember New Coke? Colgate frozen lasagna? The Hawaii chair? History is littered with commercial failures. Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson, PhD, author of “Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well,” and organizational psychologist Samuel West, PhD, curator of the Museum of Failure, talk about some of commerce’s biggest flops…
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The words diversity, equity and inclusion have become political flashpoints -- but the science and evidence on why diversity matters is often ignored. Robert Sellers, PhD, of the University of Michigan, talks about why diverse groups lead to better outcomes and how psychologists’ research has informed our understanding of diversity in our schools, …
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More than half the world’s population speaks more than one language. Viorica Marian, PhD, of Northwestern University, talks about why speaking multiple languages may have far-reaching cognitive benefits, how the bilingual brain processes language and how the languages we speak shape the way we think and perceive the world. For transcripts, links an…
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Report after report has shown that sexual harassment and assault are pervasive throughout the U.S. armed forces: at least 15.7 percent of military personnel and veterans reported military sexual trauma, a number that is likely smaller than the actual total due to shame and fear around reporting. What’s more, perpetrators are rarely if ever held acc…
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Everyone gets stuck sometimes: in a creative pursuit that stalls, in a job or a relationship that isn’t working out, or even just at an exercise plateau. NYU psychologist Adam Alter, PhD, author of “Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most,” talks about why getting stuck is such a universal experience, what you can do to g…
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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 re…
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Playtime isn’t just for fun -- psychologists who study children’s learning have found that kids learn best through play. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD, of Temple University, talks about why kids need playtime, what playful learning looks like in a classroom, how technology is changing children’s play, why adults need recess, too, and what parents can do t…
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In this episode, we continue our Collateral Damage series—where we’re thinking about women during wartime, and the unique price they pay. As various wars and conflicts continue to mount around the world, from Ukraine to Gaza, to Sudan and beyond, we’re wondering: where are the women at the negotiating table? The number of women and girls living in …
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When the news is filled with war and climate change and other disasters, remaining hopeful about the future can feel impossible. But psychologists’ research has found that hope is not an unrealistic luxury, but a necessity. Jacqueline Mattis, PhD, of Rutgers University, and Chan Hellman, PhD, of the University of Oklahoma, discuss the difference be…
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Misleading news stories. Propaganda. Conspiracy theories. Misinformation has always been with us, but with the rise of social media it can spread farther and faster than ever. Sander van der Linden, PhD, of Cambridge University, talks about why we’re so vulnerable to misinformation, how much we’re really all exposed to, why misinformation spreads l…
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This episode marks the first in a new On the Issues series: “Collateral Damage.” In these episodes, we probe where news typically falls off, and its neglect of the impact of war on women. The crises of sexual violence they face, which is a deliberate tactic in war. We examine maternal and reproductive health, the role of women in peacekeeping, and …
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Among the many challenges people with serious mental illness face is the stigma surrounding illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Kim Mueser, PhD, of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University, talks about the progress psychology has made in treating serious mental illness; the role of both medication and psychos…
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Conversational chemistry might seem intangible, but psychologists are beginning figure out what makes some conversations work while others fall apart. Charles Duhigg, author of the upcoming book “Supercommunicators,” and conversation researcher Michael Yeomans, PhD, talk about how anyone can learn to communicate better, the best way to build rappor…
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Millions of people in the U.S. are caregivers for their family members and other loved ones, providing billions of dollars worth of unpaid care to loved ones with dementia, cancer, and other long-term illnesses. William Haley, PhD, of the University of South Florida, discusses the mental and physical health effects of caregiving, interventions that…
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Have you heard people say, “I’m so OCD”? There are a lot of myths around obsessive compulsive disorder. In reality, it’s a multi-faceted mental health disorder that seriously affects people’s lives – but is also treatable with evidence-based therapies. Psychologist Dean McKay, PhD, and OCD advocate Uma Chatterjee talk about what obsessive compulsiv…
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People are mobilizing for labor rights—with major strikes taking place across industries from entertainment to healthcare and more. In this episode, we’re talking about why it’s important to fight for women workers—looking at the past, examining the present, and putting a focus on the future. We examine what's at stake, including childcare, equal p…
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October may be the month that our fascination with all things ghoulish and grisly reaches its peak, but for many people, a fascination with the darker side of life isn’t limited to Halloween. Coltan Scrivner, PhD, talks about why people are drawn to horror, true crime and other scary genres; and whether terrifying entertainment can actually be good…
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Whatever your dreams consist of, you’ve probably wondered where they come from and what they might be trying to tell you. Psychologists, too, have long studied the origin and purpose of dreams. Mark Blagrove, PhD, of Swansea University, talks about what we know – and don’t know – about why we dream; the relationship between our dreams and what’s ha…
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Parasocial relationships -- the relationships that people have with media figures such as actors, celebrity influencers, or even television characters -- sometimes get a bad rap. But psychologists who study parasocial relationships say that they can be good for us: They can help us expand our world view and can have positive effects on our mental h…
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On this week’s episode, we’re continuing our series unpacking the litigation and criminal charges that have been levied at former president Donald Trump: The Trump Indictments. But these indictments don’t just include former president Donald Trump—they also include co-conspirators. Who are they—and what do their cases mean for the case against Trum…
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Math is essential to our everyday lives, from household budgeting to buying the right size rug for your room. But for people with math anxiety, any tasks involving math can cause dread and fear. Molly Jameson, PhD, of the University of Northern Colorado, talks about where math anxiety comes from, whether you can be good at math but still suffer fro…
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People often use the words “guilt” and “shame” interchangeably, but the two emotions affect us in different ways. June Tangney, PhD, of George Mason University, talks about the difference between shame and guilt, what role these emotions play in our mental health and how they affect our behavior, why some people are especially prone to shame or gui…
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For most of us, the idea of jumping off a bridge with a parachute or surfing a wave 70 feet tall seems to defy comprehension. Psychologists, too, have wondered what drives people to participate in extreme sports. Eric Brymer, PhD, talks about why many of our preconceived notions about adventurers are wrong, what draws people to extreme adventure, t…
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We’ve all heard the advice: Save for retirement, start saving early, don’t spend more than you earn. But rules like these are far easier said than followed, especially when you’re short on time, or money, or both. Wendy De La Rosa, PhD, of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, talks about why it’s so hard to take financial action, h…
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Fifty years ago, hip-hop emerged from a party in the rec room of a Bronx building—and a new sound was born--one with roots in African music, but with its own vibe and messaging. Since its first iterations, women have played significant roles in the creation and evolution of hip-hop: as rappers, DJs, producers, breakdancers, graffiti artists, schola…
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Despite the sexist jokes, the menstrual cycle doesn’t cause significant changes in mood or behavior for most people. But a small percentage do suffer severe premenstrual symptoms, or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD). Tory Eisenlohr-Moul, PhD, of the University of Illinois Chicago, talks about how hormones and the menstrual cycle interact with…
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Microaggressions, the indirect, subtle, sometimes unintentional incidents of racism and bias that members of marginalized groups experience every day, can take a large toll on people’s mental and physical health. Dr. Derald Wing Sue, PhD, of Teacher’s College Columbia University, discusses what makes something a microaggression, why microaggression…
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On this week’s episode, we’re continuing our series unpacking the litigation and criminal charges that have been levied at former president Donald Trump: The Trump Indictments. Earlier this month, Trump was indicted once again—this time, on 13 charges related to his role in interfering with the 2020 election results in Georgia. The case marks the f…
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When you’re sad, do you say that you’re feeling blue? Have you ever felt green with envy? Domicele Jonauskaite, PhD, of the University of Vienna, discusses why language so often links color with emotion, whether those links are universal or differ by culture, whether colors can actually make us feel calm or sad or angry, why people’s favorite color…
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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 th…
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There’s a common stereotype is that teenagers’ brains are immature and underdeveloped, and that teens are “hard-wired” to take unwise risks and cave to peer pressure. But psychologists’ research suggests these negative stereotypes are unfounded and that the teen years are a time opportunity and growth as well as risk. Eva Telzer, PhD, explains why …
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Is there anything more agonizing than being in limbo? Time may seem to slow to a crawl when you’re waiting for high-stakes news like a hiring decision, a biopsy result – or the end of a pandemic. Kate Sweeny, PhD, of the University of California, Riverside, discusses what makes waiting so stressful, how the stress of waiting differs from other type…
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It used to be that if you wanted to gamble, you had to go to a casino or a racetrack to do it. But the expansion of online gambling and newly loosened laws around sports betting mean that people can now place bets from just about anywhere. Shane Kraus, PhD, of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and Lia Nower, PhD, JD, of the Rutgers University Ce…
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From Ponzi schemes to e-mail phishing identity thieves, the world can seem full of people who want to deceive us. Daniel Simons, PhD, and Christopher Chabris, PhD, co-authors of the “Nobody’s Fool: Why We Get Taken In and What We Can Do About It,” talk about the cognitive habits that put us at risk of believing lies; famous frauds and cons from the…
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When someone hurts you, it can feel justifiable or even satisfying to nurse a grudge. But psychologists have found that forgiveness, when done right, can lead to better mental, emotional and even physical health for the forgiver. Robert Enright, PhD, of the International Forgiveness Institute and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, discusses how y…
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From ChatGPT to self-driving cars, AI is everywhere these days – but its rollout hasn’t always been entirely smooth. Tom Griffiths, PhD, a professor of psychology and computer science at Princeton University, talks about how artificial intelligence works, how AI differs from human cognition, how it’s changing the way science is done, and how studyi…
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Religion and spirituality can be a source of comfort and strength but can also cause stress and conflict in people’s lives, when for example they wonder why God has allowed something terrible to happen or feel rejected by their religious community. Julie Exline, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University, talks about how spirituality and spiritual str…
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In this episode, we continue our series: The Trump Indictments, unpacking the civil and criminal charges alleging that the former president Donald Trump engaged in illegal activities. In early June 2023, for the second time in two months, Trump was indicted—this time on 37 felony counts for allegedly mishandling sensitive, classified government mat…
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Whether your idea of the perfect vacation involves the beach, exploring a city or just relaxing at home, you probably look forward to your time off all year. Sarah Pressman, PhD, of the University of California Irvine, and Jessica de Bloom, PhD, of Groningen University in the Netherlands, talk about why taking a break from work is important for phy…
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Everyone gets stuck sometimes: in a creative pursuit that stalls, in a job or a relationship that isn’t working out, or even just at an exercise plateau. NYU psychologist Adam Alter, PhD, author of “Anatomy of a Breakthrough: How to Get Unstuck When It Matters Most,” talks about why getting stuck is such a universal experience, what you can do to g…
  continue reading
 
In this episode, we’re celebrating and recognizing Juneteenth. However, in 2023, Juneteenth marks the continued struggle toward racial justice and constitutional equality. From voter suppression to book bans that target Black, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ authors—this Juneteenth offers much to think about. In the face of these bans, and as we celebrate J…
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As the U.S. struggles with a shortage of mental health providers, advocates say that digital therapeutics – evidence-based mental health treatments delivered via app -- could provide an important tool to expand access to mental health care. Vaile Wright, PhD, a clinical psychologist and senior director of healthcare innovation at the American Psych…
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On today’s episode, we’re unpacking something that’s become increasingly—and distressingly—mainstream in the wake of the Trump presidency: political violence. This kind of violence overwhelmingly impacts women, particularly women of color. There was an unprecedented spike of threats of political violence in 2020–according to the Brennan Center, one…
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