Podcasts on Psychological Science

The Perils of Willpower

The cornerstone of most addiction recovery programs is admitting powerlessness over smoking or sweets or alcohol. But how does this admission of weakness eventually lead to an increase in willpower?

Song Credit: "Resist Temptation" by Nelda Alvarez and "Zombie" by Fela Kuti

Sneezing at health care reform

In times of heightened health concerns, everyday behaviors like sneezing can serve as a reminder to wash our hands or take our vitamins. But what if we overreact to everyday sneezes and coughs and sniffles? Can these signals transform healthy discretion into an unreasonable fear of germs and more?

Song Credit: "Fever" by Peggy Lee and "Zombie" by Fela Kuti

"I am a Lovable Person." "Not."

Many of us repeat positive statements, such as "I am a lovable person," to boost our confidence and morale. But do these self-affirmations really work?

Song Credit: "Could You Be Loved" by Bob Marley

The Myth About Binge Eating

Laboratory research has shown that indulging in a single bite of forbidden food can lead a dieter astray. But a recent study suggests that, in a real-life setting, one bite is actually just a temporary detour.

In the Eye of the Storm

We've all seen pictures of Hurricane Katrina survivors waiting on rooftops and rowing through the flooded streets of New Orleans. These striking images raise the question, "Why did these residents stay behind?"

Nature at a Glance

Close your eyes and imagine you are standing in a field of flowers. What do you notice? The wispy clouds, the subtle brushing of the grass, the stream in the distance. Or, like our ancestors, are you focused on your next meal or the quickest escape route? It's remarkable how fast the mind sees what it needs to see.

How to Handle the Math

In the classroom, children are taught basic arithmetic by counting on their fingers. While this simple gesture may seem rudimentary, new research suggests gestures of any sort may actually enhance learning.

"And I Feel Like I've Been Here Before"

A third of us report having had a deja vu experience. Today there is scientific consensus that deja vu is nothing more than a false memory experience. But why does it occur? New insights into the mechanics of memory and cognition are helping to answer that question.

Polling the Crowd Within

They say two minds are better than one, but why? Psychologists have explored this phenomenon of group intelligence and found that the key to finding the correct answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Primed for Ripeness

Fresh. Young. Ripe. What do those words bring to mind? For most people, the image is a pleasant one. New psychological research argues that we have an innate preference for living things in their peak, and the reason extends as far back as our earliest ancestors.

Neurons of Recovery

Everyone makes mistakes but not everyone learns from them. New research looks at two regions of the brain responsible for recognizing mistakes and helping us correct them. It turns out that that some peoples brains are more vigilant than others.

You've Got to Feel the Zero

Most of us pay small prices in hopes for a big pay off in the future. It could be amassing college debt or sacrificing sleep to hit the gym. But not everyone is as focused on the future as gym rats and students. How can some of us see a particular tradeoff as advantageous, while others of us see precisely the same deal as foolish?