The Psych Files

The Psych Files is a podcast for anyone who wonders why we do what we do. Experienced educator Michael Britt, Ph.D., in an upbeat and friendly style, shows you how ideas from the field of psychology apply to everyday life. If you’re a life-long learner, a student or a teacher, you’ll find his 20-30 minute episodes enjoyable and educational. Over 14 million episodes have been downloaded to date with over 100,000 people listening every month. See what all the talk is about!

https://audioboom.com/channel/the-psych-files

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      Ep 303: Significance Quest Theory: How Do We De-Radicalize People?


      So now that we know a lot about why individuals join extermist groups, what can we do about it? How do we bring them back to society and help them have meaningful lives again? This is the second of 2 episodes on this topic and what we learn here also applies to school shooters. Here are some concrete suggestions, supported by extensive research.


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         20m
       
       

      Violent Extremism: What's the Psychology Behind It?


      What draws people toward violent extremist groups? Psychologists have conducted a lot of research to find this out and in this episode I summarize the findings of key researchers in this area. Researchers Arie Kruglanski, Katarzyna Jasko, David Webber, Chernikova and Erica Molinario explain how their theory, called SQT or Significance Quest Theory explains what leads young men to join extremist groups.


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         27m
       
       

      Ep 301: The Role of CTE in the Life of Aaron Hernandez


      You have probably heard a lot about football and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), the brain degeneration that results from repeated head impacts. One of the worst cases so far of CTE was found in the brain of football player Aaron Hernandez. The Oxygen network produced a fascinating account of Hernandez's life entitled Aaron Hernandez Uncovered and I was asked to participate in a panel discussion with other podcasters in which I talk about CTE as well as Toxic Masculinity. Here's the...


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       2018-03-16  58m
       
       

      Ep 300: Jazz Piano Improv - How Do They Do That?


      Ever wonder how the fingers of really experienced pianists who are improvising seem to fly across the keyboard? How do they know where their fingers are going? How can they think that fast? In this episode I'll tell you about some of what the brain is doing when pianists play the piano. Maybe you'll be inspired to start playing yourself....?


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       2018-02-24  27m
       
       

      Ep 299: How Smart Do You Want Your Fitness Tracker to Be?


      Fitness tracking devices are getting smarter. They’re going to have to get a lot smarter if they are going to be powerful tools in your quest to be fit. But how much more “smart” do we really want them to get? Today they keep track of your steps and heart rate, but if your fitness tracker “knew” how you were thinking and whether you were saying things to yourself that are de-motivating (“I’ll never get in shape anyway…”) it might be more effective in getting you off the couch. But do you want...


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       2018-01-11  35m
       
       

      Ep 298: Nudge Your Way to Better Health


      How can psychologists get you to lead a healthier life? We all have "noble intentions" when it comes to eating well and exercising regularly, but those intentions often don't last too long and you're back to your old unhealthy ways. We can lecture you again about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise, or we can try to "nudge" you toward healthier eating. In this episode I talk about a articles that appeared in the journal Health Psychology about how subtle influences can be used to...


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       2017-12-13  48m
       
       

      Ep 297: The Movie Coco - What's the Psychology Behind It?


      Have you seen the movie Coco? You should - it's a very moving story. But if you pay attention to the music you'll notice that the melody to the son "Remember Me" is played in several different ways - each with a very different effect on the psyche. In this episode I examine the psychology of this music. A;ong the way we'll see how minor chords and musical repetition affect, of all things, the release of dopamine in the brain.


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       2017-12-05  16m
       
       

      Ep 296: The Psychology and the Research Behind Why Some People are Angry when Athletes Take a Knee


      What is the psychology and the research behind why many people are angry about athletes “taking a knee” during the playing of the national anthem? Part of the explanation lies in what’s called the “empathy deficit” that people in power can sometimes display. That is, those in higher social classes in societies are often not able to correctly interpret the facial expressions and gestures of people in lower social classes. Don’t believe it? In this episode I go through the research on how thi...


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       2017-11-02  31m
       
       

      Ep 295: How Can the Ordinary Person Be Inspirational?


      It's often asked: why don't we make heroes out of everyday people? Well, what makes some people's stories inspirational and other not? Let's say you want to inspire young people to make the most of their lives - how do you do that? What stories are the best to tell or what videos are likely to be shared the most? We'll tap into the latest psychological research to find out.


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       2017-10-18  24m
       
       

      Ep 294: What is Forensic Psychology Really All About?


      If you've watched even a few detective shows (like CSI) you may think you have a sense of what the field of Forensic Psychology is like, but my interviewee David Webb is here to talk about what it's really like to work in this field. David is the author of the All-About-Psychology website as well as the All-About-Forensic-Psychology website. Let's separate fact from fiction and find out how psychological findings are applied to the justice system. And if you're interested in this field, or...


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       2017-10-11  34m