Psychology in Everyday Life: The Psych Files

The Psych Files is a podcast for anyone interested in the topic of psychology and how ideas in this field apply to everyday life. Michael Britt brings you an upbeat, fun podcast of interest to everyone from psychology majors to those just interested in why people do what they do.



      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...



      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...



      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.



      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...



      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.



      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...



      Ep 293: Emotional Intelligence - How Is It Taught?

      One of the hardest challenges as we grow up is to know how we feel and to understand how others feel. The next step after we're aware of our feelings is knowing how we're going to best act on them. That's the essence of Emotional Intelligence and in this episode, school psychologist and author Kyle Carlin talks about a book he has written called Bug and Boo. It's a charming story about a young girl and her imaginary friend, but it's also a tool to help parents, educators and therapists...



      Ep 292: Yes, Computers Can Guess Your Sexual Orientation

      On this episode I talk about a several psych topics, including what computer programs look at when they try to guess your sexual orientation - and they are really accurate at doing so. Also: anxiety blankets and the musical Hairspray - what do we reveal about ourselves sometimes when we don't even know it!



      Ep 291: How Important is Your Name? Maybe A Lot

      What do you think of your name? Like it? Do you prefer a nickname or do you prefer when people call you by your full name? Why do you think people have these preferences? That's what we're looking at in this episode - research showing that other people (and yourself) might be shaping you to actually look like and act like your name. It's not a conspiracy - it's science. I also look at the latest research on exercise and how it is that one day's exerise might just make the next day a whole...



      Ep 290: Class Demonstrations That Always Work

      If you've ever wondered what goes on in a typical psychology class, well, here ar e 4 class activities I do almost every semester that are my “sure fire hits” – they engage the students in the learning process while helping them really grasp what a key term in psychology means. So you’ll learn about how students memorize each other’s names in a matter of minutes (mnemonics), as well as how they use a piano to shape a fellow student’s behavior (reinforcement and shaping), how they deal with s...