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 307: Do Those i-Statments Actuallly Work and Did Koko Really Use Language as We Do?


      Remember those "i-statements" you're supposed to use when you get mad at someone? "I feel ____ when you ____ because ____". Does that actually work? Does talking in this way resolve problems better and not get the other person defensive? We're going to find out. Also, Koko the gorilla died recently. But did she really master sign language? Or is there less to this story than first appears? In this episode we put on our critical thinking caps and take a look.


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         35m
       
       

      Ep 306: Why Do You Talk To Your Dog Like That? And Does It Understand You?


      Alright, let's all admit it - we talk to our pets in that funny pet voice. Who's a good dog? Well, there's been a lot of research on your use of this voice to talk to dogs as well as babies. What exactly are you doing with your voice? And most importantly, does your dog know what the heck you're saying? Does it help to talk this way? Let's find out.  And here's something you never thought of if you've ever tried to train a parrot or parakeet to speak: how come you DON'T use your "pet voice" ...


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       2018-06-14  28m
       
       

      Ep 305: In the Movies, Why Does the Woman Always Have to Die? And Other Gender Stereotypes


      What can we learn from an old, dusty book I found in the basement? Well, if that book is about gender role **stereotypes** then there's a lot of things to uncover that explain why boys and girls act the way they do.   In this episode we get an example of **qualitative research** by really diving into the book called "Those We Love". How do books shape who we think we are and how we act as adults?


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       2018-05-31  29m
       
       

      Ep 304: Guess What? Testosterone Doesn't Neccessarily Cause Men to be Aggressive


      Most of us assume one of the reasons men tend to act aggressively is that men have higher levels of testosterone. Let's take a look at this "testosterone myth" because this isn't always the case. In fact, in some cases, the higher levels of testosterone actually cause men to be MORE NICE than usual. Don't believe it? Let's take a look at what author Robert Sapolsky has to teach us about the true and subtle effects of testosterone. I think you'll be surprised.


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       2018-05-05  21m
       
       

      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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       2018-04-19  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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       2018-04-05  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