The Leonard Lopate Show

Dangerous Instincts

Friday, October 28, 2011

Former FBI profiler and expert on psychopathy and criminal behavior Mary Ellen O’Toole explains that our gut instincts and a sense of fear alone can’t protect us from danger. In Dangerous Instincts, she outlines how to protect yourself and your family from harm, and what to look for when you hire someone to work inside your home or with your children, and what signals to evaluate when hiring a new employee in your office.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

New York City Neuroses

Friday, October 28, 2011

Paula Froelich, contributing editor at Playboy, contributor to The New York Observer, and author of Mercury in Retrograde, talks about neuroses of New Yorkers and looks at an updated version of Karen Horney's list of neuroses from 1936.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Sybil Exposed

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The name Sybil brings to mind the 1973 nonfiction book and the TV movie based on it, about a woman named with 16 different personalities. The story became both a pop phenomenon and a revolutionary force in the psychotherapy industry, and now journalist Debbie Nathan looks at the true story behind it. In Sybil Exposed: The Extraordinary Story Behind the Famous Multiple Personality Case, she reveals how three women created what may have been an elaborate fraud.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Healing at the Speed of Sound

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Don Campbell explains how we can use music-and silence-to become more efficient, productive, relaxed, and healthy. Each chapter of Healing at the Speed of Sound: How What We Hear Transforms Our Brains and Our Lives focuses on a single aspect of everyday life, providing advice, exercises, playlists. The book also shares stories of how real people use the power of sound to improve their lives.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Steven Pinker on Why Violence Has Declined

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The seemingly endless stream of news about war, crime, and terrorism, might make us believe we live in the most violent age ever seen. But Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University, explains that just the opposite is true: violence has been diminishing for millennia. In The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined he looks at human nature, psychology, and history to explain how this has happened.

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The Takeaway

'The Better Angels of Our Nature': Steven Pinker on Why Violence Has Declined

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

On July 23, 2011, Anders Breivik opened fire at a youth camp on the Norwegian island of Utoya, killing 69 people. Breivik’s brutal crime horrified the world. For many Americans, it stirred up memories of Oklahoma City in 1994, Columbine in 1999, and, of course, September 11, 2001. Yet, despite what looks like a proliferation of shooting sprees and terrorist plots in the last few decades, a new book argues that violence has actually declined since ancient times.


The Leonard Lopate Show


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Martin Lindstrom, marketing visionary and consumer advocate, explains the secrets of how global corporations manipulate our minds to persuade us to buy. Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy looks at the marketing industry, exposing the psychological tricks and traps that companies devise to win our money. He reveals that advertisers and marketers intentionally target children, stoke the flames of public panic and capitalize on paranoia, make their products chemically addictive, and more.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Goldie Hawn

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Academy Award-winner Goldie Hawn talks about her days as a dancer, her acting career, taking on the roles of producer and director, and her interest in meditation and the mind. Her latest book, 10 Mindful Minutes  is about the Hawn Foundation’s MindUP program, which teaches children social and emotional skills. She explains the positive effects of mindfulness, compassion, and kindness.

War correspondents Janine di Giovanni has spent most of her career—more than twenty years—in war zones recording events on behalf of the voiceless. From Sarajevo to East Timor, from Sierra Leone to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, she has been under siege and under fire. Her memoir Ghosts by Daylight: Love, War, and Redemption is an account of her time reporting on war around the world. Along the way she meets Bruno, a French reporter whose spirit and audacity are a match for her own. Their love affair spans nearly a decade and a dozen armed conflicts before they settle in Paris to raise a family. But Janine soon learns that a life lived in war is inevitably haunted. Bruno struggles with physical and emotional pain, and Janine, a new mother and wife in Paris, is afraid both for Bruno and herself and for the work that they do—and doubtful that she can hold their lives together. 

* Prison and criminal justice consultant and coach Wendy Feldman talks about working with people to prepare for incarceration, alternative sentences and, re-entry into society. She is the only woman in her field and the only ex-offender who now works in collaboration with different law enforcement agencies. In 1986 Wendy began a Wall Street career, but by 2001, through a series of poor choices, bad business decisions and domestic abuse in her home, she landed right in the middle of a Federal investigation. She served time in a federal prison camp and halfway house and knows first hand the journey that awaits a person whose choices have landed them in our criminal justice system. She believes that prison should be a transformational experience and the ultimate equalizer. Currently, she and Custodial Coaching have collaborations with Las Encinas Hospital, The Ranch, Elements Treatment Centers, Promises and others. She is a member of the Pasadena Police Department’s mental health advisory committee and also runs a legal wellness program with the department.


* Born in St. Kitts and brought up in the UK, Caryl Phillips has written about and explored the experience of migration for more than 30 years through his novels, plays, and essays. In Color Me English: Thought About Migrations and Belonging Before and After 9/11 he reflects on the shifting notions of race, culture, and belonging before and after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. The book opens with an inspired story from his boyhood, a poignant account of a shared sense of isolation he felt with the first Muslim boy who joined his school, then turns to his years living and teaching in the United States, including a moving account of the day the twin towers fell. We follow him across Europe and through Africa while he grapples with making sense of colonial histories and contemporary migrations—engaging with legendary African, African American, and international writers from James Baldwin and Richard Wright to Chinua Achebe and Ha Jin who have aspired to see themselves and their own societies more clearly.

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The Brian Lehrer Show


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New York Times columnist John Tierney and the director of the social psychology program at Florida State University, Roy F. Baumeister, explore the neglected power of self-control, new studies that show it can be strengthened like a muscle, and other ideas from their book, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Sibling Effect

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Time science writer, Jeffrey Kluger looks at the bonds between siblings. In The Sibling Effect: What the Bonds Among Brothers and Sisters Reveal about Us, Kluger explores the complex world of siblings in a way that is equal parts science, psychology, sociology, and memoir. Based on new and emerging research, it looks at birth order, twin studies, genetic encoding of behavioral traits, emotional disorders and their effects on-and effects from-sibling relationships.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Common Sense

Friday, September 16, 2011

Common sense seems simple enough, but it can be more complicated and less helpful that you would expect. Duncan J. Watts, sociologist and Yahoo! Principal Researcher, explains the benefits and limitations of common sense and looks closely at how common-sense reasoning can be misleading. His book Everything You Know Is Obvious once You Know the Answer draws on the latest scientific research and real-life examples to show how common sense attempts to predict, manage, and manipulate social and economic systems often fail, and looks at the implications in politics, business and everyday life.

If you have a question about common sense, or some examples of when it works and when it fails, call us at 646-829-3985, or leave a comment.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How the Sexual Revolution Came to America

Monday, September 05, 2011

Christopher Turner talks about science, sex, and postwar America. In Adventures in the Orgasmatron: How the Sexual Revolution Came to America, Turner tells the story of the orgone box—which was thought to elevate one’s “orgastic potential”—and its creator, Wilhelm Reich, a psychoanalyst and disaffected disciple of Freud who brought his theories of sexual energy to America during World War II.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Emotional Consequences of 9/11

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Yuval Neria, Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of Trauma and PTSD Program, Department of Psychiatry at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, discusses the emotional consequences of 9/11. He is featured in Marianne McCune’s radio documentary, "Living Nine Eleven," which airs September 8, at 8 pm, on WNYC 93.9 FM.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Believing Brain

Monday, August 29, 2011

Psychologist, historian of science, and skeptic Michael Shermer explains his theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished—from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. His book The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths examines how humans form beliefs about the world. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them.

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The Takeaway

Inside the Mind of Moammar Gadhafi

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Over the course of his 42-year reign, Libyan ruler Moammar Gadhafi has garnered a reputation for being one of the most eccentric and unpredictable leaders on the global stage. Since assuming leadership of the country at age 27, his rule felt unshakable until the first series of uprisings in February. What makes him tick, and what could he be thinking now, as he continues to hide from rebel forces while his leadership seems to be reaching an end?


The Leonard Lopate Show

What Makes Us Good

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mark Matousek explains why he believes that, contrary to what we've been taught in our reason-obsessed culture, emotions are the foundation of ethical life, and that without emotions, human beings cannot be empathic, moral, or good. In Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good, Matousek examines morality from a scientific, sociological, and anthropological standpoint.

At 19:50 you can hear Leonard's reaction to the earthquake!

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Rules of the Tunnel

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ned Zeman, contributing editor at Vanity Fair, recounts his struggle with clinical depression and he describes mood disorders, memory, shock treatment therapy and his own quest to get back to normal. His memoir The Rules of the Tunnel: My Brief Period of Madness recounts suddenly being gripped by anxiety and depression at age 32. He experimented with various therapists, medication, hospitals, even trying electroconvulsive therapy, and he writes of his struggle to overcome the depression that had taken over his life.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How Pleasure Works

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pleasure works in mysterious ways, and Paul Bloom, professor of psychology at Yale University, looks at what we desire and why. In How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like Bloom investigates pleasures of all kinds—noble and seamy, lofty and mundane.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Smiles in Life, Death, Trust, Lies, Work, Memory, Sex, and Politics

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Marianne LaFrance, an expert in nonverbal communication, discusses the science of smiles and their extraordinary social impact. Lip Service: Smiles in Life, Death, Trust, Lies, Work, Memory, Sex, and Politics draws on her research and the latest studies in psychology, medicine, anthropology, biology, and computer science to explore the science behind the smile, revealing that this familiar expression is not as simple as it may seem.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris

Monday, August 15, 2011

Asti Hustvedt tells about the three young female hysterics who shaped our early notions of psychology. Medical Muses: Hysteria in Nineteenth-Century Paris  tells the story of the lives of Blanche, Augustine, and Geneviève, patients in the hysteria ward of the Salpetrière Hospital in 1870s Paris. Hustvedt also investigates what exactly they were suffering from.

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