Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely talks about the study “Building a Better America—One Wealth Quintile at a Time,” conducted together with Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton, and what it reveals about Americans’ ideas about the distribution of wealth in this country.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
James Stewart discusses what he sees as an epidemic of perjury sweeping our country, undermining the foundation of our courts, and explains why he thinks it’s symptomatic of a broader breakdown of ethics in American life. Tangled Webs: How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff goes behind the scenes of the trials of Martha Stewart, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Barry Bonds, and Bernard Madoff, and includes interviews with prosecutors, investigators, and participants speaking for the first time. The book looks at age-old tensions between greed and justice, self-interest and public interest, loyalty and duty.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Helen Whitney, writer, producer and director, of the film “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate,” is joined by Donald Shriver, former president of Union Theological Seminary, and Father Petero Sabune, a prison chaplain who has visited many of Rwanda’s prisons after the genocide, to discuss the human capacity to forgive. The two-part film explores stories—from adultery and personal betrayal to global reconciliation after genocide. “Forgiveness: A Time to Love and a Time to Hate” airs April 17 and 24 at 10 p.m. on PBS.
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
New York Times columnist Alina Tugend describes how embracing mistakes can make us smarter, healthier, and happier. In Better By Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong she examines the tension between the idea that we must make mistakes in order to learn and the reality that we often get punished for making mistakes, and thusly avoid them at all costs. She looks at cutting-edge behavioral studies―such as the high-stakes world of health care and aviation, where mistakes can cost lives―how to craft a sincere apology and how to accept responsibility for mistakes.
Friday, April 01, 2011
Anger is one of the forces that has sparked protests across the Middle East, from Egypt to Libya to Syria. It can be a motivating force, but it can also be destructive and damaging when it goes unchecked. On this week’s Please Explain, we’re taking a look at the roots and consequences of anger. Dr. Philip Muskin, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center, and Dr. Howard Kassinove, Professor of Psychology and Director, Institute for the Study and Treatment of Anger and Aggression, and author of Anger Management: The Complete Treatment Guidebook for Practitioners and Anger Management for Everyone, explain when anger becomes a problem and how anger management works.
Monday, March 28, 2011
Tina Rosenberg explains the positive force of peer pressure. Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World shows how peer pressure has reduced teen smoking in the United States, made villages in India healthier and more prosperous, helped minority students get top grades in college calculus, and even led to the fall of Slobodan Milosevic.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
Actor Charlie Sheen has publicly denounced Alcoholics Anonymous a number of times over the past few weeks. He has also claimed that he "cured" himself of alcoholism "with his mind." Charlie Sheen is only one celebrity, only one dissenting voice among a chorus of professionals who believe in AA. But, thanks to a number of recent, highly-publicized interviews, some psychologists are concerned that Sheen’s comments about AA and alcoholism might affect the way their patients think of the twelve step program and the disease.
Monday, February 07, 2011
Judith Warner investigates the state of children’s mental health and whether children are being over-diagnosed and over-medicated. Her book We’ve Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication includes extensive research and interviews with dozens of doctors, researchers, family experts, and parents and brings compassion to the debate over how to best treat children’s mental health disorders.
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Video game designer Jane McGonigal talks about ways we can use video games to solve real-world problems and improve global happiness. Her book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World looks at the growing interest in gaming, and examines how videogames can fulfill human needs.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Some three million Americans stutter, and as the Oscar-nominated film "The King's Speech" shows, it affects kings and commoners alike. Dr. Barry Guitar, Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, as well as Psychology, University of Vermont, and Chamonix Olsen Sikora, speech therapist and executive director of the American Institute for Stuttering, explain what stuttering is, and discuss its causes and treatments.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Amy Chua talks about raising her children the Chinese way, and explains how it’s different—and why she thinks it’s better—than the American way. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother explores the differences in Eastern and Western parenting, and is a chronicle about raising her daughters the Chinese way—no play dates, no school plays, the expectation that they get straight As and that they play the piano or violin.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Daniel Akst discusses why a lack of self-control is a central problem of our time—temptations have multiplied and social constraints have eroded. In We Have Met the Enemy: Self-Control in an Age of Excess he shows the ways freedom can be dangerous: Half of all deaths in America are due to overeating, smoking, drinking too much, failing to exercise, and other bad habits. He also looks at ways to save ourselves from overindulgence.
Friday, January 07, 2011
SAT, PSAT, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, GRE, NAEP, PISA...when did the nation become obsessed with standardized testing and what do these exams tell us? On this week's Please Explain, testing experts Howard Everson and David Rindskopf explain how these tests are put together and what they are supposed to evaluate. Dr. Everson is co-chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for the National Center for Education and the Economy, as well as the chair of the Technical Advisory Committee for Testing and Assessment for the New York State Education Department. Dr. Rindskopf is Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology and Psychology at the City University of New York Graduate School.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Anticipating the future is a classic (and possibly uniquely) human pastime. For as long as humans have kept records of the past, we have also tried to predict our future...and in so doing, control our destiny. Why do we cling to these predictions? The end of the world, the end of humanity, even our future fortunes…why do we anticipate so much?
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Richard Settersten and Barbara Ray discuss why 20-somethings are delaying adulthood. Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It's Good for Everyone draws on almost a decade of cutting-edge research, and has nearly 500 interviews with young people. The findings reveal that a slower path to adulthood may be beneficial.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Jessie Sholl explores the many personal and psychological ramifications of compulsive hoarding: a disorder that her mother suffers from. Dirty Secret: A Daughter Comes Clean About Her Mother's Compulsive Hoarding is her memoir about confronting her mother’s disorder, searching for normalcy and cleaning out the clutter in her mother’s home.
Friday, December 03, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
New York Times and New York Times Magazine contributing writer Judith Warner argues that the assumption that kids are over-diagnosed and over-medicalized for mental health disorders is potentially very destructive. She discusses her new book We've Got Issues: Children and Parents in the Age of Medication.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
(Original air date: May 25, 2010) Everyone knows that looks matter. But should the law be involved when it comes to discrimination on the basis of appearance? Stanford law professor Deborah Rhode thinks it should. She explains why in her book about how much we're affected by physical appearances: "The Beauty Bias: The Injustice of Appearance in Life and Law."