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Psychology

The Leonard Lopate Show

Zoo Story

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Thomas French gives an account of the secret life of a zoo and its inhabitants: both animal and human. Based on six years of research, his book Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives follows a handful of characters at Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo: from an alpha chimp, to a ferocious tiger, to a brilliant but tyrannical CEO.

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The Takeaway

Your Brain Unwired

Monday, August 16, 2010

In our world where BlackBerries, cell phones, laptop computers and other digital devices rarely provide an escape from constant communication, it's often more difficult to disconnect than stay connected. But, as Matt Richtel writes in today's New York Times, one group of five neuroscientists successfully separated themselves from technology to enter the wilderness and study how the heavy and consistent use of digital devices affect the brain.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Liespotting

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Friends, family members, work colleagues, and salespeople lie to us all the time. Pamela Meyer reveals how to recognize lies by using techniques used in the intelligence community and police, and new research. Her book Liespotting: Proven Techniques to Detect Deception, explains facial recognition and interrogation training, and discusses research in the field to help business leaders, and others, detect deception.

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Radiolab

Words that Change the World

Monday, August 09, 2010

Susan Schaller believes that the best idea she ever had in her life had to do with an isolated young man she met one day at a community college. He was 27-years-old at the time, and though he had been born deaf, no one had ever taught him to sign. ...

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Radiolab

New Words, New World

Monday, August 09, 2010

In the late 1970s, a new language was born. And Ann Senghas, Associate Professor of Psychology at Barnard, has spent the last 30 years helping to decode it. In 1978, 50 deaf children entered a newly formed school--a school in which the teachers (who didn't sign) taught in Spanish. No ...

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Radiolab

A World Without Words

Monday, August 09, 2010

One morning, neurologist Jill Bolte Taylor woke up with a headache. A blood vessel then burst inside her left hemisphere, and silenced all the brain chatter in her head. She was left with no language. No memories. Just sensory intake, and an all-encompassing feeling of joy.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Dreams and Nightmares

Friday, July 30, 2010

Deirdre Barrett, assistant clinical professor of psychology in Harvard Medical School’s Psychiatry Department, and Rosalind Cartwright, professor Emeritus in the Division of Neuroscience at Rush University Medical Center, discuss how dreams are studied, what they reveal about us, and what therapies can treat nightmares and other disorders. Dr. Barrett's latest book is Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose, and she's the editor of Trauma and Dreams, and the author of The Committee of Sleep, and Rosalind Cartwright is the author of The Twenty-four our Mind: The Role of Sleep and Dreaming in Our Emotional Lives.

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The Takeaway

Military Impostors: How (and Why) They Start the Lie

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

People go to great lengths to fabricate military service. 4 out of 5 people claiming they served in Vietnam did not. Pulitzer Prize winning historian Joseph Ellis was famously exposed in 2001 for claiming to have served in Vietnam although he never even went. The Stolen Valor Act, a 2006 law which made it a federal misdemeanor to wear, manufacture or claim unearned military medals, was recently ruled unconstitutional by a Denver judge. But what drives people to lie about military service?

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Radiolab

Secrets of Success

Monday, July 26, 2010

Robert and Malcolm Gladwell duke it out over questions of luck, talent, passion, and success.

Read More

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The Takeaway

DIY Checkup: Assessing Your Mental Health

Monday, July 19, 2010

50 million Americans will suffer from a mental health issue this year. But only a quarter of them will seek treatment from a mental health professional. And one in three mental health consumers in the United States report being turned down for a job once their psychiatric status became known.

Share your story: How do you maintain your peace of mind? Have you been able to find good therapy for mental health issues?

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The Takeaway

Are Some Kids Just Born to Be Bad?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Last week, Dr. Richard Friedman wrote an article for The New York Times called “Accepting That Good Parents May Plant Bad Seeds.” It suggested that good parents who have bad kids sometimes just can’t help it.

In other words: Just as some kids are wired to be smarter or shorter, some are wired to be meaner and naughtier, regardless of how good or bad their parents are.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Way We Play: Modern Playground Design

Monday, July 12, 2010

Monkey bars and jungle gyms are history—the modern playground, with building blocks and noodles, is all about imagination and manipulation. David Rockwell, founder and CEO of Rockwell Group, and Roger A. Hart, director of the Children's Environments Research Group at CUNY Graduate Center, join us to discuss contemporary playground architecture and its role in child development.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Rosalynn Carter on the Mental Health Crisis

Monday, July 05, 2010

Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter talks about her 35 years of advocacy work in the field of mental health. She describes a system that continues to fail those in need. In Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis, she gives a powerful account of a subject previously shrouded in stigma and shadow.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Susan Clancy on the Trauma Myth

Friday, July 02, 2010

Psychologist Dr. Susan Clancy reports on years of research and argues that it’s not sexual abuse itself that causes trauma but rather the narrative that is imposed on the abuse experience. In her controversial new book The Trauma Myth: The Truth about the Sexual Abuse of Children—and Its Aftermath she explains that survivors are often victimized not only by their abusers but also by the industry dedicated to helping them.

The Trauma Myth

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Origins of Kindness

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oren Harman discusses 150 years of scientific attempts to explain kindness. In The Price of Altruism: George Price and the Search for the Origins of Kindness he tells the story of the eccentric American genius George Price, who tried to answer evolution's greatest riddle: why does altruism exist?

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Art of Choosing

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sheena Iyengar looks at how and why we make the choices we make. In The Art of Choosing she asks: Is the desire for choice innate or bound by culture? Why do we sometimes choose against our best interests? How much control do we really have over what we choose? She points out how that our decisions have far-reaching consequences.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

How Stereotypes Affect Us

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Acclaimed social psychologist Claude Steele describes studies that show that exposing subjects to stereotypes—reminding female math majors about to take a test that women are considered inferior to men at math—impairs their performance. In Whistling Vivaldi: And Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us he sheds new light on a number of American social phenomena, from the racial and gender gaps in standardized test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men.

Comments [9]

Radiolab

Oops

Monday, June 28, 2010

Stories of unintended consequences -- from a psychologist who may have helped create a terrorist, to a toxic lake that spawned new life.

Comments [129]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Is Our Sense of Direction Innate?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two recent studies published in Science reveal that baby rats have a basic spatial framework in their brains that help them navigate when they leave the nest for the first time, proving that a sense of direction is innate, not learned. John O'Keefe, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University College London, joins us to explain one study and what it can show us about an innate sense of direction in humans.

A recent study reveals that baby rats have a basic spatial framework in their brains that help them navigate when they leave the nest for the first time, proving that a sense of direction is innate, not learned. John O’Keefe, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience at the University College London, joins us to explain the study and what it can show us about an innate sense of direction in humans.

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The Takeaway

Can a Sports Fan Go Too Far? The Psychology of Fans and Super-Fans

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It might be that not everyone in the world is following the World Cup. But the sheer numbers of people tuning into the games show that a lot of people are seriously rooting for their favorite teams. FIFA recently came up with new (wide) estimates that say from 250 million to half a billion people tune in to watch.

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