PsychCrunch is the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. Each episode we explore whether the findings from psychological science can... More
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Ep 33: Have you experienced the unseen other?
Have you ever had the feeling that there was someone – or something – nearby? Perhaps you were in bed falling asleep when you suddenly became convinced that a person was standing next to you, even though you couldn’t actually ‘see’ or ‘hear’ anyone at all. Or maybe you were out in the wilderness, with no-one for miles around, and couldn’t shake the feeling that someone was following you. In this episode, Dr Jon Sutton, editor of The Psychologist magazine, talks to Dr Ben Alderson-Day, Associate Professor at Durham University, about the phenomenon of the 'felt presence' – that often eerie sensation that someone is near us. Jon and Ben’s wide-ranging discussion touches on everything from Shackleton’s unusual experiences in Antarctica, to the frightening yet common phenomenon of sleep paralysis and the modern practice of ‘tulpamancy’. Read a transcript of the interview at The Psychologist Ben’s book will be released in March and is available to pre-order here Episode credits: Presented and produced by Jon Sutton, with additional content from Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch is sponsored by Routledge Psychology
Ep 32: How to face grief
Grief is a universal experience, but one which affects every individual differently. A grieving person might feel guilty, listless, frightened, or angry. And at a time when they most need support, the bereaved may find other people turning away from them, not really knowing how to talk to them about their feelings and the person they’ve lost. So how can we learn to better cope with grief in ourselves and in others? In this episode, Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist, speaks to two experts who are working to help us understand how people process grief and what can be done to support those who are grieving. Our guests are Dr Mary-Frances O'Connor, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Arizona and author of The Grieving Brain, and Jane Harris, psychotherapist and co-founder of The Good Grief Project. Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Artwork by Tim Grimshaw. Further resources More information about The Good Grief Project can be found at the project's website Check out Dr Mary-Frances O'Connor's website for more on her book The Grieving Brain, as well as a list of publications including those discussed in this episode. Last year, Jon Sutton interviewed Dr Mary-Frances O'Connor for The Psychologist Also in The Psychologist: Elaine Kasket talks to Bjørn Johnson about his film Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11, and discusses the themes of the film with Jane Harris. PsychCrunch is sponsored by Routledge Psychology.
Ep 31: How to better understand your cat
We’ve lived side-by-side with domestic cats for thousands of years, yet they maintain an aura of mystery and a reputation for aloofness and even outright disdain for humans. But are cats really so enigmatic – or are we only just beginning to understand them? In this episode, Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist, speaks to two experts who are working to help us to understand cats. They discuss research on cat cognition and intelligence, chat about what we can do how to make our cats’ lives happier, and even share some tips on how to train them. Our guests are Dr Kristyn Vitale, assistant professor of animal health and behaviour at Unity College, and Dr Zazie Todd, author of the Companion Animal Psychology blog and recent book Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Artwork by Tim Grimshaw. Relevant research and writing from our guests includes: Companion Animal Psychology: a blog written by Zazie Todd Several articles by Kristyn Vitale and colleagues: Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans The quality of being sociable: The influence of human attentional state, population, and human familiarity on domestic cat sociability What’s inside your cat’s head? A review of cat (Felis silvestris catus) cognition research past, present and future
Ep 30: The psychology of superstitions
From carefully avoiding cracks in the pavement to saluting every magpie that you meet, superstitious behaviour is really common. But why do we have superstitions? Where do they come from? And are they helpful or harmful? To find out, our presenter Ginny Smith talks to Stuart Vyse, former professor of psychology at Connecticut College and author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. Ginny also chats to Laramie Taylor, professor of communication at the University of California Davis, who explains how superstition and magical thinking is linked to being a fan of both fiction and sports. Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw. Relevant research and writing from our guests includes: Magical thinking and fans of fictional texts and Sports Fans and Magical Thinking: How Supernatural Thinking Connects Fans to Teams, both by Laramie Taylor and discussed in the podcast. Do Superstitious Rituals Work?, an article at Skeptical Inquirer in which Stuart Vyse discusses some of the work mentioned in this episode. How Superstition Works, an extract from Vyse's book Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, published at The Atlantic.
Ep 29: Why do people share false information — and what can we do about it?
Why do people share false information? In this episode, our presenters Ginny Smith and Jon Sutton explore the psychology of misinformation. They hear about the factors that make people more or less likely to share misinformation, discuss strategies to correct false information, and learn how to talk to someone who is promoting conspiracy theories. Our guests, in order of appearance, are Tom Buchanan, Professor of Psychology at the University of Westminster, and Briony Swire-Thompson, senior research scientist at Northeastern University’s Network Science Institute. Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith, with additional reporting by Jon Sutton. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw. Relevant research from our guests includes: Why do people spread false information online? The effects of message and viewer characteristics on self-reported likelihood of sharing social media disinformation. Spreading Disinformation on Facebook: Do Trust in Message Source, Risk Propensity, or Personality Affect the Organic Reach of “Fake News”? Predictors of likelihood of sharing disinformation on social media 2019-2020 Correction format has a limited role when debunking misinformation Backfire effects after correcting misinformation are strongly associated with reliability Public Health and Online Misinformation: Challenges and Recommendations
PsychCrunch is the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. Each episode we explore whether the findings from psychological science can make a difference in real life. Just how should we live, according to psychology? We speak to psychologists about their research and whether they apply what they've discovered in their own lives.