11 episodes

In this podcast, we reach across the aisle and discuss how others are using behavioral science to address the very human condition of suffering. We discuss such issues related to chronic pain; race, wealth and class disparities; drug abuse; poverty; child abuse; domestic violence; criminal injustice; social media; mental illness; loneliness; educational and basic need deprivation; among many others. We also discuss the latest therapeutic models of treatment for these conditions as well as hear from others who have personally struggled, but have found their own successful adaptations. Welcome!

ACT in Perspective - A prosocial podcast using behavioral science to address human suffering Hugh

    • Health & Fitness

In this podcast, we reach across the aisle and discuss how others are using behavioral science to address the very human condition of suffering. We discuss such issues related to chronic pain; race, wealth and class disparities; drug abuse; poverty; child abuse; domestic violence; criminal injustice; social media; mental illness; loneliness; educational and basic need deprivation; among many others. We also discuss the latest therapeutic models of treatment for these conditions as well as hear from others who have personally struggled, but have found their own successful adaptations. Welcome!

    #11 - Critical Race Theory: An analysis of how we view and respond to racial and ethnic disparities in the US

    #11 - Critical Race Theory: An analysis of how we view and respond to racial and ethnic disparities in the US

    No doubt that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is often politicized and at the center of strong controversy; however, outside of the politics, the facts of racial and ethnic disparities of wellbeing across systems in the US are apparent.  And if we want to survive and grow as a nation, we need to recognize this as a highly contextualized problem that stems from a long and often violent history that has created and continues to create substantial suffering.  In this episode, we examine what CRT is, the basic tenets, where it came from and how it evolved.  We discuss the current political challenges in public education, along with the general criticisms of CRT from notable scholars, such as Glenn Loury, John McWhorter, Jason Riley and Coleman Hughes.  What arguments are made and are they valid or fallacious?  We also discuss our ethical responsibilities within behavioral science and psychology in how we address these disparities, and where we can go from here as individual practitioners and as field.  I'm joined with three notable scholars, educators, and social justice activists in the fields of behavioral science and psychology -     Denisha Gingles, MS, LGPC, BCBA, LBA;   Jonathan Tarbox, Ph.D., BCBA-D; and  Esther Calzada, Ph.D.  Remember to subscribe to help this channel grow and leave a comment or two, no matter how you feel about this matter.  Feedback is helpful.   Enjoy  :)

    • 1 hr 13 min
    #10 - The Psychology of Humor - The functions of comedy in a changing society with Tom Ford

    #10 - The Psychology of Humor - The functions of comedy in a changing society with Tom Ford

    Today's topic is all about humor/comedy.  Humor is a universal human experience. 
    We love to laugh. We invest a lot of our time, energy and money into creating laughter. People often know funny when they see it, but have a difficult time describing it.  If we ask the average person: What is funny?  We're likely to get a blank stare.  Moreover, we typically don't explore such questions as, Why do we laugh? What effects does it have for ourselves and society as a whole? What are the different types and functions of humor? And most importantly, how can we best harness this power to improve our world?  
    We answer these and more questions with today's guest:    
    Dr. Thomas E Ford.  Tom Ford is a Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of HUMOR: the International Journal of Humor Research. He and his colleagues have developed the Prejudiced Norm Theory, an influential theory on the impact of disparaging humor on prejudice and discrimination. He is co-author of The Psychology of Humor: An Integrative Approach, and co-editor of his newest book, just out, The Social Psychology of Humor, among many other related articles.    
    We start off with defining humor - what it is and we we laugh.   
    If you like what you see, don't forget to SUBSCRIBE.  It's free and it really helps to support this channel.   This is also on Youtube with graphics and additional videos to help demonstrate what we're discussing. Just go to ACT in Perspective channel and check it out.
    Please help welcome Dr. Tom Ford.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    #9 - The Origins of Consciousness: The essential role of feelings in subjective experience

    #9 - The Origins of Consciousness: The essential role of feelings in subjective experience

    Dr. Mark Solms is one of the leading neuroscientists in the world, best known for his contributions into the mechanisms of dreaming, and his use of psychoanalytic methods in modern neuroscience.  His new book The Hidden Spring:  A Journey to the Source of Consciousness offers a comprehensive understanding of why we feel a subjective sense of self and how it arises in the brain.    Here we discuss the dawn of consciousness, the essential role of feelings and emotions and where they come from, the role of the cortex to make predictions in an uncertain world, and how that relates to our complex behavior.  We’ll discuss the basic drives of all organisms, and how these drives relate to the development of the brain and central nervous system.  We’ll get into the elementary physics of the Free Energy Principle, entropy, and homeostasis and how this all relates back to why we behave as we do.  We’ll get into the discussion of voluntary behavior, free will and choice and how to properly conceptualize what these terms represent.  We’ll talk briefly about the origins of self, the relationship of all living things, his thoughts on the possibility of constructing an artificial mind, and much more.    Solms breaks highly complex concepts down throughout this book and synthesizes these concepts into a clear, unified theory of consciousness.    Solms is the Director of Neuropsychology in the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Cape Town, South Africa where he lives, and honorary lecturer in neurosurgery and an honorary Fellow with the American College of Psychiatrists.     He has received numerous honors, has published about 350 journals, articles and book chapters, and authored eight books.  He is the editor and translator of the forthcoming 24-volume Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud and the 4-volume work of the Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud.    We had a lengthy conversation exploring many of the concepts in his book, but we begin our conversation with a fascinating story related to his experience growing up in the pits of apartheid in South Africa, and how this influenced him to do his part in redressing racial and class disparity in his own country.

    • 1 hr 48 min
    #8 Evolutionary Science, Public Health and Human Behavior: When sciences come together to improve the human condition

    #8 Evolutionary Science, Public Health and Human Behavior: When sciences come together to improve the human condition

    Dr. George Diggs is a well-respected, well-researched evolutionary biologist and botanist who has taught at Austin College in Sherman, Texas for 40 years. I took my first evolutionary biology and ecology class from him over 30 years ago.  

    His research interests include evolution as it relates to human health, climate change, the plants of Texas, and biogeography.  He has co-authored four books and nearly 40 scientific articles, traveling and completing research in all seven continents.

    One of his latest books is The Hunter-Gatherer Within: Health and the Natural Human Diet, co-authored with Dr. Kerry Brock.  For the past 15 years he has focused on Evolutionary Medicine and Ancestral Health and recently he helped establish an undergraduate program in Public Health at Austin College

    In this episode, George bridges a clear understanding between evolutionary and environmental science, public health and human behavior. We discuss how we evolved genetically and culturally from our origins in small hunter-gatherer groups to where we are today, comparing the stark differences between the two, noting very different individual and group selective pressures that not only explains why we engage in behaviors we know are harmful to us, but what we can do about them. Along these lines, he clearly explains important concepts in evolutionary and behavioral science, such as cognitive bias, evolutionary mismatch, cultural catalysis and epigenetics, and then uses this understanding as the foundation to reflect on needed policy shifts.

    George Diggs is one of those great contributors to life that not only has decades of experience under his belt as a research scientist, but is at heart a well-loved and respected mentor and teacher to thousands who genuinely cares about the welfare of others.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    #7 - Soto Zen Buddhism and the connection to psychological health with Rev Eric Daishin McCabe

    #7 - Soto Zen Buddhism and the connection to psychological health with Rev Eric Daishin McCabe

    Welcome to this episode of ACT in Perspective podcast with our topic: Soto Zen Buddhism and the connection to psychological health with Rev Eric Daishin McCabe



    Daishin McCabe describes his own personal journey that led to where he is today, starting with his

    college days as a young student trying to make sense of the world and of his own suffering. We discuss

    what Zen practice is, why the traditions are so meaningful and important, how he’s changed over the

    years, the challenges he’s experienced, and we also get into a philosophical discussion related to the

    illusion of a separate, independent, free-will ego.



    What’s striking are the direct similarities between Zen teaching and the ACT behavioral processes that

    lead to psychological flexibility – defusion, present moment awareness, mindful acceptance of all

    thoughts and feelings, a fluid sense of self, the value-driven life, and a commitment to action – all wrapped up with a focus on compassion, a strong desire to benefit the welfare of others.



    You can also view this on the ACT in Perspective youtube channel with visuals to help clarify terms and concepts. 

    https://youtu.be/1ZtBhdJ3MOw



    Here are some additional links to Daishin McCabe's youtube channel:

    For Yoga:  https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE6tInaFyLWp-nzjU7tvG49IJl0WaizmL

    Short Meditations:  https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE6tInaFyLWq46Ssb-C57I2ERcHT3NKEo

    Dharma Talks:  https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE6tInaFyLWpLSTNmUx6r6xwCTPTPegP2



    And if people would like to make a donation to his work, they are welcome to go here:  www.zenfields.org/giving/

    They can email him at:  daishin@zenfields.org



    Thanks for listening!  Feel free to add to the discussion with a comment of your own.

    -Hugh

    • 1 hr 31 min
    #6 - Facing Death, Empowered by Choice: A compassionate approach to the end of life with Valerie Lovelace, Death With Dignity

    #6 - Facing Death, Empowered by Choice: A compassionate approach to the end of life with Valerie Lovelace, Death With Dignity

    Valerie "Val" Lovelace is the Statewide Campaign Director for the Death With Dignity National Center and the Founder and Executive Director of Maine Death With Dignity.  We discuss the aid in dying movement for the terminally ill, the history of the movement, the challenges and concerns and where it's likely to go in the near future.  There are currently 10 US jurisdictions that allow physician aid in dying, with New Mexico's senate just passing a bill on its' way to become the 11th.  We discuss our own heartfelt experiences with family members' deaths, and why this movement is important to us.  We also discuss the many individuals affected by this legislation and how it was so crucially important to them and their families.    If you would like to find out more information about the movement, go to:  www.deathwithdignity.org Other supportive organizations include:  Compassion & Choices, www.compassionandchoices.org and The Brittany Maynard Fund, www.thebrittanyfund.org  Find out what the laws are in your state and contact Val to find out how you can get involved in a grassroots effort to change the law.   Contact the main line of Death With Dignity at (503) 228-4415.  "For terminally ill patients, death with dignity means having control and the knowledge that if things get unbearable they have the option to end their life how they see fit."  -  Margaret Ervin, hospice social worker.

    • 1 hr 16 min

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