33 episodes

PsychCrunch is the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest and presented by Dr Christian Jarrett. 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.

PsychCrunch The British Psychological Society Research Digest

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 37 Ratings

PsychCrunch is the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest and presented by Dr Christian Jarrett. 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.

    How to better understand your cat

    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

    • 22 min
    The psychology of superstitions

    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.

    • 20 min
    Why do people share false information — and what can we do about it?

    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

    • 20 min
    Why songs get stuck in our heads

    Why songs get stuck in our heads

    Why do some songs get stuck in our heads? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith explores the psychology of earworms. Ginny hears about the possible evolutionary reasons for why we experience the phenomenon, learns what earworms can teach us about memory — and finds out how to get rid of them.

    Our guests, in order of appearance, are Kelly Jakubowski, assistant professor of music psychology at Durham University; Petr Janata, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis; and Michael K. Scullin, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University.
    Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

    Research from our guests includes:

    Dissecting an Earworm: Melodic Features and Song Popularity Predict Involuntary Musical Imagery

    Spontaneous mental replay of music improves memory for incidentally associated event knowledge.

    Bedtime Music, Involuntary Musical Imagery, and Sleep

    • 24 min
    The Psychologist presents… at Latitude Festival 2021 — Child food poverty

    The Psychologist presents… at Latitude Festival 2021 — Child food poverty

    This is Episode 27 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.
    At Latitude Festival in Suffolk in July, The Psychologist Editor Dr Jon Sutton hosted a conversation in The Listening Post with Greta Defeyter, Professor of Developmental Psychology and founder and Director of the "Healthy Living" Lab at Northumbria University. An expert on food insecurity, social injustice, school feeding programmes and holiday hunger, Professor Defeyter considered why children go hungry, what we can do about it, and how her own experiences of poverty have shaped her. 

    Episode credits: Presented by Jon Sutton. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

    Thanks to Latitude Festival’s arts and special events curator Kirsty Taylor. We hope to return with more from ‘The Psychologist Presents…’ in 2022. Tickets for next year’s event are already on sale via http://latitudefestival.com

    Background reading

    Professor Defeyter has just published her new book, Holiday Hunger in the UK, co-authored by Michael A. Long and Paul B. Stretesky

    The Psychologist also met Professor Defeyter as part of their special edition around the British Psychological Society policy theme of ‘From poverty to flourishing’

    Reports and transcripts from other appearances at Latitude Festival

    • 50 min
    How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected our mental health?

    How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected our mental health?

    This is Episode 26 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 
    What impact has the pandemic had on people’s mental health? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith talks to researchers who have been conducting work throughout the pandemic to understand the toll that it has taken on our wellbeing. Ginny learns about the different factors that can make us more or less vulnerable to these effects, finds out how pregnant women have fared during this stressful time, and also hears about emerging data that finds links between the virus itself and mental health conditions.
    Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Susanne Schweizer, Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and Professor Paul Harrison from the University of Oxford.
    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.
    Background reading for this episode
    More information about the CORAL study is available on their website Paul Harrison’s paper describing the link between Covid-19 infection and mental health conditions is available open access here. There is also a university press release about the work, and another related paper by the team

    • 21 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
37 Ratings

37 Ratings

ZoomlyBitesized ,

Essential listening

Great podcast: topical issues seen through a psychological lens, with input from academics & researchers.

AFBPS ,

PsychCrunch

Entertaining and educational- keeps my mind active and open to new ideas on my way to work.

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