"Speaking of Psychology" is an audio podcast series highlighting some of the latest, most important and relevant psychological research being conducted today. Produced by the American Psychological Association, these podcasts will help listeners apply the science of psychology to their everyday lives.
How meditation can help you live a flourishing life, with Richard Davidson, PhD
Meditation practices date back thousands of years and are a part of nearly every major religion. But it’s only in the past couple of decades that researchers have begun to use the tools of modern science to explore what is happening in the brain when people meditate and how meditation might benefit our mind and body. Richard Davidson, PhD, director of the Center for Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin, discusses what scientists have learned and how these ancient practices can help us to flourish.
What studying twins can teach us about ourselves, with Nancy Segal, PhD
From movie plots to ad campaigns to viral videos, if they feature twins, they grab our attention every time. But it’s not only the general public who are fascinated with twins. Over many decades, twins have garnered attention from psychologists and other researchers because of what they can tell us about how our genes and environment interact to make us who we are. Nancy Segal, PhD, talks about the state of twin research today and what we've learned about twins, and from them, over the decades.
How children's amazing brains shaped humanity, with Alison Gopnik, PhD
Why do we have such a long childhood? What’s in it for us as a species? According to Alison Gopnik, PhD, the answer is that kids are the "R&D division of humanity." Gopnik discusses her research and its implications for how we think about the purpose of childhood, how we raise and educate our children, the role of grandparents in teaching the next generation, and even how we might develop artificial intelligence inspired by children’s learning abilities.
The science of relationships, with Gary Lewandowski, PhD
For psychologists, romance, attraction and love are not just the stuff of poetry – they’re also a subject for research. What are the qualities of a successful relationship? Why do some relationships endure while others fail? What do we gain from our relationships? How do we know which ones are worth holding onto or when it’s time to quit? Gary Lewandowski, PhD, delves into these questions and discusses how understanding the science of relationships can help us strengthen our own.
Can “brain training” games sharpen your mental skills? With Aaron Seitz, PhD
Who among us wouldn’t want to improve his or her brain? To see better, to hear better or to improve one's memory? The field of brain training has attracted controversy as commercial companies have heavily marketed brain training products that aren’t necessarily backed by science. But some researchers believe that brain training research does hold promise for developing games that can help people.
What is it like to be face blind? With Joe DeGutis, PhD, and Sadie Dingfelder
After a lifetime of thinking that she was just a little bit bad at remembering people, Sadie Dingfelder learned that she had prosopagnosia, a disorder more colloquially known as face blindness. Harvard psychologist Joe DeGutis, PhD, who runs the research study that Dingfelder participated in, joins her to discuss how people with face blindness see the world, why it’s such an interesting disorder to study, and promising treatments that his lab is exploring.