373 episodes

The Psych Files is a podcast for anyone interested in the topic of psychology and how ideas in this field apply to everyday life. Michael Britt brings you an upbeat, fun podcast of interest to everyone from psychology majors to those just interested in why people do what they do.

Psychology in Everyday Life: The Psych Files Michael Britt

    • Education
    • 4.2 • 289 Ratings

The Psych Files is a podcast for anyone interested in the topic of psychology and how ideas in this field apply to everyday life. Michael Britt brings you an upbeat, fun podcast of interest to everyone from psychology majors to those just interested in why people do what they do.

    Paralyzed by Fear: Exploring Tonic Immobility in Sexual Assault

    Paralyzed by Fear: Exploring Tonic Immobility in Sexual Assault

    In this episode of "The Psych Files," we delve into the complex and sensitive topic of sexual assault, focusing particularly on the phenomenon of tonic immobility, often referred to as "frozen fright." This involuntary response can leave victims unable to move or speak during an assault, a reaction that is not only common but also deeply misunderstood. Our journey begins with a fictional account from the Netflix series "A Nearly Normal Family," where a young woman experiences this paralyzing effect during an assault. This portrayal opens up a discussion about the real-life implications of tonic immobility, including the challenges it presents in legal contexts where victims' lack of physical resistance is often misinterpreted as consent. Throughout the episode, we explore the biological and psychological underpinnings of tonic immobility. Experts explain that this response is an evolutionary defense mechanism, akin to the "freeze" response observed in many animals when confronted by predators. It's a survival strategy, not a choice, triggered by extreme fear and a complex cascade of hormonal reactions in the brain. We also discuss the broader implications of misunderstanding tonic immobility, particularly the undue guilt and shame that can afflict survivors, complicating their recovery and the pursuit of justice. The episode highlights the importance of education and awareness, both for mental health professionals and the general public, to foster a more compassionate and informed response to survivors of sexual assault. This episode is not just an exploration of a psychological phenomenon but also a call to action to support survivors more effectively and to challenge societal misconceptions about sexual assault and victim behavior.   #SexualAssaultAwareness #MentalHealthMatters #EndTheSilence: #SupportSurvivors #TonicImmobility #MentalHealthAwareness

    • 10 min
    Cloning Voices: Scary Maybe, But Also Therapeutic?

    Cloning Voices: Scary Maybe, But Also Therapeutic?

    I'm about as worried as anyone else about how the new tools for cloning voices could be used by "bad actors" to clone the voices of politicians to make them say things they never said and possibly further polarize our country before an important election.  But in this episode of the podcast I describe how I used ElevenLabs - a site that will allow you to clone your - or someone else's - voice to "re-create" my father's voice and use it to have him say some things that I always wanted to hear him say. Weird? Yes, but satisfying and therapeutic? I think so.

    • 11 min
    The Psychology of Music: The Role of Expectations and Minor Chords

    The Psychology of Music: The Role of Expectations and Minor Chords

    How does music affect us emotionally? Why do minor chords sound so sad? In this episode of The Psych Files I explore ideas from Daniel Leviton's fascinating book, Your Brain on Music, especially those ideas concerned with what composers do to draw you into their music by first conforming to your musical expectations and then carefully confounding them in order to surprise and delight. I talk with guitarist and composer David Temple to get his perspective on this process as well. Along the way you'll hear excerpts from some fascinating pieces of music and David and I will discuss what makes them so compelling, especially those in the minor key. My My piano playing skills are pretty rough but get ready for some fun.

    • 43 min
    My 3 Favorite Psych Articles This Week - March 8, 2024

    My 3 Favorite Psych Articles This Week - March 8, 2024

    In this episode of The Psych Files, host Michael Britt explores three fascinating new psychology studies. First, research found that making hospital alarms more musical could help prevent dangerous mistakes caused by alarm fatigue. Next, studies on cats and dogs suggest they likely dream about their waking experiences, just like humans do. The brain activity of a sleeping dog resembles when it is chasing a ball, for example. Finally, not all personality tests are created equal - while popular, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) lacks scientific support, whereas the Big Five model and its personality traits are well-validated by research. However, no test can capture the full complexity of your personality. Psychological science is always uncovering new insights into how our minds work, with much still left to discover.

    • 4 min
    From Insane Asylum to Psychiatric Center: A Brief History

    From Insane Asylum to Psychiatric Center: A Brief History

    When we look back at the history of psychiatric care, it’s evident that practices and treatments have evolved tremendously over the years. Dr. Roger Christenfeld, the Research Director of the Hudson River Psychiatric Center, provides a unique insight into this transformative journey. (episode was recorded in 2007).

    • 32 min
    Episode 104: Can Positive Affirmations Improve Your Self Esteem?

    Episode 104: Can Positive Affirmations Improve Your Self Esteem?

    Can positive affirmations help raise your self esteem? People use daily affirmations and money affirmations to help them feel more confident, build their self esteem and bring positive events into their lives. But do they really work? If not, then what will? We explore these questions in this episode of The Psych Files.

    • 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
289 Ratings

289 Ratings

vhefti ,

Please don’t take down

I just found this show. Please don’t take it down for a long while. I need some time to get through all of the years’ content :)

c.a.martin ,

Awesome podcast

The best psych podcast. Graduating this semester and your podcast helped a lot! You have the perfect voice for this. Relaxing and kind. Hope you go on to do something similar!

nattyvask ,

Omg

Great podcast learned so much over years, its been so helpful when it’s comes to dealing with my son’s psychological issues. I can’t believe it’s coming to an end ! I don’t understand, why....?

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