"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.
The people who never forget a face, with Josh Davis, PhD, and Kelly Desborough
Super-recognizers have an extraordinary ability to recognize faces – they can pick faces they’ve seen only briefly out of a crowd and recognize childhood acquaintances they haven’t seen in decades. Dr. Josh Davis, of the University of Greenwich, and super-recognizer Kelly Desborough discuss the origins of this ability, how super-recognizers compare with facial-recognition algorithms, and why security organizations are interested in working with super-recognizers.
What is anxiety and how can we treat it effectively? With Bunmi Olatunji, PhD
We’ve all had good reason to feel anxious over the past two years. But sometimes, anxiety is more than a normal response to stress. Anxiety disorders are among the most common of all mental health disorders, affecting an estimated 15% to 20% of people at some point in their life. Dr. Bunmi Olatunji discusses the emotions that drive anxiety disorders, how to treat them effectively, and how people can recognize the difference between feeling anxious and an anxiety disorder.
Healing pain by treating the mind, with Tor Wager, PhD
More than 20% of U.S. adults suffer from some form of chronic pain. For many, effective treatment remains elusive, with medications and surgeries giving little in the way of relief. But in recent years, research has begun to suggest the answer to chronic pain may come not from healing the body but from treating the mind. Dr. Tor Wager discusses the relationship among our thoughts, feelings and beliefs about pain and the actual physical pain that we feel.
Encore - Unlocking the mysteries of smell, our most underappreciated sense, with Pamela Dalton, PhD
Many people have temporarily lost their sense of smell due to COVID-19. Before the pandemic, scientists had already begun to gain a deeper understanding of how sophisticated our sense of smell is and how it is intertwined with our mental and physical health. Now, the pandemic is giving that research new urgency. Pamela Dalton, PhD, discusses what we know about how our sense of smell works, the connections between smell, emotions and memory, how she developed the “world’s worst smell,” and more.
Encore - What is it like to remember every day of your life, with Michael Yassa, PhD, and Markie Pasternak
For people with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory every day is memorable. Ask them what they were doing on this date 10 years ago, and they’ll be able to tell you. Markie Pasternak, one of the youngest people identified with HSAM, and Michael Yassa, PhD, talk about what it’s like to have this ability, what we know about how people with HSAM store and retrieve this vast amount of autobiographical information, and what studying this unique ability can teach us more generally about how memory works.
Psychology takes toys seriously, with Barry Kudrowitz, PhD, and Doris Bergen, PhD
Just in time for toy-buying season, Dr. Barry Kudrowitz, a toy designer and professor of product design at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Doris Bergen, a professor emerita of educational psychology at Miami University in Ohio, discuss the psychology of toys. What makes something a good toy? Why do some toys stand the test of time while others fizzle out after one season? How has technology changed the way kids play with toys? Does gender affect kids’ toy choices? And do we ever grow out of toys?