psychology

After reporting from Iraq in 2003, NBC’s Brian Williams told the world in great detail about how the helicopter he had been in was shot down.

The only problem was it was not true. We now know that he was in a different helicopter, which was not shot down.

Flickr Photo/Philip Robertson

In recent weeks, the 12th Man has been more ubiquitous in Seattle than rainfall (actually, we’ve been having pretty mild weather).

The flying flags, Blue Fridays and produce displays actually have a psychological and evolutionary basis, according to Eric Simons, author of “The Secret Lives of Sports Fans.”

Former All-Star point guard Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers, the story goes, hated luggage so much he used to buy new outfits every time his team went on a road trip. Needless to say, he's had some financial troubles.

Oxymoronic, isn't it, the idea of a "good psychopath"?

But in their just published book, The Good Psychopath's Guide to Success, Andy McNab and Kevin Dutton argue that relying on some psychopathic traits can lead to a more successful life.

Flickr Photo/Paolo Marconi (CC BY-NC-ND)

David Hyde talks with Jessica Sommerville, psychology professor at the University of Washington, about her recent study that explores how babies perceive justice.

Flickr Photo/C.P.Storm (Cc-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with psychologist Joel Gold, who co-authored the book "Suspicious Minds: How Culture Shapes Madness." The book deals in part with the "Truman Show" delusion: a belief that everyone around you is an actor, and you're the star of a TV show. 

Flickr Photo/wajakemek | rashdanothman (CC BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with psychologist Jonathan Bricker about smartphone apps that claim to help users overcome addiction.

Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen's book. "Thanks for The Feedback."

Ross Reynolds speaks with Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen, lecturers on law at Harvard Law School, about their new book, "Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well." In the course of writing their previous best-seller, "Difficult Conversations," Stone and Heen found that getting feedback, at work or at home, often creates the most difficult conversations.

Nicholas Epley's book "Mindwise."

Ross Reynolds speaks with University of Chicago psychologist Nicholas Epley about his new book "Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel and Want." Epley's research suggests we have insight into what others are thinking but only up to a point.

Why It's OK To Fail Well And Fail Often

Feb 19, 2014
Megan McArdle's book, "The Up Side of Down."

Steve Scher talks with Megan McArdle about why she thinks it's OK to fail as long as you learn from the experience. She also discusses what she learned about human failure while writing her book, "The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success."

Flickr Photo/Spirit-Fire

David Hyde talks with UW psychology professor Liliana Lengua, director of the UW Center for Child and Family Well-Being, about her research on delayed gratification.

Flickr Photo/Jared Eberhardt

Imaginary Friends: Can’t Live With 'Em, Can’t Live Without 'Em

Most of us have fond memories of our childhood friends, but what about our friends that weren’t real? Imaginary friends come in many shapes and sizes, and they often provide handy scapegoats. Steve Scher talked with Marjorie Taylor, professor and head of psychology at the University of Oregon and author of "Imaginary Companions." He also talked to Stephanie Carlson, professor of child development at the University of Minnesota, about where our imaginary friends come from and why they leave.

Ruth Reichl On How And What Americans Eat

At the end of 2009, legendary Gourmet Magazine printed its last issue. Steve Scher talked with then-editor and author Ruth Reichl just four days before the announcement of the magazine’s end about how and what Americans are eating.

Robert Olen Butler On Vietnamese Expat Communities

Robert Olen Butler is the author of “A Good Scent from a Stranger Mountain,” a collection of short stories about Vietnamese expats. In his book, Butler recalls many stories from Vietnamese expats around the world and the often, as he deems them, temperamental dynamics of these communities. Steve Scher talked with Butler back in 1992.

The Conversation Goes Mental: Interviews On Psychology And Human Behavior

Aug 19, 2013

This hour on The Conversation we explore the strange and confusing behavior of humans. Why do we act the way we do? And can we change? Psychologists and science writers take us inside the brain to explain our peculiar actions. 

Humans Look Forward To Turning Into Robots

Aug 13, 2013
Tali Sharot's book "The Optimism Bias"

  Are you optimistic about the future of science? A recent Pew Survey found that 71 percent of Americans believe artificial arms and legs will perform better than natural ones by 2050, and 69 percent believe there will be a cure for most forms of cancer by then.

Will most Americans be springing for artificial limbs in 40 years? Maybe not. But we are certainly optimistic about the possibility of it all. Ross Reynolds talks with Tali Sharot, research fellow in the department of cognitive, perceptual and brain sciences at University College London and the author of “The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain.”

The Rationale Of Irrational Fears

Aug 8, 2013
Flickr Photo/roxweb

Maybe you are afraid of clowns or heights, spiders or public speaking. Fears are common, and from an evolutionary stand point fear can be very helpful. But what happens when you are so afraid of something that other find totally harmless, that it cripples you? How can you get over those fears?

Dr. Stacy Welch wants you to be afraid, but it isn’t what you think. Dr. Welch is an exposure therapist helping people work through fears, both rational and irrational. Ross Reynolds sits down with Dr. Welch and discusses where fears come from, how fear can help or hurt us and how to overcome fears. 

Pages