psychology | KUOW News and Information

psychology

Courtesy of Penquin Random House

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the author of “The Botany of Desire” chose to experiment with and write about psychedelic drugs. They are edible after all. Still, like many people, Michael Pollan wasn’t exactly keen to fool around with mind-altering experiences.

Bill Radke talks to journalist Michael Pollan about his new book 'How to Change Your Mind,' a look into the world of research on psychedelics used to help patients deal with dying, addiction, anxiety, depression and more.

The stories of patients and their families are critical to learning more about how state government operates and how our mental health system is functioning. They also shed light on personal struggles with mental health and fight the stigma attached to psychiatric disorders.

The state is currently trying to reshape the hospital and improve our long-struggling mental health system. The issue will likely be at the forefront of the Legislature's 2019 session, which begins in January.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, turning his back on the camera as we might wish to turn our backs on his network.
Flickr Photo/Alessio Jacona (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/Du4fYm

#DeleteFacebook is trending right now… on Twitter. And that’s part of the problem, says Abby Ohlheiser. She reports on digital culture for the Washington Post, and says that while we wish we could kick our social network habits, the reality is much more complicated than it seems.

Courtesy of Penquin Random House

As crazy as the world seems sometimes, author Steven Pinker argues our ancestors would most certainly envy us. From life expectancy and standards of health to general prosperity, peace and happiness, he argues we’re better off than they were — and don’t get him started on anesthesia.

Welcome to a new season of Invisibilia! The NPR program and podcast explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior. Episode 3 involves two brothers who are happy about the polite, helpful tenant who moves into their mother's house, until they start to suspect he has sinister motives.

Courtesy of Emile Pitre

Dr. Temple Grandin was diagnosed as brain-damaged at age two. Her mother Anna steadfastly pursued ways to understand her daughter’s condition and ultimately educate her. Anna came to suspect her daughter was on the autism spectrum, at a time when the prescribed treatment was commitment to an institution. She fought that, too.

In this Jan. 29, 1962 file photo, the Spalding family, left, and the Richmond family demonstrate how people of the town would sit out a nuclear attack and its radioactive aftermath in Los Alamos, N.M., birthplace of the atomic and hydrogen bombs.
AP Photo, File

If you follow the news, you might get the impression that things are pretty bad.

Not just "why bother" bad. It's "throw your hands up" bad.

Or even "eat a large bag of Sour Patch Kids in one sitting because we're all doomed anyway" bad.

KUOW photo/Sonya Harris

Marriage conjures up so many things, but here’s a longish shortlist: union, promise, vow, relationship, interdependence, security, sacrifice, contract, commitment, hard work, choice. Why do people get married? According to a Pew Research Center study, the top three reasons are for love, long-term commitment and companionship.

Courtesy of Spelman College/J.D. Scott

In 1997 Dr. Beverly Tatum published her acclaimed book "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race.” The work explores an enduring American reluctance to acknowledge the realities of racial identity development and racism. For the last 20 years, it has served as a catalyst in efforts to address those realities.

President Trump has often accused the news media of not covering terrorist attacks adequately. In a speech in February he said, "Radical Islamic terrorists are determined to strike our homeland as they did on 9/11, as they did from Boston to Orlando to San Bernardino [...] It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported."

microphone podium
Flickr Photo/Tom Woodward (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6LG5Lf

The term "gaslighting" comes from the 1944 film "Gaslight," about an abusive husband who secretly manipulates the lighting in his house in order to drive his wife mad. It has been used more recently to refer to a political phenomenon involving the dissemination of untruths to an extent that causes the public to doubt truth from falsehood.

Flickr Photo/Fernando Gonzalez (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/dWoJoi

Kim Malcolm talks with Sam Sommers about the science behind why we root for underdogs in sports. Sommers is associate professor of psychology at Tufts University and co author of "This is Your Brain on Sports."

It's a time of year when we're often urged to be grateful; for friends, for family, for presents under the tree. But not everyone experiences gratitude as a positive force in their life.

Editor's note: This story is part of the latest episode of NPR's show and podcast Invisibilia, exploring the power of clothes.

"Whatever! Just leave me alone!"

Tammy stomps her feet up the stairs to the bedroom. A few moments later she slams the door, leaving for work. Jack is exasperated, angry and hurt. He wanted to rush outside and demand that Tammy treat him with respect. He imagined giving her the silent treatment until she apologized. But he knew this would prolong the fight and compound the resentment.

He goes upstairs, tidies their room and does her laundry. He arranges some flowers on their nightstand and goes to work.

Does hope actually motivate us to change? A listener sent in this question, and we thought we would explore the answer.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about how effective hope is when we want change.


Letting mice watch Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

As a mother of young children, I've heard the following rosy message from more than one slightly more-seasoned mom: "Don't worry, it gets easier!"

It's a message of hope and encouragement, a recognition of how hard some aspects of early motherhood can be. But according to new research, it might also be wrong.

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.

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