You hear a lot these days about how pets make us happy. This is called the “pet effect“. But is it so? The answer appears to be a qualified yes. But in what ways do pets make us happy? How strong is their effect on our lives? Also, how about religion? We also hear that religious people are happier, but … Read More
Have you watched the TV show Walking Dead or ever seen a movie about Zombies (perhaps Zombieland or Dawn of the Dead)? What is so fascinating about the undead? Why do many of us get a strange pleasure out of seeing a zombie get killed? In this episode I explore that strange part of ourselves which for some reason seems to enjoy watching the undead get really dead.
Are you embarrassed to take your clothes off in front of your doctor? Most of us are. Well, what if your doctor was a robot? Would this make it easier or harder to remove your clothes? Before you answer – would it matter if the robot looked like a real person or if it looked like R2-D2? That’s the question we examine this week on The Psych Files.
How does music affect us emotionally? Why do minor chords 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.
Psychologists say that winning the silver medal – coming in second – is actually less satisfying than coming in third – the bronze. Why is that? Find out why winning the silver is…a bummer.
It’s time to scientifically answer the question: is it better to give than to receive? Psychologists have recently examined the relationship between happiness and charitable giving. Will you be happier if you donate money rather than spend it on yourself?
What’s wrong with thinking positively? Could be a lot. I’ll share some ideas for bringing about more positive events in your life and discuss how important “negative” – that is sad – feelings are in our lives. Those are moments not to run from, but to embrace.
Where do our emotions come from? From our thoughts? Or do they begin somewhere else – like in our bodies? This week we look at the work of James-Lange, Cannon-Bard, and Schachter and Singer. Also, I review two classic studies in the history of psychology: the Suproxin study (the basis for the well known (two factor theory of emotion) and … Read More
Do you get nervous when you perform? Want to learn how to overcome performance anxiety? Listen to a few experienced actors talk about how they deal with stage fright and then I’ll share some thoughts about what psychologists have to say about those judges in your head who keep you from doing your best. I’ll also share my experiences as … Read More
What could possibly be wrong with thinking positively? As it turns out, there could be a lot wrong with it. Consider this: have you ever felt badly because you haven’t been thinking positively lately? There’s almost a certain amount of guilt to it. Join me in this episode of The Psych Files where we look at the good and the … Read More