Ep 157: Do Pets and Religion Make You Happier?

MichaelEmotion1 Comment

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

Episode 138: Zombies – 6 Reasons Why We Are So Fascinated By Them

MichaelBiopsychology, Cognition, Intelligence and Language, Emotion14 Comments

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.

Episode 133: Replacing Your Doctor With a Robot?

MichaelEmotion, Research and Stats2 Comments

Robots as Doctors?

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.

Episode 101: The Psychology of Music: The Role of Expectations and Minor Chords

MichaelBiopsychology, Emotion, Learning/Memory10 Comments

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.

Episode 44: Human Emotions: The Two Factor Theory

MichaelEmotion2 Comments

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

Episode 40: Performance Anxiety – How To Deal With It

MichaelEmotionLeave a Comment

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

Episode 6: The Negative Side of Positive Thinking

MichaelCognition, Intelligence and Language, Emotion, Therapy2 Comments

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

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