Ep 223: Little Albert’s Real Identity – Time to Rewrite the Textbooks

[This] dispute ... has been settled to the satisfaction of all neutral observers from journal editors to manuscript reviewers to ... textbook authors who have seen our articles. The argument is settled.....I would turn to the question of why it took the field of psychology 5+ years to get this sorted out." What was the name of that baby in John Watson's famous videos in which he attempts to demonstrate that fears can be acquired through conditioning (pairing a loud noise with a furry animal)? A few years ago we were presented with information indicating that a boy named Douglas Merrite … [Read more...]

Ep 215: What Was Life Like in an Asylum?

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Ever wondered what it was like to be a patient in an "insane asylum"? "Asylums" changed names over the years (including "State Hospital" and "Psychiatric Center") and so did the treatment of the mentally ill. Hear from Dr. Jennifer Bazar how we went from chaining people up to hydrotherapy to sexual surgery and finally to what is called "moral treatment". A fascinating walk down the history of psychology with an engaging psychology historian. … [Read more...]

Ep 191: What Was B. F. Skinner Really Like?

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Would you be surprised to learn that B.F. Skinner was a very likable guy and that you may actually be very much in agreement with his ideas? Many people who study psychology have a negative impression of Skinner. Well, I'm about to challenge those impressions by presenting a side of Skinner you probably haven't been exposed to. In these sound bytes you'll hear his ideas about learning to play music, about discovery, having fun and becoming the most that you can be. … [Read more...]

Ep 173: An Interactive Neuron and Map Using ThingLink

Every once in a while a really cool tool comes along and I like to show everyone the fun I had with it. In this video episode I show how I easily made an interactive image of a neuron and an interactive map containing videos and locations for some of the major studies in psychology. Do you know where, for example, "Bobo doll" study was done? How about the spot where "Marion Keech" received her message from the alien race called the "Clarion" which revealed the inner workings of cognitive dissonance? Find out how to make your own fun and easy interactive image in this episode of The Psych … [Read more...]

Episode 127 (video): Phrenology: Maybe They Were On To Something

Everyone can picture one of those phrenology heads with personality traits drawn into different sections of the cranium (you'll find a bunch of them on this phrenology site). Was there anything to that? Well, not exactly. However, with the use of MRI scans researchers today may have located about where certain personality traits lie in your brain. Travel with me into a 3D brain and let's find out where your personality may lie. The Big Five Personality Traits One of the most popular theories of personality is the so-called Big Five personality traits. Here is a list of those traits … [Read more...]

Episode 114: Finding Little Albert

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This episode of the podcast - first published in Jan of 2010 - summarized the article which details the efforts of researchers to determine the identity of the so-called "Little Albert": Beck, H. P., Levinson, S., & Irons, G. (2009). Finding Little Albert: A Journey to John B. Watson’s Infant Laboratory. American Psychologist, 64, 605-614. However, more recent research conducted by Digdon, Powell and Harris cast serious doubt on the conclusions of Beck et. al and instead point to a boy named William Albert Barger as the boy known as Little Albert. Please see this episode: Little … [Read more...]

Episode 83: New Year’s Resolutions to Lose Weight: Why So Hard To Keep?

Why is it so hard to keep our new year's resolutions to lose weight? I explore this question in this episode in which I also take a tour through the various schools of psychology and show how each one would explain why you have trouble keeping your promise to yourself to lose weight (or stay out of debt, or stop smoking). [adsenseyu2] Concept Map - In t his video I refer to the concept mapping program as "MeadMap". Well, the company "CoMapping" purchased MeadMap. However, the program still looks and runs the same. You'll see the map below, but you can see it full size by clicking here: … [Read more...]

Episode 71: Horse Sense or Nonsense? Clever Hans is Alive and Well

Can horses be used for corporate training or is this nonsense? If you listened to the NPR piece called, "Horse Sense: New Breed Of Executive Training" you might have had the same reaction I did: sounds a little "fishy". Find out why "Clever Hans" just might be alive and well in the field of management training. You'll also see some very subtle operant conditioning at work here. Here's a recent article from the Telegraph - it looks like "Clever Hans" has been reincarnated - this time as a dog: Chinese dog is 'maths genius,' according to owner. Watch how the owner changes bodily position … [Read more...]

Episode 70: Coincidence or Synchronicity? You Be The Judge

Have you heard that president Abraham Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and president John F. Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln? In this episode of The Psych Files we explore strange coincidences like this one and we also examine Carl Jung's concept of Synchronicity. Does it mean that everything happens for a reason – or is the idea more complex than that? Let's find out. Oh and by the way – turns out Lincoln never had a secretary named Kennedy. Don't believe me? Find out more in this episode of The Psych Files. [adsenseyu2] Correction: I said in the podcast … [Read more...]