Ep 204: The Psychology of Fundraising

How do you use psychology persuasion techniques to get people to contribute to your cause? That's what I discuss in this episode of The Psych Files - the psychology of fundraising. I'm trying to help my friend raise money and in doing so I employed a number of persuasion strategies to get people to help him out and I'm sure these ideas will be helpful to you as well. We'll look at how Robert Cialdini's ideas can be applied to fundraising and we'll look at other topics you may have studied in a psychology class: goal setting, bystander apathy, and the need to generate excitement in order to … [Read more...]

Ep 188: Psychologists Are Keeping You From Getting the Flu

Wash Your Hands to Avoid Illness

Didn't get the flu this past winter? Thank a psychologist. What? Well, it could be that a psychologist was involved in helping health care professionals to do what they know they need to do (but sometimes don't): wash their hands. The issue here is persuasion and motivation: how to we get people to do something - and keep doing it? Health care workers like doctors and nurses can fall prey to the availability heuristic: they can easily remember times when they didn't wash their hands and they didn't get sick so they might develop an "illusion of invulnerability". How do psychologists get … [Read more...]

Ep: 167: The Fat Trap – How Not to Get Discouraged About Difficulty Losing Weight

Guess What? Bad news: if you've ever been overweight and you're trying to lose weight it's even harder than you think. Yikes. Pretty de-motivating. As psychologist Matthew Edlund wrote recently, Weight: Why Simple Answers Won't (Can't) Work. However, let's see what motivational psychologists would have to say about this. How to keep from throwing up your hands at the whole effort. Resources on the Difficulty of Losing Weight The Fat Trap by Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times, December 28, 2011. Episode 126 (video): SuperNormal Stimuli: Is This Why We’re Overweight? There … [Read more...]

Ep 152: How Do You Change Your Behavior? Interview with Scott Milford

Behavior Modification

How does Behavior Modification work? Find out in this episode as I interview Scott Milford, author of the Behavior and Motivation website. If you're about how to apply Psychology to everyday life then this is the guy to show you how he does it. In this episode we talk about how to get kids to practice the piano, but you'll quickly see how this approach could be applied to all kinds of other life challenges. Scott developed his approach over many years of working with young people both at the piano and with at-risk adolescents in school. See how Psychology can be put to work! … [Read more...]

Episode 142: How To Make Jobs More Satisfying and Motivating

Do you have a dull job? Wonder how it can be made more motivating? That's the challenge - how can we make jobs that are typically not much fun (like an assembly line job) more interesting to do? There is a lot of research on this important topic (check out The Five Drivers of Happiness at Work from the Wall Street Journal). And Dan Pink wrote a good deal about this in his book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (you can hear him talk about work motivation in this interview called Dan Pink on the Modus Operandi of Motivation). This is one of the challenges facing I/O … [Read more...]

Episode 140: Psychoanalyzing Jack Lalanne

In this episode I put Jack Lalanne "on the couch". I take selections from several of his videos and see what they reveal about his personality. He was clearly passionate about exercise, but what drove this passion? What was his underlying motivation? I suggest that his relationship with his father was crucial to his passion for exercise and fitness. Join me as I do a little armchair psychoanalysis of Jack Lalanne. The Ripped and the Righteous … [Read more...]

Episode 129 (video): Science Shows Superstitions Actually Work! Sort of…

Okay, admit it - you have some kind of lucky charm on you, in your car or in your house. And if you participate in any sport or performance activity you have some sort of ritual that you believe will help make you more successful. Well guess what - there is research to show that such charms and rituals really do help you perform better. Find out how in this episode of The Psych Files. Resources on Superstitions Damisch, L., Stoberock, B., & Mussweiler, T. (2010). Keep your fingers crossed! How superstition improves performance. Psychological Science, 21, 7, 1014-1020. "Fingers … [Read more...]

Episode 121: Top 10 Psychology Apps for the iPad, iPhone, & iPod

Best Psychology Apps on the iPad/iPhone

I show you 10 of what I consider to be the best psychology apps in the app store. There are a lot of psychology apps and many are not so good, but in this episode I pick out what I consider to be credible therapy apps, excellent mind mapping tools, relaxation apps, and some of the best 3 dimensional ways to look at the brain. Here are three apps created, maintained and constantly updated by me - Michael A. Britt, Ph.D.: PsycExplorer - the psychology news app which contains all the latest news, audio and video from experts in the field. PsycExplorer for iPhone/iPod and PsycExplorerHD … [Read more...]

Episode 107: Freud, Projective Tests and …. Poetry

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How do the Rorschach, the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) and the House, Tree, Person tests work? Do you reveal something about yourself when you tell stories about pictures or tell what you see in an inkblot or even when you do something as seemingly innocent as drawing a picture of a house? In this episode I try to answer these questions about the Freudian defense mechanism of projection as well as show you how a wonderful poem called How It Will End by Denise Duhamel could be an excellent example of psychology in everyday life. [adsenseyu2] Resources for this Episode Many thanks to … [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...]