Ep 188: Psychologists Are Keeping You From Getting the Flu

MichaelI/O Psychology, Motivation, Research and Stats, Social PsychologyLeave a Comment

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? … Read More

Ep 184: Critical Thinking (Part 2) – Important? Yes. But Can We Teach It? Well….

MichaelCognition, Intelligence and Language, Critical Thinking, Research and Stats, Teaching Tools2 Comments

In episode 183 I talked about what critical thinking is and why it’s important. Now we talk about why it’s so darn hard to teach and to use critical thinking in our everyday lives. In this episode I’ll discuss Dr. Daniel Willingham‘s advice to teachers on what they can do to effectively teach critical thinking – something that couldn’t be … Read More

Ep 183: Critical Thinking – Important? Yes. But Can We Teach It? Well….

MichaelCritical Thinking, Research and Stats23 Comments

Why does it concern psychologists that the Texas GOP platform recently opposed the teaching of critical thinking? Most of us have been told since we were very young that critical thinking is very important. Psychologists certainly agree and a lot of time spent in most psychology classes is spent learning how to think critically. Why is it such a central … Read More

Ep: 169 – Validity – How Can You Tell a Good Test from a Bad One?

MichaelPersonality, Research and Stats, Testing2 Comments

In episode 168 I discussed reliability but the real test of a test’s “mettle” – or how confident you can be in the results – comes when you subject it to lots of validity tests. You’ll learn a lot about validity if you take a psychology class. High validity is what separates the many fun-to-take but essentially meaningless tests you’ll … Read More

Ep 165 (video): Psychological Research Under Fire: What Can We Do About It?

MichaelCritical Thinking, Research and Stats7 Comments

What’s going on with Psychology? There have been a number of reports about poorly conducted or completely fraudulent research in the field such as this one that appeared in the New York Times. Well, there’s bad research in all fields, but psychology, which has through its history struggled for scientific credibility, is particularly sensitive to this issue and many psychologists … Read More

Episode 141: Psychology Gets Smart: A New Kind of Lie Detector?

MichaelBiopsychology, Cognition, Intelligence and Language, Critical Thinking, Research and Stats3 Comments

You’ve probably heard that the so called “Lie Detector” test (the polygraph ) doesn’t actually detect when you’ve lied, but rather just takes some physiological measures from your body and these have to be interpreted by experts. Sometimes those experts make mistakes. Join me as I describe a psychological study that tested a new kind of “Lie Detector” – drawings. This study involved Agents, Missions, an Interception, and a mysterious “package”. This is psychology? You better believe it.

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 128: Do Brain Training Games Work?

MichaelBiopsychology, Critical Thinking, Development, Learning/Memory, Research and Stats14 Comments

You’ve probably heard about these Brain Training games. Do they really help you to keep your mind sharp? Will they prevent cognitive decline or slow the effects of alzheimer’s disease? In this episode I review some recent studies on the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of these popular games.

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