Ep 213: Leveraging Our Natural Curiosity for Learning (and for Blog and Video Clicks)

The Motivation to Learn

We don't have to pay you to get you to do things (extrinsic motivation) - you're already a curious person. We also don't necessarily have to find things you're already interested in (intrinsic motivation) we just have to find things are naturally interesting to all of us in order to get you excited about learning or interested in clicking on a link. How does our attraction to puzzles, questions, and unsolved mysteries get used to get us to click on videos or blog posts? And how can it be used to get students to want to learn (motivation to learn)? You'll find out that there are ways to get … [Read more...]

Ep 198: What’s it Like to Work in Psychology?

A lot of people find psychology interesting. But what is it really like to work in psychology? A tough question to answer because the field is so broad. In this episode of The Psych Files podcast I'll share my thoughts on the difference between learning about psychology and actually doing psychology as a career. It's a tough thing to capture because psychologists could spend their day doing psychotherapy, or working with inmates in prison, conducting research with children or doing complex statistical analyses. Some careers in psychology pay well while others pay poorly. A job in … [Read more...]

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

skinnerOnVoicethread

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 187: I’d Like to Have an Argument Please (critical thinking part 3)

How would you like to have an argument? Turns out that learning how to have a good argument might just be the best way to learn to think critically. In this episode I discuss a neat piece of research in which 7 and 8 year olds are taught how to effectively argue. And they do a darn good job of it as it turns out. Perhaps this is the way to teach our young people critical thinking: give them some great books to read - like The Giving Tree - and have them discuss what they think about it. The key ingredient: making sure that they fully understand the point of view of the other person. This'll be … [Read more...]

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

The importance of critical thinking for children

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 more important in today's world where misinformation is all around us. Make sure to take a look at the concept map below. … [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 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 102: How to Create an Online Experiment on Eyewitness Testimony Accuracy

Want to create an online experiment? Here's how to do it. I'll show you can create an experiment using two tools: Wix.com and Google Forms. Using these two tools, you'll be able to get creative and put together an experiment online that others can take. You'll even be able to collect the data. In this episode of The Psych Files I'll use as an example a very do-able recent study which shows that people tend to overestimate the height of a building when they are on the roof looking down to the ground than when they are on the ground looking up to the roof.  [adsenseyu2] The explanation for … [Read more...]

Episode 90: The Learning Styles Myth: An Interview with Daniel Willingham

Guess what? There's no such thing as "learning style" (the theory that each of us has a preferred way to learn new ideas. There are many supposed kinds of learning styles, such as a visual learning style, an auditory style, kinesthetic, etc.). Don't believe it? Neither did I at first. I was sure for a long time that I personally had a visual learning style. Now I'm not so sure anymore. [adsenseyu2] Why Do We Still Believe in Learning Styles? If there is no scientific support for learning styles then whey do we believe they must exist? We also discuss multiple intelligences. … [Read more...]