Psychologists React to Robin Williams’ Death

Robin Williams

Shock and Sadness How has the mental health community reacted to Robin Williams' suicide? I've been reflecting on my own reaction as well as reading blog posts and news articles from other mental health professionals. Here's my take on what we're thinking. Like everyone else, mental health professionals found themselves saddened and speechless at Williams' loss. He was so unique and gave so much. He will be so missed. But Why Couldn’t He Have... It's so natural for us to think, "But he was rich and famous - couldn't he have brought himself out of this?". There are two things we … [Read more...]

Psychology Tip to Help You Get More Tips

Do you have a tip jar at work? Here's one way to use a little psychology to increase the likelihood that customers will put a little money in there: Set out not one but two tip jars Label the jars with two competing themes Okay, so what do I mean by "competing themes"? What you want to do is to motivate people to drop in a little (or a lot of course) money by tapping into their social identities. For example, if you know that there is a natural rivalry between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox (and especially if there is a game between them coming up), label one tip … [Read more...]

Ep 200: Reflections on the 200th Show!

Squarespace Homepage

Thank you so much for listening to The Psych Files for the past 6 1/2 years. In this episode I provide a little background on how the podcast started and what has happened as it grew over the years. It just past 8 million downloads and I want to share a few thoughts on this with you. Thank you everybody! Facts about the Show Started in January of 2007 Over 9 million episode downloads 4,500 episode downloads day on average Almost always in the top 10 of iTunes Higher Ed Website gets an average of 800 hits day 4 1/2 stars from 131 ratings on iTunes The show has been featured in … [Read more...]

The Bystander Approach

In the end, what will hurt most is not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. - Martin Luther King The video below consists of 7 shorts clips from a longer video called Violence & Silence: Jackson Katz, Ph.D at TEDxFiDiWomen. My thanks to podcast listener Jackie who encouraged me to watch the video. I used a very cool tool called ReelSurfer to edit the video to what I thought were some of Dr. Katz's key points. Press play and you will cycle through these 7 clips. Here is the link to a previous episode I did on the topic of blaming the victim A related … [Read more...]

Ep 174: The First Replication of Daryl Bem’s Research on Psychic Phenomenon

Concept Map with Details of the Replication of Bem's Feeling the Future study

Have psychologists recently found evidence for the existence of psychic ability? Last year, well-known psychologist Daryl Bem published an article called Feeling the Future in which he describes a number of studies, all of which provided support for a kind of phi phenomenon he calls "retroactive influence". The research appeared in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The article caused a storm of controversy and calls for changes to how research and the peer review process is conducted. I covered some of those recommendations in video episode 165: Psychological Research Under … [Read more...]

Ep 172: Interview with Nathalie Nahai – The Web Psychologist


Did you know that you can apply your psychology skills to the development of effective websites? Meet one woman - Nathalie Nahai - who does exactly that and she has a background in not only psychology, but also Art, Physics and English Literature. She's putting all those together to help people improve their websites and the power of their online influence, which by the way, is the (working) title of the book she's writing: The Psychology of Online Influence. How to Contact Nathalie Nahai Check out The Web Psychologist website Contact Nathalie on Twitter Rory … [Read more...]