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

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!

Resources on Token Economy

  • If you’d like to learn more about the behavior modification system Scott Milford discussed in this episode, or more about how he applies motivation theory to other aspects of life, check out his Behavior and Motivation website.
  • While on Scott’s site, check out his special Report, called, “Getting Results with Token Reward Systems“, which is available to subscribers of the site. The Special Report covers not only how to motivate yourself, but also how to motivate children and students. In the report Scott shares a real-life examples of how to use a token economy for each.
  • Here’s Scott’s Facebook page
  • Here’s where you can follow Scott on twitter
  • My tips on how to use a Token Economy system (along with a few tips from Scott’s system as well):

Episode 137: Objectivity and the Scientific Impotence Excuse

Can science study love? Are we able to scientifically determine what romance is all about? There seem to be times, particularly when people hold strong beliefs, that we just don’t want to hear what scientists have to say. We talk a lot these days about the importance of objectivity, but are people – even scientists – capable of being objective? In this episode I’ll talk about the scientific impotence excuse. Another interesting cognitive bias we seem to carry around with us.


  • Munro, G. (2010). The Scientific Impotence Excuse: Discounting Belief-Threatening Scientific Abstracts. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40 (3), 579–600.
  • Alfieri, L., Brooks, P.J., Aldrich, N.J. & Tenenbaum, H.R. (2010). Does Discovery Based Instruction Enhance Learning? Journal of Educational Psychology.
  • Walter Cronkite: The Man With America’s Trust
  • Music for this podcast provided by guitarist David Temple

Episode 124: Flashbulb Memories – Are They As Accurate As We Think?

Would you be surprised if I told you that your memories of the attacks on September 11, 2001 are inaccurate? How much of what you remember of that day or of other Flashbulb Memories actually happened? Where were you, for example, when the Challenger disaster occurred? Or when Princess Diana died? Join me as I explore the research that reveals how inaccurate our memories are (no matter how confident we feel). And by the way, was President Bush involved in a conspiracy over the events of September 11? Let’s find out.

False Memories

  • Greenberg, D.L. (2004). President Bush’s False ‘Flashbulb’ Memory of 9/11/01. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 363-370.
  • Lee, P.J. and Brown N.R. (2003). Delay related changes in personal memories for September 11, 2001. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 17, 1007-1015.
  • Talarico, J.M. and Rubin, D.C. (2003). Confidence, not consistency, characterizes flashbulb memories. Psychological Science, 14(5), 455-461.
  • Weaver, C.A. and Krug, K.S. (2004). Consolidation-lik effects inflashbulb memories: Evidence from September 11, 2001. The American Journal of Psychology, 117.

Episode 122: DSM-V and On Being Sane – Are Psychiatric Labels Really Harmful?

What does the movie Shrek have to do with labeling, the DSM-V and the self-fulfilling prophecy? In this episode I take a close look at the well-known Rosenhan study. This was the study in which "pseudopatients" pretend to hear voices and on the basis of this they get admitted to psychiatric centers. Then they were told to act "normally". It took an average of 19 days for these "pseudopatients" to be discharged from the hospital and even then they were diagnosed as "schizophrenia in remission".

Does this study show that psychiatric diagnoses are not only useless but also possibly harmful? Or do we find what we found back in episode 47 on Little Albert, and what we found in episode 36 on Kitty Genovese – what we thought we knew is largely wrong.

“[The Rosenhan study is]…a prime example of extremely compelling writing in conjunction with remarkably sloppy reasoning.” – Scott Lilienfeld

…a careful examination of this study’s methods, results, and conclusions leads me to a diagnosis of “logic, in remission.” – Robert Spitzer

Resources on the Rosenhan Study

Popular Press Articles on the Revision to the DSM

DSM-V Resources

  • DSM Revision Activities from the American Psychiatric Association