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PsychCrunch

PsychCrunch

PsychCrunch is the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest and presented by Dr Christian Jarrett. Each episode we explore whether the findings from psychological science can make a difference in real life. Just how should we live, according to psychology? We speak to psychologists about their research and whether they apply what they've discovered in their own lives.

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Ep 31: How to better understand your cat

We?ve lived side-by-side with domestic cats for thousands of years, yet they maintain an aura of mystery and a reputation for aloofness and even outright disdain for humans. But are cats really so enigmatic ? or are we only just beginning to understand them?

In this episode, Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist, speaks to two experts who are working to help us to understand cats. They discuss research on cat cognition and intelligence, chat about what we can do how to make our cats? lives happier, and even share some tips on how to train them. Our guests are Dr Kristyn Vitale, assistant professor of animal health and behaviour at Unity College, and Dr Zazie Todd, author of the Companion Animal Psychology blog and recent book Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy.

Episode credits:

Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Artwork by Tim Grimshaw.

Relevant research and writing from our guests includes:

Companion Animal Psychology: a blog written by Zazie Todd

Several articles by Kristyn Vitale and colleagues:

Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans The quality of being sociable: The influence of human attentional state, population, and human familiarity on domestic cat sociability What?s inside your cat?s head? A review of cat (Felis silvestris catus) cognition research past, present and future
2022-09-06
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Ep 30: The psychology of superstitions

From carefully avoiding cracks in the pavement to saluting every magpie that you meet, superstitious behaviour is really common. But why do we have superstitions? Where do they come from? And are they helpful or harmful? 

To find out, our presenter Ginny Smith talks to Stuart Vyse, former professor of psychology at Connecticut College and author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition. Ginny also chats to Laramie Taylor, professor of communication at the University of California Davis, who explains how superstition and magical thinking is linked to being a fan of both fiction and sports.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Relevant research and writing from our guests includes:

Magical thinking and fans of fictional texts and Sports Fans and Magical Thinking: How Supernatural Thinking Connects Fans to Teams, both by Laramie Taylor and discussed in the podcast.

Do Superstitious Rituals Work?, an article at Skeptical Inquirer in which Stuart Vyse discusses some of the work mentioned in this episode.

How Superstition Works, an extract from Vyse's book Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, published at The Atlantic.

2022-05-13
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Ep 29: Why do people share false information ? and what can we do about it?

Why do people share false information? In this episode, our presenters Ginny Smith and Jon Sutton explore the psychology of misinformation. They hear about the factors that make people more or less likely to share misinformation, discuss strategies to correct false information, and learn how to talk to someone who is promoting conspiracy theories.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Tom Buchanan, Professor of Psychology at the University of Westminster, and Briony Swire-Thompson, senior research scientist at Northeastern University?s Network Science Institute.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith, with additional reporting by Jon Sutton. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Relevant research from our guests includes:

Why do people spread false information online? The effects of message and viewer characteristics on self-reported likelihood of sharing social media disinformation.

Spreading Disinformation on Facebook: Do Trust in Message Source, Risk Propensity, or Personality Affect the Organic Reach of ?Fake News??

Predictors of likelihood of sharing disinformation on social media 2019-2020

Correction format has a limited role when debunking misinformation

Backfire effects after correcting misinformation are strongly associated with reliability

Public Health and Online Misinformation: Challenges and Recommendations

2022-01-26
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Ep 28: Why songs get stuck in our heads

Why do some songs get stuck in our heads? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith explores the psychology of earworms. Ginny hears about the possible evolutionary reasons for why we experience the phenomenon, learns what earworms can teach us about memory ? and finds out how to get rid of them.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Kelly Jakubowski, assistant professor of music psychology at Durham University; Petr Janata, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis; and Michael K. Scullin, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor University.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Research from our guests includes:

Dissecting an Earworm: Melodic Features and Song Popularity Predict Involuntary Musical Imagery

Spontaneous mental replay of music improves memory for incidentally associated event knowledge.

Bedtime Music, Involuntary Musical Imagery, and Sleep

2021-10-15
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Episode 27: The Psychologist presents? at Latitude Festival 2021 ? Child food poverty

This is Episode 27 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

At Latitude Festival in Suffolk in July, The Psychologist Editor Dr Jon Sutton hosted a conversation in The Listening Post with Greta Defeyter, Professor of Developmental Psychology and founder and Director of the "Healthy Living" Lab at Northumbria University. An expert on food insecurity, social injustice, school feeding programmes and holiday hunger, Professor Defeyter considered why children go hungry, what we can do about it, and how her own experiences of poverty have shaped her. 

Episode credits: Presented by Jon Sutton. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Thanks to Latitude Festival?s arts and special events curator Kirsty Taylor. We hope to return with more from ?The Psychologist Presents?? in 2022. Tickets for next year?s event are already on sale via http://latitudefestival.com

Background reading

Professor Defeyter has just published her new book, Holiday Hunger in the UK, co-authored by Michael A. Long and Paul B. Stretesky

The Psychologist also met Professor Defeyter as part of their special edition around the British Psychological Society policy theme of ?From poverty to flourishing?

Reports and transcripts from other appearances at Latitude Festival

2021-08-16
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Ep 26: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected our mental health?

This is Episode 26 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

What impact has the pandemic had on people?s mental health? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith talks to researchers who have been conducting work throughout the pandemic to understand the toll that it has taken on our wellbeing. Ginny learns about the different factors that can make us more or less vulnerable to these effects, finds out how pregnant women have fared during this stressful time, and also hears about emerging data that finds links between the virus itself and mental health conditions.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Susanne Schweizer, Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and Professor Paul Harrison from the University of Oxford.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode

More information about the CORAL study is available on their website Paul Harrison?s paper describing the link between Covid-19 infection and mental health conditions is available open access here. There is also a university press release about the work, and another related paper by the team
2021-08-03
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Ep 25: How to change your personality

This is Episode 25 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Are our personalities set in stone, or can we choose to change them? In this bonus episode, Matthew Warren talks to former Research Digest editor Christian Jarrett about his new book Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change. Christian discusses the evidence-based methods you can use to alter your personality, whether you?re an introvert who wants to become the life of the party, or you simply wish you were a little more open to new experiences. He also explains how our personalities evolve over the course of our lifespans, even when we?re not consciously trying to change them, and ponders how they might be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change is out on May 18th in the United States and May 20th in the United Kingdom.

Episode credits: Presented by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Work discussed in this episode includes:

Merely desiring to alter your personality is not enough, and may backfire unless you take concrete action to change Longest ever personality study finds no correlation between measures taken at age 14 and age 77 Here?s How Our Personality Changes As We Age

Other background reading

A little discussed effect of therapy: it changes your personality Here?s How Personality Changes In Young Adulthood Can Lead To Greater Career Satisfaction When Deciding How To Improve Our Personalities, Moral Character Is Not A Priority New insights into lifetime personality change from ?meta-study? featuring 50,000 participants
2021-05-18
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Ep 24: How Children Learn Through Play

This is Episode 24 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

What role does play have in child development? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith talks to some top play researchers to find out how children learn new skills and concepts through play, and explores what teachers and parents can do to encourage this kind of learning. Ginny also discovers how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way kids play and learn.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Professor Marilyn Fleer and Dr Prabhat Rai from Monash University, and Dr Suzanne Egan from the University of Limerick.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode

The website for Fleer?s Conceptual PlayWorld contains more information about the model discussed by Marilyn Fleer and Prabhat Rai Publications and working papers from the Conceptual PlayLab are available here Here are some of the key findings from the PLEY survey discussed by Suzanne Egan
2021-04-13
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Ep 23: Whose psychology is it anyway? Making psychological research more representative

This is Episode 23 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest.

In this episode, Emily Reynolds, staff writer at Research Digest, explores modern psychology?s relationship with race and representation. It?s well-known that psychology has a generalisability problem, with studies overwhelmingly using so-called ?WEIRD? participants: those who are Western and educated and from industrialised, rich and democratic societies. But how does that shape the assumptions we make about participants of different racial identities or cultures? And how can top-tier psychology journals improve diversity among not only participants but also authors and editors?

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Bobby Cheon, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Dr Steven O. Roberts, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Emily Reynolds. Script edits by Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Research mentioned in this episode includes:

How USA-Centric Is Psychology? An Archival Study of Implicit Assumptions of Generalizability of Findings to Human Nature Based on Origins of Study Samples Racial Inequality in Psychological Research: Trends of the Past and Recommendations for the Future Toward a psychology of Homo sapiens: Making psychological science more representative of the human population
2021-01-21
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Ep 22: Drifting Minds ? Maladaptive Daydreaming And The Hypnagogic State

This is Episode 22 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

In this episode, Ella Rhodes, Journalist for The Psychologist, explores the boundaries between wakefulness and dreaming. What can we can learn about consciousness from the strange transition period between being awake and asleep, known as hypnagogia? And why do some people experience visions and imaginings that take them away for hours at a time?

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Valdas Noreika, lecturer in Psychology at Queen Mary University of London, and Dr Nirit Soffer-Dudek, clinical psychologist at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes, with additional content from Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode:

Dreams: Everyone?s Guide to Inner Space, a paper by Deborah Wesley, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

Relevant research from our guests includes:

Intrusions of a drowsy mind: neural markers of phenomenological unpredictability Trapped in a Daydream: Daily Elevations in Maladaptive Daydreaming Are Associated With Daily Psychopathological Symptoms The Comorbidity of Daydreaming Disorder (Maladaptive Daydreaming)
2020-11-03
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Ep 21: How To Stay Connected In The "New Normal"

This is Episode 21 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

What can we do to stay connected in the middle of a pandemic? We?ve all played our part in fighting COVID-19, and for many of us that has meant staying away from our friends and families. In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith explores how this unprecedented period of separation has reinforced the importance of connection. Ginny looks at how video chats compare to in-person interaction, and how psychology could help improve virtual communication in the future. She also examines the importance of touch for reducing stress ? and asks whether interactions with our furry friends could make up for a lack of human contact.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Shane Rogers, lecturer in psychology at Edith Cowan University, Australia, and Professor Patricia Pendry, from Washington State University.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw. Script edits by Matthew Warren.

Background reading for this episode:

Characteristics of Student? Dog Interaction during a Meet-and-Greet Activity in a University-Based Animal Visitation Program, a paper by Patricia Pendry and colleagues, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

Other research mentioned in this episode includes:

Contact Is in the Eye of the Beholder: The Eye Contact Illusion Using dual eye tracking to uncover personal gaze patterns during social interaction Animal Visitation Program (AVP) Reduces Cortisol Levels of University Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial
2020-09-02
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Episode 20

This is Episode 20 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

What can psychology teach us about dealing with pain? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns that swearing can have a pain-reducing effect, and puts the theory to the test with an experiment on editor Matthew Warren. Ginny also hears about how virtual reality could provide a welcome distraction to patients suffering from chronic pain.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Dr Richard Stephens, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University, and Dr Sam Hughes, Research Fellow in pain neuroimaging at King?s College London.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith, with additional content from Matthew Warren and Sana Suri. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode:

Managing limb pain using virtual reality: a systematic review of clinical and experimental studies, a paper by Priscilla G Wittkopf and colleagues, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

Research mentioned in this episode includes:

Swearing as a response to pain Swearing as a response to pain-effect of daily swearing frequency Swearing as a response to pain: Assessing hypoalgesic effects of novel ?swear? words Attenuation of capsaicin-induced ongoing pain and secondary hyperalgesia during exposure to an immersive virtual reality environment

Both Research Digest and The Psychologist have plenty of posts on pain in the archives, including:

Encouraging self-compassion may help people with chronic pain lead more active, happier lives

Super altruists (who?ve donated a kidney to a stranger) show heightened empathic brain activity when witnessing strangers in pain

Women who practice submissive BDSM displayed reduced empathy and an atypical neural response to other people?s pain

What?s different about the brains of the minority of us who feel other people?s physical pain?

Watching someone suffer extreme pain has a lasting effect on the brain

Does it matter whether or not pain medication is branded?

Pain at Christmas: Ella Rhodes reports from the British Neuroscience Association?s Christmas symposium

5 minutes with? Dr Harbinder Sandhu: A large trial aims to help people with chronic pain taper their opioid use

The pain of youth: Line Caes and Abbie Jordan call for creativity in research design with adolescents living with chronic health conditions

Big Picture: Portraits of pain: Measuring pain with drawings

Pain ? the backdrop of our lives: Ella Rhodes reports from a conference at UCL

2020-03-02
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Episode 19

This is Episode 19 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

Do we worry too much about screen time? The issue of screen use by children and teenagers is rarely out of the headlines, and institutions including the World Health Organization have recommended specific limits on screen time for the youngest age groups. But what does the science actually say about the effects of screen time?

To find out, our presenter Ella Rhodes talks to Dr Amy Orben, Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and winner of the 2019 BPS award for Outstanding Doctoral Research, who has explored the psychological effects of screen time in her research. 

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist, with help from the Research Digest and Psychologist teams. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler; additional music by Ketsa. Artwork by Tim Grimshaw.

Background resources for this episode: 

Screen Time, Laptop Bans, and the Fears that Shape the Use of Technology for Learning, a paper by Dr Torrey Trust in the Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

The work by Amy Orben and her colleagues discussed in this episode includes:

The association between adolescent well-being and digital technology use Screens, Teens, and Psychological Well-Being: Evidence From Three Time-Use-Diary Studies How Much Is Too Much? Examining the Relationship Between Digital Screen Engagement and Psychosocial Functioning in a Confirmatory Cohort Study Social media?s enduring effect on adolescent life satisfaction

Here are the WHO guidelines on screen time mentioned at the beginning of the podcast.

Both The Psychologist and Research Digest have a number of articles on screen time and media effects, including:

The Psychologist Presents? Screen time debunked
A transcript of Professor Andrew Przybylski?s session with editor Jon Sutton at Latitude Festival in summer 2019.

Seeing screen time differently
Jon Sutton reports from a one-day event on research, policy and communication in a digital era, held out the Wellcome Collection in London in 2018.

'There are wolves in the forest?'
Professor Andrew Przybylski picks three myths around screen time ? and how science, and some common sense, can help.

What is actually behind the screen?
Ella Rhodes reports on last year's parliamentary report from the Science and Technology Committee.

?Games have helped me a lot throughout my life?
Annie Brookman-Byrne interviews Dr Pete Etchells, Reader in Psychology and Science Communication at Bath Spa University, about his book Lost in a Good Game: Why We Play Video Games and What They Can Do For Us.

Amy Orben honoured
Dr Orben wins the British Psychological Society's Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research.

Link Between Teens? Time On Digital Devices And Lower Wellbeing Is ?Too Small To Merit Substantial Scientific Discussion?

Abstaining From Social Media Doesn?t Improve Well-Being, Experimental Study Finds

These Violent Delights Don?t Have Violent Ends: Study Finds No link Between Violent Video Games And Teen Aggression

Hard-core players of violent video games do not have emotionally blunted brains

2020-01-28
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Episode 18

This is Episode 18 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Can psychology help us become more creative? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns how we can develop our creativity with practice, and discovers that our best ?Eureka? moments often come when we step away from the task at hand. She also investigates how members of the public fare with the riddles psychologists use to study creative problem solving ? see how you get on at home.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Professor James C Kaufman, an educational psychologist at the University of Connecticut and author of several books on creativity, and Dr Gillian Hill, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Buckingham and member of the CREATE research team.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode:

James C Kaufman?s paper Creativity Is More Than Silly, More Than Art, More Than Good: The Diverse Career of Arthur Cropley is free to view thanks to our sponsors, Routledge Psychology.

We have dozens of posts on creativity in the Research Digest archives, including:

Thinking About Their Multiple Identities Boosts Children?s Creativity And Problem-Solving Skills

Here?s What The Evidence Shows About The Links Between Creativity And Depression

The Four Ways To Promote Creativity In Children Come More Naturally To Some Mothers Than Others

How Keeping A Dream Diary Could Boost Your Creativity

Psychologists Have Devised A Test For Measuring One-Year-Olds? Creativity

Teams Are More Creative When Their Leader Is Confident In Her Or His Own Creativity

New Study Finds Strength Of Imagination Not Associated With Creative Ability Or Achievement

And over at The Psychologist, check out Rocky Horror Pixel Show, in which Arne Dietrich explores the problems in figuring out how creativity is represented in the brain.

2019-09-09
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Episode 17

This is Episode 17 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.


Can psychology help make running more enjoyable? Our presenter Christian Jarrett speaks to several experts about various strategies including "cognitive reappraisal" and the benefits of taking part in organised runs. He also hears how some of us are genetically disposed to find running less enjoyable than others, and why that isn't an excuse for giving up.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Dr Grace Giles (US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, Natick), Dr John Nezlek (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty in Poznan and College of William & Mary, Williamsburg VA), Dr Marzena Cyprya?ska (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw), and Professor Eco de Geus (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Christian Jarrett. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Key research mentioned in this episode:

A mental technique called ?cognitive reappraisal? makes long-distance running feel easier Runners Get A Wellbeing Boost From Participating In Organised Races Hate sport? Maybe it?s because you have the genes that make exercise feel awful
2019-07-23
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Episode 16 (bonus episode)

Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist magazine, delves into the growing body of research exploring aphantasia ? a condition she has personal experience of. While most people can see images formed in their minds people with aphantasia draw a blank, what might this mean for autobiographical memory, face perception and imagination? 

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Zoe Pounder at the University of Westminster and Professor Adam Zeman at the University of Exeter. 

Background resources for this episode: 

This man had no idea his mind is "blind" until last week.

Mental rotation performance in aphantasia.

Loss of imagery phenomenology with intact visuo-spatial task performance: a case of "blind imagination".

Lives without imagery ? Congenital aphantasia.

The neural correlates of visual imagery vividness ? An fMRI study and literature review.

The neural correlates of visual imagery: A co-ordinate-based meta-analysis.

On Picturing a Candle: The Prehistory of Imagery Science.

The Eye?s Mind - Zeman?s apahantasia research project.

A scientific measure of our visual imagination suggests it is surprisingly limited

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes. Mixing Jeff Knowler. Music Sincere Love by Monplaisir. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2019-05-03
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Episode 15

This is Episode 15 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology

Mindfulness is everywhere these days, but is it really as beneficial as it's often made out to be? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears from clinical psychologist Dr Catherine Wikholm(co-author of The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You?); she visits the Cambridge Buddha Centre to meet people who have taken up mindfulness meditation; and she discusses some of the latest mindfulness research trials with Professor Barney Dunn, a clinical psychologist at Exeter University. Some of the evidence is indeed promising, and mindfulness meditation could offer a cost-effective way to help many people with mental health problems. However, Ginny also discovers that many trials are ongoing, mindfulness is not risk free, and it may not suit everyone.  

Some of the studies mentioned in this episode:

Mechanisms of action in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in people with physical and/or psychological conditions: A systematic review.

How do mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies

Mindfulness Training Increases Momentary Positive Emotions and Reward Experience in Adults Vulnerable to Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence (PREVENT): a randomised controlled trial

The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in Real-World Healthcare Services

The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a mindfulness training programme in schools compared with normal school provision (MYRIAD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Unwanted effects: Is there a negative side of meditation? A multicentre survey

The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You?

Relevant studies and articles from our own archive:

The Psychology of Mindfulness, Digested

Brainwave evidence hints at benefits from a school mindfulness programme

Brief mindfulness training does not foster empathy, and can even make narcissists worse

Experienced meditators have enhanced control over their eye movements

This is what eight weeks of mindfulness training does to your brain

Mindfulness meditation increases people?s susceptibility to false memories

Just fifteen minutes of mindfulness meditation can improve your decision making

How meditation alters the brain

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2019-03-19
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Episode 14

This is Episode 14 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help your cooking taste better? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears about the importance of food presentation, pairing and sequencing, and how our perception of food is a multi-sensory experience. She and her friends conduct a taste test using "sonic seasonings" that you can also try at home.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Professor Debra Zellner at MontClaire State University and Professor Charles Spence at Oxford University.

Background resources for this episode:

The multisensory perception of flavour The supertaster who researches supertasting Wine tastes like the music you?re listening to Plating for pleasure: Debra Zellner at TEDxMontclair Do Appetizers Whet or Ruin Your Appetite?

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2018-11-07
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Episode 13

This is Episode 13 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Can psychology help us to learn better? Our presenter Christian Jarrett discovers the best evidence-backed strategies for learning, including the principle of spacing, the benefits of testing yourself and teaching others. He also hears about the perils of overconfidence and the lack of evidence for popular educational ideas like "learning styles" and "brain gym".

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Nate Kornell, associate professor at Williams College; Paul Howard-Jones, author of Evolution of the Learning Brain(find out more), and professor of neuroscience and education at the University of Bristol; and Abby Knoll, doctoral student at Central Michigan University.

Background reading for this episode:

It feels as though we learn better via our preferred learning style, but we don?t ?Another nail in the coffin for learning styles? ? students did not benefit from studying according to their supposed learning style The secret to remembering material long-term How to study Learning by teaching others is extremely effective ? a new study tested a key reason why Physically active academic school lessons boost pupils? activity levels and focus Engaging lecturers can breed overconfidence 'The story of learning begins with the story of life' From brain scan to lesson plan

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Christian Jarrett. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2018-08-29
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Episode 12

This is Episode 12 of PsychCrunch the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here.

Can psychology help us to be funnier? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears how a key ingredient of humour is "incongruity" and the surprise of unexpected meanings. Individual words too can be amusing, but actually most of the time we laugh not because we've seen or heard a joke, but as a natural part of friendly interaction.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Cardiff University neuroscientist Dean Burnett, author of The Happy Brain; psychologist Tomas Engelthalerat the University of Warwick, who co-authored a paper on the funniest words in English; and "stand up scientist" Sophie Scottat UCL, who gave the 2017 Christmas lectures on the neuroscience of voices, speech and laughter.

Background reading for this episode:

Research on jokes in the Research Digest archive Research on laughter in the Research Digest archive Engelthaler's study of the funniest words in the English language Special issue of The Psychologiston humour Do psychologists have a particular taste in comedy?

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2018-06-27
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Episode 11

This is Episode 11 of PsychCrunch the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Can psychology help us get a better night's sleep? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears how worry about sleep is sometimes more of a problem than lack of sleep itself. She gives us some evidence-backed sleep tips and finds out about "sleep engineering" ? deliberately manipulating the sleep process to aid memory and enhance its health benefits.

Our guests are Professor Kenneth Lichstein at the University of Alabama and Professor Penny Lewis at the University of Cardiff.

Background reading for this episode:

?Insomnia identity? ? misbelieving you?ve got sleep problems can be more harmful than actual lack of sleep BBC News: Sleep engineering: Cardiff scientists working on designer rest Targeted memory reactivation of newly learned words during sleep triggers REM-mediated integration of new memories and existing knowledge

Also, find many more studies on sleep and dreaming in our archive.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2018-02-21
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Episode 10

It's been a while coming, but this is Episode 10 of PsychCrunch the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Can psychology help us avoid procrastinating and get on with the important things we know we should be doing? Our presenter Christian Jarrett hears about what causes procrastination, how to stop it, and whether it has any upsides. Also, we put the psychologists on the spot and ask whether they've managed to cure their own procrastination.

Our guests are the world experts in the psychology of procrastination Professor Tim Pychyl at Carleton University and Dr Fuschia Sirois at the University of Sheffield.

Studies discussed or alluded to in the episode:

A critique of the construct validity of active procrastination

I forgive myself, now I can study: How self-forgiveness for procrastinating can reduce future procrastination

Procrastination and Stress: Exploring the Role of Self-compassion

Procrastination and the Priority of Short-Term Mood Regulation: Consequences for Future Self

Also, find more studies on procrastination that we've covered at Research Digest, and Prof Pychyl has further relevant resources at www.procrastination.ca

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Dr Christian Jarrett. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Additional music: Lynne Publishing, composer Stefan Wolfgang Bode via Pond5. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2017-11-01
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Episode 9

This is Episode 9 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society?s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Can psychology help us work together better in teams? Our presenter Christian Jarrett hears about the benefits of appointing a "meta-knowledge champion" for the team, making sure everyone has contact with the team's "extra miler", and why you should think carefully about the physical space that you do your teamwork in.

Our guests in order of appearance: Dr Julija Mell (Essec Business School), Dr Alex Fradera (Research Digest writer), and Dr Katherine Greenaway (University of Queensland).

Studies discussed in the episode:

Why your team should appoint a "meta-knowledge" champion ? one person who?s aware of everyone else?s area of expertise Team effectiveness is disproportionately influenced by your group?s best performer or "extra-miler" Minimalist, anonymous rooms are probably not a good place to do teamwork In home or at home? How collective decision making in a new care facility enhances social interaction and wellbeing amongst older adults Related resources from The Psychologist: Towards Healthier Meetings and An Interview With Dr Craig Knight: Taking Back Control Of Your Space

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Dr Christian Jarrett. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. Vox pops Ella Rhodes. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Additional music Zander Sehkri/Zeroday Productions (via Pond5). Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2017-02-21
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Episode 8

This is Episode 8 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Can we trust psychological studies? We speak to Brian Earp, of Oxford University and Yale University, about how to respond when we're told repeatedly that the veracity of eye-catching findings, or even cherished theories, has come under scrutiny. Brian also talks about his own experience of publishing a failed replication attempt ? a must-listen for any  researchers who are fearful of publishing their own negative findings. Find Brian on Twitter @BrianDavidEarp

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Christian Jarrett. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Additional music Legrand Jones (via Pond5). Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Studies discussed:

Assessing the Robustness of Power Posing

See also Dana Carney statement on power posing (pdf) and Amy Cuddy's response.

A Multi-Lab Pre-Registered Replication of the Ego-Depletion Paradigm

A Multilab Direct Replication of Study 1 From Strack, Martin, & Stepper (1988)

Out, damned spot: Can the ?Macbeth Effect? be replicated?

Related articles and resources:

Ten Famous Psychology Findings That It?s Been Difficult To Replicate

This is what happened when psychologists tried to replicate 100 previously published findings

All replication efforts covered by us here at the Research Digest

Coverage of the replication crisis by The Psychologist magazine including video of a recent debate on the crisis held by the British Psychological Society.

Commentary pieces by Brian Earp:

A tragedy of the (academic) commons: interpreting the replication crisis in psychology as a social dilemma for early-career researchers

What did the OSC replication initiative reveal about the crisis in psychology? An open review of the draft paper entitled "Replication initiatives will not salvage the trustworthiness of psychology" by James C. Coyne

Replication, falsification, and the crisis of confidence in social psychology

2016-11-07
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Episode 7

This is Episode Seven of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Can psychology give you a competitive edge in sport? Our presenter Christian Jarrett learns about the importance of having the right competitive mindset, and how to use self-talk and positive imagery to boost your sporting performance.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are George Hanshaw (International Sport Achievers and HanshawPerformance.com), Marc Jones (Staffordshire University) and Sanda Dolcos (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).

Studies discussed in the episode include:

Cardiovascular indices of challenge and threat states predict performance
The inner speech of behavioral regulation: Intentions and task performance strengthen when you talk to yourself as a You
Effect of self-talk and imagery on the response time of trained martial artists.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Christian Jarrett. Mixing engineer Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Additional music Vincent Pedulla and Jeffrey Peterson (via Pond5). Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2016-08-09
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Episode 6

This is Episode 6 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Have you ever sent a sarcastic email or text message and discovered to your horror that the recipient thought you were being literal? If so, this episode is for you!

Research Digest editor Christian Jarrett speaks to Dr Ruth Filik (University of Nottingham), lead author of a recent study into how emoticons and punctuation can help you convey written sarcasm more effectively. After listening, you'll realise those little winking faces ;-) are no laughing matter. Seriously! 

Research discussed in this episode includes: 

How and when to send sarcastic emails and texts, according to science

Emotional responses to irony and emoticons in written language: Evidence from EDA and facial EMG

Episode credits: Presenter/editor Dr Christian Jarrett. Mixing Dr Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

PsychCrunch is sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

2016-06-13
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Episode 5

This is Episode Five of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. In this episode we explore whether psychology can help us learn a new language.

We hear about research showing the benefits of music training to language learning, and how it may be possible to boost your learning of foreign words while you sleep. Our presenter Christian Jarrett also hears about the anxiety that many people feel when trying to speak a foreign language and why it's so important to just give it a go!

Our guests in order of appearance are Dr Christina Gkonou of the University of Essex, Dr Sylvain Moreno, Director of Canada's Digital Health Hub at Simon Fraser University, and Professor Björn Rasch at the University of Fribourg. 

Among the research studies that we talk about in this episode are: 

Short-Term Music Training Enhances Verbal Intelligence and Executive Function

Foreign languages easier to learn when they're sung rather than spoken

Boosting Vocabulary Learning by Verbal Cueing During Sleep

Episode credits: Presenter/editor Dr Christian Jarrett. Producer Dr Lorna Stewart. Mixing Dr Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Music: Go Maman. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2016-03-30
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Episode 4

This is Episode Four of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this festive episode we explore whether psychology can help us with gift giving. 

Our presenter Christian Jarrett and his guests discuss the benefits of giving "giver-centric" gifts; how recipients like to receive gifts on their wish lists; why ethical or pro-social gifts are sometimes not so warmly received; and the two words that can salvage that awkward situation when a gift doesn't go down too well. 

Our guests in order of appearance are Lisa Cavanaugh USC Marshall School of Business, Lara Aknin of Simon Fraser University, and Alex Fradera, contributing writer to the BPS Research Digest blog. 

The studies discussed in this episode, in order of appearance, are:

Give a piece of you: Gifts that reflect givers promote closeness

Give them what they want: The benefits of explicitness in gift exchange

When doing good is bad in gift giving: Mis-predicting appreciation of socially responsible gifts

Moments of truth in gift exchanges: A critical analysis of communication indicators used to detect gift failure

Episode credits: Presenter/editor/producer Dr Christian Jarrett. Vox pops Ella Rhodes. Music and mixing Dr Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Jingle Bells vocals Joe Loveday. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2015-12-16
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Episode Three Bonus Material

On October 1, 2015 Dr Christian Jarrett (Editor, BPS Research Digest) met with Dr Jon Sutton (Editor, The Psychologist magazine) to debate Michael Jackson's legacy. This is their full argument!

Excerpts from their debate about MJ appear in Episode Three of PsychCrunch, which explored whether psychology can help you to win an argument.

2015-10-19
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Episode Three

This is Episode Three of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we explore whether psychology can help you to win an argument.

After our presenter Christian Jarrett tries his luck with an argument about Michael Jackson's legacy, we find out why convincing people of your point of view is so difficult, and we hear about a paradoxical technique that's encouraging people to change their own minds about one of the most serious arguments in the world ? the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We'll also touch on why neurobabble appears to be so convincing.

Our guests are Dr Jon Sutton (Editor, The Psychologist); Dr Tom Stafford (University of Sheffield); Boaz Hameiri (Tel Aviv University); and Sara Hodges (University of Oregon). 

Some of the research discussed by our guests has been covered previously on the Research Digest blog, including how superfluous neuroscience can be so persuasive, and other relevant research is in our archive. Boaz Hameiri's research on the paradoxical thinking intervention was published last year in PNAS. Tom Stafford's ebook is available on Amazon: For argument's sake: evidence that reason can change minds. Further reading from The Psychologist magazine: The truth is out there?a look at belief in conspiracy theories; Are conspiracy theories just harmless fun?; Looking back: Every believer is also a disbeliever; Falling on deaf ears?when people believe psychology is not science.

Episode credits: Presenter/editor Dr Christian Jarrett. Producer Dr Lorna Stewart. Music and mixing Dr Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

2015-10-19
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Episode Two

This is Episode Two of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we speak to psychology researchers in the field of habit change to see if their findings can provide real-life tips for people hoping to break bad habits or form new healthy ones. We can't promise you a life of health and success as some self-help authors do, but we might be able to help you eat less chocolate!

Our guests are Dr Benjamin Gardner (Kings College London and University College London; UCL), Dr Katy Tapper (City University, London) and Dr David Neal (Catalyst Behavioral Sciences).

Much of the research discussed by our guests has been covered previously on the Research Digest blog, including the Mindbus Technique; the time it takes to form new habits; and switching hands as a way to break the popcorn habit. Other research on habit change is also covered in our archives and there are many relevant articles available from The Psychologist magazine, including Self-control - the Moral Muscle; The Deadly Sins; and Why Is It So Hard To Quit Smoking?

Episode credits: Presenter Dr Christian Jarrett. Producer Lorna Stewart. Music and mixing Dr Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw. 

2015-06-18
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Episode One

This is Episode One of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we speak to researchers in the field of personal attraction to see if their findings can provide real-life tips for people on a romantic date.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Adam Pazda (University of Rochester), Coren Apicella (University of Pennsylvania) and Sally Farley (University of Baltimore).

The topics discussed by our guests have been covered previously on the Research Digest blog, including: the psychological effects of the colour red, the effects of voice pitch (the specific study covered by Dr Apicella is here), and the effects of mimicry (see also). 

This episode was released to coincide with Valentine's Day 2015. For more Valentine's-themed psychology, check out these posts from the Research Digest archive, and there's also much more from The Psychologist magazine

Episode credits: Presenter Christian Jarrett. Producer Lorna Stewart. Vox-pops Ella Rhodes. Music and mixing Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw. 

2015-02-13
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PsychCrunch Trailer

PsychCrunch, the new podcast coming soon from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. Trailer credits: Presented by Christian Jarrett. Producer Lorna Stewart. Music and mixing Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. 

2015-02-11
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