Speaking of Psychology

April 7, 2014

Episode 9: Understanding climate change

Understanding climate changeAs the discussion over how to address climate change heats up this Earth Day, we’re taking a look at how people understand the risks of climate change and how they adapt. We talk with two psychologists in this episode about how psychological research can contribute to an understanding of global climate change. Psychology professor Janet Swim, PhD, and conservation psychologist John Fraser, PhD, discuss the psychology of communication, politics and behavior as well as how psychologists can encourage others to become more engaged in the environment.



March 3, 2014

Episode 8: Digital altruism and cyberheroes

Dana Klisanin, PhD“Cyberheroes” are those who actively use the Internet and digital technologies to help others, animals and the environment, says psychologist Dana Klisanin, PhD. She researches how online interactions can promote compassion and altruism and is even designing a video game that could help young people tackle global challenges using their computers. In this episode, Dr. Klisanin discusses how social media and online interactions can be a force for good.




February 18, 2014

Episode 7: Better health through integrated care

Norman B. Anderson, PhDAs our nation strives to improve health outcomes for all Americans, APA and its Center for Psychology and Health are working to expand psychology’s role in health care by improving access to psychological and behavioral health services, particularly in primary care settings. In this episode, APA’s CEO Norman B. Anderson, PhD, discusses the importance of integrated health care teams and how they can help people live better lives.




February 3, 2014

Episode 6: Molecules and morals: learning the link

Paul Zak, PhKOxytocin has been called the “love hormone.” But recent research has shown that the brain chemical may play a role in regulating our moral behaviors. Researcher and author Paul Zak, PhD, discusses how his experiments and clinical studies have given us a glimpse into how oxytocin affects how we interact with one another, both face to face and online.




January 13, 2014

Episode 5: Women and smoking

Psychologist Sherry McKee, PhDIn 1964, the release of the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health prompted one of the largest public health behavior change success stories of the 20th century. Before and since this groundbreaking report's release, psychology has been at the forefront of smoking cessation efforts. Research into the biological and behavioral mechanisms of addiction has led to many successful treatments for nicotine addicts. In this episode, we talk with Sherry McKee, PhD, a researcher whose work has focused on gender differences and smoking. She discusses why women have a harder time kicking the habit and what science can do to help them quit.



December 16, 2013

Episode 4: Choosing foods wisely

How companies market foods to health-conscious consumersSome foods marketed as healthy may instead sabotage our diets. Consumer psychologist Lara Spiteri-Cornish, PhD, studies how companies market foods to health-conscious consumers and why we should all be wary of what they're trying to make us believe.




November 4, 2013

Episode 3: Getting into a terrorist’s mind

John Horgan, PhDFiguring out what makes a terrorist tick is not easy, but law enforcement and counterterrorism officials have been turning to psychologists to try to do just that. Psychologist John Horgan, PhD, has spoken face-to-face with former members of violent extremist organizations in an effort to understand how and why people become involved in terrorism as well as why some eventually turn away from such extremism.




October 4, 2013

Episode 2: The good and bad of peer pressure

Brett Laursen, PhDWhen a school year begins, students are dealing with new classes, sports and other school-related activities. Most students will also face the challenges of peer pressure. Psychologist Brett Laursen, PhD, talks about the science behind peer pressure and what parents can do to help their kids.




September 13, 2013

Episode 1: Teaching social skills to autistic teens

Elizabeth Laugeson, PsyDGoing back to school and making friends is a challenge, especially for students with autism spectrum disorder. Psychologist Elizabeth Laugeson, PsyD, discusses a training program that she developed to teach skills that allow them to interact with their peers and build lasting friendships. The Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is designed for adolescents through young adults and can be provided by professionals in the schools or mental health providers.