Speaking of Psychology

December 8, 2014

Episode 18: The mental price of affluence

Suniya Luthar, PhDAmerican teens from affluent families are more likely to have higher rates of depression, anxiety and substance abuse than any other socioeconomic group of young people, says psychologist Suniya Luthar, PhD. In this episode, she talks about the pressures facing affluent teens and what parents can do to keep them from spiraling out of control.




November 10, 2014

Episode 17: Protecting your aging brain

Glenn E. Smith, PhDResearch into effective ways to prevent or slow down the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease has come a long way, according to researcher and neuropsychologist Glenn E. Smith, PhD. In this episode, he discusses the causes of dementia as well as the effectiveness of activities such as physical exercise and brain training games in preventing it.




October 14, 2014

Episode 16: Marijuana: The brain changer

Krista Lisdahl, PhDTeenagers and young adults who use marijuana regularly are at risk of significantly altering the structure of their brains, according to research by neuropsychologist Krista Lisdahl, PhD. In this episode, she discusses what this means for parents, youths and policymakers considering legalizing recreational and medicinal marijuana.




September 24, 2014

Episode 15: Disciplining children effectively

Alan E. Kazdin, PhDDeciding how to discipline a child can be one of the hardest parts of being a parent. Even parents of generally well-behaved children can find themselves at a loss when trying to discipline a defiant toddler or a surly teenager. In this episode, psychologist Alan Kazdin, PhD, discusses corporal punishment and the most effective techniques for getting the behavior parents want.




September 8, 2014

Episode 14: Preventing suicide

Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPPSuicide rates have been steadily increasing in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Stigma and lack of access to mental health services prevent many people from receiving the help they need, according to this episode’s guest, psychologist, professor and 2014 APA President Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP. She talks about what psychologists are doing to enhance the services available to people who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.




August 18, 2014

Episode 13: Thinking of companies as people

Susan Fiske, PhDAre companies like people? According to Susan Fiske, PhD, companies may not be flesh and blood, but customers view even the largest publicly traded companies very much like the way they view other people. And the reasons for this way of thinking are not all that different from how humans evolved to trust one another.




July 7, 2014

Episode 12: Simple steps to well-being

Pamela Hays, PhDCreating our own happiness can be stressful. But psychologist and clinician Pamela Hays, PhD, says implementing change in our lives doesn't have to be stressful. Author of the book, “Creating Well-Being: Four Steps to a Happier, Healthier Life,” Hays discusses those four steps in this episode, as well as how life’s daily demands can keep us from becoming our best selves.




June 9, 2014

Episode 11: Music and your health

Daniel Levitin, PhDCan music make us healthier or even smarter? Can it change how we experience pain? In this episode, former rock musician and studio producer Daniel Levitin, PhD, talks about how music changes our brain’s chemistry and affects our health.




May 5, 2014

Episode 10: The neuroscience of creativity

Rex Jung, PhDDo you have to be intelligent to be creative? Can you learn to be more creative? In this episode, we speak with neuropsychologist Rex E. Jung, PhD, who studies intelligence, creativity and brain function. He discusses why – even if it sounds counterintuitive – intelligence and creativity may not have all that much in common.




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.