Sinopsis

Interviews with Psychologists about their New Books

Episodios

  • Carlos Montemayor, “Minding Time: A Philosophical and Theoretical Approach to the Psychology of Time” (Brill, 2012)

    Carlos Montemayor, “Minding Time: A Philosophical and Theoretical Approach to the Psychology of Time” (Brill, 2012)

    15/08/2013 Duración: 01h09min

    The philosophy of time has a variety of subtopics that are of great general as well as philosophical interest, such as the nature of time, the possibility of time travel, and the nature of tensed language. In Minding Time: A Philosophical and Theoretical Approach to the Psychology of Time (Brill, 2012), Carlos Montemayor, assistant professor of philosophy at San Francisco State University, focuses on the question: how do we represent time? That is, how is temporal information represented in biological creatures such as ourselves? Blending empirical research on biological timekeeping mechanisms and psychological measures of simultaneity judgments with philosophical accounts of mental representation and consciousness, Montemayor argues that traditional discussions of the “specious present” confuse two sorts of representations of the present. The empirical evidence points instead to a two-phase model: the sensorial present and the phenomenal present. The first is a non-conscious, multi-modal simultan

  • Kelly McGonigal, “The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It” (Avery, 2011)

    Kelly McGonigal, “The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It” (Avery, 2011)

    31/07/2013 Duración: 55min

    Get more exercise, clean out the garage, quit smoking, put down the pint of ice cream… Most of us have behaviors wewant to change, projects we keep putting off, and bad habits we should stop. We know what we want to do, but the challenge is actually doing it. Fortunately for those of us who want to make some changes in our lives, psychology research can provide some helpful guidance. A few years ago, Dr. Kelly McGonigal reviewed the scientific literature on self-control and started teaching a course called “The Science of Willpower” for Stanford’s Continuing Studies program. Not surprisingly, it quickly became the most popular course in the program, and her students found the course to be life changing. The course became the foundation of McGonigal’s book, The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It (Avery, 2011). The book provides a research-based and compassionate approach to behavior change. It will help readers be more

  • Eric Simons, “The Secret Lives of Sports Fans: The Science of Sports Obsession” (The Overlook Press, 2013)

    Eric Simons, “The Secret Lives of Sports Fans: The Science of Sports Obsession” (The Overlook Press, 2013)

    31/07/2013 Duración: 52min

    In October 2007, journalist Eric Simons sat in the stands of Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif., to watch his beloved University of California Bears take on Oregon State University in football. If Cal won, it almost certainly would be ranked No. 1 in the country. Instead, Simons agonized as Cal’s quarterback struggled through the final play. Cal lost. Simons suffered a miserable train ride home to San Francisco. But from crushing defeat sprang an idea for his latest book, The Secret Lives of Sports Fans: The Science of Sports Obsession (The Overlook Press, 2013). A science and nature writer by trade, Simons sought scientific explanations for the physical and emotional reactions experienced by sports fans., “We are not subject to any kind of fan nature; we are more complex than that,” Simons writes. “We sports fan are glorious expressions of all the wondrous quirks and oddities in human nature.” Through the lens of sport and sports fans, Simons has built a unique window into

  • Gary Greenberg, “The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry” (Blue Rider Press, 2013)

    Gary Greenberg, “The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry” (Blue Rider Press, 2013)

    05/07/2013 Duración: 46min

    It is common today to treat depression and other mental disorders as concrete illnesses – akin to having pneumonia or the flu. In fact, being prescribed a pill after complaining to your family doctor about feeling depressed is a common occurrence. But are mental disorders really illnesses the way that a sinus infection is? Gary Greenberg, in his fascinating new book The Book of Woe: The DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry (Blue Rider Press, 2013), argues that the answer is no. The DSM, which categorizes and defines mental disorders, is socially constructed, he claims, and changes over time. Homosexuality, for example, was considered an illness until 1973, and Asperger’s, now widely considered by the public to be a real condition (which many identify with), may no longer be in the newest revision of the DSM. Greenberg is not indicting all psychiatry or arguing that people should not take antidepressants, but he is criticizing the assumption that mental suffering is the same as physical suffering, ar

  • Nancy Segal, “Born Together-Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study” (Harvard UP, 2012)

    Nancy Segal, “Born Together-Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study” (Harvard UP, 2012)

    28/06/2013 Duración: 50min

    Identical twins, separated at birth, raised in different families, and reunited in adulthood. In 1979, psychology researchers in Minnesota found some twins who had been reunited after a lifetime of separation, and brought them in to participate in a research study. And so began the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart. At the time, psychology leaned heavily toward the nurture side of the nature-nurture debate. The twins provided unique information about the role of genes and environment in human development. Over the twenty years of the study, massive amounts of data about the twin pairs were collected about intelligence, personality, medical traits, and many other aspects of development. The results changed our understanding of how we become who we are in adulthood. In her book, Born Together-Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twin Study (Harvard University Press, 2012), Dr. Nancy Segal describes the history of the controversial Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart, as well as the results of the study an

  • Lawrence R. Samuel, “Shrink: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in America” (Nebraska UP, 2013)

    Lawrence R. Samuel, “Shrink: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in America” (Nebraska UP, 2013)

    20/06/2013 Duración: 43min

    Before the Second World War, very few Americans visited psychologists or psychiatrists. Today, millions and millions of Americans do. How did seeing a “shrink” become, quite suddenly, a typical part of the “American Experience?” In his fascinating book Shrink: A Cultural History of Psychoanalysis in America (Nebraska University Press, 2013), Lawrence R. Samuel examines the arrival, remarkable growth, and transformation of psychoanalysis in the United States. As Samuel shows, Americans have a kind of love-hate relationship with their “shrinks”: sometimes they love them and sometimes they loath them. The “shrinks” seem to know that their clients are fickle, and so they “re-brand” their technique with some regularity. Sometimes it’s “analysis,” sometimes it’s “therapy,” sometimes it’s just “counseling.” But, regardless of what it’s called, it’s always some variation on the “talkin

  • Suzanne Corkin, “Permanent Present Tense: The Unforgettable Life of the Amnesia Patient, H.M.” (Basic Books, 2013)

    Suzanne Corkin, “Permanent Present Tense: The Unforgettable Life of the Amnesia Patient, H.M.” (Basic Books, 2013)

    31/05/2013 Duración: 52min

    If you have studied neuroscience, memory, or even basic psychology, it is likely that you have heard of the famous amnesic patient Henry Molaison, or “H.M.” as he was known during his lifetime. In 1953, Henry underwent an experimental brain surgery in hopes of finding a cure for his severe epilepsy. As a result, he developed a severe case of amnesia. Unable to encode new memories into long-term storage, Henry lived constantly in the present, unable to recall events that had happened even minutes before. In the 55 years between the surgery and his death in 2008, Henry became the most famous and comprehensively studied patient in neuroscience. Decades of research on Henry’s cognitive abilities provided a lasting contribution to neuroscience, and research on his postmortem brain is continuing into the future. Perhaps no one knew the case of H.M. better than Dr. Suzanne Corkin. In this interview, Dr. Corkin will discuss her new book, Permanent Present Tense: The Unforgettable Life of the Amnesic

  • Stephen Crain, “The Emergence of Meaning” (Cambridge UP, 2012)

    Stephen Crain, “The Emergence of Meaning” (Cambridge UP, 2012)

    30/05/2013 Duración: 53min

    It’s not surprising that human language reflects and respects logical relations – logic, in some sense, ‘works’. For linguists, this represents a potentially interesting avenue of approach to the much-debated question of innateness. Is there knowledge about logic that is present in humans prior to any experience? And if so, what does it consist of? In The Emergence of Meaning (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Stephen Crain argues the case for ‘logical nativism’, the idea that some logical concepts are innately given and that these concepts are relevant both to human language and to human reasoning. He illuminates his argument with extensive reference to empirical data, particularly from child language acquisition, where the patterns from typologically distant languages appear to exhibit a surprising degree of underlying unity. In this interview, we discuss the nature of logical nativism and debate the limitations of experience-based accounts as possible explanations of

  • Helen Longino, “Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

    Helen Longino, “Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

    15/05/2013 Duración: 01h03min

    What explains human behavior? It is standard to consider answers from the perspective of a dichotomy between nature and nurture, with most researchers today in agreement that it is both. For Helen Longino, Clarence Irving Lewis Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, the “both” answer misses the fact that the nature/nurture divide is itself problematic. In her groundbreaking book, Studying Human Behavior: How Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality (University of Chicago Press) Longino looks closely at a variety of scientific approaches to the study of human aggression and sexuality to argue that there is no one right way to divide nature from nurture within the scientific approaches to the study of behavior, and that the nature/nurture dichotomy reinforces and reflects an undue emphasis on explanations that focus on the dispositions of individuals rather than those that look at patterns of frequency and distribution of behavior within populations. She reveals the distinct and inco

  • Sam Sommers, “Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World” (Riverhead Books, 2011)

    Sam Sommers, “Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World” (Riverhead Books, 2011)

    07/05/2013 Duración: 52min

    Human behavior is notoriously complex and difficult to predict. For decades, social psychologists have been exploring situational variables and how they impact our behavior. We might like to think that we behave consistently in various contexts, but that turns out not to be the case. In his book, Situations Matter: Understanding How Context Transforms Your World (Riverhead Books, 2011) social psychology professor Sam Sommers writes about how our actions vary depending on the context. He draws on classic and recent social psychology research, as well as humorous anecdotes, to illustrate his points. He discusses a variety of topics, including altruism, self-perception, gender differences, and conformity. The book might help you understand your own behavior better, and respond with greater flexibility and effectiveness in your daily life.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Stephen E. Nadeau, “The Neural Architecture of Grammar” (MIT Press, 2012)

    Stephen E. Nadeau, “The Neural Architecture of Grammar” (MIT Press, 2012)

    13/04/2013 Duración: 01h01min

    Although there seems to be a trend towards linguistic theories getting more cognitively or neurally plausible, there doesn’t seem to be an imminent prospect of a reconciliation between linguistics and neuroscience. Network models of various aspects of language have often been criticised as theoretically simplistic, custom-made to solve a single problem (such as past tense marking), and/or abandoning their neurally-inspired roots. In The Neural Architecture of Grammar (MIT Press, 2012), Stephen Nadeau proposes an account of language in the brain that goes some way towards answering these objections. He argues that the sometimes-maligned Parallel Distributed Processing (PDP) approach can genuinely be seen as a way of modelling the brain. Combining theoretical, experimental and biological perspectives, he proposes a model of language function that is based upon these principles, proceeding concisely all the way from concept meaning to high-level syntactic organisation. He proposes that this model offers a

  • Jesse J. Prinz, “The Conscious Brain: How Attention Engenders Experience” (Oxford UP, 2012)

    Jesse J. Prinz, “The Conscious Brain: How Attention Engenders Experience” (Oxford UP, 2012)

    15/03/2013 Duración: 01h07min

    For decades now, philosophers, linguists, psychologists and neuroscientists have been working to understand the nature of the hard-to-describe but very familiar conscious experiences we have while awake. Some have thought consciousness can’t be explained scientifically, and others have argued that it will always remain a mystery. But most consider some sort of explanation in physical, specifically neural, terms to be possible. In The Conscious Brain: How Attention Engenders Experience (Oxford University Press, 2012), Jesse J. Prinz — Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the City University of New York Graduate Center — synthesizes scientific data and hypothesis with philosophical theory and insight to argue for the AIR theory of consciousness. On his view, consciousness is Attention to Intermediate-level Representations, attention is availability to working memory, and availability to working memory is realized by synchronized neural activity in the gamma frequency range. In this deftly

  • Peter Gray, “Free to Learn” (Basic Books, 2013)

    Peter Gray, “Free to Learn” (Basic Books, 2013)

    05/03/2013 Duración: 01h05min

    In his book Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life (Basic Books, 2013), Peter Gray proposes the following big idea: we shouldn’t force children to learn, rather we should allow them to play and learn by themselves. This, of course, is a radical proposal. But Peter points out that the play-and-learn-along-the-way style of education was practiced by humans for over 99% our history: hunter-gatherers did not have schools, but children in them somehow managed to learn everything they needed to be good members of their bands. Peter says we should take a page out of their book and points to a school that has done just that: The Sudbury Valley School. (BTW: Peter has some very thoughtful things to say about the way standard schools actually promote bullying and are powerless to prevent it or remedy it once it’s happened. Listen in.)Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Willem J. M. Levelt, “A History of Psycholinguistics: The Pre-Chomskyan Era” (Oxford UP, 2012)

    Willem J. M. Levelt, “A History of Psycholinguistics: The Pre-Chomskyan Era” (Oxford UP, 2012)

    19/02/2013 Duración: 57min

    The only disappointment with A History of Psycholinguistics: The Pre-Chomskyan Era (Oxford UP, 2012) is that, as the subtitle says, the story it tells stops at the cognitive revolution, before Pim Levelt is himself a major player in psycholinguistics. He says that telling the story of the last few decades is a task for someone else. The task he’s taken on here is to describe the progress made in the psychology of language between its actual foundation – around 1800 – and the point at which it’s widely and erroneously believed to have been founded – around 1951. The story that the book tells is remarkable in many ways: not only for its vast breadth and depth of scholarship, but also for the number of misconceptions that it corrects. Levelt uncovers how many modern theories in psycholinguistics are in fact independent rediscoveries of proposals made in the 19th century, and charts the significant positive contributions made to the science by figures who are often overlooked or eve

  • Tony Veale, “Exploding the Creativity Myth: The Computational Foundations of Linguistic Creativity” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012)

    Tony Veale, “Exploding the Creativity Myth: The Computational Foundations of Linguistic Creativity” (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012)

    03/12/2012 Duración: 53min

    In these days of increasing automation, the prospect of obsolescence is an alarming one for those of us who make a living by stringing words together instead of doing something demonstrably useful. From this perspective, it’s tempting to think of “computers”, “language” and “creativity” as the constituents of a literary behemoth that writes that brilliant novel, and a million others besides, only in seconds and for no money, while human authors starve in their garrets. The future as envisaged by Tony Veale in Exploding the Creativity Myth: The Computational Foundations of Linguistic Creativity (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012) is rather more benign. He sees the technology as assistive to human creativity, but able to inject a level of complexity and originality that cannot be achieved in static works of reference. In particular, by extracting patterns from large corpora – most obviously the World Wide Web – software can already, for instance, suggest expressions

  • Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang, “Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College” (Bloomsbury, 2011)

    Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang, “Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College” (Bloomsbury, 2011)

    30/11/2012 Duración: 48min

    Many parents are interested in learning about how their children develop, and pretty much all parents want to do a good job with their kids. So, often they turn to parenting books. Unfortunately, many books for parents do not present the developmental research accurately, probably because the authors of those books are trying to find a way to sell more books. Parents can be left feeling confused and anxious that they aren’t doing things the “right” way, and often the more books they read the more confused and anxious they feel! That is why the book Welcome to Your Child’s Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College (Bloomsbury, 2011), by Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang, is refreshing. Aamodt and Wang present child development in an accessible, balanced, and reassuring way that is true to the current research about child development. The book covers everything from infant learning, to language development, to sleep, to social development, all the way from the prenatal phase through

  • Giusi Tamburello, “Concepts and Categories of Emotion in East Asia” (Carocci editore, 2012)

    Giusi Tamburello, “Concepts and Categories of Emotion in East Asia” (Carocci editore, 2012)

    04/10/2012 Duración: 56min

    What is the relationship between language and the emotions? Where ought we look for evidence of emotion in historical and literary texts? Is it possible to talk about the emotional states of entire cultures or groups of peoples, and if so, how should that level be reconciled with that of the emotional experience of the individual? Are there categories of emotions that are shared across cultures? Embracing a multidisciplinary approach to these questions and others, Concepts and Categories of Emotion in East Asia (Carocci editore, 2012) collects essays that range over time and space, each investigating some aspect of the discourse and experience of emotion in East Asian history. When taken together, the contributions explore several major thematics in the history of emotion. Some investigate the ways that collective emotions are expressed in documents, or the ways that a document’s genre might shape the way emotions are expressed by it. Some look at the ways that sources can manipulate a reader’s em

  • Kristin Andrews, “Do Apes Read Minds?: Toward a New Folk Psychology” (MIT Press, 2012)

    Kristin Andrews, “Do Apes Read Minds?: Toward a New Folk Psychology” (MIT Press, 2012)

    15/09/2012 Duración: 01h05min

    The ability to figure out the mental lives of others – what they want, what they believe, what they know — is basic to our relationships. Sherlock Holmes exemplified this ability by accurately simulating the thought processes of suspects in order to solve mysterious crimes. But folk psychology is not restricted to genius detectives. We all use it: to predict what a friend will feel when we cancel a date, to explain why a child in a playground is crying, to deceive someone else by saying less than the whole story. Its very ubiquity explains why it is called folk psychology. But how in fact does folk psychology work? On standard views in philosophy and psychology, folk psychology just is the practice of ascribing or attributing beliefs and desires to people for explaining and predicting their behavior. A folk psychologist is someone who has this “theory of mind”. In her new book, Do Apes Read Minds?: Toward a New Folk Psychology (MIT Press, 2012), Kristin Andrews, associate professor of

  • Charlotte Pierce-Baker, “This Fragile Life: A Mother’s Story of a Bipolar Son” (Lawrence Hill Books, 2012)

    Charlotte Pierce-Baker, “This Fragile Life: A Mother’s Story of a Bipolar Son” (Lawrence Hill Books, 2012)

    30/07/2012 Duración: 01h22min

    When a mother listens to the beats of her own heart, where angst, fear and fortitude compete, and then beautifully weaves emotion into a story about her ongoing journey to support a bipolar son, then you know something significant has happened in African American literature. At least I did, when I read Charlotte Pierce-Baker‘s insightful memoir, This Fragile Life: A Mother’s Story of a Bipolar Son (Lawrence Hill Books, 2012). But what I didn’t know is why Pierce-Baker would “go there” again. I mean, she has already, once before, “gone there,” when she mined personal pain to write about trauma and black women’s narratives of rape. Yet, when I reflect on a line from her son’s poetry, which is what knits the narrative together, I understand. Her son Mark writes: “When mom is gone nothing is right and everything is wrong/A joke is not a joke, and the birds don’t sing their song.” The power of this book for me is that a mother has created a li

  • Barry Schwartz, “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less – How the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction” (Harper Perennial, 2003)

    Barry Schwartz, “The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less – How the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction” (Harper Perennial, 2003)

    16/07/2012 Duración: 44min

    Is there such a thing as too much choice? In The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less – How the Culture of Abundance Robs Us of Satisfaction (Harper Perennial, 2005), author Barry Schwartz answers with a resounding yes. Though some choice is healthy and necessary, Barry argues that in modern society, we are overwhelmed with them, leading us to feel dissatisfied and sometimes even unable to make a decision at all. The dominant view that the market will provide and enable people to get that they want in life is illusory, as human beings are not as rational as we think we are, and our subjective experience of an event does not always correlate with how objectively “good” it is. In this podcast, Barry also talks about how some people, who he calls maximizers, end up suffering more from the overabundance of choices in our society, for these people always strive to make the very best decision in order to have the very best. This leads to paralysis, overanalyzing, and ultimately, to overall dissatis

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