Sinopsis

Interviews with Psychologists about their New Books

Episodios

  • Sharon K. Farber, “Hunger for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties” (Aronson, 2013)

    Sharon K. Farber, “Hunger for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties” (Aronson, 2013)

    20/05/2014 Duración: 59min

    It may seem silly to ask why we seek ecstasy. We seek it, of course, because it’s ECSTASY. We are evolved to want it. It’s our brain’s way of saying “Do this again and as often as possible.” But there’s more to it than that. For one thing, there are many ways to get to ecstasy, and some of them are very harmful: cutting, starving, and, of course, drug-taking. These things may render an ecstatic state, but they will also kill you. Moreover, many of the ecstasy-inducing activities and substances are powerfully addictive. It’s fine, for example, for most people to use alcohol to feel more relaxed or even to achieve an ecstatic state. But something on the order of 10% to 15% of people cannot safely use alcohol at all without become seriously addicted. And once they do, they usually descend into a profoundly un-ecstatic nightmare that often ends in death. According to Sharon K. Farber‘s Hungry for Ecstasy: Trauma, the Brain, and the Influence of the Sixties (Aronson,

  • Paula A. Michaels, “Lamaze: An International History” (Oxford UP, 2014)

    Paula A. Michaels, “Lamaze: An International History” (Oxford UP, 2014)

    16/05/2014 Duración: 01h09min

    The twentieth-century West witnessed a revolution in childbirth. Before that time, most women gave birth at home and were attended by family members and midwives. The process was usually terribly painful for the mother. Beginning in the nineteenth century, however, doctors started to “medicalize” childbirth. Physicians began to think of ways to ease the pain of childbirth. Two main options were explored. One–drugs–is quite familiar to us, for it is the primary tool used by doctors to make women comfortable during the birth process today. The other–“psychoprophylaxis”–has now passed into memory. The most famous form of psychoprophylaxis, and the subject of Paula A. Michaels’ excellent book Lamaze: An International History (Oxford University Press, 2014), is known as the “Lamaze method.” Its history is fascinating and surprising: born in the Soviet Union (or was it the United Kingdom?), it migrated to France, and then to much of Europe. It then

  • Benjamin Radcliff, “The Political Economy of Happiness” (Cambridge UP, 2013)

    Benjamin Radcliff, “The Political Economy of Happiness” (Cambridge UP, 2013)

    01/05/2014 Duración: 01h03min

    Americans are very politically divided. Democrats say we need a more powerful welfare state while Republicans say we need to maintain the free market. The struggle, we are constantly informed, is one of ideas. And that it is in the worst possible sense, for neither the Democrats nor Republicans seem interested in evidence. They don’t want the facts to get in the way of their arguments. In his remarkable book The Political Economy of Human Happiness: How Voters’ Choices Determine the Quality of Life (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Benjamin Radcliff provides facts that should help both Democrats and Republicans, despite their many differences, decide how to proceed. He asks a simple, compelling question: do conservative or liberal public policies make people happier? After an extensive and sophisticated analysis of the data, he reaches an equally simple, compelling answer: liberal policies do. Radcliff is a great friend of the free market; it is obvious, he says, that capitalism is the best econ

  • Adrienne Martin, “How We Hope: A Moral Psychology” (Princeton UP, 2013)

    Adrienne Martin, “How We Hope: A Moral Psychology” (Princeton UP, 2013)

    01/04/2014 Duración: 46min

    From political campaigns to sports stadiums and hospital rooms, the concept of hope is pervasive. And the story we tend to tell ourselves about hope is that it is intrinsically a good thing — in many ways we still tend to think of hope as a kind of virtue. Hence we talk about hopes being dashed or crushed; and we speak as if losing hope is an unmitigated bad. We also talk about false hope, which is a kind of misfortune rather than a blemish on hope’s moral ledger. Hope is deeply bound up with our moral lives. But, perhaps surprisingly, there has been little sustained philosophical attention paid to hope as a moral phenomenon. In How We Hope: A Moral Psychology (Princeton University Press, 2013), Adrienne Martin presents a distinctive and compelling philosophical analysis of hope. Hoping, she argues, involves the taking of one’s attraction for an outcome that one judges unlikely to eventuate to supply reasons for acting in various ways. Her “incorporation” view of hope enables Mar

  • Aneta Pavlenko, “The Bilingual Mind And What It Tells Us about Language and Thought” (Cambridge UP, 2014)

    Aneta Pavlenko, “The Bilingual Mind And What It Tells Us about Language and Thought” (Cambridge UP, 2014)

    29/03/2014 Duración: 44min

    Big ideas about language often ignore, or abstract away from, the individual’s capacity to learn more than one language. In a world where the majority of human beings are bilingual, is this kind of idealization desirable? Is it useful, or necessary? Aneta Pavlenko‘s book The Bilingual Mind And What It Tells Us about Language and Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2014), covers a range of issues in the relationship between language and cognition, and its core thesis is that study of the monolingual mind in isolation is simply not enough to shed light on all aspects of the human mind. Drawing on a variety of sources, from traditional psycholinguistic experimental work to literary case studies and her own experience growing up as a bilingual, Professor Pavlenko debunks myths surrounding the so-called Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, and argues that even the coldly rational edifice of linguistic theory is shaped by the language backgrounds of the individual theorists involved. In this interview we discuss a

  • George E. Vaillant, “Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study” (Harvard UP, 2012)

    George E. Vaillant, “Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study” (Harvard UP, 2012)

    27/03/2014 Duración: 50min

    There are very few studies like the Harvard Grant Study.  Started in 1938, it has been following its approximately 200 participants ever since, analyzing their physical and mental health and assessing which factors are correlated with healthy living and healthy aging.  One of the psychiatrists of the study is George E. Vaillant, who was a young man in 1966 when he joined the research group, and has now written Triumphs of Experience: The Men of the Harvard Grant Study (Harvard University Press, 2012).  This fascinating book relates how the participants have changed over the course of their lifetimes (yes, Dr. Vaillant claims, people can change) and highlights the factors correlated with both happiness (e.g. warm childhoods, close relationships) and misery (e.g. alcoholism).  Some of the findings are what you would expect, but this longitudinal study also holds some surprises, even as its participants reach their 90s and beyond.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • John Hibbing et al., “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences” (Routledge, 2013)

    John Hibbing et al., “Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences” (Routledge, 2013)

    24/02/2014 Duración: 20min

    John Hibbing, Kevin Smith, and John Alford are the authors of Predisposed: Liberals, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences (Routledge, 2013). Hibbing is professor of political science and psychology at the University of Nebraska, Smith is professor of political science at the University of Nebraska, and Alford is associate professor of political science at Rice University. Predisposed approaches the difference between liberals and conservatives from the perspective of physiology. Are we predisposed to certain beliefs or to one ideology or another? They answer emphatically “yes”. Those that call themselves liberals and conservative are biologically different in a host of ways that are deeply embedded in our biology.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Carlo C. DiClemente, “Substance Abuse Treatment and the Stages of Change: Selecting and Planning Interventions” (Guilford Press, 2013)

    Carlo C. DiClemente, “Substance Abuse Treatment and the Stages of Change: Selecting and Planning Interventions” (Guilford Press, 2013)

    20/02/2014 Duración: 01h00s

    In this episode, I talk with Carlo C. DiClemente, a Presidential Research Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Maryland- Baltimore County, about his co-authored book, Substance Abuse Treatment and the Stages of Change: Selecting and Planning Interventions (Guilford Press, 2013). We examine the stages-of-change model (also known as the transtheoretical model) in behavioral change, particularly in substance abuse and drug addiction treatment. We discuss the complexity involved in substance abuse, and the need to consider stage status in effective treatment. We talk about relapse and its implications for individuals’ recovery trajectories. The importance of the individual client as the central mechanism of change is emphasized throughout our discussion.Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Michael Pettit, “The Science of Deception: Psychology and Commerce in America” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

    Michael Pettit, “The Science of Deception: Psychology and Commerce in America” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

    19/02/2014 Duración: 54min

    Parapsychology. You may have heard of it. You know, telepathy, precognition, clairvoyance, psychokinesis. Spoon-bending and that sort of thing. If you have heard of it, you probably think of it as a pseudoscience. And indeed it is. But it wasn’t always so. There was a time in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries when practitioners and advocates of parapsychology abounded. William James, one of the very founders of modern psychological science, was a fan. Most of the founders of modern psychology, of course, weren’t fans. They considered the parapsychologists frauds peddling cheap tricks to gullible people. These con-men, they said, gave true psychological science a bad name.  There was only one thing to do: unmask them. As Michael Pettit shows in his fascinating book The Science of Deception: Psychology and Commerce in America (University of Chicago Press, 2013), that is precisely what the scientific psychologists did, or at least tried to do. They worked hard to create a firm boundar

  • Alistair Knott, “Sensorimotor Cognition and Natural Language Syntax” (MIT Press, 2012)

    Alistair Knott, “Sensorimotor Cognition and Natural Language Syntax” (MIT Press, 2012)

    28/01/2014 Duración: 52min

    When big claims are made about neurolinguistics, there often seems to be a subtext that the latest findings will render traditional linguistics obsolete. These claims are often met with appropriate scepticism by experienced linguistics practitioners, either because experience tells them not to believe the hype, or (in a few cases) because they were already obsolete and were managing just fine anyway. Alistair Knott‘s claim in Sensorimotor Cognition and Natural Language Syntax (MIT Press, 2012) is extremely atypical: it is that at least one strand of traditional linguistics, namely Minimalist syntax, is in fact more relevant than even its defenders believed. He argues that the necessary constituent steps of a reach-to-grasp action are, collectively, isomorphic to the syntactic operations that are required to describe the action with a sentence. Although this particular case is the focus of his discussion here, he also believes that the parallelism is more widespread, and that in fact Minimalism may have

  • Gabriel Finkelstein, “Emil du Bois-Reymond: Neuroscience, Self, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Germany” (MIT Press, 2013)

    Gabriel Finkelstein, “Emil du Bois-Reymond: Neuroscience, Self, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Germany” (MIT Press, 2013)

    14/01/2014 Duración: 01h14min

    “A good wife and a healthy child are better for one’s temper than frogs.” For Gabriel Finkelstein, Emil du Bois-Reymond was “the most important forgotten intellectual of the nineteenth century.” Most famously in a series of experimental works on electricity, but also in a series of public lectures that generated very strong, furious responses, du Bois-Reymond galvanized (ha! see what I did there? galvanized? electricity?) nineteenth century publics of all sorts. In Emil du Bois-Reymond: Neuroscience, Self, and Society in Nineteenth-Century Germany (MIT Press, 2013), Finkelstein considers how someone so famous and so important could end up so forgotten, and he does a masterful job in rectifying that situation. The book traces du Bois-Reymond’s life and work, from a childhood in Berlin, to an early life and schooling in Bonn, and then back to Berlin and beyond in the course of a mature career in laboratories and lecture halls. We meet the scientist as teacher, as writer, and

  • Lawrence J. Friedman, “The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet” (Columbia UP, 2013)

    Lawrence J. Friedman, “The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet” (Columbia UP, 2013)

    02/01/2014 Duración: 51min

    Erich Fromm, one of the most widely known psychoanalysts of the previous century, was involved in the exploration of spirituality throughout his life. His landmark book The Art of Loving, which sold more than six million copies worldwide, is seen as a popular handbook on how to relate to others and how to overcome the narcissism ingrained in every human being. In his book The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet (Columbia University Press, 2013), Harvard professor Lawrence J. Friedman explores the life of this towering figure of psychoanalytic thought, and his position in the humanistic movement, which he belonged to. He gives an overview of the religious thought Fromm was inspired by, from Judaism to the Old Testament to Buddhist philosophy. Fromm’s credo was that true spirituality is expressed in how we relate to others, and how to bring joy and peace to the global community. His plea that love will be the vehicle to realize one’s true purpose was the central message of his view on spiritu

  • Marga Vicedo, “The Nature and Nurture of Love” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

    Marga Vicedo, “The Nature and Nurture of Love” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)

    19/10/2013 Duración: 01h12min

    Between WWII and the 1970s, prominent researchers from various fields established and defended a view that emotions are integral to the self, and that a mother’s love determines an individual’s emotional development. In Marga Vicedo, The Nature and Nurture of Love: From Imprinting to Attachment in Cold War America  (University of Chicago Press, 2013), Marga Vicedo explores the emergence of the science of children’s emotional needs in the twentieth century. Masterfully bringing together approaches from the history and philosophy of the biological sciences, Vicedo’s book focuses on British psychoanalyst and psychiatrist John Bowlby (1907-1990), whose ethological work became one of the most influential and controversial psychological theories of the 20th century. Vicedo uses the story of Bowlby’s science to explore a broader modern history of work on animal and human behavior that includes Konrad Lorenz, Anna Freud, Benjamin Spock, and Niko Tinbergen, among others. Along the way, Th

  • A. David Redish, “The Mind Within the Brain” (Oxford UP, 2013)

    A. David Redish, “The Mind Within the Brain” (Oxford UP, 2013)

    17/10/2013 Duración: 55min

    Free will is essential to our understanding of human nature. We are masters of our own fate. We chart our own course. We take our own road. In short, we decide what we are going to do. There seems little doubt that free will is a reality. But how, psychologically and physiologically, does it work? How does free will arise out of what is essentially a biological machine? How do we decide? That’s the question at the center of A. David Redish‘s fascinating The Mind Within the Brain: How We Made Decisions and How Those Decisions Go Wrong (Oxford UP, 2013). His elegant answer is that on the neurological level, we have a number of discrete decision-making mechanisms. They range (though there is no real order or hierarchy) from completely unconscious and mechanical, as when experience a nerve reflex, to completely explicit and flexible, as when we deliberate about options and choose one. Especially interesting is David’s discussion of what happens when one of these decision-making mechanisms brea

  • Tadeusz Zawidzki, “Mindshaping: A New Framework for Understanding Human Social Cognition” (MIT Press, 2013)

    Tadeusz Zawidzki, “Mindshaping: A New Framework for Understanding Human Social Cognition” (MIT Press, 2013)

    15/10/2013 Duración: 01h07min

    Social cognition involves a small bundle of cognitive capacities and behaviors that enable us to communicate and get along with one another, a bundle that even our closest primate cousins don’t have, at least not to the same level of sophistication: pervasive collaboration, language, mind-reading and what Tadeusz Zawidzki, Associate Professor of Philosophy at The George Washington University, calls “mindshaping”. Mindshaping includes our capacities and dispositions to imitate, to be natural learners, and to conform to and enforce social norms, and in Mindshaping: A New Framework for Understanding Human Social Cognition (MIT Press, 2013), Zawidzki defends the idea that mind-shaping is the basic capacity from which the rest of social cognition evolves. Most researchers hold that mind-reading – our “theory of mind” – is the linch-pin of the rest: our ability to ascribe to one another mental states with propositional content is necessary for sophisticated language use and

  • Jerome Kagan, “The Human Spark: The Science of Human Development” (Basic Books, 2013)

    Jerome Kagan, “The Human Spark: The Science of Human Development” (Basic Books, 2013)

    02/09/2013 Duración: 01h02min

    On the day you were born, you arrived with your own unique biology and into your own unique social and cultural context. It would have been impossible to predict on that day how your life would unfold, or exactly the person you would become in the future. Why? Because there are so many complex and interrelated factors in the development of each and every human being. In his new book, The Human Spark: The Science of Human Development (Basic Books, 2013) world-renowned psychology professor Jerome Kagan tackles some of the most fascinating and important questions about what makes a human a human, and how we become who we are over the course of our lives. He draws from his decades of experience in developmental psychology, as well biology, neuroscience, and even literature and biographies, to inform his nuanced and big-picture view. And never one to shy away from critical thinking, Kagan also provides thoughtful remarks on the limitations of psychology as a field of research. If you want to listen to a person wit

  • Hannah S. Decker, “The Making of DSM-III: A Diagnostic Manual’s Conquest of American Psychiatry” (Oxford UP, 2013)

    Hannah S. Decker, “The Making of DSM-III: A Diagnostic Manual’s Conquest of American Psychiatry” (Oxford UP, 2013)

    23/08/2013 Duración: 01h08min

    Like it or not, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) has an enormous influence in deciding what qualifies as a mental health disorder in the United States and beyond. The each revision of the DSM directly influences people’s lives, guides treatment, and has important legal and economic consequences.  In her book, The Making of DSM-III: A Diagnostic Manual’s Conquest of American Psychiatry (Oxford University Press, 2013), history professor Hannah S. Decker explores the history of the important third revision of DSM. DSM-III was revolutionary at the time because it changed the field of psychiatry from a generally psychoanalytic approach to a more symptom-based, medical model of diagnosis. Through the use of archival sources and interviews with people who were involved in its creation, Dr. Decker paints a picture of the DSM-III in the 1970s. She also explores the landscape of psychiatry before, during, and after the creation of DSM-III. Dr. Decker’

  • 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

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