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PsychCrunch

PsychCrunch is the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. 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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Aug 9, 2016

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.

Jun 13, 2016

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.

Mar 30, 2016

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: 

Dec 16, 2015

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.

Oct 19, 2015

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.

Oct 19, 2015

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 AmazonFor 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.

Jun 18, 2015

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. 

Feb 13, 2015

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. 

Feb 11, 2015

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. 

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