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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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Now displaying: 2019
Sep 9, 2019

This is Episode 18 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Can psychology help us become more creative? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns how we can develop our creativity with practice, and discovers that our best “Eureka” moments often come when we step away from the task at hand. She also investigates how members of the public fare with the riddles psychologists use to study creative problem solving — see how you get on at home.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Professor James C Kaufman, an educational psychologist at the University of Connecticut and author of several books on creativity, and Dr Gillian Hill, a lecturer in psychology at the University of Buckingham and member of the CREATE research team.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode:

James C Kaufman’s paper Creativity Is More Than Silly, More Than Art, More Than Good: The Diverse Career of Arthur Cropley is free to view thanks to our sponsors, Routledge Psychology.

We have dozens of posts on creativity in the Research Digest archives, including:

Thinking About Their Multiple Identities Boosts Children’s Creativity And Problem-Solving Skills

Here’s What The Evidence Shows About The Links Between Creativity And Depression

The Four Ways To Promote Creativity In Children Come More Naturally To Some Mothers Than Others

How Keeping A Dream Diary Could Boost Your Creativity

Psychologists Have Devised A Test For Measuring One-Year-Olds’ Creativity

Teams Are More Creative When Their Leader Is Confident In Her Or His Own Creativity

New Study Finds Strength Of Imagination Not Associated With Creative Ability Or Achievement

And over at The Psychologist, check out Rocky Horror Pixel Show, in which Arne Dietrich explores the problems in figuring out how creativity is represented in the brain.

Jul 23, 2019

This is Episode 17 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.


Can psychology help make running more enjoyable? Our presenter Christian Jarrett speaks to several experts about various strategies including "cognitive reappraisal" and the benefits of taking part in organised runs. He also hears how some of us are genetically disposed to find running less enjoyable than others, and why that isn't an excuse for giving up.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Dr Grace Giles (US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Soldier Center, Natick), Dr John Nezlek (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Faculty in Poznan and College of William & Mary, Williamsburg VA), Dr Marzena Cypryańska (SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw), and Professor Eco de Geus (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam).

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Christian Jarrett. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Key research mentioned in this episode:

May 3, 2019

Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist magazine, delves into the growing body of research exploring aphantasia – a condition she has personal experience of. While most people can see images formed in their minds people with aphantasia draw a blank, what might this mean for autobiographical memory, face perception and imagination? 

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Zoe Pounder at the University of Westminster and Professor Adam Zeman at the University of Exeter. 

Background resources for this episode: 

This man had no idea his mind is "blind" until last week.

Mental rotation performance in aphantasia.

Loss of imagery phenomenology with intact visuo-spatial task performance: a case of "blind imagination".

Lives without imagery – Congenital aphantasia.

The neural correlates of visual imagery vividness – An fMRI study and literature review.

The neural correlates of visual imagery: A co-ordinate-based meta-analysis.

On Picturing a Candle: The Prehistory of Imagery Science.

The Eye’s Mind - Zeman’s apahantasia research project.

A scientific measure of our visual imagination suggests it is surprisingly limited

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes. Mixing Jeff Knowler. Music Sincere Love by Monplaisir. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Mar 19, 2019

This is Episode 15 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology

Mindfulness is everywhere these days, but is it really as beneficial as it's often made out to be? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears from clinical psychologist Dr Catherine Wikholm(co-author of The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You?); she visits the Cambridge Buddha Centre to meet people who have taken up mindfulness meditation; and she discusses some of the latest mindfulness research trials with Professor Barney Dunn, a clinical psychologist at Exeter University. Some of the evidence is indeed promising, and mindfulness meditation could offer a cost-effective way to help many people with mental health problems. However, Ginny also discovers that many trials are ongoing, mindfulness is not risk free, and it may not suit everyone.  

Some of the studies mentioned in this episode:

Mechanisms of action in mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) in people with physical and/or psychological conditions: A systematic review.

How do mindfulness-based cognitive therapy and mindfulness-based stress reduction improve mental health and wellbeing? A systematic review and meta-analysis of mediation studies

Mindfulness Training Increases Momentary Positive Emotions and Reward Experience in Adults Vulnerable to Depression: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy compared with maintenance antidepressant treatment in the prevention of depressive relapse or recurrence (PREVENT): a randomised controlled trial

The Effectiveness of Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) in Real-World Healthcare Services

The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a mindfulness training programme in schools compared with normal school provision (MYRIAD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Unwanted effects: Is there a negative side of meditation? A multicentre survey

The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You?

Relevant studies and articles from our own archive:

The Psychology of Mindfulness, Digested

Brainwave evidence hints at benefits from a school mindfulness programme

Brief mindfulness training does not foster empathy, and can even make narcissists worse

Experienced meditators have enhanced control over their eye movements

This is what eight weeks of mindfulness training does to your brain

Mindfulness meditation increases people’s susceptibility to false memories

Just fifteen minutes of mindfulness meditation can improve your decision making

How meditation alters the brain

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Mixing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

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