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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: 2020
Nov 3, 2020

This is Episode 22 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

In this episode, Ella Rhodes, Journalist for The Psychologist, explores the boundaries between wakefulness and dreaming. What can we can learn about consciousness from the strange transition period between being awake and asleep, known as hypnagogia? And why do some people experience visions and imaginings that take them away for hours at a time?

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Valdas Noreika, lecturer in Psychology at Queen Mary University of London, and Dr Nirit Soffer-Dudek, clinical psychologist at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes, with additional content from Matthew Warren. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work by Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode:

Dreams: Everyone’s Guide to Inner Space, a paper by Deborah Wesley, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

Relevant research from our guests includes:

Sep 2, 2020

This is Episode 21 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

What can we do to stay connected in the middle of a pandemic? We’ve all played our part in fighting COVID-19, and for many of us that has meant staying away from our friends and families. In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith explores how this unprecedented period of separation has reinforced the importance of connection. Ginny looks at how video chats compare to in-person interaction, and how psychology could help improve virtual communication in the future. She also examines the importance of touch for reducing stress — and asks whether interactions with our furry friends could make up for a lack of human contact.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Shane Rogers, lecturer in psychology at Edith Cowan University, Australia, and Professor Patricia Pendry, from Washington State University.

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

Background reading for this episode:

Characteristics of Student– Dog Interaction during a Meet-and-Greet Activity in a University-Based Animal Visitation Program, a paper by Patricia Pendry and colleagues, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

Other research mentioned in this episode includes:

Mar 2, 2020

This is Episode 20 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

What can psychology teach us about dealing with pain? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns that swearing can have a pain-reducing effect, and puts the theory to the test with an experiment on editor Matthew Warren. Ginny also hears about how virtual reality could provide a welcome distraction to patients suffering from chronic pain.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Dr Richard Stephens, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Keele University, and Dr Sam Hughes, Research Fellow in pain neuroimaging at King’s College London.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith, with additional content from Matthew Warren and Sana Suri. Mixing and editing Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. Art work Tim Grimshaw.

Background reading for this episode:

Managing limb pain using virtual reality: a systematic review of clinical and experimental studies, a paper by Priscilla G Wittkopf and colleagues, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

Research mentioned in this episode includes:

Both Research Digest and The Psychologist have plenty of posts on pain in the archives, including:

Encouraging self-compassion may help people with chronic pain lead more active, happier lives

Super altruists (who’ve donated a kidney to a stranger) show heightened empathic brain activity when witnessing strangers in pain

Women who practice submissive BDSM displayed reduced empathy and an atypical neural response to other people’s pain

What’s different about the brains of the minority of us who feel other people’s physical pain?

Watching someone suffer extreme pain has a lasting effect on the brain

Does it matter whether or not pain medication is branded?

Pain at Christmas: Ella Rhodes reports from the British Neuroscience Association’s Christmas symposium

5 minutes with… Dr Harbinder Sandhu: A large trial aims to help people with chronic pain taper their opioid use

The pain of youth: Line Caes and Abbie Jordan call for creativity in research design with adolescents living with chronic health conditions

Big Picture: Portraits of pain: Measuring pain with drawings

Pain – the backdrop of our lives: Ella Rhodes reports from a conference at UCL

Jan 28, 2020

This is Episode 19 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

Do we worry too much about screen time? The issue of screen use by children and teenagers is rarely out of the headlines, and institutions including the World Health Organization have recommended specific limits on screen time for the youngest age groups. But what does the science actually say about the effects of screen time?

To find out, our presenter Ella Rhodes talks to Dr Amy Orben, Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and winner of the 2019 BPS award for Outstanding Doctoral Research, who has explored the psychological effects of screen time in her research. 

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist, with help from the Research Digest and Psychologist teams. Mixing and editing by Jeff Knowler. PsychCrunch theme music by Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler; additional music by Ketsa. Artwork by Tim Grimshaw.

Background resources for this episode: 

Screen Time, Laptop Bans, and the Fears that Shape the Use of Technology for Learning, a paper by Dr Torrey Trust in the Journal of Digital Learning in Teacher Education, is free to access thanks to our sponsors Routledge Psychology.

The work by Amy Orben and her colleagues discussed in this episode includes:

Here are the WHO guidelines on screen time mentioned at the beginning of the podcast.

Both The Psychologist and Research Digest have a number of articles on screen time and media effects, including:

The Psychologist Presents… Screen time debunked
A transcript of Professor Andrew Przybylski’s session with editor Jon Sutton at Latitude Festival in summer 2019.

Seeing screen time differently
Jon Sutton reports from a one-day event on research, policy and communication in a digital era, held out the Wellcome Collection in London in 2018.

'There are wolves in the forest…'
Professor Andrew Przybylski picks three myths around screen time – and how science, and some common sense, can help.

What is actually behind the screen?
Ella Rhodes reports on last year's parliamentary report from the Science and Technology Committee.

‘Games have helped me a lot throughout my life’
Annie Brookman-Byrne interviews Dr Pete Etchells, Reader in Psychology and Science Communication at Bath Spa University, about his book Lost in a Good Game: Why We Play Video Games and What They Can Do For Us.

Amy Orben honoured
Dr Orben wins the British Psychological Society's Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research.

Link Between Teens’ Time On Digital Devices And Lower Wellbeing Is “Too Small To Merit Substantial Scientific Discussion”

Abstaining From Social Media Doesn’t Improve Well-Being, Experimental Study Finds

These Violent Delights Don’t Have Violent Ends: Study Finds No link Between Violent Video Games And Teen Aggression

Hard-core players of violent video games do not have emotionally blunted brains

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