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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: 2021
Oct 15, 2021

Why do some songs get stuck in our heads? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith explores the psychology of earworms. Ginny hears about the possible evolutionary reasons for why we experience the phenomenon, learns what earworms can teach us about memory — and finds out how to get rid of them.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Kelly Jakubowski, assistant professor of music psychology at Durham University; Petr Janata, professor of psychology at the University of California, Davis; and Michael K. Scullin, associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Baylor 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.

Research from our guests includes:

Dissecting an Earworm: Melodic Features and Song Popularity Predict Involuntary Musical Imagery

Spontaneous mental replay of music improves memory for incidentally associated event knowledge.

Bedtime Music, Involuntary Musical Imagery, and Sleep

Aug 16, 2021

This is Episode 27 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

At Latitude Festival in Suffolk in July, The Psychologist Editor Dr Jon Sutton hosted a conversation in The Listening Post with Greta Defeyter, Professor of Developmental Psychology and founder and Director of the "Healthy Living" Lab at Northumbria University. An expert on food insecurity, social injustice, school feeding programmes and holiday hunger, Professor Defeyter considered why children go hungry, what we can do about it, and how her own experiences of poverty have shaped her. 

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

Thanks to Latitude Festival’s arts and special events curator Kirsty Taylor. We hope to return with more from ‘The Psychologist Presents…’ in 2022. Tickets for next year’s event are already on sale via http://latitudefestival.com

Background reading

Professor Defeyter has just published her new book, Holiday Hunger in the UK, co-authored by Michael A. Long and Paul B. Stretesky

The Psychologist also met Professor Defeyter as part of their special edition around the British Psychological Society policy theme of ‘From poverty to flourishing

Reports and transcripts from other appearances at Latitude Festival

Aug 3, 2021

This is Episode 26 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. 

What impact has the pandemic had on people’s mental health? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith talks to researchers who have been conducting work throughout the pandemic to understand the toll that it has taken on our wellbeing. Ginny learns about the different factors that can make us more or less vulnerable to these effects, finds out how pregnant women have fared during this stressful time, and also hears about emerging data that finds links between the virus itself and mental health conditions.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Susanne Schweizer, Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow at the University of Cambridge, and Professor Paul Harrison from the University of Oxford.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Script edits by 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

May 18, 2021

This is Episode 25 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

Are our personalities set in stone, or can we choose to change them? In this bonus episode, Matthew Warren talks to former Research Digest editor Christian Jarrett about his new book Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change. Christian discusses the evidence-based methods you can use to alter your personality, whether you’re an introvert who wants to become the life of the party, or you simply wish you were a little more open to new experiences. He also explains how our personalities evolve over the course of our lifespans, even when we’re not consciously trying to change them, and ponders how they might be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change is out on May 18th in the United States and May 20th in the United Kingdom.

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

Work discussed in this episode includes:

Other background reading

Apr 13, 2021

This is Episode 24 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology.

What role does play have in child development? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith talks to some top play researchers to find out how children learn new skills and concepts through play, and explores what teachers and parents can do to encourage this kind of learning. Ginny also discovers how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way kids play and learn.

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Professor Marilyn Fleer and Dr Prabhat Rai from Monash University, and Dr Suzanne Egan from the University of Limerick.

Episode credits: Presented and produced by Ginny Smith. Script edits by 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

Jan 21, 2021

This is Episode 23 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest.

In this episode, Emily Reynolds, staff writer at Research Digest, explores modern psychology’s relationship with race and representation. It’s well-known that psychology has a generalisability problem, with studies overwhelmingly using so-called “WEIRD” participants: those who are Western and educated and from industrialised, rich and democratic societies. But how does that shape the assumptions we make about participants of different racial identities or cultures? And how can top-tier psychology journals improve diversity among not only participants but also authors and editors?

Our guests, in order of appearance, are Dr Bobby Cheon, Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Dr Steven O. Roberts, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

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

Research mentioned in this episode includes:

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