Throughout the COVID pandemic, people have tried many things to help cope with their emotions and reduce the fear they feel. But that may not always be a good thing. If fear can motivate positive health behaviors, perhaps simple things like washing your hands, then could doing away with fear lead to less healthy behaviors? And, if so, are there better ways to cope with the current pandemic? To shed some light on this topic, we interview Brett Ford with the University of Toronto, who has published a paper in the journal Psychological Science on “Coping with Health Threats.”
More episodes from "Under the Cortex"
Recipe for Success: Entrepreneurship and Psychological Science
15:38What does it take to be an entrepreneur and succeed in business, apart from time, money, and a winning business plan? It turns out there are a few necessary behaviors entrepreneurs and start-up teams need if they want to build and maintain a thriving business. Though there is no guaranteed formula for success, psychological science can shed light on the personal and team-based elements that offer the greatest chance of becoming a captain of industry. In this episode of Under the Cortex, we look the crossroads of business acumen and psychological science with the help of Nikki Blacksmith and Mo McCusker of Blackhawke Behavior Science, the winners of the 2021 APS Entrepreneurship Poster Awards.
Toys, Tots, and Gender
15:33With the holidays nearly upon us, parents are thinking more seriously about Yuletide gifts for their children. From shopping malls to online retailers, marketing and product placements often fall along clearly defined lines: certain toys for boys and certain toys for girls. To tell us what this means for children and childhood development, we have Campbell Leaper with UC Santa Cruz, a developmental and social psychologist who investigates gender and sexism during childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Ask the Witness Only Once
16:03When an eyewitness stands up in court and identifies the person they say committed a crime, the impact can be powerful and effective. This dramatic testimony can be sincere and honest. It can also be wrong and tragically lead to wrongful convictions, lifelong incarcerations, and even the death penalty. But how can this happen? The witness is telling the court what they truly believe and remember. And therein lies the problem: memory, the often fuzzy and malleable recollections of events in the past. In the latest edition of Psychological Science in the Public Interest, researchers look at the problems with eyewitness misidentifications in the courtroom and explain why prosecutors and law enforcement should test a witness’s memory of a suspect only once. Joining us is John Wixted, a researcher at the University of California at San Diego and first author on this article.
Science Rewind: Revisiting Three of Our Favorite Early Stories
24:13As Under the Cortex enters its second year, we decided to comb through the archive and revisit three exciting stories from our early days. Our first story explores why groups can look on the “good old days” as a guide for curing the woes of today. Next we discuss why we’re drawn to villains, monstrous characters from fiction, especially if they remind us of ourselves in some way. And finally on this look back, we “resurrect” our creepy look at haunted houses and why they’re so fun!
The Ghastly Impact of Being Ghosted
16:27Autumn is in the air and people are preparing for a happy--yet spooky--Halloween, with all the trapping, including witches, monsters, and ghosts. Few things are scarier than ghosts, with the possible exception of being ghosted in an online relationship. While the fanciful frights of a Halloween ghost quickly fade, the impact of online ghosting may last much longer and have some genuinely frightening impacts later in life. Earlier this year, Dr. Maureen Coyle, a visiting assistant professor at Seton Hall University, presented research on how being ghosted affected expectations about future relationships. This research was also presented in Dr. Coyle's 2021 APS Annual Meeting Flash Talk: Looking for my Boo.
Why Some People Won‘t Get Vaccinated
21:34Vaccines to protect against COVID-19 are now widely available in the United States. But, wide availability doesn’t mean wide acceptance. Vaccine hesitancy and individuals who proudly claim they are anti-vax are not new phenomena. But why, with so much availability, do people resist vaccines so aggressively? What is the psychology behind this hesitancy? Is there anything we can do to change the minds of people to follow medical advice and get vaccinated? To help us unravel that vexing question, Under the Cortex welcomes author and psychologist Dr. Stuart Vyse.
Psychological Interventions for the Treatment of Chronic Pain in Adults
15:19Pain is the body’s way of alerting the brain to injury and disease. Without a robust pain response, physical trauma could go unnoticed and untreated. Some people, however, experience chronic pain that lasts long after an injury has healed or has no easily identifiable cause. Unfortunately, treating chronic pain with over-the-counter and prescription medication has its own health risks, including adverse side effects and addiction. In the latest issue of Psychological Science in the Public Interest (PSPI), a team of researchers explores how psychological interventions can be part of a comprehensive plan to manage chronic pain while reducing the need for surgeries and potentially dangerous medications. Charles Blue interviews Mary Driscoll, a researcher at Yale University, and first author on the issue's main article.
Skeptical ‘Deep Dive‘ on the Myers-Briggs Test
20:48Corporations, universities, and individuals have tried to find some magic formula to understand personalities and what characteristics and skills someone brings to the table. Over the years and across the globe, people have used handwriting analysis, phrenology—reading the bumps on the head—and even Ivy League diplomas to ascertain if someone has leadership potential or is an ideal team player. Perhaps the best known personality test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This episode takes a deep dive into the skeptical side of this topic with Dan McAdams, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University.
Microaggressions: What We Know and Should Know
14:18Though small in scale and sometimes unintended, microaggressions can negatively impact the well-being of individuals while reinforcing harmful stereotypes in society. Monnica Williams, a researcher at the University of Ottawa, discusses the study and impacts of microaggressions. The latest issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science is dedicated to the topic of microaggressions. You can read more about this topic here: Current Understandings of Microaggressions: Impacts on Individuals and Society.
Research Roundup: What‘s News in the APS Observer
21:17In this special episode of Under the Cortex, the entire APS communications team (Kim Armstrong, Charles Blue, Ludmila Nunes, and Leah Thayer) shares its top highlights from the September/October 2021 Issue of the Observer. We cover "Rain Before Rainbows, The Science of Transgender Flourishing," "Convicted by Memory, Exonerated by Science," "Psychological Science Needs the Entire Globe," and much more!