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Speaking of Psychology

"Speaking of Psychology" is an audio podcast series highlighting some of the latest, most important and relevant psychological research being conducted today. Produced by the American Psychological Association, these podcasts will help listeners apply the science of psychology to their everyday lives.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Popular episodes

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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The Power of Persuasion (SOP55)

Persuasion expert Robert Cialdini, PhD, talks about his formidable body of work developing and understanding what he calls the six universal principles of influence. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

20mins

23 Apr 2018

Rank #1

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Transformation After Trauma (SOP96)

Experiencing positive transformation after trauma is known as post-traumatic growth. People who experience post-traumatic growth may develop a new appreciation of life, newfound personal strength, see an improvement in their relationships, see new possibilities in life and undergo spiritual changes. Why do some people experience such profound positive changes after enduring something terrible and others don’t? Our guest for this episode is Richard Tedeschi, PhD, who developed the academic theory of post-traumatic growth with Lawrence Calhoun, PhD. Dr. Tedeschi is the distinguished chair at the Boulder Crest Institute for Posttraumatic Growth, a nonprofit organization focused on military members, veterans and their families. Join us online August 6-8 for APA 2020 Virtual.

51mins

18 Dec 2019

Rank #2

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Does Nostalgia Have a Psychological Purpose? with Krystine Batcho, PhD

What psychological purpose does nostalgia serve? Is it good or bad? Are we more nostalgic today in our hectic, connected world? Is there such a thing as the “good ‘ol days”? Here to help explain is Dr. Krystine Batcho, professor of psychology at LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York. She’s an expert on nostalgia and developed the Nostalgia Inventory, a survey that assesses proneness to personal nostalgia. Join us online August 6-8 for APA 2020 Virtual.

42mins

6 Nov 2019

Rank #3

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The Science of Dreaming (SOP71)

We all dream yet many of us don’t know what to make of our nocturnal adventures. Dream scholar Deirdre Barrett, PhD, explains why we dream and what our dreams may be trying to tell us. She also offers tips on how to better remember your dreams to harness the power of your sleeping mind. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

50mins

2 Jan 2019

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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Recognizing a narcissist (SOP37)

Narcissism is not just something attributed to people who post selfies and list all their favorite meals on Facebook. It’s a diagnosable personality disorder that causes people to have a delusional sense of self-worth and lack of empathy. In this episode, psychologist Ramani Durvasula, PhD, talks about how people can recognize a narcissist and what to do if you’re in a relationship with one. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

14mins

13 May 2016

Rank #5

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Getting into a terrorist’s mind (SOP3)

Figuring out what makes a terrorist tick is not easy, but law enforcement and counterterrorism officials have been turning to psychologists to try to do just that. Psychologist John Horgan, PhD, has spoken face-to-face with former members of violent extremist organizations in an effort to understand how and why people become involved in terrorism as well as why some eventually turn away from such extremism. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

8mins

4 Nov 2013

Rank #6

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The Molecule of More: Dopamine (SoP76)

Dopamine is known as the chemical of love, creativity and addiction. It pushes us to achieve greatness, but it can also lead to our downfall. To help us understand this tricky molecule, the guests for this episode are Dr. Daniel Lieberman, professor and vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at George Washington University, and Michael Long, a speechwriter, screenwriter and playwright who teaches writing at Georgetown University. They co-wrote a book called The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, Creativity – and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020 sessions, learn more at http://convention.apa.org/proposals

53mins

13 Mar 2019

Rank #7

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Choosing foods wisely (SOP4)

Some foods marketed as healthy may instead sabotage our diets. Consumer psychologist Lara Spiteri-Cornish, PhD, studies how companies market foods to health-conscious consumers and why we should all be wary of what they’re trying to make us believe. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

10mins

16 Dec 2013

Rank #8

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Inner Monologues with Ethan Kross, PhD

You may have heard about the internet debate on inner monologues recently. It all started from a tweet that went viral. That tweet said that some people have an internal narrative, and some don’t. What ensued were thousands of comments, retweets and news stories on the topic. Turns out that people have a lot to say about their inner voices. According to our guest for this episode, University of Michigan psychology professor Dr. Ethan Kross, it’s not exactly that simple. He says every healthy person has an inner voice, but how it manifests can vary dramatically from person to person. Find more on Kross’ work here: http://selfcontrol.psych.lsa.umich.edu Join us online August 6-8 for APA 2020 Virtual.

40mins

25 Mar 2020

Rank #9

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The Mind-Gut Connection (SOP78)

Is your gut a second brain? Emerging research is showing that our brains and our gastrointestinal systems may be more connected than we previously thought – potentially holding profound influence over our moods, mental health and sense of well-being. Our guests are Faith Dickerson, PhD, a psychologist who researches the role of infectious and immune factors in serious mental illness, and Emeran Mayer, MD, one of the world’s leading experts on brain-gut interactions in GI disorders. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020 sessions, learn more at http://convention.apa.org/proposals

53mins

10 Apr 2019

Rank #10

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Psychologically Sound Tips for Better Sleep with Robin Haight, PsyD

Do you remember the last time you woke up during the work week without an alarm clock? When you didn’t need caffeine to get going? If you can’t, you’re certainly not alone. Most of us fall short of the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep nightly and an estimated 50 million to 70 million Americans of all ages and socioeconomic backgrounds suffer from sleep-related problems, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Our guest, Robin Haight, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in private practice, will give practical tips for getting a good night’s sleep and explain how common mental health disorders can interfere with our much-needed shut-eye. Join us online August 6-8 for APA 2020 Virtual.

37mins

11 Mar 2020

Rank #11

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Suicide Science (SOP84)

Suicide rates in the U.S. climbed in all but one state from 1999 to 2016, according to a CDC report from June 2018. This alarming report and notable celebrity suicide deaths like Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade have pushed this topic further into the national spotlight. Psychologist Samuel Knapp, EdD, discusses the factors that cause people to die from suicide, the effects of past trauma on mental health and how psychologists can successfully treat suicidal patients. Suicide is the cover story for the July/August issue of the Monitor on Psychology, APA’s magazine for members. Read the story at apa.org/Monitor. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020 sessions, learn more at http://convention.apa.org/proposals

40mins

3 Jul 2019

Rank #12

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Anxiety and Teen Girls (SOP80)

Anxiety among teens and young adults is rising, and studies have shown that it has skyrocketed in girls. One study found that the number of girls who often felt nervous, worried or fearful jumped by 55 percent over a five-year period. What factors are behind rising stress and anxiety in girls and what can we do about it? Our guest is Dr. Lisa Damour, a clinical psychologist and executive director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls. She has a new book out called "Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls." APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020 sessions, learn more at http://convention.apa.org/proposals

46mins

8 May 2019

Rank #13

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Women and smoking (SOP5)

In 1964, the release of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health prompted one of the largest public health behavior change success stories of the 20th century. Before and since this groundbreaking report’s release, psychology has been at the forefront of smoking cessation efforts. Research into the biological and behavioral mechanisms of addiction has led to many successful treatments for nicotine addicts. In this episode, we talk with Sherry McKee, PhD, a researcher whose work has focused on gender differences and smoking. She discusses why women have a harder time kicking the habit and what science can do to help them quit. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

10mins

13 Jan 2014

Rank #14

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Sober Curious? with Katie Witkiewitz, PhD

Drinking is ubiquitous in American culture today. It’s hard to go out and not see people imbibing. In the midst of all this booze, there is a burgeoning movement in the opposite direction: Sobriety is having a moment in the spotlight. For the sober-curious crowd, this can mean taking a break from alcohol for a set period or it can mean quitting altogether. Either way, according to addiction researcher and psychologist Katie Witkiewitz, PhD, stopping drinking even for a short period can be beneficial because it allows us time to explore our relationship with alcohol with a clear head. Join us online August 6-8 for APA 2020 Virtual.

42mins

26 Feb 2020

Rank #15

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Disciplining children effectively (SOP15)

Deciding how to discipline a child can be one of the hardest parts of being a parent. Even parents of generally well-behaved children can find themselves at a loss when trying to discipline a defiant toddler or a surly teenager. In this episode, psychologist Alan Kazdin, PhD, discusses corporal punishment and the most effective techniques for getting the behavior parents want. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

14mins

24 Sep 2014

Rank #16

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What Guides Our Buying Behaviors (SOP88)

Why do some people buy so much, while others shun that lifestyle for simplicity or to save? How do brands reach into our psyches to get us to pull out our wallets and credit cards? What are some of the motivations behind companies that try to appeal to our sense of social responsibility to get us to spend? Our guest is psychologist Kit Yarrow, PhD, an expert on consumer behavior and professor emerita at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. She studies why and how people shop and buy and how companies can best meet consumer needs. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020 sessions, learn more at http://convention.apa.org/proposals

47mins

28 Aug 2019

Rank #17

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Discrimination and stress (SOP36)

Experiencing discrimination in any form can be profoundly stressful for many people, according to the latest Stress in America™ survey, published by the American Psychological Association. In this episode, psychologist Lynn Bufka, PhD, talks about how stress and discrimination are linked and what that can mean for people’s health and well-being over time. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

14mins

8 Apr 2016

Rank #18

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Why People Hoard with Julie Pike, PhD

While television shows about hoarding are quite popular and the term has now been embedded into our general lexicon, there is still a lot about hoarding disorder that is not well understood. Hoarding disorder is complex, difficult to treat and causes a lot of pain and suffering for people who have it and their loved ones. Our guest is Julie Pike, PhD, a clinical psychologist in private practice who treats people with hoarding disorder. She has appeared on the Discovery/TLC show, “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” She helps explain more about hoarding disorder, what treatment options are available and how people can take the first steps to clearing the clutter. Join us online August 6-8 for APA 2020 Virtual.

33mins

15 Jan 2020

Rank #19

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Using your mind to find love (SOP21)

There are few things in life so strongly tied to our overall happiness as a stable and happy marriage. In this episode, psychologist Ty Tashiro, PhD, gives advice and tips on how to use psychological science to find lasting love, showing us that using our heads, and not just our hearts, can lead to our happily ever after. APA is currently seeking proposals for APA 2020, click here to learn more https://convention.apa.org/proposals

11mins

25 Feb 2015

Rank #20