psychology

The Colin McEnroe Show
3:09 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Thomas Moore on "A Religion of One's Own"

Thomas Moore.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Thomas Moore was, for 13 years, a Servite monk. In 1992, he burst onto the national scene with "Care of the Soul", which combined the psychotherapeutic of Jung and James Hillman with ancient and contemporary religious and spiritual ideas. It was number 1 on the New York Times best seller list, and stayed on the list for a year.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

A Little Jealousy is Good for Us All

Look Into My Eyes Creative Commons

In his new book, Jealousy, Peter Toohey explores the lesser talked about side of the green-eyed monster. That is, he takes a look at some of the ways that jealousy can actually be good for us. 

This hour, Peter joins us for a panel discussion about jealousy's impact on creativity. We take a look at how the emotion has fueled some of society's greatest books, plays, songs, and paintings -- and discuss what these works, in turn, tell us about ourselves. 

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Mental Health
2:18 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Biological Explanations for Mental Health Symptoms Make Clinicians Less Empathetic

Credit Commerce Marketing Communications Photography / Texas A&M UNiv

A new Yale University Study reveals a negative bias toward mental health patients whose symptoms are explained biologically.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:07 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Would You Survive a Life-Threatening Disaster?

The Honduras Gulf from a 12-foot fishing boat.
Josh Glovo Creative Commons

John Aldridge, a 45-year old lobster fisherman from Long Island, flew off the back of his boat when a plastic handle supporting a box hook snapped with the power of his pull. He grabbed at the side of the boat, missing it by inches before landing in the water at 3:30 am, alone and stunned, as the boat sped away with his partner sleeping in his cabin. They were 40 miles off the coast of Montauk, Long Island. First, yelling, then panic, then silence before he allowed himself to think he was going to die. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

You're a Yellow-Bellied Coward!

Chris Walsh is acting director of the Arts and Sciences Writing Program at Boston University and the author of "Cowardice: A Brief History".
Chion Wolf WNPR

We're talking about cowardice today and it makes me think of two people - Hector and Dr. Bones McCoy.

We claim to despise cowardice and to exalt bravery but in real life, I think we value balance a little bit more.

Hector, in the Iliad, is a much debated figure. He seems on occasion to lose his nerve. He also on occasion seems to do something brave mainly because he could not live down the dishonor of not being brave. I've always liked Hector.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

The Psychopath Show

Ted Bundy is a famous American psychopath.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

You know lots of sociopaths right?

It could be anyone from your ex-spouse to the guy who cut you off on your drive to work today. It's a term we throw around loosely to refer to anyone whoever lied to us or didn't follow the rules. 

But, if we use it that way, it's not a very useful term. A sociopath is not the same thing as a jerk. In fact, the person you know who strikes you as a jerk is probably not a sociopath because it's not in the best interests of sociopaths to let you know what kind of people they are and sociopaths are usually pretty good about acting in their own best interests.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:55 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Sex and Intimacy When You're Fat

Credit Tiffany Bailey / Creative Commons

According to statistics, one in every three Americans is obese and two of every three are overweight.

While we know that extra fat may set us up for heart disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal problems, we don't really know how fat affects sex and love.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:58 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Go Ahead And Talk To Yourself. You're Not Crazy!

A man talking to himself. Photo from www.mybrainsolutions.com.

Do you talk to yourself? Is it a silent inter-narrative or do you talk aloud? What form of address to you use to yourself?

When I'm mad at myself I sometimes address myself as Colin. But, I sense that when LeBron speaks to himself as LeBron, it's more affirming. 

I talk aloud quite a bit. A hangover, I think, from growing up as an only child.

The Spanish and Argentine novelist Andres Neumann has a new work, "Talking to Ourselves," in which he explores the solitary inner narrative that each of us conducts either silently, aloud, or writing a diary. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

A Salute to Hamlet

Darko Tresnjak is the Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of Hartford Stage.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Whenever I see a production of Hamlet, I am newly floored by its impact on language, no matter how many times you tell yourself that a lot of our spoken language is in this play, you're freshly assaulted by how many things people say all the time that come from Hamlet. It's crazy.

But then there are all sorts of questions about staging Hamlet. There can be, and there have been many theories about what to emphasize in the play. Themes of sex, politics, indecision, suicide, and reality testing are either brought to the fore, or pushed to the back. No matter what happens on the stage, it's a really, really good story.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Reporting or Sensationalizing? How We Talk About Ebola

Ebola ward in Lagos, Nigeria.
CDC Global Creative Commons

Last week, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Michel du Cille’s plans to speak at Syracuse University were unexpectedly halted when university officials “uninvited” du Cille -- citing concern over his recent trip to Liberia, where he’d been covering the Ebola outbreak. 

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Ebola Outbreak
2:04 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Poll: Majority Of Americans Worried About U.S. Ebola Outbreak

An ambulance carrying Amber Vinson, the second health care worker to be diagnosed with Ebola in Texas, arrives at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Wednesday.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 8:24 am

How are Americans sizing up the threat from Ebola?

A Harvard School of Public Health poll finds that more than a third of Americans (38 percent) are worried that Ebola will infect them or a family member over the next year.

Most (81 percent) believe Ebola can spread from someone who is sick and has symptoms. And that's correct.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:02 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Pondering Modern Love

Credit Javie Delgado, Flickr Creative Commons

It's hard to improve on the poet, Rilke, who wrote, "Love consists of this, that two solitudes meet, protect, and greet each other." But did Rilke have to deal with Angry Birds and Snap Chat?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu September 25, 2014

The Anatomy of a Villain

Credit Anna Fox / Creative Commons

A couple of weeks ago, I was sick with the April flu, lying in bed in a New York apartment, and trying to distract myself by watching one of the film adaptations of "Nicholas Nickleby." I found myself repeatedly moved to tears, especially when anything good or kind happened. Okay, part of this was that I felt a little vulnerable, and may have over identified with poor tubercular Smike. But another part, I'm convinced, was the excitement generated by pure moral language, which you don't encounter so much in modern culture.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Please Don't Take My Stuffed Animal Away!

Credit Roxanne Ready / Flickr Creative Commons

Take a few seconds to reminisce about your childhood "best friend." Maybe it was a boy, a girl, an imaginary friend, or perhaps a stuffed toy. This stuffed toy was your childhood confidant that you dragged everywhere, from the local supermarket to the preschool sandbox, a transitional object that temporarily stood between you and your relationship with your parents. 

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Mental Health
2:20 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Best To Not Sweat The Small Stuff, Because It Could Kill You

Keith Negley for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 8:21 am

Chronic stress is hazardous to health and can lead to early death from heart disease, cancer and of other health problems. But it turns out it doesn't matter whether the stress comes from major events in life or from minor problems. Both can be deadly.

And it may be that it's not the stress from major life events like divorce, illness and job loss trickled down to everyday life that gets you; it's how you react to the smaller, everyday stress.

The most stressed-out people have the highest risk of premature death, according to one study that followed 1,293 men for years.

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Altruism
3:32 am
Mon September 22, 2014

The Biology Of Altruism: Good Deeds May Be Rooted In The Brain

Rob Donnelly for NPR

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 10:55 am

Four years ago, Angela Stimpson agreed to donate a kidney to a complete stranger.

"The only thing I knew about my recipient was that she was a female and she lived in Bakersfield, Calif.," Stimpson says.

It was a true act of altruism — Stimpson risked pain and suffering to help another. So why did she do it? It involved major surgery, her donation was anonymous, and she wasn't paid.

"At that time in my life, I was 42 years old. I was single, I had no children," Stimpson says. "I loved my life, but I would often question what my purpose is."

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Parenting
3:37 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Kids' Perception Of Parents' Favoritism Counts More Than Reality

If a child feels like the odd person out, it could mean more problems in the teenage years, psychologists say.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 5:32 pm

We all know which kid Mom and Dad liked best, and odds are you're thinking it's not you.

But does that really make a difference? It can, researchers say, but not always the way you might think.

Less-favored children are more likely to be using drugs, alcohol and cigarettes as teenagers, according to researchers at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.

But what matters is not how the parents actually treat the children, but how the kids perceive it.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:53 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Identity: Who Are You if You No Longer Do Your Job?

Credit Kristin Wall/flickr creative commons

Extraordinary numbers of people are about to join the ranks of the unemployed—by choice. They're about to retire. (Of course some are forced to give up work because of illness, injury, or a major change in circumstances.)

No matter how it occurs, who are you after you can no longer continue in work that in many ways has given you your sense of identity, what you say you are when you meet someone… a detective, judge, reporter, florist, teacher, bus driver.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:13 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Sex and Intimacy When You're Fat

Credit Tiffany Bailey / Creative Commons

According to statistics, one in every three Americans is obese and two of every three are overweight.

While we know that extra fat may set us up for heart disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal problems, we don't really know how fat affects sex and love.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:19 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

How Personality Shapes Our Lives

Credit Willi Heidelbach/flickr creative commons

Respected researcher and psychologist John Mayer says we can become the best version of ourselves by building our “personal intelligence” to understand ourselves and perceive what makes others tick.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu August 21, 2014

This Is Your Brain on Poverty

Neil Conway Creative Commons

A recent poll from the the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health found that poverty leads to stress, affecting people’s ways of thinking and their overall health. In our region, researchers and doctors have found that living in poverty can actually hinder brain development.

This hour, we learn more about the psychology of poverty and find out what’s being done to combat some of the the stresses it brings on. We also talk to one researcher who has been looking at the impact of noise pollution on the brain development of children in low-income communities.

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Child Development
9:23 am
Wed August 20, 2014

What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

Researchers asked 4-year-olds to draw a child. Here's a sample of their artwork.
Twins Early Development Study/King's College in London

Originally published on Tue August 26, 2014 8:54 am

At age 4, many young children are just beginning to explore their artistic style.

The kid I used to babysit in high school preferred self-portraits, undoubtedly inspired by the later works of Joan Miro. My cousin, a prolific young artist, worked almost exclusively on still lifes of 18-wheelers.

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Mental Health
12:03 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Can You Relate to a Sociopath?

Credit Kevin Hutchinson / Creative Commons

"What is your value to the world or to anything if you're not useful?" asked M.E. Thomas, a self-proclaimed sociopath, and author of Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight, on The Colin McEnroe Show Thursday. She continued, "It gets to the fundamental question of what makes humanity valuable, and why we should treat anyone as a person."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:46 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

The Psychopath Show

Arielle Baskin-Sommers is an assistant professor of Psychology at Yale University
Chion Wolf

You know lots of sociopaths right?

It could be anyone from your ex-spouse to the guy who cut you off on your drive to work today. It's a term we throw around loosely to refer to anyone whoever lied to us or didn't follow the rules. 

Read more
The Faith Middleton Show
10:08 am
Mon August 4, 2014

Mastering the Art of Quitting in Life, Love, and Work

Credit Kate Haskell/flickr creative commons

As we can see from a recent Planet Money story on NPR, millions of people are quitting their jobs each month, and Janet Yellen of The Fed thinks this is a good sign. She says if people are quitting in high numbers, that signals they're sure better jobs are available. In other words, a strong signal for the economy.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:59 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Dreamland, a Cruise Through the Science of Sleep

Credit Jonf728/flickr creative commons

Science still can't say for sure why we need sleep, though we spend a third of our lives asleep, or trying to sleep. Those trying to sleep include the millions who have some sort of sleep issue, from insomnia to over-sleeping.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:18 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Please Don't Take My Stuffed Animal Away!

WNPR Producer Betsy Kaplan's French Poodle, Gigi.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Take a few seconds to reminisce about your childhood "best friend." Maybe it was a boy, a girl, an imaginary friend, or perhaps a stuffed toy. This stuffed toy was your childhood confidant that you dragged everywhere, from the local supermarket to the preschool sandbox, a transitional object that temporarily stood between you and your relationship with your parents. 

Read more
The Colin McEnroe Show
4:01 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Are Middle Initials a Thing of the Past?

Credit Bruce Szalwinski / Creative Commons

Imagine two people. One of them is named Betsy Kaplan, the other, Betsy F.P.R. Academic studies suggest people, on average, would infer a higher intellectual capacity for Betsy F.P.R. Kaplan and be more likely to admire her and think she made more money than plain old Betsy Kaplan. A middle initial, says the scholarly literature, is basically a free ticket to higher status. 

Which makes it odd that each successive generation is less likely, overall, to use them. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:57 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Drunk Tank Pink

Credit peapodsquadmom/flickr creative commons

This hour: the way the thoughts we have and the decisions we make are influenced by forces that aren't always in our control.

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Good Kind of Stress
3:32 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Like All Animals, We Need Stress. Just Not Too Much

Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 12:09 pm

Ask somebody about stress, and you're likely to hear an outpouring about all the bad things that cause it — and the bad things that result. But if you ask a biologist, you'll hear that stress can be good.

In fact, it's essential.

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