WNPR

psychology

Anjan Chatterjee

I find great joy in walking in the dead of winter along the river trail near my house. Everything leaves my mind as I watch the Canadian geese take flight, their wings flapping together as they lift and swoop over my head. I'm in awe of their beauty.

Old Rollei / Creative Commons

Have you ever woken in the middle of the night, looked at the clock, and noticed that it's the same time you woke up the night before - and the night before that? How does your body know what time it is?  You're not sure but the passage of minutes makes you worry that if you don't get back to sleep, you'll be too tired in the morning to get your work done on time. You can't get back to sleep. The minutes are ticking. You feel the pressure of the clock bearing down on you. 

WNPR/David DesRoches


The desks in Sarah Lane’s fifth grade class at Bear Path School are covered with handmade paper hearts with short phrases written on them like, “Help Someone,” and “Compliment a Teacher.” 

Wendy Harmon / Creative Commons

President Donald Trump made clear on the first day of his presidency that he intends to undermine the press. He sent Press Secretary Sean Spicer to use the power of his pulpit to deliberately deceive the public about the size of the crowd at Friday's Inauguration. 

Paul Villavisanis / Creative Commons

Do you ever think about the people who make sure the medicine you're taking is safe for you to take? If your like most of us, probably not. 

AMProSoft / Flickr

If there's one thing we've never been good at, it's limiting ourselves. We eat too much junk food, watch too much T.V., and engage in all manner of self-indulgence. So why then, do we continue to adhere to the limitations of monogamy? If love is so grand, why not celebrate a lifestyle which encourages loving multiple partners?

Mike Burns / flickr creative commons

Jerks. Jackasses. A-holes. Some people are just... the worst. Aren't they? But so: Why? And what do we do about it?

Democracy Chronicles / Flickr

Why do we vote the way we do? The easy answer, of course, is that we pick the politician whose values, beliefs and opinions most closely resemble our own. But while that does play a part, there are other, less obvious influences as well.

Photonesta / Flickr Creative Commons

Okay, this show comes with a trigger warning.

We talk about things people eat, and some of those things are not for the squeamish. This is a conversation about disgust, and specifically, how our reflexive response of disgust may get in the way of things we probably need to think about doing.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

American democracy is limping to the finish line this election week, dehydrated and injured from many stumbles during this race. Can it recover before Americans lose faith that America has the will or ability to help them? Can it recover before foreign friends and foes alike lose faith in America's sanity and stability? 

Sounds, particularly those made by other humans, rank as the No. 1 distraction in the workplace. According to workplace design expert Alan Hedge at Cornell, 74 percent of workers say they face "many" instances of disturbances and distractions from noise.

"In general, if it's coming from another person, it's much more disturbing than when it's coming from a machine," he says, because, as social beings, humans are attuned to man-made sounds. He says overheard conversations, as well as high-pitched and intermittent noises, also draw attention away from tasks at hand.

Michaek Kerswill / Flickr

History and literature are filled with their antics. From the Renaissance's Triboulet to Shakespeare's Feste from "Twelfth Night," jesters and fools have delighted us for centuries with their subversive humor and quick wit. But while comedy was their brand, there existed hardships for these characters as well.

BrianAJackson/iStock / Thinkstock

Politics plays a role in all sorts of things in life: dating partners, how we think about the economy, and, according to Eitan Hersh, the choices doctors make.

zeevveez / Flickr Creative Commons

Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

Red, White, and Black Eyes Forever / Flickr Creative Commons

Three guests, Peter Sagal of WWDTM, Maria Konnikova of The New Yorker, and Robert Evans of Cracked, take you on a tour of vice. They talk everything from casual sex to marijuana to greed and ostentation to coffee to beer to pornography. Peter and Colin also discuss what the next declared vice will be. Possibly sitting.

Charles Hackley / flickr creative commons

Colin's out today, and Julia Pistell returns as guest host. We devote the hour to two interesting guys and their interesting jobs.

Shaheen Lakhan / Creative Commons

H.M. is one of the most important and studied human research subjects of all time. He revolutionized what we know about memory today because of the amnesia he developed after a lobotomy in 1953 to treat the severe epilepsy he developed after a head injury sustained earlier in life. 

Seth Capitulo / Flickr Creative Commons

How we make decisions is a thread that runs through today's Scramble.

First, Donald Trump called a press conference in his new Trump International Hotel in D.C. this past Friday to announce, "President Obama was born in the United States. Period.” He was late to the press conference and used it to promote both a new lie about Hillary Clinton and his new hotel - which ‘coincidentally’ opened last week. How did certain media organizations choose to cover this non-news event instead of say, Hillary Clinton addressing the Black Women’s Agenda Symposium, where she was talking about the economic challenges faced by women of color. Will this episode of "sewer dwelling” prompt the media to re-examine the role and privilege of a free press?

William Neuheisel/flickr creative commons

As coverage of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida dominates the news, it becomes increasingly more difficult to shield children from these types of events. How much information is too much? 

Photonesta / Flickr Creative Commons

Okay, this show comes with a trigger warning.

We talk about things people eat, and some of those things are not for the squeamish. This is a conversation about disgust, and specifically, how our reflexive response of disgust may get in the way of things we probably need to think about doing.

Robert Huffstutter / Creative Commons

Wilhelm Reich was  a once promising psychoanalyst and scientist under the guidance of Freud in pre-World War II Europe. He promoted "sexual revolution" to support his belief that sexual repression was linked to bodily and societal ills like neurosis and even fascism.

Ugly Dolls / Flickr Creative Commons

What does it mean to say that someone, or something, is ugly? For a label that gets tossed around so often, its meaning is hard to pin down. Perhaps that's because, throughout history and around the world, our notions of ugliness have shifted considerably.

Is failure a positive opportunity to learn and grow, or is it a negative experience that hinders success? How parents answer that question has a big influence on how much children think they can improve their intelligence through hard work, a study says.

Javier 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?

The Placebo Effect

Apr 6, 2016
CHRISTIAN SCHNETTELKER / Creative Commons

Placebo treatments have been making people feel better for a long time. They've been working since long before Franz Mesmer was run out of 18th-century Vienna for "mesmerizing" a young pianist into regaining her eyesight, after all hope for a medical cure had been lost.  

Doctors have long dismissed the placebo effect as inferior to conventional medical treatments that sometimes fail where placebo works well, including in surgical procedures like arthroscopy, a popular procedure that relieves the pain of arthritic knees. 

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