psychology | WAMC

psychology

Book cover for "Remember" by Lisa Genova
Harmony

Lisa Genova is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels "Still Alice," "Left Neglected," "Love Anthony," "Inside the O'Briens," and "Every Note Played." "Still Alice" was adapted into an Oscar-winning film starring Julianne Moore.

Genova graduated valedictorian from Bates College with a degree in biopsychology and holds a PhD in neuroscience from Harvard University. She travels worldwide speaking about the neurological diseases she writes about.

In her new book, "Remember," she delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them.

Book cover for "Fans" by Larry Olmsted
Algonquin Books

Knee-deep into March Madness – we are going to talk about life as a sports fan. Do you spend weekends obsessing over your team’s wins and losses? Do you constantly check your fantasy basketball scores and buy jerseys of your favorite players?

Why do we care so much about sports, and how does being a fan effect our lives? In his new book, "Fans: How Watching Sports Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Understanding," award-winning journalist Larry Olmsted, makes the case that the more you identify with a sports team, the better your social, psychological, and physical health, the more meaningful your relationships, and the better connected and happier you are.

Using brand new research and exclusive interviews with fans and experts around the world, Olmsted presents a game-changing look into why being a fan is good for us both as individuals and as a society.

Book cover for "Think Again"
Viking

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in our rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn.

Organizational psychologist Adam Grant is an expert on opening other people's minds--and our own. As Wharton's top-rated professor and the bestselling author of "Originals" and "Give and Take," he makes it one of his guiding principles to argue like he's right but listen like he's wrong.

His new book is "Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know."

Melanie Joy, PhD, EdM, is a Harvard-educated psychologist, international speaker, and organizational and relationship coach.

In her newest book, "Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation" Joy examines the common underlying psychology that drives all oppressive systems and enables abusive interpersonal dynamics.

The new book, "Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions," is a handbook to help individuals and organizations recognize and prevent microaggressions so that all employees can feel a sense of belonging in their workplace.

Our workplaces and society are growing more diverse, but are we supporting inclusive cultures? While overt racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination are relatively easy to spot, we cannot neglect the subtler everyday actions that normalize exclusion. Many have heard the term microaggression, but not everyone fully understands what they are or how to recognize them and stop them from happening.

Dr. Michael Baran is a social scientist and senior partner and digital solutions lead at inQUEST Consulting.

Our next guest is here to give an illuminating look at the state of abortion access in America, with the first long-term study of the consequences — emotional, physical, financial, professional, personal, and psychological — of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women’s lives.

What happens when a woman seeking an abortion is turned away? Diana Greene Foster, PhD, decided to find out. With a team of scientists — psychologists, epidemiologists, demographers, nursing scholars, and public health researchers — she set out to discover the effect of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women’s lives.

Her new book, "The Turnaway Study," offers an in-depth examination of the real-world consequences for women of being denied abortions and provides evidence to refute the claim that abortion harms women.

Diana Greene Foster is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and director of research at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health. 

You might think that perfect harmony is the defining characteristic of healthy relationships, but the truth is that human interactions are messy, complicated, and confusing.

According to renowned psychologist Ed Tronick and pediatrician Claudia Gold, that is not only okay, it is actually crucial to our social and emotional development. In their new book "The Power of Discord," they show how working through the inevitable dissonance of human connection is the path to better relationships with romantic partners, family, friends, and colleagues.

They say, working through the volley of mismatch and repair in everyday life helps us form deep, lasting, trusting relationships, resilience in times of stress and trauma, and a solid sense of self in the world.

Steven C. Hayes, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. The author of forty-three books and more than six hundred scientific articles, he has served as president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and is one of the most cited psychologists in the world.

Dr. Hayes initiated the development of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and of Relational Frame Theory (RFT), the approach to cognition on which ACT is based.

His new book is "A Liberated Mind: How to Pivot Toward What Matters."

Robert Jay Lifton has written over twenty books, including many seminal works in the field such as the National Book Award–winning "Death in Life: Survivors of Hiroshima" and "The Nazi Doctors." He has taught at Yale University, Harvard University, and the City University of New York.

In "Losing Reality: On Cults, Cultism, and the Mindset of Political and Religious Zealotry" he proposes a radical idea: that the psychological relationship between extremist political movements and fanatical religious cults may be much closer than anyone thought. Exploring the most extreme manifestations of human zealotry, Lifton highlights an array of leaders who have sought the control of human minds and the ownership of reality.

Doreen Dodgen-Magee, PsyD, is a psychologist with over twenty-five years of experience working with individuals and groups in Portland, Oregon. Her main passion is engaging people about how the new digital landscape is shaping humanity.

In her new book, "Deviced!: Balancing Life and Technology in a Digital World," Dodgen-Magee uses personal stories, cutting edge research, and anecdotes from youth, parents, and professionals to highlights the brain changes that result from excessive technology use and offers an approach to the digital world that enables more informed and lasting change and a healthier long-term perspective.

The conference “Migration & Mental Health” will be held at SUNY New Paltz on October 11.

The conference focuses on providing psychological and psycho-social support for immigrants, especially those living in extreme situations. The theme of this eighth annual conference is “Gender, Place and Identity.”

Director of Athena Network New York Maria Elena Ferrer and Athena Network New York member/part of the conference steering committee Gerry Harrington.

In "Work, Love, and Learning in Utopia: Equality Reimagined," psychological anthropologist Martin Schoenhals argues that the negative emotions of sadness, anger, and fear evolved in tandem with hierarchy, while happiness evolved separately and in connection to prosociality and compassion.

The book covers a range of human concerns, from economics and education, to media and communication, to gender and sexuality. Schoenhals argues that equality of love is as important and possible as is economic equality.

Dr. Dean Haycock is the author of "Tyrannical Minds, Psychological Profiling, Narcissism and Dictatorship." The book tells readers that not everyone can become a tyrant. It requires a particular confluence of events to gain absolute control over entire nations.

First, you must be born with the potential to develop brutal personality traits. Often, these are combined in “The Dark Triad” of malignant narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy, as well as elements of paranoia, and an extraordinary ambition to achieve control over others. Second, your predisposition to antisocial behavior must be developed and strengthened during childhood. You might suffer physical and/or psychological abuse, or grow up in trying times. Finally, you must come of age when the political system of your country is unstable.

Anne Harrington is the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science and faculty dean of Pforzheimer House at Harvard University.

In "Mind Fixers," Harrington, explores psychiatry’s repeatedly frustrated struggle to understand mental disorder in biomedical terms. She shows how the stalling of early twentieth century efforts in this direction allowed Freudians and social scientists to insist, with some justification, that they had better ways of analyzing and fixing minds.

We live in a society where kids and parents are obsessed with early achievement, from getting perfect scores on SATs to getting into Ivy League colleges to landing an amazing job at Google or Facebook, or even better, creating a startup with the potential to be the next Google or Facebook or Uber.

But there is good news. A lot of us do not explode out of the gates in life. There is a scientific explanation for why so many of us bloom later in life. The executive function of our brains don’t mature until age 25, and even later for some. In fact, our brain’s capabilities peak at different ages. We actually enjoy multiple periods of blooming in our lives.

Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, write about this in his book "Late Bloomers."

Lori Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author who writes The Atlantic's weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column.

One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose of­fice she suddenly lands. As Gottlieb explores the inner chambers of her patients' lives she finds that the questions they are struggling with are the very ones she is now bringing to Wendell.

Her new book, "Maybe You Should Talk to Someone," offers a deeply per­sonal yet universal tour of hearts and minds and provides a reveal­ing portrait of what it means to be human.

Even before Donald Trump entered America’s highest office, an international survey revealed that narcissism is part of the assumed “national character” of Americans. While only a small number actually meet the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder, those exploitive few have a way of gaining center stage in our culture.

"Fragile Bully: Understanding Our Destructive Affair with Narcissism in the Age of Trump" looks at the real problem of narcissism. We see past the solo act to the vicious circles that arise in relationships with a fragile bully, and how patterns like this generate both power and self-destruction.

Dr. Laurie Helgoe is an author, educator, and clinical psychologist with a special interest in the interactions between personality and culture. She is an Associate Professor of Behavioral Sciences at the Ross University School of Medicine.

Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt’s new book, “Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do,” is a ground-breaking book that demonstrates how our unconscious biases powerfully shape our behavior.

Using scientific research and powerful personal stories, Dr. Eberhardt reveals that all people are vulnerable to racial bias, even if they are not racist. She presents her often shocking research and data, demonstrating how racial bias can contribute to stark disparities between social groups from the classroom to the courtroom to the boardroom.

But the potential for bias is present in all of us, and it is vital to understand how bias works in order to begin to correct its devastating effects in our society.

Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt is a professor of psychology at Stanford and a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur “genius” grant. She is co-founder and co-director of SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions), a Stanford Center that brings together researchers and practitioners to address significant social problems.

Psychologist Thomas Harbin specializes in the treatment of male rage. In his book, "Beyond Anger" Harbin explains specific symptoms of chronic anger and the negative effects on family, friends and coworkers.

Harbin helps men overcome violent feelings with exercises that create new habits, preventing anger before it starts. In the book women also learn skills for dealing with the angry men in their lives.    

John Leland is a reporter at The New York Times, where he wrote a yearlong series that became the basis for the book "Happiness Is a Choice You Make," and the author of two previous books, "Hip: The History" and "Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of “On the Road” (They’re Not What You Think)." Before joining the Times, he was a senior editor at Newsweek, editor in chief of Details, a reporter at Newsday, and a writer and editor at Spin magazine.

In 2015, when the award-winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of The New York Times to meet members of America’s fastest-growing age group, he anticipated learning of challenges, of loneliness, and of the deterioration of body, mind, and quality of life. But the elders he met took him in an entirely different direction.

Despite disparate backgrounds and circumstances, they each lived with a surprising lightness and contentment. The reality Leland encountered upended contemporary notions of aging, revealing the late stages of life as unexpectedly rich and the elderly as incomparably wise.

Bryant Welch, J.D., Ph.D. has more than thirty-five years of experience in law, psychology, and politics. He spent seventeen years in Washington, D.C., where he built the American Psychological Association’s Practice Directorate, and has held faculty appointments at the University of North Carolina and George Washington University.

Why are Americans so vulnerable to divisive political tactics? Why did Americans get dragged into such an unwise war in Iraq? Why do fundamentalist religious groups, Fox News, and right-wing radio still play such influential roles in America’s political landscape? And why are long-accepted rational scientific ideas like evolution under siege? These questions hold America’s future in the balance. Ultimately, they are questions about the American mind.

Psychologist-attorney Dr. Bryant Welch has the answers. His book is "State of Confusion: Political Manipulation and the Assault on the American Mind."

James Clear is one of the world's leading experts on habit formation. He is known for his ability to distill complex topics into simple behaviors that can be easily applied to daily life and work. His new book, "Atomic Habits: Tiny Changes, Remarkable Results," offers a framework for improving habits - every day.

Clear looks to reveal practical strategies that will teach you how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to extraordinary results.

Like so many of us, including most of America’s workforce, and nearly two-thirds of all university students, Andrew Santella procrastinates. Concerned about his habit, but not quite ready to give it up, he set out to learn all he could about the human tendency to delay. He studied history’s greatest procrastinators to gain insights into human behavior, and also, he writes, to kill time, “research being the best way to avoid real work.” His new book is "Soon: An Overdue History of Procrastination, from Leonardo and Darwin to You and Me."

Andrew Santella has written for such publications as GQ, the New York Times Book Review, Slate, and the Atlantic.com.

If you are the parent of a toddler or preschooler, chances are you know a thing or two about tantrums. While those epic meltdowns can certainly be part of "normal" toddler behavior, they are still maddening, stressful, and exhausting--for everyone involved.

What can you do to keep your cool and help your child calm down? Rebecca Schrag Hershberg, child psychologist and mother of two, has a unique understanding of both the science behind tantrums and what works in the heat of the moment to nip blowups in the bud.

Her new book is: “The Tantrum Survival Guide: Tune In to Your Toddler's Mind (and Your Own) to Calm the Craziness and Make Family Fun Again.”

"Trump On The Couch: Inside The Mind Of The President" is a deep dive into the mental and emotional state of President Donald Trump. Written by New York Times best-selling author and clinical professor of psychology at George Washington University Dr. Justin Frank.

Dr. Frank says that no President in the history of the United States has inspired more alarm and confusion than Donald Trump, and his questions and concerns about his decisions, behavior, and qualifications for office have multiplied. All of this points to one question, does Trump pose a genuine threat to our country?  

Joining us today is Dr. Justin Frank.

Donna Hicks is an associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University. As a conflict resolution specialist, she has facilitated diplomatic efforts in the Middle East and other high-conflict regions and conducted numerous training seminars worldwide. She is the author of the award-winning book, "Dignity: Its Essential Role in Resolving Conflict."

Her new book is "Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People."

Caroline Elton is an occupational psychologist who has spent the last twenty years training and supporting doctors. She received her PhD from University College London's School of Medicine and set up and led the Careers Unit supporting doctors in over seventy hospitals across London.

In "Also Human," Elton introduces us to some of the distressed physicians who have come to her for help: doctors who face psychological challenges that threaten to destroy their careers and lives, including an obstetrician grappling with his own homosexuality, a high-achieving junior doctor who walks out of her first job within weeks of starting, and an oncology resident who faints when confronted with cancer patients.

Dr. Lorin Lindner is the Clinical Psychologist for Clinica Sierra Vista Behavioral Health. She initiated the use of animals to treat trauma in Veterans at the VA Hospital in Los Angeles; the first program of its kind. She is the President of the Board of the Association for Parrot C.A.R.E. and of the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center.

Animal lover though she was, Lorin Lindner was definitely not looking for a pet. Then came Sammy – a mischievous and extremely loud bright pink Moluccan cockatoo who had been abandoned. It was love at first sight. But Sammy needed a companion. Enter Mango, lover of humans, inveterate thief of precious objects. Realizing that there were many parrots in need of new homes, Dr. Lindner eventually founded a sanctuary for them.

Meanwhile, she began to meet homeless veterans on the streets of Los Angeles. Before long she was a full time advocate for these former service members, who were often suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Ultimately, Dr. Lindner created a program for them, too.

Eventually the two parts of her life came together when she founded Serenity Park, a unique sanctuary on the grounds of the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Administration Healthcare Center. She had noticed that the veterans she treated as a clinical psychologist and the parrots she had taken in as a rescuer quickly formed bonds. Men and women who had been silent in therapy would share their stories and their feelings more easily with animals.

Linder's book is "Birds of a Feather: A True Story of Hope and the Healing Power of Animals."

All too quickly, talkative, affectionate young boys seem to slip away. Adolescents may be transformed overnight into reclusive, seemingly impenetrable young people who open up only to their friends and spend more time on devices than with family. How do you penetrate this shell before they are lost to you?

Drawing on decades of experience garnered through thousands of hours of therapy with boys, clinical psychologist Adam Cox’s new book, "Cracking the Boy Code," explains how the key to communicating with boys is understanding their universal psychological needs and using specific, straightforward communication techniques.

Matthew Walker is a professor of neuroscience and psychology at UC Berkeley, the Director of its Sleep and Neuroimaging Lab, and a former professor of psychiatry at Harvard University. He has published over 100 scientific studies.

His first book, "Why We Sleep," reveals his groundbreaking exploration of sleep, explaining how we can harness its transformative power to change our lives for the better.

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