Under the Cortex
Children, Creativity, and the Real Key to Intelligence

Children, Creativity, and the Real Key to Intelligence

December 1, 2022

Human innovation will always be the essential complement to the cultural technologies we create, including artificial intelligence. In her latest presidential column for the APS Observer, APS President Alison Gopnik, who studies learning and development at the University of California, Berkeley, writes about how psychology, and especially child psychology, will play a crucial role in creating and using the technology of the future. She reads her column in this episode. 

Failure and Flourishing

Failure and Flourishing

November 17, 2022

In the final discussion with social psychologist David Myers, a professor of psychology at Hope College in Michigan, APS’s Ludmila Nunes talks with him about the third section of his book, in which he applies his psychological insights to the larger world around us. 

Listen to the previous episodes featuring David Myers and his latest book, How Do We Know Ourselves? Curiosities and Marvels of the Human Mind. You’ll get to know more about David’s career and his goals of helping his readers and students think critically, savor the world, and develop a sense of wonder and respect for “the human creature.”  

Read more about David Myers’s new book, including an excerpt of the chapter Failure and Flourishing here.

Why Is Everyone Else Having More Fun?

Why Is Everyone Else Having More Fun?

November 10, 2022

David Myers, a social psychologist and professor of psychology at Hope College in Michigan, joined us in the last episode to speak about his latest book, How Do We Know Ourselves? Curiosities and Marvels of the Human Mind. In this episode, he and APS’s Ludmila Nunes discuss the second section of the book, which focuses on who we are, and takes a closer look at a chapter called “Why is everyone else having more fun?” 

 

Read more about David Myers’s new book here.

How Do We Know Ourselves?

How Do We Know Ourselves?

November 3, 2022

Social psychologist David Myers, a professor of psychology at Hope College in Michigan, is the author of seventeen books, including psychology’s most widely read textbook. But he doesn’t write only textbooks. For the last several decades, he has translated findings from psychological science for the general public as well, in books on topics ranging from the scientific pursuit of happiness to the powers (and perils) of intuition.  

 

In his new book, How Do We Know Ourselves? Curiosities and Marvels of the Human Mind, Myers presents a collection of short essays on how psychological science contributes to so much of what we can and should know about ourselves and the world around us. In the first of three discussions on Under the Cortex, David Myers joined APS’s Ludmila Nunes to speak about his career, his new book, and how we really do know ourselves. 

 

Read an article about David Myers’s new book here

What Music Does to Us

What Music Does to Us

October 27, 2022

What is the relationship between music and autobiographical memories?  Why do we like the music that we like? And what are the challenges that a psychological scientist studying music might face throughout their career?  

 

Amy Belfi from the Missouri University of Science and Technology joined APS’s Ludmila Nunes to speak about her career as a neuroscientist studying music perception and cognition as well as how poetry and other forms of art impact brain and behavior. 

 

If you want to know more about this research, Amy Belfi’s career and psychological science in general, see her profile in the latest issue of the Observer magazine at psychologicalscience.org. 

Exploration and Risk-Taking: Hallmarks of Adolescence That Increase Well-Being

Exploration and Risk-Taking: Hallmarks of Adolescence That Increase Well-Being

October 13, 2022

Exploration is a fundamental human behavior. Exploring our environment can promote the acquisition of knowledge by exposing us to novelty. Adolescence is a prime time to explore, take risks, and learn, but why is exploration so enticing—and so rewarding—in the lives of teenagers and young adults? 

 

The role of exploration and risk taking in sustaining adolescent well-being and establishing social connectivity is the topic of  a recent article published in Psychological Science. In this podcast, you’ll hear from the two psychological scientists who wrote this article, Natalie Saragosa-Harris, of the University of California in Los Angeles, and Catherine Hartley, of New York University. They’ll talk with APS’s Ludmila Nunes about their examination of exploration patterns in adolescents and young adults. 

 

Talking With Birds: The Fascinating World of Avian Intelligence

Talking With Birds: The Fascinating World of Avian Intelligence

September 29, 2022

Can birds be as intelligent as chimpanzees or dolphins? Can they communicate and use language like a child would? Can they even outsmart undergraduate students?  A line of research started more than 40 years ago continues to reveal new findings about parrots’ intelligence and even their ability to use English speech to communicate with humans. 

Irene Pepperberg, an APS Fellow and adjunct research professor at Boston University, pioneered the study of bird cognition back in the 70s and still studies the cognitive and communicative abilities of grey parrots, comparing their abilities with those of great apes,  dolphins, and young children. In this conversation with APS’s Ludmila Nunes, she speaks about research on parrots’ cognitive, their conservation and preservation in the wild, and much more. 

Learn more about this and other research at psychologicalscience.org. 

The September Collection: New Technology Can Be Scary, Why to Stop Worrying and Love the Eco-Apocalypse, and Much More

The September Collection: New Technology Can Be Scary, Why to Stop Worrying and Love the Eco-Apocalypse, and Much More

September 22, 2022

What determines how we feel about new technologies? Can an existential approach help us deal with apocalyptic fears about the climate crisis? And does having brothers or sisters influence our personality? New research in APS journals explores these questions and much more, including what makes a joke funny and how social support can prevent depression in breast-cancer survivors. In this episode of Under the Cortex, cognitive psychologist Ludmila Nunes and her colleague Amy Drew, APS’s Director of Publications, discuss five of the most interesting new articles from the APS journals. 

 

Learn more at psychologicalscience.org. 

Attitudes Improve for Sex and Race. Disability and Age? Not So Much

Attitudes Improve for Sex and Race. Disability and Age? Not So Much

September 15, 2022

How did attitudes about race, sexuality, age, or disability change in the last decade or so? In the United States, it appears that bias decreased across all explicit attitudes, but implicit biases decreased only for certain attitudes, including sexuality and race. Moreover, biases have remained stable for variables such as age or disability. What can these patterns of change tell us about our society and the different nature of certain attitudes? 

  

Researchers examined more than 7 million implicit and explicit tests for an article published recently in Psychological Science. In this conversation, APS’s Ludmila Nunes speaks with APS member Tessa Charlesworth, the article’s lead author, an experimental psychologist, and currently a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University. 

 

To find your implicit attitudes about race, gender, sexual orientation, and other topics, check out the Project Implicit website at https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/. 

 

To read the transcript, see here.

Self-Injury: Can the Internet Play a Positive Role?

Self-Injury: Can the Internet Play a Positive Role?

September 8, 2022

Anywhere between 17% and 38% of adolescents and young adults engage in behaviors of nonsuicidal self-injury, defined as “the deliberate, self-inflicted damage of body tissue without suicidal intent.” These behaviors, which might include cutting, scratching, head-banging, and burning, sometimes help people cope with negative emotions or even serve to keep them from attempting actual suicide, but they can also pose real harms.  

  

A recent study in Clinical Psychological Science explores the role that online groups and e-communities can play in reducing the harm posed by nonsuicidal self-injury and in contributing to more effective treatments of this behavior. To speak about self-injury and how online communities might help, Emma Preston, an APS member and graduate student at the University of Southern California, joined APS’s Ludmila Nunes.  

  

To read the transcript, see here.

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