Who cares? What's the point? A psychology podcast with Dr Sarb Johal
About This Show
Who Cares? What’s the Point? The podcast about the mind for people who think.
We have so many talented researchers around the globe, all trying to understand the psychology of how the mind works and how we can harness its full potential for the benefit of ourselves, the people around us and the planet.
But, because of the way the science system works we have ended up with a gigantic amount of untapped knowledge about how the mind and brain works, that sits unused in dusty journals on University library shelves - because very few people read them.
Partly this is down to access – more often than not, you have to pay to read these. But partly its because, well, why would you bother? They tend to be dry, soulless publications, written by academics for academics.
This podcasts changes that.
When I was a PhD student, one of the slides me and a few of my fellow students included in every presentation we did said this; 'Who cares? What's the point?" This encouraged us to really double down and focus on why anyone should care about the research we were doing.
This podcast does the same thing.
I track down cutting edge researchers from around the globe publishing thought-provoking research about why we behave the way we do. I invite them to tell us briefly about their research, and then I prompt them to answer those two questions – who cares? And what’s the point, focusing on the possible implications of their work. This way, you get to hear stories about how the brain works, without putting your mind to sleep.
Most Recent Episode
The surprising upside of worrying #28
3 days ago
Worrying can be described as the process of unpleasant thoughts that keep coming back and cause us to be anxious or distressed. Although it's certainly true that worrying is often seen as a problem, there is increasing evidence that it can also be seen in positive ways too. In this show I speak with Associate Professor Kate Sweeny from the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside in the USA. Here is the link to the paper we talk about in this week's show: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/spc3.12311/full Here is the abstract for some context: Worry is an aversive emotional experience that arises alongside repetitive unpleasant thoughts about the future. In this paper, we argue that although extreme levels of worry are associated with depressed mood, poor physical health, and even mental illness, worry has an upside. We focus on two empirically supported benefits of worry: its motivational benefits and its benefit as an emotional buffer. Regarding motivation, worry illuminates the importance of taking action to prevent an undesirable outcome and keeps the situation at the front of one's mind to ensure that appropriate action is taken. It also triggers efforts to mitigate the consequences of bad news, motivates productive behavior that in turn reduces worry, and enhances the effectiveness of goal-directed action by prompting people to focus on obstacles that might derail best-laid plans. Worry can also serve as an emotional buffer by providing a desirable contrast to subsequent affective reactions, particularly for people who are prone to high levels of worry. I hope you enjoyed this fortnight's show. We will remain on a fortnightly schedule until at least October 2017, but I still hope you'll enjoy the interviews we will regularly be publishing here If you do enjoy this episode, and would like to support the show, you can do that in a few ways: You can leave a review and rating on iTunes - that really helps others to find the show. You can follow the show on Twitter @wcwtp or me @sarb, and find the website at www.whocareswhatsthepoint.com