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 number of photos we take has increased hugely. How does this change our experience of life? #35
< 1 day ago
For many of you listening to this podcast, taking photos of things and people in our lives has become much more common, as well as documenting our experiences of life. Understanding how the act of taking photos may get in the way of or increase our pleasure in these activities seems like an important topic for research. Implicitly, we may hear the message that we should stop taking so many photos and just be in the moment and enjoy our experiences without trying to record everything. But is this true? Does photography - especially using our smartphones - get in the way? Join me as I talk with Asst Prof Alixandra Barasch, based in the Stern Business School, New York University, USA. Here is the link to the full paper we talk about in this week's show: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-pspa0000055.pdf Here is the abstract for some context: Experiences are vital to the lives and well-being of people; hence, understanding the factors that amplify or dampen enjoyment of experiences is important. One such factor is photo-taking, which has gone unexamined by prior research even as it has become ubiquitous. We identify engagement as a relevant process that influences whether photo-taking will increase or decrease enjoyment. Across three field and six lab experiments, we find that taking photos enhances enjoyment of positive experiences across a range of contexts and methodologies. This occurs when photo-taking increases engagement with the experience, which is less likely when the experience itself is already highly engaging, or when photo-taking interferes with the experience. As further evidence of an engagement-based process, we show that photo-taking directs greater visual attention to aspects of the experience likely to be photographed. Lastly, we also find that this greater engagement due to photo-taking results in worse evaluations of negative experiences. I hope you enjoyed this fortnight's show. Its good to be back after my break. 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 You can also email the show at contact@whocareswhatsth