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
Can meditation help us to do good?
Many people think that meditation can not only have an impact on stress and illness, but can also improve prosociality. But meditation and prosociality are multi-dimensional constructs: so what exactly are we talking about here? Listen to my conversation with Dr Ute Kreplin at the School of Psychology, Massey University in New Zealand as we talk about her research examining this link, and how the way stadies are carried out can affect the sorts of results they report and how we need to be careful about how we interpret them. Here is the link to the full paper we talk about in this week's show: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-20299-z And here is the abstract for context: Many individuals believe that meditation has the capacity to not only alleviate mental-illness but to improve prosociality. This article systematically reviewed and meta-analysed the effects of meditation interventions on prosociality in randomized controlled trials of healthy adults. Five types of social behaviours were identified: compassion, empathy, aggression, connectedness and prejudice. Although we found a moderate increase in prosociality following meditation, further analysis indicated that this effect was qualified by two factors: type of prosociality and methodological quality. Meditation interventions had an effect on compassion and empathy, but not on aggression, connectedness or prejudice. We further found that compassion levels only increased under two conditions: when the teacher in the meditation intervention was a co-author in the published study; and when the study employed a passive (waiting list) control group but not an active one. Contrary to popular beliefs that meditation will lead to prosocial changes, the results of this meta-analysis showed that the effects of meditation on prosociality were qualified by the type of prosociality and methodological quality of the study. We conclude by highlighting a number of biases and theoretical problems that need addressing to improve quality of research in this area. I hope you enjoyed this show. If you dis 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 f
Episodes of This Show
Dec 21, 2017