Last week we heard about the different shades of boredom that people can experience in a dull moment. Although it’s considered a broadly negative emotion, believe it or not, it seems boredom can sometimes be beneficial - especially when it lets us daydream. Some research suggests it can even promote our creativity. But do people differ in how they experience boredom? Are some more likely to be able to benefit from getting bored?
Many Australians have reported a higher level of boredom during the long stretch of isolation brought about by COVID-19. So, if you have felt some boredom, was it good or bad? Psychologists believe they’ve classified several different shades of the beast and not all are bad. So we check out ways to embrace the better versions.
What ultimately drives human behaviour? A leading professor of psychology, Michele Gelfand, suggests that culture is one of the last uncharted frontiers. From her pioneering research into cultural and social norms she’s found an important distinction between tight and loose cultures, and their tendency to make or break rules. These social norms or informal rules of conduct determine whether we co-operate or come into conflict, at both the collective and individual levels.
This program was...
Over the past few weeks many of us have been living more isolated lives than we’re used to. We might not be in government-mandated quarantine but there’s no doubt that COVID-19 has upended our social lives. Yet isolation can be deeply troubling for humans because we’re social animals; and that’s just as true in our current circumstances as it is in very extreme forms of isolation.
Sharing with you one of the ABC's other great podcasts. Join Jan Fran and friends as they take life’s prickly bits and make them sweeter and easier to deal with.
If you’ve noticed a change in your mental well-being over the past few weeks you’re not alone.
As the effects of the pandemic and the conditions of isolation begin to be take hold, manyAustralians are searching for support for the first time in their lives. So if you choose to ask for help, how do you takethe first steps.
The uncertainty, isolation, and danger posed by the Coronavirus pandemic affects the mental health of many people - but for those on the frontline, all of those feelings can be heightened. We talk to health professionals who have been managing their own panic attacks and anxiety.
Growing older is something we only get to do if we’re lucky, so why are so many of us unenthusiastic about the prospect of ageing? We speak to neuroscientist and author Dan Levitin about his new book The Changing Mind, which looks at the ways the brain actually improves as we age, and how we can help it.
Design and creativity really can work together. We talk with a design critic and a product design educator who both have an interest in toys - their history, and how they’re created and assessed in the real world. Get your blocks ready to play along.
When some people take a deep breath they can hear air rushing into their lungs. As their lungs expand they can hear their ribs creaking… and their heart beating… and their blood moving. These things happen to people with Superior Canal Dehiscence Syndrome. It's so strange and rare that most doctors haven’t even heard of it, yet it can have a profound impact on a person’s life and mental health. We go into a hospital operating room to learn about this little-known condition.
Believe it or not … a Formula 1 car can be driven by someone just using their brain. We consider the neurogeneration: people who in the future are likely to be using some kind of brain-powered technology to do their job or to extend their knowledge. But we don’t leave the past behind, there’s also a peek into the brain collection of Cornel University.
We all know that certain diseases are contagious, but sometimes behaviour is contagious as well. We take a look at some historical examples—such as the Tanganyika laughter epidemic of 1962, and the 1518 case of uncontrollable dancing—and we consider what might drive copycat crimes. There's also the possibility of suicide contagion.
Trigger warning: this episode touches on the subject of suicide, please take care while listening.
Habits are notoriously hard to change—exercising more often, practising calmness, getting healthy—it all takes time and effort. So perhaps you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a way to get habits into your routine. We talk with Bernard Balleine, Director of the Decision Neuroscience Lab at UNSW; and with B J Fogg, founder of the Behaviour Design Lab at Stanford University about his new book Tiny Habits.
How good are you at imagining or hearing music in your head? Can you think of the tune to ‘Happy Birthday’ and bring the notes to mind without actually singing? We consider the mind’s musical ear and what it reveals about us. And ... earworms—those pesky songs stuck in your head—where they come from and persuading them to leave.
When it comes to pseudoscience you might consider yourself to be a sceptic But don’t give yourself too much credit because we’re all vulnerable to believing dubious claims. This is because of powerful cognitive biases in the brain—and we could actually be satisfied with quite shallow explanations for things—and for being suckers for pseudoscience.
Indigenous people in Australia are having a very difficult time finding a psychologist who understands Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history. Sometimes indigenous patients seeking treatment have been denied a voice, and the reality of their situation. There are about 800,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Australia, but only 218 Indigenous psychologists. Australia needs more of them—and we look at what many mainstream psychologists fail to understand about...
Dr Rebecca Gelding is a cognitive scientist who investigates what is going on in the brain as people imagine musical pitch and rhythm. As part of the series This Sounds Like Science, you can explore music on a different level in a free lunchtime event by Dr Gelding, presented by City Recital Hall and Inspiring Australia.
In an upcoming program, All in the Mind will feature an interview by Sana Qadar with Dr Gelding, so stay tuned—in the meantime, here's a short extract about some topics...
At some point in your career there’s a good chance that you’ll cross paths with a workplace bully. If you do, it can have a profound impact on your well-being and mental health. But why do bullies do it and what motivates them? And do corporate psychopaths fit into the picture? We take a look at the personality and organisational factors that play a role in workplace bullying.
While presenter Lynne Malcolm takes a short break, the program will be presented by Sana Qadar—looking forward to your continued company for 2020.
We used to believe that babies and young children had irrational and naive thinking skills. Developments in psychology and neuroscience now reveal that infants are actually smarter, more thoughtful, and have a different consciousness to adults. Children’s exploratory and creative style of thinking may even inform improved AI design.
Questions about whether we are masters of our own destiny and if we really have free will have puzzled philosophers and scientists for many years. Now neuroscience is challenging much of what we thought we knew about ourselves—from how much our pre-birth experience affects our later lives, to how we make decisions and form our own reality.
When you’re waiting in a queue there are various ways to bide your time: chat to someone, gaze off into the distance, or check your phone. The science of human interaction tells us that the impact on your brain and body is vastly different depending on your choice. Live person-to-person connection changes us and the society we live in, so it’s in our best interests to use technology sensibly.
This program was first broadcast in June 2019.
Picture this—an Australian journalist sitting near a squat toilet under the only light in the prison cell he shares with 140 others, writing pages of notes about happiness. After 15 months in a notorious Cambodian prison, for a crime he denies, James Ricketson shares his insights into his personal experience in Prey Sar prison—and his new reflections on the state of happiness.
Please note that this episode contains a small amount of strong language
This program was first broadcast in July 2019
Would you be comfortable with a Huntsman spider crawling on your arm, or a python slithering over your shoulder? Not many of us would, but when this discomfort causes you so much anxiety that it interferes with your daily life – it’s become a phobia. Many people never seek help for them, but treatment can be effective. Whether it’s a fear of birds, dogs, heights, or having injections, exposure and virtual reality can assist.