Episodes
Ella Rhodes, Journalist for The Psychologist, explores the boundaries between wakefulness and dreaming. What can we can learn about consciousness from the strange transition period between being awake and asleep, known as hypnagogia? And why do some people experience visions and imaginings that take them away for hours at a time?
Published 11/03/20
What can we do to stay connected in the middle of a pandemic? Our presenter Ginny Smith looks at how video chats compare to in-person interaction, and how psychology could help improve virtual communication in the future. She also examines the importance of touch for reducing stress — and asks whether interactions with our furry friends could make up for a lack of human contact.
Published 09/02/20
What can psychology teach us about dealing with pain? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns that swearing can have a pain-reducing effect, and puts the theory to the test with an experiment on editor Matthew Warren. Ginny also hears about how virtual reality could provide a welcome distraction to patients suffering from chronic pain.
Published 03/02/20
Published 03/02/20
Do we worry too much about screen time? The issue of screen use by children and teenagers is rarely out of the headlines — but what does the science say? To find out, our presenter Ella Rhodes talks to Dr Amy Orben, Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge and winner of the 2019 BPS award for Outstanding Doctoral Research, who has explored the psychological effects of screen time in her research. 
Published 01/28/20
Can psychology help us become more creative? Our presenter Ginny Smith learns how we can develop our creativity with practice, and discovers that our best “Eureka” moments often come when we step away from the task at hand. She also investigates how members of the public fare with the riddles psychologists use to study creative problem solving — see how you get on at home.
Published 09/09/19
Can psychology help make running more enjoyable? Our presenter Christian Jarrett speaks to several experts about various strategies including "cognitive reappraisal" and the benefits of taking part in organised runs. He also hears how some of us are genetically disposed to find running less enjoyable than others, and why that isn't an excuse for giving up.
Published 07/23/19
Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist magazine, delves into the growing body of research exploring aphantasia – a condition she has personal experience of. While most people can see images formed in their minds people with aphantasia draw a blank, what might this mean for autobiographical memory, face perception and imagination?  Our guests, in order of appearance, are: Zoe Pounder at the University of Westminster and Professor Adam Zeman at the University of Exeter.  Background...
Published 05/03/19
Mindfulness is everywhere these days, but is it really as beneficial as it's often made out to be? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears from clinical psychologist Dr Catherine Wikholm (co-author of The Buddha Pill: Can Meditation Change You?); she visits the Cambridge Buddha Centre to meet people who have taken up mindfulness meditation; and she discusses some of the latest mindfulness research trials with Professor Barney Dunn, a clinical psychologist at Exeter University.
Published 03/19/19
This is Episode 14 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help your cooking taste better? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears about the importance of food presentation, pairing and sequencing, and how our perception of food is a multi-sensory experience. She and her friends conduct a taste test using "sonic seasonings" that you can also try at home.
Published 11/07/18
Can psychology help us to learn better? Our presenter Christian Jarrett discovers the best evidence-backed strategies for learning, including the principle of spacing, the benefits of testing yourself and teaching others. He also hears about the perils of overconfidence and the lack of evidence for popular educational ideas like "learning styles" and "brain gym".
Published 08/29/18
Can psychology help us to be funnier? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears how a key ingredient of humour is "incongruity" and the surprise of unexpected meanings. Individual words too can be amusing, but actually most of the time we laugh not because we've seen or heard a joke, but as a natural part of friendly interaction.
Published 06/27/18
This is Episode 11 of PsychCrunch the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help us get a better night's sleep? Our presenter Ginny Smith hears how worry about sleep is sometimes more of a problem than lack of sleep itself. She gives us some evidence-backed sleep tips and finds out about "sleep engineering" – deliberately manipulating the sleep process to aid memory and enhance its health benefits.
Published 02/21/18
Can psychology help us avoid procrastinating and get on with the important things we know we should be doing? Our presenter Christian Jarrett hears about what causes procrastination, how to stop it, and whether it has any upsides. Also, we put the psychologists on the spot and ask whether they've managed to cure their own procrastination.
Published 11/01/17
This is Episode 9 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology help us work together better in teams? Our presenter Christian Jarrett hears about the benefits of appointing a "meta-knowledge champion" for the team, making sure everyone has contact with the team's "extra miler", and why you should think carefully about the physical space that you do your teamwork in. Our guests in order of...
Published 02/21/17
This is Episode 8 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can we trust psychological studies? We speak to Brian Earp, of Oxford University and Yale University, about how to respond when we're told repeatedly that the veracity of eye-catching findings, or even cherished theories, has come under scrutiny. Brian also talks about his own experience of publishing a failed replication attempt – a must-listen for any...
Published 11/07/16
This is Episode Seven of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology give you a competitive edge in sport? Our presenter Christian Jarrett learns about the importance of having the right competitive mindset, and how to use self-talk and positive imagery to boost your sporting performance. Our guests, in order of appearance, are George Hanshaw (International Sport Achievers and HanshawPerformance.com),...
Published 08/09/16
This is Episode 6 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Have you ever sent a sarcastic email or text message and discovered to your horror that the recipient thought you were being literal? If so, this episode is for you! Research Digest editor Christian Jarrett speaks to Dr Ruth Filik (University of Nottingham), lead author of a recent study into how emoticons and punctuation can help you convey written...
Published 06/13/16
This is Episode Five of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. In this episode we explore whether psychology can help us learn a new language. We hear about research showing the benefits of music training to language learning, and how it may be possible to boost your learning of foreign words while you sleep. Our presenter Christian Jarrett also hears about the anxiety that many people feel when trying to speak a...
Published 03/30/16
This is Episode Four of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this festive episode we explore whether psychology can help us with gift giving.  Our presenter Christian Jarrett and his guests discuss the benefits of giving "giver-centric" gifts; how recipients like to receive gifts on their wish lists; why ethical or pro-social gifts are sometimes not so warmly received; and the two words that can salvage that awkward situation when a gift...
Published 12/16/15
On October 1, 2015 Dr Christian Jarrett (Editor, BPS Research Digest) met with Dr Jon Sutton (Editor, The Psychologist magazine) to debate Michael Jackson's legacy. This is their full argument! Excerpts from their debate about MJ appear in Episode Three of PsychCrunch, which explored whether psychology can help you to win an argument.
Published 10/19/15
This is Episode Three of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we explore whether psychology can help you to win an argument. After our presenter Christian Jarrett tries his luck with an argument about Michael Jackson's legacy, we find out why convincing people of your point of view is so difficult, and we hear about a paradoxical technique that's encouraging people to change their own minds about one of the most serious...
Published 10/19/15
This is Episode Two of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we speak to psychology researchers in the field of habit change to see if their findings can provide real-life tips for people hoping to break bad habits or form new healthy ones. We can't promise you a life of health and success as some self-help authors do, but we might be able to help you eat less chocolate! Our guests are Dr Benjamin Gardner (Kings College London...
Published 06/18/15
This is Episode One of PsychCrunch, the new podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. In this episode we speak to researchers in the field of personal attraction to see if their findings can provide real-life tips for people on a romantic date. Our guests, in order of appearance, are Adam Pazda (University of Rochester), Coren Apicella (University of Pennsylvania) and Sally Farley (University of Baltimore). The topics discussed by our guests have been covered...
Published 02/13/15
PsychCrunch, the new podcast coming soon from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest. Trailer credits: Presented by Christian Jarrett. Producer Lorna Stewart. Music and mixing Catherine Loveday and Jeff Knowler. 
Published 02/11/15