PsychTalks: Modern life explored by psychology experts

PsychTalks: Modern life explored by psychology experts

Our exciting new season of the PsychTalks podcast has launched! Tune into inspiring conversations with our brilliant experts as they unpack the latest discoveries in psychology research. Join hosts Associate Professor Cassie Hayward and Professor Nick Haslam in unlocking insights into the psychology behind some of the most compelling issues of today – from how to talk to your teenagers about vaping, to whether trigger warnings actually work.

Announcement of Season 2 on Omny

Where to listen

New episodes of Psychtalks Podcast Season 2 will be released in November and December 2023. Read more about the individual episodes below, or listen, like and subscribe on your favourite podcast platform:

Is TikTok toxic for our self image?

We’ve heard that social media can warp perceptions about our bodies, dieting and appearance. So what happens when TikTok invents a new type of algorithm – one that's incredibly powerful at tapping into our inner desires and anxieties? Hear Dr Scott Griffiths chat about his astonishing study on how TikTok can harm those vulnerable to eating disorders.

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Do trigger warnings work?

Today, trigger or content warnings pop up in much of the media we consume, and have spread to universities and classrooms. But are these warnings actually helping us? Do they make us avoid triggering material, or at least minimise the potential harm involved, if we do see it? This episode, with Dr Ella Moeck, invites you to rethink trigger warnings and how we might best deal with confronting topics in our everyday lives.

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Is screen time bad for kids?

We’ve all heard the old saying that watching too much TV rots your brain. How much truth is there to this especially when it comes to kids paying attention in school? Should parents feel guilty about their kids’ screen time? Associate Professor Katherine Johnson has the answers.

Coming 6 December 2023...

What can we do about vaping?

E-cigarette use, or vaping, has quickly become a regular habit for many teenagers in Australia and around the world. Hear from Associate Professor Michelle Jongenelis as she talks about the rising popularity of vaping. What steps should the government take, and is there a more effective way to convince teenagers that vaping might not be the best idea?

Coming 13 December 2023...

Catch up on Season 1

Hosted by the award-winning journalist Lynne Malcolm, Season 1 of Psychtalks podcast was launched in May and June 2022. Each episode dives deep into a single thought-provoking issue in modern-day Australia — from the effects of fear-based advertising to unravelling the undercurrent of misinformation and conspiracy theories; and from the hype and hope of mindfulness and meditation, to the complex world of big data.

Listen to the Season 1 trailer on Omny.

S1E1 - Why do we fall for misinformation?

Misinformation is being weaponised in the media and politics, and many fall down the conspiracy theory spiral. In what ways do our brains predispose us to believe in misinformation? How is our current information environment – especially social media – aiding the spread of ‘fake news’? And can you actually convince true believers to drop conspiracy theories?

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S1E2 - How scary ads change our behaviour

Government and advocacy groups want us all to make healthier and safer choices. Yet, changing undesirable behaviour is notoriously challenging. Why then are fear appeal ads – when done well – such an effective means to jump-start us into action? This episode looks at the ways the Victorian TAC leverage fear appeal ads to reduce our road death tolls.

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S1E3 - Can big data unlock human psychology?

Today, big data is exploited by corporations and misused by hackers, usually to make money. And we're practically inundated with instances of online privacy and data breaches. But some experts believe we can better harness the power of big data for scientific research. By getting a fine-grained picture of individuals, big data research could vastly strengthen diagnosis and treatment of psychological conditions, such as bipolar disorder. Their technology also puts the individual user back in control of their data — and even enables them to profit.

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S1E4 - Mindfulness & meditation: the search for authenticity

Mindfulness and meditation are ancient practices that can now be accessed via your smartphone. Mindfulness is everywhere: we have mindful learning, mindful parenting, mindful business leadership — even mindful soldiers. We’re told these practices reduce stress, anxiety, depression and blood pressure. And they're being sold for billions. If capitalism has co-opted something sacred, is it still ‘good’ for us? Discover insights on navigating mindfulness and meditation, and find guidance if you're considering trying these practices.

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Thank you to our fantastic production team, who helped create the PsychTalks: Modern life explored by psychology experts podcast.

Season 1

  • Host: Lynne Malcolm
  • Writer and producer: Carly Godden
  • Assistant producers: Amy Bugeja and Mairead Murray
  • Sound engineer: Arch Cuthburtson
  • Music composer: Chris Falk.

Season 2

  • Hosts: Cassie Hayward and Nick Haslam
  • Writer and producer: Carly Godden
  • Assistant producer: Louise Sheedy
  • Sound engineer: David Calf
  • Music composer: Chris Falk.