Why do people kill? Psychology in Mind Episode 6

The Murderer 
Franz Stuck (1891)

Download: Why do people kill? Psychology in Mind Episode 6
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A new series in which psychologist Dr Andrew P. Allen and writer and broadcaster Gareth Stack, turn to psychology for answers about our minds, brains and personalities.

Todays Question: Why do people kill?

We’ll be exploring the topic of murder – more specifically spree killings. Joining us is Dr. Robert King of University College Cork. Rob’s  controversial work uses evolutionary and anthropological perspectives to examine the ultimate motivations behind human violence and sexual behaviour.

In a wide ranging discussion we examine the status protecting evolutionary motivations behind ‘spree killings’ by ‘spare males’. Rob’s work has identified two separate populations of spree killers, older men who have ‘failed’ in keeping their families together and younger socially isolated men. We also discuss Hybristophiles – the women who fall in love with killers, including spree killers like James Holmes. Other topics touched on include the headhunters of Borneo, Mira Hindley’s nazi fixation, Margaret Mede, the Shankill Butchers, lynchings, and ‘non violent’ tribal cultures, ‘an heroes’, and Gregory Stanton’s 8 Stages of Genocide.

Questions Explored

Do we live in a particularly violent time?
Have spree killings really increased? Or were they underreported in the past?
Do media depictions increase the amount of spree killings?
How does psychopathy interact with wealth and power from Gengis Kahn to Wallstreet traders?
How has the concept of psychopathy evolved – from Cleckley’s the Mask of Sanity to Hares Psychopathy Checklist to the DSM definition of anti-social personality disorder, to John Ronson’s Psychopath Test?


References

● Hive Mind (Rob’s Blog at Psychology Today)
● Mass Killings: An Evolutionary Perspective
● Deficits in fear conditioning in psychopaths 
● Frequency dependent selection in psychopaths 
● The demonisation of evolutionary psychology, as typified by Cordelia Fine’s ‘Testosterone Rex’ 

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Are Psychedelics Good For Us? Psychology in Mind Episode 5

Huichol Artworks Image Source: Wikimedia user Juan Carlos Fonseca Mata

Download: Are Psychedelics good for us? Psychology in Mind EP5
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A new series in which psychologist Dr Andrew P. Allen and writer and broadcaster Gareth Stack, turn to psychology for answers about our minds, brains and personalities.

Todays Question: Are Psychedelics Good For You?

Psychedelic drugs, are they the gateway to greater self knowledge, an enhanced appreciation of the natural world, and deeper empathy and interpersonal connections? Or merely a risky doorway into schizophrenia and mental illness? Today we look at some of the psychological research into psychedelics and speak with Alexander Lentjes of the Irish Psychedelic Society. Can we have a productive discussion, or will the incommensurability of academic psychology and psychedelic consciousness reduce us to gibbering stoned apes. Find out in the latest episode of Psychology in Mind.

 

 

Links to Things Discussed

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Credits

Presented by Gareth Stack and Andrew P. Allen. Music by Marc Remillard.

Logo rendered in Blender, based on Brain by dgallichan, Bulldog smoking pipe beyondmatter and Felonous Fedora by Jacob Ragsdale.

 

Are People Irrational? – Psychology in Mind Episode 4

Download: Psychology in Mind – Episode 4
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A new series in which psychologist Dr Andrew P. Allen and writer and broadcaster Gareth Stack, turn to psychology for answers about our minds, brains and personalities.

Todays Question: Are People Irrational?

In everyday life we have make many decisions. We can gather exhaustive information relevant to the topic, or we can use a mental shortcut or “heuristic”. Since the 1970s psychologists have studied not just how we think, but how our thinking fails. How limits to human memory, processing speed and other cognitive capacities shape our problem solving, and creativity. In this episode of Psychology in Mind we take a look at the problem solving shortcuts native to the human mind, and examine how they both limit our ability to think rationally and enable us to think faster than we otherwise could.

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Credits

Presented by Gareth Stack and Andrew P. Allen. Music by Marc Remillard.

Logo rendered in Blender, based on Brain by dgallichan, Bulldog smoking pipe beyondmatter and Felonous Fedora by Jacob Ragsdale.

 

Is Psychology Unethical? – Psychology in Mind Episode 3

Download: Psychology in Mind – Episode 3
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A new series in which psychologist Dr Andrew P. Allen and writer and broadcaster Gareth Stack, turn to psychology for answers about our minds, brains and personalities.

Todays Question – Is Psychology Unethical? We take a dive into the history of ethical abuses within the discipline, discussing infamous experiments like the Milgram Obedience Studies, Harry Harlow’s monkey attachment research, and the Stanford Prison Experiment. We also take a look at how psychology has been applied unethically, in programmes like the CIA’s MK Ultra research, in ‘conversion’ therapy with gay people, and more recently as part of the American black site torture programme. Has this history of ethical abuses made psychology too cautious today – blocking useful avenues of research? Or, by contrast have we yet to atone and do enough to prevent future ethical controversies.

Finally we’ll discuss the process researchers need to go through today to have their studies approved.

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Credits

Presented by Gareth Stack and Andrew P. Allen. Music by Marc Remillard.

Special thanks to Richard Roache.

Logo rendered in Blender, based on Brain by dgallichan, Bulldog smoking pipe beyondmatter and Felonous Fedora by Jacob Ragsdale.

 

Psychology in Mind – Can We Trust Our Memories? (EP2)

Download: Psychology in Mind – Episode 2
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A new series in which psychologist Dr Andrew P. Allen and writer and broadcaster Gareth Stack, turn to psychology for answers about our minds, brains and personalities.

Todays Question – Can we trust our memories?

Our guest today, Dr Richard Roche, neuroscientist and Senior Lecturer at Maynooth University Psychology Dept.

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Credits

Presented by Gareth Stack and Andrew P. Allen. Music by Marc Remillard.

Special thanks to Richard Roache.

Logo rendered in Blender, based on Brain by dgallichan, Bulldog smoking pipe beyondmatter and Felonous Fedora by Jacob Ragsdale.

 

Psychology in Mind – Episode 1

Download: Psychology in Mind – Episode 1 – Creativity
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A new series in which psychologist Dr Andrew P. Allen and writer and broadcaster Gareth Stack, turn to psychology for answers about our minds, brains and personalities.

In this episode we discuss creativity. What is creativity? Is it possible to become more creative? Do people innately differ in how naturally creative they are? How do we measure creativity? Why did creativity evolve? Can animals be creative? And is creativity good for us? 

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Credits

Presented by Gareth Stack and Andrew P. Allen. Music by Marc Remillard.

Logo rendered in Blender, based on Brain by dgallichan, Bulldog smoking pipe beyondmatter and Felonous Fedora by Jacob Ragsdale.

Show Notes

Radio Drama Revival Rebroadcast

Just a brief post to let you know that Radio Drama Revival, one of the longest running and most popular radio drama podcasts (also an on air radio show) have been kind enough to rebroadcast my radio sitcom ‘Choices‘. Although host Fred Greenhalgh disagrees with calling it a ‘radio sitcom’. Judge for yourself!

Listen here – Radio Drama Revival.

Here’s the plot synopsis…

Ainesh Sharma is an under confident, over intellectual Indian-Irish twenty something. Ainesh has always been a victim of circumstance; working jobs he didn’t enjoy and failing to live up to his potential. Now, sacked from his factory job and thrown out of home by his disappointed parents, Ainesh is forced to train as a psychotherapist. His course is in ‘Choosing Therapy’, the philosophy that we choose our own destiny, and that everything that happens is our fault. With nowhere to stay, Ainesh is forced to live with two of his bizarre classmates. We follow him as he learns whether there really is such a thing as choice, and if so, how he can make his own destiny.

Choices was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and originally produced for Dublin City FM. The show starred Katie McCann, Aishlinn O’Byrne, Kieran Roche and Dylan Jones, and was produced by Heather MacLeod.

Last year Radio Drama Revival also rebroadcast our ambitious 2012 on location production ‘Any Other Dublin‘. Both Dublin and Choices are available as podcasts on iTunes (and in the listings of pretty much every other podcatcher), if you’d prefer to check them out in episodic format!