New podcast series taps into modern life and why we’re keyed to respond the way we do

Why do we fall for misinformation? Why do  fear appeal advertisements make us take action? Can big data unlock human psychology?  Will mindfulness and mediation help us find our authentic selves?

(Logo): PsychTalks: modern life explored by psychology experts

A new podcast series from the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences tackles these issues with the help of some of our leading researchers and their latest work.

‘PsychTalks: Modern life explored by psychology experts' launches today (Monday, 16 May) and brings together key experts to unlock some of modern life’s most relevant questions.

Hosted by award-winning journalist Lynne Malcolm, (formerly of ABC’s All In the Mind), PsychTalks emphasises how research connects with everyday experiences or broader social trends —topics with wide appeal.

Each episode, in this initial series release, will be available fortnightly through May and June 2022 using a format that incorporates interviews, sound design elements,  and archival material, to foster an engaging listener experience.

The first episode features Associate Professor Andrew Perfors and looks into how misinformation is being weaponised in the media and politics, and why many of us are falling down the conspiracy theory spiral.

Episode two focuses on “Why ‘fear-appeal’ advertisements propel us into action?” with Associate Professor Cassie Hayward. Episode three tackles how we can better harness the power of big data for scientific research with Professor Simon Dennis and episode four features Associate Professor Nicholas Van Dam navigating the complex world of mindfulness and mediation.

The initiative is a first for the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences with Head of School, Professor Rob Hester, welcoming the series as a landmark achievement and opportunity to showcase the School’s breadth of research, with a new and diverse listenership.

“The School of Psychological Sciences brings together interdisciplinary researchers across a broad range of programs so we’re excited to be introducing PsychTalks to the world. We are uniquely positioned to address some of the challenges faced today by what is very much a changed world and proud that our researchers are frontline in unravelling some of the complexities of modern life.”

PsychTalks: Modern life explored by psychology experts' will be widely available on podcast apps —including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Omny — and is coming soon to Google Podcasts.

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Lito Vilisoni Wilson