Alix Spiegel http://kbia.org en The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress http://kbia.org/post/secret-history-behind-science-stress The modern idea of stress began on a rooftop in Canada, with a handful of rats freezing in the winter wind.<p>This was 1936 and by that point the owner of the rats, an endocrinologist named Hans Selye, had become expert at making rats suffer for science.<p>"He would subject them to extreme temperatures, make them go hungry for long periods, or make them exercise a lot," the medical historian <a href="https://humanities.exeter.ac.uk/history/staff/jackson/">Mark Jackson </a>says. Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:07:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 55750 at http://kbia.org The Secret History Behind The Science Of Stress How A Woman's Plan To Kill Herself Helped Her Family Grieve http://kbia.org/post/how-womans-plan-kill-herself-helped-her-family-grieve This story is in no way an endorsement of suicide. It's a description of one woman's choice and what came of it.<p>Five years ago, after doctors told her that she had Alzheimer's disease that would eventually steal her ability to read, write and recognize people, Sandy Bem decided to kill herself.<p>Sandy was 65 years old, an unsentimental woman and strong willed. For her, <em></em><em></em>a life without books and the ability to recognize the people she loved wasn't a life she wanted.<p>And so she decided there was only one thing to do. Mon, 23 Jun 2014 07:27:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 54973 at http://kbia.org How A Woman's Plan To Kill Herself Helped Her Family Grieve Mind Over Milkshake: How Your Thoughts Fool Your Stomach http://kbia.org/post/mind-over-milkshake-how-your-thoughts-fool-your-stomach <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIfhxt0JCok</p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 07:22:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 51268 at http://kbia.org Mind Over Milkshake: How Your Thoughts Fool Your Stomach Play It Again And Again, Sam http://kbia.org/post/play-it-again-and-again-sam <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EH45A6ek45s</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 22:30:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 50925 at http://kbia.org Play It Again And Again, Sam So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent http://kbia.org/post/so-you-think-youre-smarter-cia-agent The morning I met Elaine Rich, she was sitting at the kitchen table of her small town home in suburban Maryland trying to estimate refugee flows in Syria.<p>It wasn't the only question she was considering; there were others:<p>Will North Korea launch a new multistage missile before May 10, 2014?<p>Will Russian armed forces enter Kharkiv, Ukraine, by May 10? Rich's answers to these questions would eventually be evaluated by the intelligence community, but she didn't feel much pressure because this wasn't her full-time gig.<p>"I'm just a pharmacist," she said. Wed, 02 Apr 2014 07:55:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 50620 at http://kbia.org So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent When Memories Never Fade, The Past Can Poison The Present http://kbia.org/post/when-memories-never-fade-past-can-poison-present On Feb. 21, Alexandra Wolff ate steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli for dinner. Later that night, sitting in her room, she spent 20 minutes scanning pictures in <em>InStyle</em> magazine.<p>She remembers those things, just as she remembers that on Aug. 2 she stopped at Target and bought Raisin Bran; and on April 17 she wore a white button-down shirt; and on Oct. Fri, 27 Dec 2013 22:00:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 45910 at http://kbia.org When Memories Never Fade, The Past Can Poison The Present If Your Shrink Is A Bot, How Do You Respond? http://kbia.org/post/if-your-shrink-bot-how-do-you-respond <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejczMs6b1Q4</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 07:04:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 34020 at http://kbia.org If Your Shrink Is A Bot, How Do You Respond? Big Sibling's Big Influence: Some Behaviors Run In The Family http://kbia.org/post/big-siblings-big-influence-some-behaviors-run-family Patricia East is a developmental psychologist who began her career working at an OB-GYN clinic in California. Mon, 29 Apr 2013 21:00:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 32867 at http://kbia.org Big Sibling's Big Influence: Some Behaviors Run In The Family Boston Blasts Remind Us Of Fragility Of Life http://kbia.org/post/boston-blasts-remind-us-fragility-life From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. Wed, 17 Apr 2013 14:18:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 32196 at http://kbia.org Boston Blasts Remind Us Of Fragility Of Life Would Angry Teens Chill Out If They Saw More Happy Faces? http://kbia.org/post/would-angry-teens-chill-out-if-they-saw-more-happy-faces All day long we're surrounded by faces. We see them on the subway sitting two by two, pass them on the sidewalk as we make our way to work, then nod to them in the elevator.<p>But most of those faces don't tell us much about the emotional life of the person behind the face.<p>"People don't just go around the world smiling or grimacing or frowning," says psychologist <a href="http://www.bristol.ac.uk/expsych/people/marcus-r-munafo/index.html">Marcus Munafo</a> of the University of Bristol. Mon, 08 Apr 2013 21:55:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 31685 at http://kbia.org Would Angry Teens Chill Out If They Saw More Happy Faces? Mining Books To Map Emotions Through A Century http://kbia.org/post/mining-books-map-emotions-through-century Were people happier in the 1950s than they are today? Or were they more frustrated, repressed and sad?<p>To find out, you'd have to compare the emotions of one generation to another. Mon, 01 Apr 2013 19:41:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 31315 at http://kbia.org Mining Books To Map Emotions Through A Century New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade http://kbia.org/post/new-voices-voiceless-synthetic-speech-gets-upgrade Ever since she was a small child, Samantha Grimaldo has had to carry her voice with her.<p>Grimaldo was born with a rare disorder, Perisylvian syndrome, which means that though she's physically capable in many ways, she's never been able to speak. Instead, she's used a device to speak. She types in what she wants to say, and the device says those words out loud. Mon, 11 Mar 2013 08:41:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 30191 at http://kbia.org New Voices For The Voiceless: Synthetic Speech Gets An Upgrade To Spot Kids Who Will Overcome Poverty, Look At Babies http://kbia.org/post/spot-kids-who-will-overcome-poverty-look-babies Why do some children who grow up in poverty do well, while others struggle?<p>To understand more about this, a group of psychologists recently did a <a href="http://pss.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/01/29/0956797612457381.abstract">study</a>.<p>It began in a small spare room where a series of very poor mothers and their 5-month-old babies came to watch a soothing video. Soothing the baby was the point, says Elisabeth Conradt, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University's <a href="http://www.brown.edu/Departments/Children_at_Risk/Home.htm">Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk</a>. Mon, 25 Feb 2013 21:32:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 29462 at http://kbia.org To Spot Kids Who Will Overcome Poverty, Look At Babies Why Even Radiologists Can Miss A Gorilla Hiding In Plain Sight http://kbia.org/post/why-even-radiologists-can-miss-gorilla-hiding-plain-sight <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJG698U2Mvo</p> Mon, 11 Feb 2013 08:33:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 28653 at http://kbia.org Why Even Radiologists Can Miss A Gorilla Hiding In Plain Sight No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines http://kbia.org/post/mercy-robots-experiment-tests-how-humans-relate-machines <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kf9coMuVuI</p> Mon, 28 Jan 2013 08:25:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 27907 at http://kbia.org No Mercy For Robots: Experiment Tests How Humans Relate To Machines Shootings Leave Sandy Hook Survivors Rethinking The Odds http://kbia.org/post/shootings-leave-sandy-hook-survivors-rethinking-odds About a month ago, Declan Procaccini's 10-year-old son woke him early in the morning in a fright.<p>"He came into my bedroom and said, 'Dad, I had a horrible, horrible dream!' " Procaccini says. "He was really shaken up. Thu, 27 Dec 2012 21:20:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 26500 at http://kbia.org Shootings Leave Sandy Hook Survivors Rethinking The Odds Weekend Vote Will Bring Controversial Changes To Psychiatrists' Bible http://kbia.org/post/weekend-vote-will-bring-controversial-changes-psychiatrists-bible This weekend, 20 people from around the country will meet in a nondescript hotel room in Arlington, Va., and take a vote. Fri, 30 Nov 2012 22:11:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 25292 at http://kbia.org Weekend Vote Will Bring Controversial Changes To Psychiatrists' Bible Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us http://kbia.org/post/give-and-take-how-rule-reciprocation-binds-us In 1974, Phillip Kunz and his family got a record number of Christmas cards. In the weeks before Christmas they came daily, sometimes by the dozen. Kunz still has them in his home, collected in an old photo album.<p>"Dear Phil, Joyce and family," a typical card reads, "we received your holiday greeting with much joy and enthusiasm ... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year's. Love Lou, Bev and the children."<p>The cards from that year came in all shapes and sizes, but the basic message was the same. Mon, 26 Nov 2012 09:49:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 24990 at http://kbia.org Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning http://kbia.org/post/struggle-smarts-how-eastern-and-western-cultures-tackle-learning In 1979, when Jim Stigler was still a graduate student at the University of Michigan, he went to Japan to research teaching methods and found himself sitting in the back row of a crowded fourth-grade math class.<p>"The teacher was trying to teach the class how to draw three-dimensional cubes on paper," Stigler explains, "and one kid was just totally having trouble with it. His cube looked all cockeyed, so the teacher said to him, 'Why don't you go put yours on the board?' So right there I thought, 'That's interesting! Mon, 12 Nov 2012 08:29:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 24362 at http://kbia.org Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning Jersey Shore Storm Survivors Face Uncertain Future http://kbia.org/post/jersey-shore-storm-survivors-face-uncertain-future The barrier islands off the coast of New Jersey were hit hard by Superstorm Sandy, and for the moment, most residents are banned from living in their homes because the area is far too damaged.<p>Which is why this past weekend, in a Red Cross shelter at Pinelands High School in Egg Harbor, N.J., on the mainland, around 100 stranded island residents were lining up for dinner, while Red Cross volunteers worked hard to keep things reassuring.<p>"Excuse me everybody!" shouted one of the volunteers, waving her arms above her head. Tue, 06 Nov 2012 21:51:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 24098 at http://kbia.org Jersey Shore Storm Survivors Face Uncertain Future Charming, Cold: Does Presidential Personality Matter? http://kbia.org/post/charming-cold-does-presidential-personality-matter <em>As part of NPR's coverage of this year's presidential election, </em>All Things Considered<em> asked three science reporters to weigh in on the race. The result is a three-part series on the science of leadership. In Part 2, Jon Hamilton examined <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/10/24/163561729/in-animal-kingdom-voting-of-a-different-sort-reigns">leadership in the animal kingdom</a>.</em><p>Charming or cold. Flexible or rigid. Paranoid or impulsive or calculating.<p>How important is the personality of a president? Tue, 23 Oct 2012 21:46:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 23305 at http://kbia.org Charming, Cold: Does Presidential Personality Matter? How Politicians Get Away With Dodging The Question http://kbia.org/post/how-politicians-get-away-dodging-question <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPOkpOipBYM</p> Wed, 03 Oct 2012 07:33:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 22170 at http://kbia.org How Politicians Get Away With Dodging The Question Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform http://kbia.org/post/teachers-expectations-can-influence-how-students-perform In my <em>Morning Edition</em> story today, I look at expectations — specifically, how teacher expectations can affect the performance of the children they teach.<p>The first psychologist to systematically study this was a Harvard professor named <a href="http://www.psych.ucr.edu/faculty/rosenthal/index.html">Robert Rosenthal</a>, who in 1964 did a <a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=6OQ9fn9il6gC&pg=PA275&lpg=PA275&dq=Flanagan's+Test+of+General+Ability&source=bl&ots=_A5j2I__M3&sig=o-ptexwwjmZnPJI7sCMBlyuOA_M&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Flanagan's%20Test%20of%20General%20Ability&f=false" target="_b Mon, 17 Sep 2012 07:36:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 21251 at http://kbia.org Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform Why We're Happy Being Sad: Pop's Emotional Evolution http://kbia.org/post/why-were-happy-being-sad-pops-emotional-evolution <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwmhF7euzk0</p><p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hmjopsa8GjI</p> Tue, 04 Sep 2012 18:39:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 20532 at http://kbia.org Why We're Happy Being Sad: Pop's Emotional Evolution Can We Learn To Forget Our Memories? http://kbia.org/post/can-we-learn-forget-our-memories Around 10 years ago, Malcolm MacLeod got interested in forgetting.<p>For most people, the tendency to forget is something we spend our time cursing. Where are my keys? What am I looking for in the refrigerator again? <em>What is that woman's name? </em><p>But <a href="https://risweb.st-andrews.ac.uk/portal/da/persons/malcolm-david-macleod(51fd3f93-7bf7-4d04-9c96-06137e419201).html">MacLeod, who works as a memory researcher</a> at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, took a radically different view of forgetting. Mon, 03 Sep 2012 08:02:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 20464 at http://kbia.org Can We Learn To Forget Our Memories? Would Judge Give Psychopath With Genetic Defect Lighter Sentence? http://kbia.org/post/would-judge-give-psychopath-genetic-defect-lighter-sentence In 1991, a man named Stephen Mobley robbed a Domino's pizza in Hall County, Ga., and shot the restaurant manager dead.<p>Crimes like this happen all the time, but this particular case became a national story, in part because Mobley seemed so proud of his crime. Fri, 17 Aug 2012 06:58:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 19563 at http://kbia.org Small Change In Reading To Preschoolers Can Help Disadvantaged Kids Catch Up http://kbia.org/post/small-change-reading-preschoolers-can-help-disadvantaged-kids-catch On a recent Monday morning in Washington, D.C., a group of 3-year-old preschoolers bumbled their way into a circle, more or less, on the rug of their classroom. It was time to read.<p>The children sat cross-legged as their teacher, Mary-Lynn Goldstein, held high a book, <em>Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus</em>. There was a short conversation about pigeons, then, for reasons that weren't entirely clear, cows; and then Goldstein began to read. Tue, 29 May 2012 21:18:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 14947 at http://kbia.org Small Change In Reading To Preschoolers Can Help Disadvantaged Kids Catch Up Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things http://kbia.org/post/psychology-fraud-why-good-people-do-bad-things Enron, Worldcom, Bernie Madoff, the subprime mortgage crisis.<p>Over the past decade or so, news stories about unethical behavior have been a regular feature on TV, a long, discouraging parade of misdeeds marching across our screens. And in the face of these scandals, psychologists and economists have been slowly reworking how they think about the cause of unethical behavior.<p>In general, when we think about bad behavior, we think about it being tied to character: Bad people do bad things. Tue, 01 May 2012 19:20:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 13354 at http://kbia.org Psychology Of Fraud: Why Good People Do Bad Things To Predict Dating Success, The Secret's In The Pronouns http://kbia.org/post/predict-dating-success-secrets-pronouns On a recent Friday night, 30 men and 30 women gathered at a hotel restaurant in Washington, D.C. Their goal was love, or maybe sex, or maybe some combination of the two. They were there for speed dating.<p>The women sat at separate numbered tables while the men moved down the line, and for two solid hours they did a rotation, making small talk with people they did not know, one after another, in three-minute increments.<p>I had gone to record the night, which was put on by a company called Professionals in the City, and what struck me was the noise in the room. Mon, 30 Apr 2012 07:35:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 13233 at http://kbia.org To Predict Dating Success, The Secret's In The Pronouns More Children Struggle With Gender Identity Disorder http://kbia.org/post/pediatricians-more-patients-want-change-their-gender Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>The March issue of the medical journal, Pediatrics, features a striking editorial. It begins with the following sentence: A new pediatric problem is in town. That new problem, according to the editorial, is gender identity disorder in children. Pediatricians are apparently seeing more young patients who express an interest in changing their gender. NPR's Alix Spiegel reports.<p>ALIX SPIEGEL, BYLINE: Fifteen years ago, most pediatricians in America had never encountered the idea of gender identity disorder in children. But things change quickly.<p>DR. Tue, 21 Feb 2012 09:00:00 +0000 Alix Spiegel 9166 at http://kbia.org