As we get older, we all will suffer from some memory loss. The question becomes what memory loss is a normal byproduct of getting older and when is it a sign of a larger problem, like Alzheimer’s Disease. We talk to experts about this question, and what, if anything, we can do to avoid losing their memories.
Narcissism: The manipulative, selfish disorder
Narcissists are always thinking about themselves. While this takes a toll on their wellbeing, it also takes a big toll on the people around them. We talk about the disorder and tips for people who feel they’re drowning in the orbit of a true narcissist.
Have you ever fantasized about going back in time and changing world history? How about your own personal past? If we could travel eternally through space and time, how would this power affect us, psychologically and emotionally? We talk about the appeal of time travel fiction with author Travis Langley who examines these questions in his book Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman with a Box, through an analysis of the longest-running sci-fi TV series of all time.
Dr. Langley says that time travel fiction provides a safe space to explore the emotions and consequences of all kinds of “what if” questions we all have, teaches us lessons that can we can apply to everyday life.
Dr. Travis Langley, author of Doctor Who Psychology: A Madman with a Box
When and how should parents sign up their children for schools? Dr. Suzanne Bouffard, author of The Most Important Year: Pre-Kindergarten and the Future of Our Children, says that the pre-kindergarten year sets the tone for the quality of schooling that student will experience for the rest of their lives.
Some studies show that pre-K programs do not help students, but Dr. Bouffard says these programs are not created equally, and parents must look carefully to distinguish a high-quality program that will help students with lifelong learning from the rest. Some things to look for are the relationship between students and teachers and the balance of time spent on academic subjects and time designated for play. The activities in the room should also be age-appropriate, and students should have plenty of activities to choose from.
Dr. Suzzanne Bouffard, author of The Most Important Year: Pre-Kindergarten and the Future of Our Children
Sending your child off to school can be tricky, especially in the years before kindergarten. But Dr. Sharon Bouffard, a developmental psychologist, says doing so can make a big difference in your child’s education. We explore the importance of high-quality pre-k schooling, and tips for parents on how to spot a good program from a bad one.
The Appeal of Time Travel Stories
For decades, we’ve loved stories where characters can travel through time. What is it about this seemingly straight-forward concept that draws us in and keeps us compelled all these years later? We talk to pop culture psychologist Dr. Travis Langley.
We grow up hearing nursery rhymes and fairy tales that deal with good and evil. All of us fondly remember the cartoons of our youth and the stories we grew up with. We talk to Soman Chainani about authoring a new entry into the catalogue of mythology and his attempt to course-correct the lessons more modern stories have been teaching our children.
Soman Chainani, author of The School for Good and Evil
This Halloween, you might see some trick or treaters on your doorstep wearing either all pink or all black costumes. If so, they are probably dressed as characters from a popular new book series called The School for Good and Evil. We talk with author Soman Chainani about how he was inspired to correct what he felt were all the “wrong lessons” in the fairy tales he grew up reading.
In Chainani’s best seller, every four years two children are abducted from the town and sent off to an institution where ordinary boys and girls are trained either to be fairy tale heroes at the School for Good, or villains at the School for Evil. The books begin as two friends, Sophie and Agatha get whisked off to seemingly the wrong school. Good girl Sophie can’t understand why she’s been assigned to the School for Evil, and Agatha, with her shabby clothes, horrible pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, is surprised to be taken to the School for Good. Clearly, there’s been a mistake. The story then continues as each of them must discover exactly why they ended up where they did, with the lesson being that some things are more complex than they might seem at first look..
Each book in the series plays with a simplistic dichotomy that Chainani wants to examine, whether it’s good vs. evil, boys vs. girls, or truth vs. lies. Chainani’s goal is to encourage readers to challenge the stereotypes and preconceptions found in many of the fairy tales we grew up with.
Jodi Sedlock, Associate professor of biology, Lawrence University
Don Mitchell, author of Flying Blind: One man’s adventures battling buckthorn, making peace with authority, and creating a home for endangered bats