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Psychology in Popular Music

As someone who enjoys all kinds of music, I often listen for the psychological truths or fallacies in pop song lyrics. Sometimes a song might raise questions about some aspect of human behavior, sometimes a song might illustrate some important concept in psychology, and sometimes a song might offer astute and helpful advice. Over the years, I have collected a number of pop songs (with the help of students, colleagues, and friends) that strike me as being psychologically provocative. When discussing an issue in a psychology class or workshop, often a song is a fun way of introducing the topic and starting a discussion.

On my Psychology in the Arts & Media page, I’ve listed pop songs that I find psychologically provocative and that raise questions about human nature. I’ve included the concepts in psychology to which the song most clearly relates, and some of my questions about and reactions to the song. Where available, I have included YouTube URLs that play the song and display the lyrics.

Check out my list…

New on Psychology At Work…

Welcome!

Here are recent additions to the website as of 1-22-14…

Recommended Websites & Online Resources

  • Adult Development & Aging

Time lapse video of aging process–child to old age:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVEiAU_F2qw

Time lapse of person over 90 years:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H9citCL46M

Funny prayer for the aging:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1QbnLDvEfc&feature=em-share_video_user

Facebook’s oldest user–105 years old:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/28/edythe-kirchmaier_n_4165059.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

  • Brain (Neuroscience)

The Brain–teaching modules from video series:  http://www.learner.org/resources/series142.html

  • Intelligence

Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wkFGXqJxas

Howard Gardner talks about multiple intelligence:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODPSRcZ2-Yg

  • Learning & Memory (See also Training & Development)

TED–Working memory:  http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_doolittle_how_your_working_memory_makes_sense_of_the_world.html

How to harness the power of habits–Charles Duhigg interview on NPR:  http://www.npr.org/2012/02/27/147296743/how-you-can-harness-the-power-of-habit

The Power of Habit–author Charles Duhigg interview on NBC Today show:  http://www.today.com/video/today/46554965#46554965

TED–Angela Lee Duckworth, University of Pennsylvania professor and MacArthur Fellowship winner, discusses her research on “grit” as the essential element of success:  http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit.html

  • Mental Health/Disorders

I had a black dog named depression–World Health Organization sponsored cartoon illustrating the experience of depression to commemorate World Mental Health Day:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc

  • Perception (Illusions), Judgment, Decision Making (Problem Solving), Cognitive Errors, & Critical Thinking

TED–How to spot a liar:  http://www.ted.com/talks/pamela_meyer_how_to_spot_a_liar.html

  • Psychology & Music

Explanation of musical performance anxiety and ways of coping (short student project–but good information):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=juBdg9snMxI

  • Social Psychology & Group Dynamics

TED–Body language (how it can change how we see ourselves: “fake it until you become it”): http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

  • Stress & Coping

APA Stress survey–sources & affects on health:  http://www.apamonitor-digital.org/apamonitor/201203#pg20

Some Common Biases and Errors in Perception and Judgment and How We Can Guard Against Them

Thanks to…

Tips for Teachers, Trainers, & Facilitators

Welcome!

About this website…

During my 42-year professional career as a psychology professor, adviser, mentor, faculty leader, administrator, author, consultant, and social service agency volunteer (and most recently as a late-blooming musician), I have amassed a core of resources, articles, demonstrations, and instructional materials that I find highly valuable.

This website makes my collection of those resources, as well as new material I regularly discover, easily accessible for my students, colleagues, clients, associates, and anyone interested in applying psychology–notably social, industrial/organizational, and cognitive psychology, and group dynamics–to everyday life. I have also included materials from projects that I am currently working on.

I will be updating, revising, and adding resources almost daily to this website–so please check back frequently to see what is new. I am grateful for the suggestions and feedback I receive from students, associates, and visitors, and will try to continually improve this site.

I hope you will find material in this website useful for a psychology course you might be taking or in your personal and professional growth and development. If so, please leave a comment and suggestions for additional content.

Best wishes,

Henry O. Patterson, Ph.D.

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