Psychology

  • Attraction to Monsters (with Ella Gallego)

    Beauty and the Beast. Twilight. The Shape of Water. What do these stories have in common? Humans and monsters getting down and dirty. This episode explores the surprising psychology behind "monsterf*ckers" — people attracted to creatures like vampires, werewolves, and tentacled beasts. Hear from researcher Ella Gallego about her study on monstrous desire, which reveals how and why women and LGBTQ+ people are particularly entranced by these inhuman love interests. We’ll trace the history of monster erotica through the medieval church’s preoccupation with demon sex, the horny throughline of vampire movies, and the incredibly surprising history of tentacle porn. Bare your neck and put on your hottest swamp bikini: it’s time to discover the connection between monsters, sex, and our deepest desires.

  • IQ / Intelligence (with Dr. Steven Piantadosi)

    The IQ test is supposed to be a measure of human intelligence. But is it? Today, we're joined by UC Berkeley professor Dr. Steven Piantadosi to understand why the diversity of human intellect can't be captured by a single number. We'll explore the history of IQ, from its innocent beginnings in French schools to its dark role in the eugenics movement. We'll understand why IQ testing is fallible, thanks to rising scores, the effects of motivation, and cultural bias, and learn about a test in the 1970s that was designed to flip that bias upside down. Go full galaxy brain and tune in to hear why IQ isn't all it's cracked up to be.

  • Remastered: Depression (with Dr. Gerard Sanacora)

    How much do we really know about depression? In this remastered episode, Gerard Sanacora, director of the Yale Depression Research Program and Co-director of the Yale Interventional Psychiatry Service, reveals that even doctors don't fully get the biological roots behind depression's mix of mental and physical woes. But that doesn't mean we don't have effective treatments — and those treatments are only getting better. For example, ketamine and psilocybin are being studied as unconventional treatments to reshape depressed brains. Tune in to learn how medicine moves forward in understanding this serious condition, even when the science isn't clear.

  • Poop (with Bryn Nelson, Ph.D.)

    Grab your squatty potty and put your squeamishness aside: we're going elbow-deep into human waste with science journalist and author Bryn Nelson. This episode digs into the microbiome, probiotics, and fecal transplants. It uncovers the surprising benefits and uses of human waste, from healing autoimmune conditions to fertilizing crops, and even the ancient practice of collecting and selling 'night soil'. Also: how many synonyms for poop can Ashley stomach? Find out.

  • Addiction (with Judy Grisel, Ph.D.)

    Today we're diving into the world of addiction and drug use with Judy Grisel, a behavioral neuroscientist who's been down the road of addiction herself. We'll cover why humans are so drawn to altering our consciousness with chemicals, how addictive drugs affect our brains, and some common misconceptions about drug use. Plus, we'll explore the factors that contribute to addiction, like age, genetics, and even random chance.

  • Depression (with Dr. Gerard Sanacora)

    What is depression, really? Do antidepressants actually work? And how can ketamine and psilocybin possibly help?

    Featuring Gerard Sanacora, director of the Yale Depression Research Program and Co-director of the Yale Interventional Psychiatry Service.

  • Pornography (with Joshua Grubbs)

    What makes porn, porn? Why is a Playboy centerfold porn when the Venus de Milo isn't? How long have we been making porn? And importantly, is porn addictive?

    Today's guest is Dr. Joshua Grubbs, professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University.