Raj Persaud in conversation - the podcasts ((2) general podcasts)
He was responding to a reappraisal of one of Oliver Sacks' lesser known books describing the doctor's own paralysis and body image disorder. He writes:
 
 
This is a timely reappraisal of one of Oliver Sacks' less well-known works. The authors argue that the sense of detachment from his leg that Sacks felt after his injury and surgery was ‘functional/psychogenic’. Stone and colleagues take Sacks' account at face value and are at pains to label it repeatedly as ‘genuine’. Their aim is to go beyond Cartesian dualism, a common aspiration but one hard to achieve in practice, such is the hold it has on our explanatory frameworks. Stone et al approach the ‘case’ like the good clinicians that they are and attempt to ‘get above the lesion’. There is no mind–brain divide but there is a hierarchy: from the peripheral nerves up through the neuraxis to the cortex. But that is as far as it goes: in the materialist world, there is nothing else. A disorder of will seems the best formulation and is made without implied criticism or facetiousness...
 
The piece continues and can be found at the link below - hear Professor Anthony David discussing his take on Oliver Sacks in this free to download podcast
 
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2012 Sep;83(9):869. doi: 10.1136/jnnp-2012-303051
 

References

Direct download: DR-100_0085.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 5:30pm UTC

EGO IS THE ENEMY - RYAN HOLIDAY IN CONVERSATION WITH RAJ PERSAUD

Ego Is The Enemy is a new book published by best-selling author Ryan Holiday and is a philosophical exploration of difficulties we create for ourselves in life. Early in our careers, Ryan argues, ego impedes learning and the cultivation of talent. With success, ego can blind us to our faults and sow future problems. In failure, ego magnifies each blow and makes recovery more difficult. At every stage, ego holds us back.

The book draws on a vast array of stories and examples, from literature to philosophy to history. Using the stories of people like William T. Sherman, Katharine Graham, Bill Belichick, and Eleanor Roosevelt, all of whom reached the highest levels of power and success by conquering their own egos.

http://ryanholiday.net/announcing-ego-is-the-enemy-how-you-can-get-involved/

 

 

Direct download: DR-100_0081.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 11:07am UTC

The Psychiatry of 'Breaking Bad' - Crystalline methamphetamine use and abuse

Professor Michael Farrell FRCP FRCPsych is the Director of NDARC (National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre). He moved to Sydney from London in March 2011 following his appointment to NDARC. Prior to joining NDARC he was Professor of Addiction Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His extensive research interests include treatment evaluation, including the development of the National Treatment Outcomes Profile, a brief outcomes measurement instrument for drug and alcohol dependence. He has a long standing interest in drug dependence in prisons and within the wider criminal justice system. He has been a member of the WHO Expert Committee on Drug and Alcohol Dependence since 1995 and chaired the WHO External Evaluation of the Swiss Heroin Trial.

 

From the paper presented at the Annual Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists:

FROM AN ORIGINAL PAPER ENTITLED:

Crystalline methamphetamine use and methamphetamine-related harms in Australia

 

EXCERPT:

 

Concerns about crystal methamphetamine use and harm have increased in multiple countries. The harms of regular methamphetamine use include mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, dependence and psychosis, physical health problems, violent and aggressive behaviour, involvement in criminal activity, injecting and sexual risk, and in some cases, overdose deaths.

The types of methamphetamine used range from amphetamine-type-stimulant pills and amphetamine powder to high purity crystalline methamphetamine. ‘Ice’ is the street name given to the relatively pure preparation of methamphetamine hydrochloride salt because its translucent crystalline appearance resembles ice (also referred to by the street names ‘shard’, ‘crystal’ and ‘skates’). This pure preparation of methamphetamine originated in Taiwan and South Korea, and subsequently spread to the USA where it was dubbed the ‘drug of the 1990s’.

The increased use of crystal methamphetamine raises concerns because the high purity of the drug allows a new route of administration, inhalation. Crystal methamphetamine vaporises when heated, and can be inhaled, affording high bioavailability and an almost immediate drug effect because the drug is rapidly absorbed into the blood stream via the lungs, bypassing the metabolic processes that reduce the proportion of the drug that reaches the brain.

 

BY

Louisa Degenhardt1, Grant Sara2, Rebecca McKetin3, Amanda Roxburgh1, Timothy Dobbins1, Michael Farrell1, Lucinda Burns1 and Wayne D. Hall4,5

  1. National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre

UNSW Australia

Sydney NSW Australia 2052

  1. Sydney Medical School

Northern Clinical School

University of Sydney

Sydney NSW Australia

  1. National Drug Research Institute

Curtin University

Perth WA Australia 6008

  1. Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research

University of Queensland

St Lucia QLD Australia

  1. National Addiction Centre

Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience

Kings College London

London England

 

Corresponding author: Louisa Degenhardt

l.degenhardt@unsw.edu.au

 

 

Direct download: DR-100_0079.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 10:37pm UTC

The Quotable Jung - Tony Woolfson taks to Raj Persaud about the latest book on Carl Gustav Jung

TONY WOOLFSON, PH.D.


Editor The Philemon Foundation

 

From the Philemon Foundation website: philemonfoundation.org/about-philemon/about-the-foundation/

Tony was a university teacher of arts and humanities until he decided to accompany his partner, Judith Harris, to Zürich where she trained at the C. G. Jung Institute. While in Zürich, Tony undertook intensive study of depth psychology and religion both independently and through attending classes at the Institute. He taught at the Zürich Institute and continues to study, write, and teach in the area of psychology and religion. He collaborated with Ernst Falzeder in the translation of Jung’s seminar on Children’s Dreams (Philemon Series), the Jung-Schmid correspondence (Philemon Series), and Jung’s German 1931 seminar (Philemon Series, forthcoming).

The Quotable Jung
Collected and edited by Judith Harris
With the collaboration of Tony Woolfson

 

From the Princeton University Press website

press.princeton.edu/titles/10550.html

 

Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 | £19.95 | ISBN: 9780691155593
376 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 

eBook | ISBN: 9781400873340

 

C. G. Jung (1875–1961) was a preeminent thinker of the modern era. In seeking to establish an interdisciplinary science of analytical psychology, he studied psychiatry, religion, mysticism, literature, physics, biology, education, and criminology. He introduced the concepts of extraversion and introversion, and terms such as complex, archetype, individuation, and the collective unconscious. He stressed the primacy of finding meaning in our lives.

 

The Quotable Jung is the single most comprehensive collection of Jung quotations ever assembled. It is the essential introduction for anyone new to Jung and the Jungian tradition. It will also inspire those familiar with Jung to view him in an entirely new way. The Quotable Jung presents hundreds of the most representative selections from the vast array of Jung’s books, essays, correspondence, lectures, seminars, and interviews, as well as the celebrated Red Book, in which Jung describes his own fearsome confrontation with the unconscious. Organized thematically, this collection covers such topics as the psyche, the symbolic life, dreams, the analytic process, good and evil, creativity, alchemical transformation, death and rebirth, the problem of the opposites, and more. The quotations are arranged so that the reader can follow the thread of Jung’s thought on these topics while gaining an invaluable perspective on his writings as a whole.

 

Succinct and accessible, The Quotable Jung also features a preface by Judith Harris and a detailed chronology of Jung’s life and work.

  • The single most comprehensive collection of Jung quotations ever assembled
  • Features hundreds of quotes
  • Covers such topics as the psyche, dreams, good and evil, death and rebirth, and more
  • Includes a detailed chronology of Jung’s life and work
  • Serves as the ideal introduction to Jung and the Jungian tradition

 

Judith Harris is President of the Philemon Foundation and a Jungian analyst in private practice. She is a supervising and training analyst at ISAPZURICH and a senior analyst at the Ontario Association of Jungian Analysts. She is the author ofJung and Yoga: The Psyche-Body Connection. She lives in Zürich and Toronto.

Endorsements:

"An ideal resource for anyone seeking to find Jung’s most fertile ideas succinctly and powerfully stated."--John Beebe, author of Integrity in Depth

"This comprehensive selection of quotations provides a pathway into the complex world of Jung’s thought while never reducing his ideas to oversimplified formulas. The Quotable Jung is an extremely useful volume for anyone coming to Jung for the first time."--Paul Bishop, author of Reading Goethe at Midlife: Ancient Wisdom, German Classicism, and Jung

 

Raj Persaud and Peter Bruggen are joint podcast editors for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and also now have a free app on iTunes and Google Play store entitled ‘Raj Persaud in conversation’, which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world.

Download it free from these links:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rajpersaud.android.raj(link is external)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dr-raj-persaud-in-conversation/id9274662(link is external)

Dr Raj Persaud’s new novel, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, is based on a unique UK police unit that really does protect Buckingham Palace from fixated obsessives. The psychological thriller poses the question: Is love the most dangerous emotion?

coverimage2

Direct download: Raj_Persaud_talks_to_Tony_Woolfson.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 10:33am UTC

What's wrong with modern psychiatry?

Hugh Middleton discusses his new book 'Psychiatry Reconsidered', with Dr Raj Persaud - his book is a n exciting critique of many of the serious problems with modern psychiatry, including fundamental questions he raises over issues such as diagnosis, treatment and the medical model.

Hugh Middleton is both an Associate Professor of the School of Sociology and Social Policy and an NHS Consultant Psychiatrist. Hugh qualified in medicine in 1974 (Cambridge and St George's), became a Member of the Royal College of Physicians in 1976, completed an MD (Cambridge) in 1980, became a Member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1986 and was elected a Fellow in 2009.

Hugh led organisation of the third and fourth Qualitative Research in Mental Health conferences which took place in Nottingham in 2010 and 2012, contributed to the fifth in 2014 and is due to give a keynote address at the sixth in May 2016, which will be held in Crete. He has organised a monthly University of Nottingham seminar providing "Critical Perspectives on Health and Social Care" in the form of visiting speakers and multidisciplinary discussion and debate. He has supervised six successful PhDs exploring various aspects of mental health difficulty from a social sciences perspective and his undergraduate teaching is a popular elective third module, "Sociological Perspectives of Medicine: the Case of Psychiatry".

From Palgrave Macmillan website:

http://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137411365

Psychiatry Reconsidered

From Medical Treatment to Supportive Understanding

Psychiatry suffers a lot of criticism, not least from within its own scientifically founded medical world. This book provides an account of mental health difficulties and how they are generally addressed in conventional medical circles, alongside critical reviews of the assumptions underpinning them to encourage more humanitarian perspectives.

Direct download: DR-100_0076.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 9:56pm UTC

Why do authors write fiction? Professor James Hynes discusses with Dr Raj Persaud

From The Great Courses website:

 

http://www.thegreatcourses.co.uk/courses/writing-great-fiction-storytelling-tips-and-techniques.html

 

Whether you’re huddled around the campfire, composing an email to a friend, or sitting down to write a novel, storytelling is fundamental to human nature. But as any writer can tell you, the blank page can be daunting. It’s tough to know where to get started, what details to include in each scene, and how to move from the kernel of an idea to a completed manuscript.

 

Writing great fiction isn’t a gift reserved for the talented few. There is a craft to storytelling that can be learned, and studying the fiction writer’s techniques can be incredibly rewarding—both personally and professionally. Even if you don’t have ambitions of penning the next Moby-Dick, you’ll find value in exploring all the elements of great fiction.

 

From evoking a scene to charting a plot to selecting a point of view, Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques offers a master class in storytelling. Taught by acclaimed novelist James Hynes, a former visiting professor at the famed Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the University of Michigan, these 24 insightful lectures show you the ins and outs of the fiction writer’s craft.

 

Raj Persaud talks to Professor James Hynes on why people write.

 

http://www.thegreatcourses.co.uk/courses/writing-great-fiction-storytelling-tips-and-techniques.html

 

Professor James Hynes is a published novelist who has taught creative writing as a visiting professor at the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the University of Michigan, The University of Texas, Miami University, and Grinnell College. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Michigan and a Master of Fine Arts from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

Professor Hynes is the author of five works of fiction: Next, which received the 2011 Believer Book Award from the Believer magazine; Kings of Infinite Space, a Washington Post best book for 2004; The Lecturer’s Tale and Publish and Perish, which were both New York Times Notable Books of the Year; and The Wild Colonial Boy, which received the Adult Literature Award from the Friends of American Writers and was a New York Times Notable Book for 1990. In addition to his work as a novelist, he has also written book reviews and literary essays, which have appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Boston Review, Salon, and other publications.

Professor Hynes has received several literary grants and teaching fellowships, including a James Michener Fellowship from the University of Iowa, a Teaching-Writing Fellowship from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a Michigan Council for the Arts writer’s grant. He currently lives in Austin, Texas, and is writing a new novel.

 

For more information on Professor Hynes and his books:

 

http://www.jameshynes.com/

 

You can listen to the interview via a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world. Download it free from these links

 

 

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rajpersaud.android.rajpersaud

 

 

 

 

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dr-raj-persaud-in-conversation/id927466223?mt=8

Direct download: james_hynes_rp_Why_writers_write.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 3:48pm UTC

Can philosophy heal a divided world? Raj Persaud talks to Carlos Fraenkel

Raj Persaud Talks to Carlos Fraenkel - an academic philosopher at the University of McGill in Canada about his new book - Teaching Plato in Palestine.​


From the Princeton University Press website: 

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/104...

Teaching Plato in Palestine is part intellectual travelogue, part plea for integrating philosophy into our personal and public life. Philosophical toolkit in tow, Carlos Fraenkel invites readers on a tour around the world as he meets students at Palestinian and Indonesian universities, lapsed Hasidic Jews in New York, teenagers from poor neighborhoods in Brazil, and the descendants of Iroquois warriors in Canada. They turn to Plato and Aristotle, al-Ghazālī and Maimonides, Spinoza and Nietzsche for help to tackle big questions: Does God exist? Is piety worth it? Can violence be justified? What is social justice and how can we get there? Who should rule? And how shall we deal with the legacy of colonialism? Fraenkel shows how useful the tools of philosophy can be—particularly in places fraught with conflict—to clarify such questions and explore answers to them. In the course of the discussions, different viewpoints often clash. That’s a good thing, Fraenkel argues, as long as we turn our disagreements on moral, religious, and philosophical issues into what he calls a “culture of debate.” Conceived as a joint search for the truth, a culture of debate gives us a chance to examine the beliefs and values we were brought up with and often take for granted. It won’t lead to easy answers, Fraenkel admits, but debate, if philosophically nuanced, is more attractive than either forcing our views on others or becoming mired in multicultural complacency—and behaving as if differences didn’t matter at all.

Carlos Fraenkel teaches philosophy and religion at the University of Oxford and McGill University in Montreal. He is the author of Philosophical Religions from Plato to Spinoza, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Nation, the London Review of Books, and the Times Literary Supplement, among other publications.

 

You can listen to the interview via a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world. Download it free from these links

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rajpersaud.android.rajpersaud

 

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dr-raj-persaud-in-conversation/id927466223?mt=8


Review:

"What unites [the classroom conversations] is [Fraenkel's] skill in the art of posing questions designed to perplex and provoke. He lets us overhear the Socratic form of dialogue that Plato invented and that Mr. Fraenkel practices much to his students’ pleasure, and ours."--Benjamin Balint, Wall Street Journal

"Fresh, iconoclastic, stimulating debates."--Kirkus

"The author urges religious people who aren’t bound by literalism, secularists who don’t dismiss all religion as anachronism, and inquisitive types of all persuasions to try something. First, accept freedom of expression, recognize your fallibility and prepare yourself to revise received assumptions. And then plunge into debates about morality, faith, governance, rights and other matters that divide us . . . the discussions you engage in, as suggested by his and his students’ experiences, will likely broaden your horizons and nourish your intellect."--Rayyan Al-Shawaf, Toronto Star

"If you read one book published this year, then you might make it Teaching Plato in Palestine: Philosophy in a Divided World."--Aminatta Forna, The Independent

Endorsement:

"Carlos Fraenkel thinks that philosophy is essential to a culture of debate that gets us out of our cultural, religious, and intellectual cloisters. We understand ourselves by arguing with others, and understand others by arguing with ourselves. Fraenkel takes these convictions out of the classroom and tests them around the world—from Makassar to East Jerusalem, from Bahia to Brooklyn. The result is a wonderful, engaging, and readable book about the power of philosophy."--Joshua Cohen, coeditor of The Norton Introduction to Philosophy

http://press.princeton.edu/titles/104...

Direct download: Raj_Persaud_talks_to_Carlos_Fraenkel.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 2:29am UTC

Can God Lie? Dallas Denery discusses his new book 'The Devil Wins'

The Devil Wins:
A History of Lying from the Garden of Eden to the Enlightenment
Dallas G. Denery II

 

From the Princeton University Press website: http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10323.html

 

 

Is it ever acceptable to lie? This question plays a surprisingly important role in the story of Europe’s transition from medieval to modern society. According to many historians, Europe became modern when Europeans began to lie—that is, when they began to argue that it is sometimes acceptable to lie. This popular account offers a clear trajectory of historical progression from a medieval world of faith, in which every lie is sinful, to a more worldly early modern society in which lying becomes a permissible strategy for self-defense and self-advancement. Unfortunately, this story is wrong.

 

For medieval and early modern Christians, the problem of the lie was the problem of human existence itself. To ask “Is it ever acceptable to lie?” was to ask how we, as sinners, should live in a fallen world. As it turns out, the answer to that question depended on who did the asking. The Devil Wins uncovers the complicated history of lying from the early days of the Catholic Church to the Enlightenment, revealing the diversity of attitudes about lying by considering the question from the perspectives of five representative voices—the Devil, God, theologians, courtiers, and women. Examining works by Augustine, Bonaventure, Martin Luther, Madeleine de Scudéry, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and a host of others, Dallas G. Denery II shows how the lie, long thought to be the source of worldly corruption, eventually became the very basis of social cohesion and peace.

 

Dallas G. Denery II is associate professor of history at Bowdoin College. He is the author of Seeing and Being Seen in the Later Medieval World: Optics, Theology, and Religious Life and the coeditor of Uncertain Knowledge: Scepticism, Relativism, and Doubt in the Middle Ages.

Review:

"[The Devil Wins is] an informative, sophisticated, and thought-provoking account of the efforts of theologians and philosophers from the early Christian era to the Enlightenment to define lies and understand their ethical, social, and political implications."--Glenn Altschuler, Psychology Today

"Denery explores analyses of an enormous variety of deceptions, and does so with an erudition that is never pedantic or monotonous. He is an entertaining writer, with a healthy skepticism about the dogmatic condemnation of lying as always, or even mostly, morally blameworthy. . . . I think Nietzsche would have loved this book."--Clancy Martin, Chronicle of Higher Education

Endorsement:

"In this exquisitely written book, Denery draws on centuries of rumination on the moral issues surrounding lying to address the question of how we should live in a fallen world. The serpent in the Garden of Eden led humankind astray with lies. The Devil is the father of lies. Premodern sources agonized constantly over the act of lying. Denery not only superbly narrates the long history of this obsession, but also locates the conditions that reveal an Enlightenment shift toward a not entirely comfortable modernity."--William Chester Jordan, Princeton University

"Can God lie? Are women ‘born liars’? These are just two of the questions Denery asks--and answers--in his wide-ranging, erudite study. Written in an engaging and accessible style, The Devil Wins sheds a new and fascinating light on a mendacious world stretching from the Book of Genesis to the dawn of the Enlightenment."--Renate Blumenfeld-Kosinski, author of Poets, Saints, and Visionaries of the Great Schism, 1378–1417

 

If you are viewing this podcast from inside the free mobile phone app 'Raj Persaud in Conversation' you can click on the 'gift box' icon which might be on the top right hand corner of your screen to download bonus content - an original paper by Dallas Denery "From Sacred Mystery to Divine Deception: Robert Holkot, John Wyclif and the Transformation of Fourteenth-Century Eucharistic Discourse,"  Journal of Religious History, June 2005:129-44.

Article in PDFPDF»

You can also find this bonus content in the initial main menu screen that comes up when you open the app on the top right hand corner of the screen under a menu icon that reveals 'extras' - click on extras to see the bonus content.

A related article which may be of interest first published in The Huffington Post by Raj Persaud and Aldert Vrij

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-raj-persaud/how-to-tell-who-is-lying-to-you_b_1550456.html

 

How to Tell Who is Lying to You - The Latest Psychological Research

 

Syria's UN envoy has condemned what he called a "tsunami of lies" being told by some members of the United Nations Security Council. Bashar Jaafari is arguing Syrian forces were not to blame for a massacre in which 108 people were killed and 300 injured, but for which the UN blames heavy weapons by Syria's government.

In the face of what can seem like a 'tsunami of lies' on every horizon, we appear in dire need of the skill to spot who is actually telling the truth, to keep our heads above the rising tide. For example, the Leveson Inquiry continues to pursue the facts, yet some newspapers now prefer body language analysis when reporting what witnesses have said, apparently in order to glimpse the reality behind the words.

The latest psychological research on deception detection casts doubt as to whether the way the inquiry poses questions is likely to penetrate the defences of dissemblers.

It may come as a surprise that so-called experts are not good at spotting lying, but a review of 39 scientific studies by Professor of Applied Social Psychology, Aldert Vrij, a world authority on the science of deception, reveals an average accuracy rate of just 56.6% - in other words for over a third of the time lies go undetected. Men and women are no better than each other, Professor Vrij reports, and professional lie catchers such as police officers and customs officers are generally no superior to the lay public in detecting deceit.

One of the reasons we are so bad at spotting deception is there are widespread erroneous beliefs about what behaviours betray the telling of lies. For example, one of the commonest mistakes is that liars increase their body movements, the famous shiftiness, gaze aversion and fidgeting of a dissembler. In fact scientific research on this demonstrates the opposite is more true, liars more often decrease their body movements and tend to hold your gaze.

So can we learn from the psychological research into deception, to improve our ability to detect deception, and can these techniques help inquiries such as Leveson to sift fake answers from truth?

In fact there are many psychological strategies pioneered by experts such as Professor Vrij, who is based at the University of Portsmouth, which would help us all become better lie detectors, and many are detailed in his book Detecting lies and deceit: Pitfalls and opportunities (published by Wiley). Space only allows two to be mentioned here, both of which are notable in their absence from the style of questioning thus far in the Leveson Inquiry.

The first is called the 'Baseline Method', and it's based on the important principle that there is in fact no one behaviour that is universally characteristic of liars, but when any particular individual starts to stray from the truth, various cognitive, emotional and physiological processes kick in, which it is possible to detect.

But you can only spot these if you already have the 'baseline' of how someone behaves when they are telling the truth, and then compare that with the moment when you wonder if they have begun to lie.

Professor Vrij quotes a real-life example of a videotaped police interview with a murderer being asked to describe a whole day, not just the key moment the police believed he committed the homicide. Detailed analyses of the tape revealed a sudden change in behaviour as soon as the suspect started to describe his activities during the particular time of forensic interest. It was the contrast between his description of times when he didn't have to lie as he spoke, as no crime had occurred then, compared with the period the police were most interested in which was significant.

During his description of the part of the day when the police knew the murder had occurred, he spoke slower, added more pauses, and made fewer movements, compared to the baseline, the other parts of the day the police had patiently asked in detail about. He met the victim and killed her during the period where his behaviour changed when covering up.

Professor Vrij cautions that often interrogators misunderstand the true subtlety of this research finding and misapply it. Crucial in the use of the baseline technique is that correct parts of the interview are compared. Unfortunately, too often in police interviews 'small talk' at the beginning is used to establish a baseline. This is an incorrect way of deploying the technique as small talk and the actual police interviews are totally different situations. Both the guilty and innocent tend to change their behavior the moment the actual interview starts, not least because both are bound to become more nervous then.

Another psychological technique for better spotting lies pioneered by Professor Vrij and colleagues is called 'Devil's Advocate'. Interviewees are first asked questions inviting them to argue in favour of their personal view (eg "What are your reasons for supporting the US in the war in Afghanistan?"). This is followed by a Devil's Advocate question that asks interviewees to argue against their personal view (eg "Playing Devil's Advocate, is there anything you can say against the involvement of the US in Afghanistan?").

The 'Devil's Advocate Question' is an attempt to flush out what the interviewee truly believes, as if they are lying about their position on the war in Afghanistan, for example, the Devil's Advocate Question is actually what they really believe, but are covering up. As we think more deeply about, and are more able to generate, reasons that support rather than oppose our beliefs, this leaks out during the answer to the Devil's Advocate Question.

In effect, for liars the Devil's Advocate approach is a set-up where they first lie when answering the opinion-eliciting question, and are then lured into telling the truth when answering the Devil's Advocate question. Normally we aren't very good at giving reasons for a position we don't hold, so most people aren't good at being a 'devil's advocate' in this situation. Liars however are caught out because they now tend to give fuller and better answers in response to being asked to be a devil's advocate than non-liars. Using this technique Professor Vrij and colleagues found 75% of truth tellers and 78% of liars could be classified correctly.

But before we are too quick to judge those in the headlines who find themselves accused of lying, the psychological research indicates that ordinary people tell an average of 1.5 lies a day, but this rate can climb dramatically because how likely you are to deceive depends a lot on the situation you find yourself in. For example, studies find that 83% of students would lie to get a job and 90% are willing to lie on first dates to secure favorable impressions.

Raúl López-Pérez and Eli Spiegelman, academic Economists, point out in their paper entitled Why do people tell the truth? Experimental evidence for pure lie aversion, soon to be published, that one of the downsides of living in an acquisitive free market economy is how much we constantly gain materially by providing false information.

From doing our accounts, auditing, insurance claims, job interviews, negotiations, regulatory hearings, tax compliance, and all sorts of other situations we stand to gain if we lie, these economists point out, and indeed we are penalised if we are honest.

Given all the incentives to lie, López-Pérez and Spiegelman from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Université de Québec a Montréal, believe the more interesting question is not why do we lie, but instead, why do some people tell the truth? Perhaps more precisely, why do some stick to the truth even when it's not in their interests?

In their research 38.76% of subjects taking part in their experiments, chose to tell the truth even when they would suffer a penalty as a result. López-Pérez and Spiegelman come up with an intriguing new theory of lying where they believe there is a minority of the population who suffer from what they call 'pure lie aversion'. This means some tell the truth because of an innate abhorrence for lying.

López-Pérez and Spiegelman argue this is a significant force behind honesty which has hitherto been neglected by science. It's certainly a factor we should perhaps look for more in our politicians, but then again, maybe we get the lying leaders we deserve because we're constantly seduced into voting for the best con artists. Perhaps all electorates should become more educated in Professor Vrij's techniques before casting their vote.

López-Pérez and Spiegelman also found that those who lied were significantly more likely to believe that others would lie as well. This means the more our politicians and authority figures, even friends or colleagues lie, the more deception will continue spreading.

Dr Raj Persaud is a Consultant Psychiatrist based in London and Aldert Vrij (PhD) is a Professor of Applied Social Psychology who has published almost 400 articles and 7 books on the above topics, including his 2008 book Detecting lies and deceit: Pitfalls and opportunities (published by Wiley), a comprehensive overview of research into nonverbal, verbal and physiological deception and lie detection.

 

Raj Persaud is joint podcast editor for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and also now has a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled ‘Raj Persaud in conversation’, which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rajpersaud.android.rajpersaud

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dr-raj-persaud-in-conversation/id927466223?mt=8

 

 

 


An Atheist's History of Belief - Matthew Kneale discusses his new book with Raj Persaud

An Atheist's History of Belief: Understanding Our Most Extraordinary Invention

Matthew Kneale

From Random House website:

 

http://www.randomhouse.co.uk/editions/an-atheists-history-of-belief-understanding-our-most-extraordinary-invention/9781448163311

 

What first prompted prehistoric man, sheltering in the shadows of deep caves, to call upon the realm of the spirits? 

And why has belief thrived ever since, leading us to invent heaven and hell, sin and redemption, and above all, gods?

Religion reflects our deepest hopes and fears; whether you are a believer or, like Matthew Kneale, a non-believer who admires mankind's capacity to create and to imagine, it has shaped our world. And as our dreams and nightmares have changed over the millennia, so have our beliefs - from shamans to Aztec priests, from Buddhists to Christians: the gods we created have evolved with us. 

Belief is humanity's most epic invention. It has always been our closest companion and greatest consolation. To understand it is to better understand ourselves.

 

 

 

Raj Persaud is joint podcast editor for the Royal College of Psychiatrists and also now has a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world.

 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rajpersaud.android.rajpersaud

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dr-raj-persaud-in-conversation/id927466223?mt=8

 

a related article which may be of interest:

 

Does 'Pure Evil' Exist? Psychologists Investigate the Devils (and Angels) Amongst Us

 

Raj Persaud and Adrian Furnham

originally published in The Huffington Post 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-raj-persaud/does-pure-evil-exist_b_4134835.html

 

Are these examples of pure evil? Anders Breivik bombed buildings in 2011 killing eight people, then shot 69 others, mostly teenagers. He showed no remorse and took pride in his actions. In May 2013, three women and one six-year-old girl were rescued from kidnapper, Ariel Castro, having been held in captivity for around a decade in the USA. Following over 900 criminal counts, he killed himself just one month into a prison term of 1,000 years.

 

Psychologists Russell Webster and Donald Saucier have just published the most comprehensive scientific investigation into our beliefs over whether unadulterated wickedness exists. One interpretation is that accepting the existence of 'Pure Evil', reveals the true nature of deepest malevolence itself.

 

Those who believe in 'Pure Evil' consider bad or criminal behaviour is wilful, conscious and driven primarily by the wish to inflict harm, merely often for pleasure.

 

The psychologists, based at North Central College and Kansas State University in the USA point out that the 'Belief in Pure Evil' holds profound consequences for believers. As there would be no point in being patient, tolerant and understanding, when confronted with unalloyed villainy, then the only response should be eliminating such evil-doers, even if extreme actions are required.

 

If you believe in 'Pure Evil', you also deem that evil-doers will implacably continue being dangerous. This necessarily follows if certain culprits are indeed the embodiment of undiluted viciousness. On both sides of conflict, if each sees the other side as 'evil', this inevitably results in reciprocal and escalating prejudice with violence.

 

Perhaps scientists had been reluctant to study evil before because it seems religious, yet Russell Webster and Donald Saucier point out that cultures all over the world and throughout history, have a surprisingly similar "personal archetype of evil". This includes the conviction that "behind evil actions must lie evil individuals".

 

Their study entitled Angels and Demons Are Among Us: Assessing Individual Differences in Belief in Pure Evil and Belief in Pure Good, focused on the shape of malevolence in people's minds. The research found beliefs over the existence of 'Pure Evil' could reveal key aspects of character.

 

The series of investigations involving hundreds of participants found believing that others can be completely immoral, in turn leads to more aggressive plus hostile attitudes and behaviour. Believers in the existence of 'Pure Evil' are more pessimistic generally, see the world as a more vile and dangerous place, are more opposed to equality, endorse torture, the death penalty and pre-emptive military aggression.

 

Believers in 'Pure Evil' consider that trying to understand evil is futile, because 'Pure Evil' is a deeply ingrained part of character, and understanding will only foster greater empathizing with perpetrators, condoning their harmful behaviour.

 

This most comprehensive investigation, to date, into our views on deep malevolence, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, also found 'Belief in Pure Evil' was not associated with being religious.

 

Instead another conviction - the 'Belief in Pure Good' was. It appears from this study that those who believe in 'Pure Good' are fundamentally different from those who believe in 'Pure Evil'.

 

Believers in 'Pure Good' accept the existence of pure altruism, that some people, though rare, intentionally help others just for the sake of helping, with no personal benefit or hidden agenda. They also judge that even the most ghastly perpetrators - ie wayward criminals, can see "the error of their ways" and reform, ie they are not 'Purely Evil'. Those who more strongly believed in 'Pure Good', supported criminal rehabilitation and opposed the death penalty.

 

Those who score higher in 'Belief in Pure Good' are more likely to believe that doing good means not harming others (unless one's country or allies are directly endangered). People scoring higher in 'Belief in Pure Evil' feel that pre-emptive violence and aggression are justified to root out evil-doers.

 

'Belief in Pure Good' was associated strongly with being religious, as well as those reporting more secular volunteering. The authors speculated that 'Belief in Pure Evil' and religiosity were not as strongly associated as might be expected, because organized religions may recently be downplaying the role of battling evil. But perhaps the sample studied did not contain enough evangelical or fundamentalist participants.

 

Believing strongly in 'Pure Good' was related to less aggression, supporting diplomacy over violence as an approach to foreign affairs, and being against torture.

 

Russell Webster and Donald Saucier point out that part of the belief in 'Pure Good' is that it surely cannot be corrupted by the forces of evil. 'Pure Good' can resist temptations over joining the "dark side" (using 'Star Wars' terminology).

 

Yet apparent do-gooders like Mother Theresa and Gandhi, may have had their reputations tarnished in recent years by various re-evaluations, casting doubt that both these characters, (and many others apparently 'Purely Good'), were in fact as virtuous as first thought.

 

This modern drive to doubt that 'Pure Good' really does exist, could have grave and far-reaching implications, in terms of our pessimism about each other.

 

Doubting 'Pure Good' exists may justify people's apathy over helping others: If 'everybody is selfish', then theoretically we need not feel guilty about our own self-interested behaviour, or endeavour to be more helpful.

 

Believers in 'Pure Good' tended to think more deeply about the causes for other's behaviour, while believers in 'Pure Evil' scored significantly lower on this.

 

So, do you know of selfless good work epitomizing pure good ("angels")? Or are you aware of others who because of their selfish hostility appear to display pure evil ("demons")?

 

If you believe 'angels' and 'demons' live amongst us, that pure good and pure evil exist, this conviction has just been found by this research to profoundly influence your own behaviour and outlook on life.

 

If you believe in 'Pure Evil' it seems you are not convinced 'Pure Good' exists - perhaps because you suppose it will be overcome by 'Pure Evil'. If you feel there is 'Pure Good', then it appears you tend not to accept 'Pure Evil'; maybe you consider 'Pure Good' will triumph over 'Evil'.

 

If you believe in 'Pure Evil' you are more likely to react aggressively to wrong-doing, while if you deem 'Pure Good' exists, you're more optimistic about human nature, and believe that the bad can change, supporting programmes that see the better side of people.

 

One interpretation of this study is that Believers in 'Pure Good' and 'Pure Evil' end up behaving a bit like the angels and demons they perceive as existing in the world.

 

We become the very Demons and Angels we think exist.

 

We make them come true.

 

Direct download: RP_Matthew_Kneale.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 11:39pm UTC

The police use of tasers - discussion between firearms police officers and Raj Persaud

Most people tend to become compliant when ordered to do so by a police officer in a high-stakes type of predicament. But perhaps those suffering severe mental illnesses are more likely to be non-compliant - maybe due to decreased awareness of what is going on around them? Could this explain the seemingly apparent proneness for tasers to be used by the police in these predicaments? Dr Raj Persaud - consultant psychiatrist - discusses the way the metropolitan police use tasers with police officers Matthew Fox and Adam Smith of the Specialist Firearms Command.

 

If you are interested in further information on CPD Online or wish to earn CPD credit points, please visit the Royal College of Psychiatrists CPD Online website for further information at www.psychiatrycpd.co.uk

 

Check out the taser website for the metropolitan police: 

 

http://content.met.police.uk/Site/taser

 

FROM THE MET POLICE TASER WEBSITE:

A Taser is a non-lethal single shot weapon used by MPS officers to temporarily incapacitate a suspect through the use of an electrical current. It is a hand-held weapon similar in shape and size to a pistol, but is bright yellow and black in colour.

 

 

 

 

 

ALSO FROM THE MET POLICE TASER WEBSITE:

Welcome to the Taser site

Welcome to the Taser website. I’m Dave Musker, Commander in charge of armed policing and Taser within the Metropolitan Police.

Taser has been available in the UK since 2003 and is probably one of the most discussed and controversial topics on the use of force agenda. It is with this in mind that I think its essential we provide as much information we can regarding Taser through all forms of media and this website.

The Metropolitan Police has acknowledged the controversy surrounding Taser and have implemented a raft of measures to ensure we get it right. I believe we have the best training in the world with extremely robust policies and procedures to manage the day-to-day operational deployment of the device.

Whilst we are confident we have such comprehensive procedures in place, we are not complacent and we have a dedicated team of officers who continually review what we do and how we do it. I am also keen to continue to engage with all communities and interested parties in London as this will help us to understand the concerns that are out there and deal with any emerging issues.

We have formed a Taser Reference Group with a wide, independent and constructively critical membership to help me oversee the use of taser in London - see related link within Professional training and scrutiny section.

I would also like to point you in the direction of some interesting documents and pages in this website. You will find a recent document published by the London Assembly Police and Crime Committee called ‘Arming the Met’ - see related documents.   We are engaging with the committee to ensure we meet, discuss and address the recommendations within. We are grateful to the Committee for their suggestions which are constructive and provide a good direction for the MPS to follow.

The College of Policing website, which details how police officers across the UK are trained is also a valuable source of information - see related link for College of Policing website.

Raj Persaud is joint podcast editor for the Royal College of Psychiatrists - you can listen to this conversation and others with a new free app on iTunes and Google Play Store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world.

Download it free from these links:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rajpersaud.android.rajpersaud

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dr-raj-persaud-in-conversation/id927466223?mt=8

 

 

THE ARTICLE BELOW MAY BE OF INTEREST - ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE HUFFINGTON POST

 

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/dr-raj-persaud/great-train-robbery-villians-as-heroes_b_3718501.html

 

Does The Great Train Robbery Explain How Villains Became the New Heroes?

RAJ PERSAUD

The anniversary of the Great Train Robbery is being marked in various ways - The Times newspaper reports that a Monopoly set, played by the Great Train Robbers using real cash, while they eluded capture by hiding on a farm, has turned up on the TV programme Antiques Roadshow. Apparently, The Times reports, it was fingerprints on this board game, which later helped convict the gang.

That such an item could become revered, might be part of a modern glamorisation of villainy. Ronnie Biggs and fellow gang members began to be portrayed as romanticised folk heroes. Was the Great Train Robbery the beginning of a process which lead to popular TV series such as The Sopranos and Dexter, where hero and villain often appear inverted?

If heroes were supposed to be moral enough to still do the right thing, despite facing difficult predicaments, does the modern transformation of criminal to hero reveal something deeply troubling about our era?

Psychologist Derek Rohleder has published a dissertation entitled The shadow as hero in American culture: A Jungian analysis of the villain archetype transformed.His thesis is that in modern popular culture the villain has frequently been transformed into a heroic figure. Dr Rohleder uses examples including Hannibal Lecter the cannibal psychiatrist who has become the 'hero' of blockbuster movies including The Silence of the Lambs.

The 'rogue' or 'rebel' has long been a key element of heroic character in fiction and real life, perhaps part of the confusion here is that we assume the outlaw is naturally an underdog.

George Goethals and Scott Allison from the University of Richmond, Virginia, USA, in their analysis of who the public regards as heroic, have found that a key ingredient is the notion of the underdog. In a paper entitled Making Heroes: The Construction of Courage, Competence and Virtue, they state how they found people root for, identify with, and are most fond of, underdogs. Those who must struggle to achieve their objectives.

Their paper published in the journal Advances in Experimental Social Psychologyexplains that this liking and rooting for perceived underdogs, is so deep-rooted, it even holds for inanimate objects, whose movements on a computer screen activate scripts of struggle and effort against more powerful rivals.

They discovered in their own surveys of the public that when asked if they had any heroes, 95% listed at least two heroes, and two-thirds listed six or more in just a few minutes. Roughly a third of heroes, from this research, are family members, a third are real public figures, but the last third are fictional, often from TV and film.

This indicates the media representation of heroic status is extremely important.

Political strategists now make a standard attempt to cast even the most wealthy, institutionalised candidates as actually battling rebels, fearlessly taking on vested interests.

Our deep psychological needs for heroic individuals to idolise, who triumph over adversity, is revealed by the structure of modern popular stories in fiction and film. It's never 'systems' or 'committees' which ride out of the sunset, to the rescue of those in distress, but instead it's the rebel loner.

Disobedience and defiance are also deliciously childish pleasures, which the Freudians would probably contend are part of the romantic allure of those who disregard rules.

Modern cynicism about our rulers is revealed in anti-heroes who dissent and refuse to follow edicts.

The rise of the vigilante hero - who takes the law into their own hands and meters out justice themselves, without waiting for due process to creak into action, also reveals a lack of faith in 'the system' to see injustice is punished.

But the reality of criminals, beneath the veneer of glamour which Hollywood and paperback fiction likes to gloss over them, is that these are often the immature and inadequate who want to take short-cuts.

They yearn for comfort and luxury without sweating through hard work or delaying gratification required by scrimping and saving. There is a part in all of us who is attracted to the short cut, which might partly explain the allure of the criminal as hero. It's the same draw as 'get rich quick' schemes.

However, Hollywood blockbusters today depict heists of labyrinthine complexity, requiring such complex skills and hard work from the heroic con artist or criminal, one wonders why they didn't just get a high paying job that rewarded them legitimately for their breath-taking sophistication.

Instead, the plots require us to believe that being an outlaw, dodging and diving outside the system, might be an inherently preferable. The villain as hero is also more free than the law-abiding rest of us, they don't care what others think of them and this liberty from constraint or judgement suggests they possess an independence of spirit, the rest of us crave.

The irony is that in pursuing this supposed self-determination, the criminal ends up behind bars. How free is a fugitive anyway - someone who has to keep looking behind his shoulder?

But the recent inversion of criminal and hero is important if the heroic are vital in guiding and inspiring us. Should our idols become those who are self-indulgent and selfish, we should beware. True heroes are those who make huge personal sacrifices for noble causes.

In the film Casablanca, at first it seems that Rick Blaine, played by Humphrey Bogart, will not assist the Allied war cause. He famously declares "I stick my neck out for nobody" and "I'm the only cause I'm interested in". He appears the archetypal anti-hero, sulky, self-centred and running what appears to be a shady night-club.

But in the climax of the story, he makes huge personal sacrifices for someone he loves, and the Allied side.

It's psychologically intriguing that for Bogart to play one of the greatest cinematic heroes of our time, he has to at first appear bitter, selfish, dodgy.

The danger is, if we get confused over who are true heroes, as opposed to those who just look rebellious, dangerous and glamorous, we will lose out on truly inspiring figures.

We will end up being robbed.

Direct download: DR-100_0066.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 6:21pm UTC