Video and Multimedia

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Video 1The Surprising Decline in Violence
Description: In this eye-opening TED Talk, psychologist Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence.

Video 2The Biology of Our Best and Worst Selves
Description: How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic--and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating TED Talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors.

Video 3Violent Video Games: What Does the Research Say?
Description: There’s always plenty of talk about the effects of video games, including this recent article on the positive and negative effects of video games. Recent research on violent video games is pretty conclusive and you’re not going to like it: there’s good evidence that if you play violent video games you might be less likely to (a) notice aggressive events, (b) perceive fewer or less severe injuries, (c) feel less sympathy for violence victims, and (d) have less negative attitudes towards violence. In this video from The Psych Files, take a close look at this research as well as one study which claims the complete opposite: that violent video games are perceived by players as merely “rough and tumble play,” and that violence actually enhances performance. Who should you believe?

Audio 1On The Knife’s Edge: Using Therapy to Reduce Violence Among Teens
Description: In moments of anger, it can be hard to heed the advice to take a deep breath or count to ten. But public health researcher Harold Pollack says that “regret comes almost as fast as anger,” and that five minutes of reflection can make all the difference between a regular life and one behind bars. In this episode of Hidden Brain, Harold Pollack and Jens Ludwig tell us about the research they do at the University of Chicago's Crime Lab. They worked with a program called BAM (Becoming a Man) to look at what happens when teenagers participate in cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. We hear from students in the program and examine the results. They found that changing the way we think can change the way we behave--and changing the way we behave can change our lives.

Audio 2New Baboon
Description: In this episode from Radiolab, we examine how Americans seem to have a completely different attitude toward war than they did thirty years ago. We take a stroll through Hoboken, N.J., asking strangers one of the great unanswerable questions: “Will humans ever stop fighting wars?” Strangely, everyone seems to know the answer. Robert Sapolsky brings us farther afield--to eastern Africa, where a population of baboons defies his expectations of violent behavior. Robert is surprised to feel hopeful for a gentler future, but then primatologist Richard Wrangham asserts that their aggressive nature is innate, unchanging, and hanging over them like a guillotine.

Audio 3The Effects of Video Game Violence
Description: What do psychologists think about the effects of violent video games and violence in the media on viewers? Does it lead people to be more aggressive? More violent? Or is it the other way around--that aggressive people are drawn to violent media? We explore this question in this episode from The Psych Files podcast, along with taking a close look at the classic “Bobo” doll study that was conducted by Albert Bandura. And we throw in a little James Bond along the way.

Audio 4Forgiveness
Description: When loss, violence or betrayal test our willingness to forgive--how do we do it anyway? Listen to this compelling report, where we hear from the mother of one the Columbine school shooters, those trying to move on from sexual violence, and why it’s so hard to ask for, and offer, forgiveness. From TED Radio, these speakers explore the challenges and benefits of forgiving others and ourselves.