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Podcasts - Why factor - 'I'm a mere human, with feelings...'

of light and shadows
Honour
People have fought for honour and died for it. People have murdered others because of it. Why is this notion so powerful and so lasting? In this edition we examine the honour-codes of the Japanese samurai, we explore honour in the works of William Shakespeare and look at the persistence of so-called honour killings.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02f8m9w

Loyalty
Who are you loyal to? Your family, partner, employer? Why? Mike Williams talks to people whose loyalty has been challenged – from the wife of an unfaithful husband, to a doctor who blew the whistle on her employers. Are we ultimately only really loyal to ourselves?
A Catholic priest argues that it is better to be committed to values than loyal to superiors. Mike also hears how loyalty can be created to get people to kill – such as in the military.

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02gmpbn

Embarrassment
A knot in the stomach, a blush to the face, a wish that the ground would swallow us up and end our misery. We’ve all experienced embarrassment and wished it would never happen again.
But why do experience these feelings and what do they mean? Mike Williams asks psychotherapist Philippa Perry to explain embarrassment and what it says about us and how other people see us.
Dr Jieyu Liu, deputy director of the China Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, tells Mike how the different generations in China view the reasons for embarrassment and how far it differs from “loss of face”. She also discusses how it is possible to feel embarrassed for “the nation”.
And former top cricketer and sports commentator, Ed Smith, reveals how sportsmen and women deal with embarrassment and whether it can be managed for better performance and results.

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p028v4lv

Risking Life For Strangers
Why would someone risk their life for a stranger? Why would a 54-year-old Englishwoman leave her home, her son, her grandchildren and travel nearly 5000 miles (8000 km) to the Ebola hot-zone of West Africa? Why did Cokie van der Velde do it twice? And why is she doing it again?
The deadly Ebola virus has spread through West Africa and threatens to spread further. It has claimed nearly 2,500 lives. The World Health Organisation says the health crisis is unparalleled in modern times, and that the death toll could eventually be in the tens of thousands. The United States has plans to send up to 3000 troops to help combat the epidemic.
On the Why Factor this week, Cokie van der Velde tells Mike Williams about conditions on a Liberian Ebola ward and about the fear she feels as she cleans bodily fluids from the floors and puts the victims into body-bags. It’s an experience which has forced her to reassess her attitude to death - the death of her patients and her own.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p026j78c

Envy
Why do we envy other people? Mike Williams meets a woman who is experiencing severe ‘baby envy’ because she cannot have a child. He explores the role envy plays in literature, whether social media makes us all more envious and if the emotion - often considered dangerously destructive - can sometimes be a force for good.

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01vzjrz

Optimism and Pessimism
Dr Michael Mosley, a self-proclaimed 'proud pessimist', says that given a choice he would prefer to be an optimist, as pessimism affects his relationships and optimists tend to live longer. So he recently agreed to try and convert his darker outlook on life to a brighter one. Over seven weeks, his brain was manipulated by psychologists at Oxford University for a BBC documentary in order to try to turn Dr Mosley into an optimist. He reports back on the success or otherwise of the experiment. But do we have a choice? Ros Taylor says we do. Once a pessimistic average opera singer, she realised that her real passion in life was psychology. She retrained to become a clinical psychologist and claims to have taught herself to become a 'pragmatic optimist'.
Mike Williams puts optimist Ros Taylor up against pessimist Michael Mosley to ask if the glass should be half-full or half-empty and why should we care?
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01kqbm7

The Lie

We all do it… don’t we? If your answer is no perhaps you’re doing it right now.
Many psychologists argue that learning to lie is an important stage for children. As early as two, children who are moredevelopmentally advanced are much better liars. For some people, lying is something they can’t stop doing. We hear from someone whose life spiralled out of control due to her addiction to lying.
But is every lie bad? The concept of a ‘white lie’ is one we teach our children from an early age but different societies socialise their children to tell different sorts of lies. East Asian societies might be more aware of a ‘blue lie’ for example.
Mike Williams explore how different cultures define telling the truth and what that shows us about our societies.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01kb0cc

The Lie
Many psychologists argue that learning to lie is an important stage for children. As early as two, children who are more developmentally advanced are much better liars. For some people, lying is something they can’t stop doing. We hear from someone whose life spiralled out of control due to her addiction to lying.
But is every lie bad? The concept of a ‘white lie’ is one we teach our children from an early age but different societies socialise their children to tell different sorts of lies. East Asian societies might be more aware of a ‘blue lie’ for example.
We explore how different cultures define telling the truth and what that shows us about our societies.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0188dbq

Bullying
Why do humans bully, why do some do it and others allow it? Are bullies born or do they learn their bullying? Mike Williams speaks to anthropologist Christopher Boehm about links between the bullying behaviour of our ape ancestors and our own behaviour. He also speaks to author Helene Guldberg about the challenges defining the term as well as performance poet Shane Koyczan about his experience being both bullied and being a bully.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01jlr3z

Nostalgia
Why do we look back and yearn for the past, longing for some golden age when society was supposedly simple, innocent and kind? Why do we recall sweet memories of our youth? And the bitter-sweet memories of love and loss?
Mike Williams speaks to a social psychologist who reveals that looking to the past can protect us in a number of surprising ways. He hears from a woman from the former German Democratic Republic who waxes nostalgic about life there. And he meets a man born in the 1970s who spends most of his time living in the 1940s.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01h2s9h


Disgust
Disgust is something that we all experience, but what purpose does it serve? And what role does it play in our moral judgements?
Mike Williams speaks to the ‘disgustologist’ Val Curtis about how revulsion protects us from disease and learns how disgust can be used – and abused - as a political weapon.
He tests the limits of his own disgust, finds out what it’s like to be the object of someone else’s disgust and explores the idea that there is “wisdom in repugnance” with philosopher Steve Clarke.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p017zs6g

PTSD
This week we’ll explore Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD. What is it? And why is it so controversial?
Many people in the world are exposed to extraordinary, traumatic events- wars, earthquakes, accidents and crime. Most recover in time but, for some, the trauma takes over their lives, leaving them unable to function.
Mike Williams talks to a war veteran and a tsunami survivor, who tell their stories of how they came to be diagnosed with PTSD. But do the public know what this diagnosis really is? Or has it been confused with a broader term for anyone who has suffered a trauma? Is it a useful diagnosis across cultures?
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p014vrks

Fear - Episode 1
In the first of two programmes on fear, we ask what actually fear is and discover it's a surprisingly difficult question to answer. What does fear mean to us and how do we face our fears, imaginary or otherwise? Are our fears universal or culturally specific?
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p010z9xw

Fear - Episode 2
This week the second of two programmes about fear, why do some of us like to be frightened? Why, in a darkened cinema, do we enjoy and endure fear, horror and suspense? We'll delve into the human mind to find out.
We will also go behind the camera to learn how the film-makers manipulate our senses and play on our deepest, most primeval fears.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p011cdxy

Why do we laugh?
At first glance, it seems like a very obvious basic human response - we laugh because we find things amusing. But what is it that actually triggers our laughter, do all of us find the same things funny?
In the edition of The Why Factor, we also look beyond comedy, at laughter in our everyday lives and the role it plays in the relationships between men and women.
We also hear some surprising and disturbing discoveries. Why, for instance, were those who carried out the massacre at Columbine laughing as they shot dead 13 people?
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00z561s

Crying
Crying emotional tears is uniquely human. We cry over almost anything and for almost any reason – from tears of sadness to tears of joy. Music can induce them, films, stories and television news too. We do not produce tears when we are first born – it takes a few months until we are able to. But once we can, we do it right up until our final days. So why do we cry? Mike Williams traces some of the competing theories of tears with the help of scientists, psychologists, and a historian. He also watches as an actress is made to cry by her acting coach.
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01mhvnm

@темы: links, Why Factor, Relationship, Podcasts, Personality&Character, Listening, English

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