Podcast series on Positive Psychology

Part One – Ralph and Jim put Positive Psychology into a historical context.Click below to access the content.

Part Two – Jim shares some of his research on happiness as it affects positive (and negative) physical health and emotional health outcomes. Ralph shares the Seven Secrets of Positive People. Together they tackle another pillar of Positive Psychology – Engagement.


Part Three – Ralph and Jim talk about how engagement with the world around you creates a sense of FLOW – a concept central to Positive Psychology.

Part Four – The third main pillar of Positive Psychology is the “Meaningful Life”. This Podcast shows why meaning is critical to the good life; how the six main virtues  – common to all cultures – help us live better, more purposeful and more satisfied lives.

 Positive Psychology Part 5 – Ralph and Jim look at the concept of Optimism and relate the positive impact of optimism on their own lives. For people who lack optimism, Ralph provides strategies to decrease pessimism, thus avoiding what Seligman called “learned helplessness”.

This is a multi-part series on Creativity.

In this series Jim and Ralph will explore: The Nature of Creativity, The Phases of Creativity, The Characteristics of Creative people, How Families Produce Creative Children, Creative Organizations, Blocks to Organizational Creativity, Creativity and Risk Taking.

Episode Twenty-four Part One – The nature of creativity. Jim and Ralph define creativity (inexactly) and they present examples of creative people and talk about the genesis of creativity. The role of brainstorming and flexible thinking will be explored. This will be a good platform for the next Podcasts in this series.

If you have an idea that you would like Ralph and Jim to tackle, whether it be on Creativity or some other topic, send us an e-mail at: carro1jl@cmich.edu.

Click the link below to hear our Podcast.

Creativity Part Two Ralph ans Jim talk about the nature of creativity and the creative process. Click below to hear the podcast.

Episode 26 Creativity Part Three. Jim and Ralph look at the five phases of the creative process: Preparation, Concentration, Incubation, Illumination and Verification. They are  joined by a guest – Professor Byrd (professor by day and a DJ by night) – who talks about the stages of creativity that inform the work that he does.

By the way, the answer to last week’s puzzle was APPLE!!!

Ralph also has discovered research on music and divergent thinking.

Learn More: Here are links to some of Professor Byrd’s material – check them out:





Creativity Part Four – Fostering Creativity in Children.

In this episode Ralph and Jim address GTC – Gifted, Talented, Creative people. While G and T may be largely genetic, C can be aided by the parents and or the school. They look at experiences that parents can provide and examine creative environments.

Creativity Part Five –  Creativity and Positive Psychology

In Part Five of Creativity we discuss creativity in our work lives, creativity in research and the idea of living the good life (as an introduction our Positive Psychology podcasts that will begin in a couple of weeks). We hope to leave you with the challenge of finding your own creative moments, both at work and at home. We also mention a couple of programs for the on-line study of Positive Psychology.

Special Podcast – Gun Violence. Is there a solution? Click on the link below to get the take of Jim and Ralph.

Character, Personality and Personality Disorders, and Other Topics

What is character? What is personality? What happens when one lacks either OR BOTH???

In this multi-part series Jim and Ralph talk about character formation and personality development, and where things can and sometimes do go wrong. Click on link below.

Part One – Jim and Ralph discuss character formation.

Part Two – What is personality? Galen to Freud.

Part Three – In this episode Jim and Ralph talk with  business man, Mason Ludlow, to examine the Personality characteristics of successful leaders.

Go to Learn More to see the Ted Talk about making your bed!

Part Four – Jim and Ralph talk about assessing personality. Go to Learn More to take a personality test and to learn what kind of sea creature you are!!!. Click below to listen to the podcast.


Part Five – Ralph and Jim talk about three types of personality – normal, borderline and Narcissistic, and introduce two tests that can be taken online. It is perhaps significant that there is not, at this time, a test for “normal”personality, although there are working definitions. Click below to listen to the podcast.

Part Six. Jim and Ralph conclude this series with a discussion of the Anti Social Personality Disorder. If you go to Learn More you will see three tests that you can take. There is also a link to the Teddy Bundy book that we mentioned in the Podcast.Click below to listen to the Podcast.


Stress, Trauma and Child Behavior

A New Four Part Series With Ralph, Jim and Experts on the effects of stress and trauma on children today.

Part One – In this episode Jim and Ralph put the problem into a historical perspective.(Click on link above)


Part Two – Jim and Ralph are joined by clinical psychologist, Dr. Jim Gearhart as they discuss the effects of adverse childhood experiences on physical and emotional development, not only in childhood BUT LATER IN LIFE! (Click on link below)

Be sure to check out Learn More for additional information.


Part Three – Ralph and Jim continue their conversation with clinical psychologist Jim Gearhart. The focus turns to treatment and prevention. (Click on link below)

If you go to the Learn More page there is a short Ted Ed video explaining how stress affects your health.

Part Four

 Ralph and Jim talk to a social worker about ACE’s. She provides an optimistic conclusion to the series – ACE’s can be overcome given the right help!!!


Modern Stoicism… The Search For Motives, Morals and Meaning. A Podcast series with Jim, Ralph and Friends, a four part series.

Part One – Just what is Stoicism and how is a 2000 year old philosophy relevant in the 21st century.



Part Two – Today Ralph and Jim are joined by Jim’s wife Sheila – a Storyteller and Story Therapist. They examine how an ancient philosophy like Stoicism has found utility in the complex world of the Twenty-First century. Click on the link below to hear the Podcast.


Here is the Amazon link to the book, by Massimo Pigliucci,  How To Be A Stoic, mentioned in the Podcast: https://amzn.to/2HoCcCK

Here is a Ted Ed that you might enjoy!!! https://youtu.be/R9OCA6UFE-0. It is about Zeno.

In Part Three, Ralph and Jim continue the conversation with Jim’s wife Sheila. She talks about Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius and puts this ancient philosophy int0 a modern day context. Click on the link below to hear the Podcast.


Part Four, Ralph and Jim conclude the series with a look at current practitioners of Stoicism. If you  you go to Learn More you will see the whole list.

Sex and Gender… a series of podcasts on sex and gender by Ralph, Jim and guests. A five part series.

Part One What is the difference between sex and gender? Males have XY chromosomes and female have XX. What are the characteristics of XY or XX persons? Listen to Ralph and Jim as they discuss this question.

Here is a ted Talk on what happens when ones sexuality does not match their gender story.

Sex And Gender Part 2

A discussion with the vice president of diversity at Central Michigan University on  LGBTQ issues…

One of the films discussed is “Boy Erased”, a film about the failures of conversion therapy: https://amzn.to/2X8iU9T


ALSO – Here is a powerful “anti-homophobia” talk by a clergyman. Ted Jennings, Professor of Biblical and Constructive Theology at Chicago Theological Seminary, talks about how it gets better for lesbian,  gay, bisexual, and transgendered people: https://youtu.be/PhqEtIRXXZ8

Sex and Gender Part Three Ralph and Jim continue the conversation about LGB people with Dr. A.T. Miller, Vice President for Diversity at Central Michigan University.

HERE is the link to Emma Watson’s talk on feminism and gender equalityhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSHJYyRViIU

Sex and Gender Part Four Jim and Ralph talk with a person who is in the midst of transitioning from male to female.

Sex and Gender Part five Jim and Ralph continue their talk with Cass, the person in Transition about family, and the challenges of transitioning on not only the person making the change, but also the family.


To Sleep, Perchance to Dream… a series of podcasts on sleep and dream by Jim and Ralph

(click on the title below to hear podcast)

Part One – The Function of Sleep

What is sleep? What is its purpose? What happens when you do not get enough sleep? This podcast answers these questions and more.

Part Two – Stages Through the Night

What are the stages of sleep? Are some stages  of sleep more important than others?

Part Three – But I Can’t Get To Sleep

Trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep? If so, you are like about 2 Billion other people on the planet!!! Insomnia is a serious health (physical, mental and emotional) health risk. Jim and Ralph share strategies to help you get a good nights rest.

Part Four –  More Sleep Disorders Worth Knowing About

Do you sleep 7 or eight hours a night but you still wake up tired? You could have sleep apnea. Does your child start screaming in terror about 75 minutes after being put down? Could be night terrors – which are VERY terrifying to parents who have never seen this before!!! This podcast looks at these sleep problems as well as few others.



Neuron Week Seven Podcasts saluting the Nobel Neuron with Jim, Ralph and guests.

Day One: A stroke of insight: This is the beginning episode to kick off Neuron Week. It is produced by the curators of Psychology Take Away. The importance of the notable neuron becomes clear when Jill Taylor discovers she has lost some. This impactful TED talk and Jim and Ralph’s commentary are both moving and surprising.

Day Two: Growing new brain cells:

Day Three: The Brain in Your Gut:

Day Four: Mapping the Brain:

Day Five:Mirror Neurons:

Day Six New Developments:

Day Seven, we conclude with speculation about the future:




(Click on title below to hear podcast)

Part One

Jim and Ralph talk about growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and the changes in nutrition, exercise and health they noted during the past fifty years.

Part Two

Don’t knife and fork yourself to any early grave. Learn the importance of eating right and how to do it.

Part Three

Avoiding sugar is crucial but very difficult. See how to do it.

Part Four

Avoiding tobacco (even vapes) and getting exercise are key to protecting one’s health and increasing longevity.




Every day in the United States nearly 200 people die from opioid overdose. What are the causes of opioid addiction in the first place and how can they be helped to kick the habit, or better yet, not get hooked in the first place? In this three part series, Jim and Ralph talk with Dr. Jim Gearhart, a Clinical psychologist at Central Michigan University to get his spin on treatment and prevention.




Is gene editing a good thing? A look at CRISPR technology

Ralph and Jim talk with Dr. Kenneth Jenrow, a neuroscience expert about gene editing (CRISPR) and its implications for the future. The interview explores the promises, the risks and the dire consequences of gene editing for the human race.


Gene Editing: Medical miracle or weapon of destruction.

Continuing their conversation with Dr. Kenneth Jenrow, a neuroscience expert, Ralph and Jim head into the dark side of CRISPR technology. The look at super-sized warriors and weapons of mass destruction.


HUMOR – Part One


Humor can be life giving. Humor can turn a negative situation on its head. Humor research shows people live longer and are happier if they laugh more.

Ralph and Jim may not be the funniest guys around but they know humor when they see it.


HUMOR – Part Two


In Humor – Part Two Jim and Ralph talk about the history of humor and health.

HUMOR – Part Three


Jim and Ralph explore theories of humor. Find out why in the Middle Ages a clown was a more successful healer than a physician.