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In Our Time on Psychology: An OpenLearn listening list

Updated Friday 10th February 2017

This week, BBC Radio 4's In Our Time broadcast its 750th edition. We've taken a dip in their archives to find five episodes that explore psychology.

Evolutionary Psychology

"Evolutionary psychology claims that all of human behaviour can be understood in terms of a single compulsion - we must sexually reproduce so that our genes will live on."

First broadcast: November 2000

Guests: Janet Radcliffe Richards; Nicholas Humphrey; Professor Steven Rose

Listen to the Evolutionary Psychology episode

And read A brief history of evolution


"Could it be that the human mind is just not built to understand its own basis?"

First broadcast: November 1999

Guests: Ted Honderich; Sir Roger Penrose

Listen to the Consciousness episode

And read Roger Penrose trying to bridge the gap between arts and science

Human Nature

"Is there really such a thing as human nature? And, if there is, can it be changed?"

First broadcast: November 2002

Guests:  Steven Pinker; Janet Radcliffe Richards; John Gray

Listen to the Human Nature episode

And read Steven Pinker discussing his book The Better Angels of Our Nature


"If both mankind and the natural world are selfishly seeking to promote their own survival and advancement, how can we explain being kind to others, sometimes at our own expense?"

First broadcast: November 2006

Guests: Miranda Fricker; Richard Dawkins; John Dupré

Listen to the Altruism episode

And listen to Miranda Fricker debating historic injustice


"The debate still rages as to whether we are born with it or whether intelligence is something we develop as we grow, and evidence for either camp seems to pile up almost daily."

First broadcast: July 1999

Guests: Dr Ken Richardson; Professor Michael Ruse

Listen to the Intelligence episode

Explore your verbal fluency

Interested in psychology? Discover the range of psychology courses with the OU





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