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August 26, 2009

Free Online Psychology Audio & Video Resources

FreePsychologyOnlineBlogFeature.jpgCheck out 25 of the top free psychology audio books, lectures, & podcasts available for free online. For the past five years we've featured dozens of free psychology resources as part of our Free Resource of the Day Emails. From these emails, we've curated the 25 titles listed below, which include introductions to psychology and psycho-analysis, the evolutionary origins of the human mind, and what the latest neuroscience research is revealing about how human beings operate. We also feature resources that delve into ways you can boost brain performance, how to cope with depression, and what it means to be truly happy. Click any of the 25 titles listed below to get started:

1. Dream Psychology: Psychoanalysis for Beginners

Download the audio book of Sigmund Freud's Dream Psychology. This book distills Freud's ideas on dream psychology into a compact manual. While Freud's magnum opus The Interpretation Of Dreams can be overwhelming in its length and scientific language, this audio book attempts to convey Freud's words on dream psychology in language fit for the lay reader through these nine straightforward chapters:

# 1. Dreams Have a Meaning
# 2. The Dream Mechanism
# 3. Why the Dream Disguises the Desires
# 4. Dream Analysis
# 5. Sex in Dreams
# 6. The Wish in Dreams
# 7. The Function of the Dream
# 8. The Primary and Secondary Process - Regression
# 9. The Unconscious and Consiousness - Reality

This book is presented on audio for the first time by Librivox.org and is narrated by a number of their volunteer narrators.

2. The Origin of the Human Mind

In this streaming UCTV video Lecture, cognitive scientist Martin Sereno gives us a survey of the brain's evolution. With thorough visual aids, Sereno examines the difference between the human brain and that of other species, showcasing experiments he has conducted that have helped broaden our understanding of the physical mechanics behind human thought. The biggest question he poses is why our minds are so special, when organically the human brain is 99% similar to that of the primates. Learn why size doesn't matter when it comes to brain power!

3. Jung Podcast

This podcast is devoted to the understanding of the analytical psychology of the great Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung. Jungian analyst John Betts (who graduated from the International School of Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland) introduces listeners to Carl Jung's theories of the structure of the psyche, the Anima & Animus, the Persona, Jungian dream interpretation, active imagination, individuation, and more! John Betts is incredibly lucid and articulate in describing these theories, providing real life examples and quoting Jung and other Jungians as he goes along. It's basically a course on Jung, and one would do best to start with Betts' first podcasts and work his or her way through them.

4. Introduction to Psychology

MIT OpenCourseWare is offering their Introduction to Psychology course for free on MP3 download. Professor Jeremy Wolfe guides listeners through the basic functions of the brain including emotions, memory, cognition, language development, and more. He finishes off the course with lectures on Freud and mental illness. Wolfe is an engaging lecturer that pulls listeners in from the first lecture. Each lecture features a PDF download of lecture notes to supplement the audio. Download or stream this course through MIT OpenCourseWare.

5. Boosting the Brain's Power Into Old Age

In this lecture delivered at the Chautauqua Institution, author Dharma Singh Khalsa talks about "Boosting the Brain's Power Into Old Age". He provides methods for preventing Alzheimer's disease and other brain related illnesses, and how to boost your memory and to become more mentally energetic. Dr. Dharma provides some nutrition and supplement suggestions. He claims that the days of declining mental activity during old age are over with, if people will make a conscious effort to maintain their healthy brain. This title is available on streaming video and MP3 download from FORA.tv.

6. Jill Bolte Taylor's Stroke of Insight

In this moving talk delivered at the TED conference, brain researcher Jill Bolte Taylor provides a first-person account of her own stroke and the experience of losing control of her bodily functions as well the functions of the left side of her brain. Instead of it being a painful or frightening experience, she said the stroke put her in a intense state of bliss and nirvana. Sharing this experience became her motivation for recovery. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

7. The Neuroscience of Consciousness, Perception, and Self

While covering the Iraq war in 2006, TV news Journalist Bob Woodruff suffered a traumatic brain injury after nearly losing his life to a roadside bomb. In this fascinating discussion from the Aspen Institute, Woodruff traces how he rebuilt his ability to comprehend the world step by step; showing the viewers video of his first few days of rehabilitation through to his still ongoing attempts to recover lost brain functions. Woodruff offers a prime case study for scientists that are attempting to uncover the many mysteries of human consciousness. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download through FORA.tv.

8. A Beautiful Mind: Genius, Madness, Reawakening

Listen to the truly inspiring story of mathematician John Nash as told by the author of A Beautiful Mind Dr. Sylvia Nasar. In this amazing one-hour lecture Dr. Nasar tells of the rise of John Nash as a genius in mathematics and his eventual downward spiral into paranoid schizophrenia which was followed by an amazing resurgence from his mental illness in his later years culminating in winning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994. It's a remarkable story and a must-watch lecture if you've never seen it before. Dr. Nasar delivers the story with clarity and heartfelt emotion. It is available on streaming video from MIT World.

9. Ten Days in a Madhouse

This classic piece of investigative journalism was written by Nellie Bly, one of the first female newspaper reporters. She went undercover to reveal the conditions of asylums in New York. This audio book is narrated by Alice at LibriVox, and she has the youthful spunk of Nellie Bly's writing. It is available on MP3 Download.

10. Sherwin B. Nuland on Electroshock Therapy

In this TED talk American surgeon, author, and Yale professor Sherwin B. Nuland talks about the history of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for treatment of severe major depression and other mental illnesses. He then proceeds to tell about his own recovery from major depression through electroshock therapy back in the 1970s. After his first marriage failed he fell into a deep depression until he could no longer function. When no other treatments worked the doctors attempted electroshock therapy which led to a remarkable recovery. This talk is available on streaming video and downloadable video from TED.

11. Oliver Sacks: Musicophilia

In this lecture from FORA.tv, neurologist and author Oliver Sacks (who authored the popular book Awakenings) discusses his latest book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain. He tells stories about his many patients over the years and their experiences with music both as an affliction and a treatment for the brain. Sacks purports that human responsiveness to music is intrinsic to the human brain. This lecture is offered on streaming video and MP3 download through FORA.tv.

12. Vilayanur Ramachandran: A Journey to the Center of Your Mind

In this TED talk, neurologist Vilayanur Ramachandran provides some neuroscientific explanations for puzzling psychological and physiological phenomena. He covers why after certain brain injuries patients cannot visually recognize their mother, how to amputated patients can overcome the pain of phantom limbs for only $3, and why certain people see colors when they look at numbers and letters. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

13. Dan Ariely: The Upside of Irrationality

Use irrationality to help you overcome bad habits and achieve your goals. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely's bestselling book Predictably Irrational showed how people frequently make irrational decisions regarding their health, their spending habits, and much more. In this lecture Ariely talks about his latest book The Upside of Irrationality where he shows the negative and positive effects of irrationality and how we can use irrational means towards our own rational objectives. He tells of experiments and examples where irrational incentives were used to help fight global warming, to motivate people to take care of their health, and to prevent people from texting while they're driving. It's one of the most fun lectures we've listened to all year. This lecture is available on MP3 download and streaming video from the Forum Network.

14. The Soul in Depression

Listen to this podcast from American Public Media's Speaking of Faith program covering the topic of depression. Nearly ten million Americans are diagnosed with clinical depression, and if you have experienced depression or know someone who has then this audio program is a helpful resource covering the spiritual side of depression. In this podcast host Krista Tippett interviews author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression Andrew Solomon, Quaker author & activist Parker Palmer, and poet Anita Barrows about their experiences with depression. Each author discusses some of the life-affirming, spiritual qualities that can come from someone who has survived a bout of depression. This podcast is available on MP3 download and streaming audio from the Speaking of Faith website.

15. Dan Gilbert: Why Are We Happy? Why Aren't We Happy?

Check out this TED talk from Harvard psychologist and the author of Stumbling on Happiness, Dan Gilbert. Gilbert provides info from studies that reveal that what we often think will make us happy is the opposite of the case. He shows that because we have the ability to consider the future, we are much better prepared for the results and can usually be happy regardless. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

16. 23 Intuitive Development Exercises from Sounds True

Listen to 23 Intuitive Development Exercises from Sounds True. In these exercises you'll hear teachers such as Judith Orloff, Caroline Myss, Cyndi Dale, Laura Alden Kamm, and many more. These teachers cover what intuition is and how you can further develop it. Note: These exercises are streaming audio only and not downloadable.

17. Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation

In this hour-long talk delivered at Google, author and brain researcher Dr. Daniel Siegel explains his definition of the what the mind is. He takes us on a quick overview of the functions of the brain, from the spinal cord all the way up to the prefrontal cortex where he argues that the uniqueness of humans stems from. From his research and experience Siegel lays out nine integral functions of this part of the brain including reflective awareness, empathy, morality, and more. He then talks about his discovery of mindfulness and how the practice of mindfulness cultivates all these functions of the middle prefrontal brain. Dr. Siegel expresses his hope that along with reading, writing, and arithmetic, the 4th of reflection would be taught in education to help cultivate mindfulness and healthy brain function. This talk is available from Google and can be watched on YouTube.

18. Robert Whitaker: Rise of Mental Illness in America

Journalist and author Robert Whitaker takes time to talk about his book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America in this talk delivered at the Harvard Book Store. Whitaker shows how mental illness has been rising in America in the past 50 years despite the development of numerous psychiatric drugs to treat various mental illnesses. While Whitaker acknowledges that using these drugs selectively can be effective in the short term, he presents studies that suggest that many of these psychiatric drugs are not effective in curing mental illness in the long term. Going against the status quo of what psychiatry practices today, Whitaker shakes up many commonly held assumptions about treating mental illness and suggests ways of treatment that are more selective in regards to prescribing drugs and that have also proven to be more effective. His talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the Forum Network.

19. Mental Efficiency

Listen to this audio book on how to exercise one's mind for maximum efficiency. English novelist Arnold Bennett uses his wit to convey how we work hard at the up keep of our physical bodies, while we often do little to workout our minds. He gives examples of ways to give the mind a workout. He also features essays that explore the presentation of self, breaking free from the past, relationships and marriage, and how to achieve success. This audio book is well narrated by Ruth Golding at Librivox who has a lovely British accent. It has a running time of 3 Hrs. and is available on MP3 download.

20. In Depth: Temple Grandin

In this three-hour interview from BookTV's In-Depth series, Animals in Translation author Temple Grandin discusses her autism and the wide spectrum of autism, and how she has used her insights into autism to help her relate to the inner worlds of animal. Her autism leads to hypersensitivity to noise and other sensory stimuli and she correlates it to how animals perceive the world through their senses. She talks about how she has used this correlation to improve animal welfare in the agricultural industry. In the interview Grandin also provides a host of insights into what it is like to live as an autistic person. This talk is available on streaming video from C-SPAN's BookTV.

21. Q&A with Dr. Amen

Dr. Daniel G. Amen is a psychiatrist and the bestselling author of Making a Good Brain Great. In this media resource on his site he answers some of the most popular questions he has been asked over the years covering many points on brain health. He answers questions about the best supplements to take for the brain, methods of treatment for various psychological conditions, and addresses many other interesting brain inquiries. Enjoy these answers from a doctor who has dedicated his life to looking at the brain. This Q&A audio is available on streaming audio from the Amen Clinics website.

22. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow

Check out this TED talk from psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who authored the book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Csikszentmihalyi talks about how he became interested in psychology after World War II when he heard a lecture by Carl Jung. Csikszentmihalyi eventually began his psychological study of how average people become extraordinary which he attributes to the idea of "flow" when one become completely involved in an activity for its own sake. Csikszentmihalyi provides many examples of individuals who have tapped into this "flow" state. This talk is available on streaming video and MP3 download from the TED.com website.

23. A Practical Guide to Self-Hypnosis

If you've ever been interested in hypnotizing yourself, this audio book might be a good place to start. This book by Melvin Powers covers the history and applications of self-hypnosis. The book purports to explain how self-hypnosis can alleviate distressing symptoms, substitute strong responses for weak responses, help overcome bad habits, create good habits, and help one's power of concentration. Find out for yourself how effective self-hypnosis is. This book is adequately narrated by Andrea Fiore and is available on MP3 download from LibriVox.org.

24. The New Psychology of Depression

From Oxford University comes this 3-hour series covering "The New Psychology of Depression". Dr. Danny Penman and Professor Mark Williams (co-authors of the book Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World) discuss the global health problem of depression and the current methods for treating it including medication and therapy. They then discuss Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) which Professor Williams co-developed. They describe what MBCT is and the success that it has had in preventing relapse of depression in the many studies that have been conducted throughout the world. Anyone who has experienced depression or knows someone who has should listen to this great series on the latest information about treating depression. Note: To play the podcasts click the Download File links.

25. Daniel Goleman: Why Aren't We All Good Samaritans?

In this brief TED talk, psychologist and author of Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman discusses his research into the psychology of compassion and being a "good Samaritan". He suggests that our emotional response to be compassionate towards others is an automatic response when we see people suffering, and it is only by turning this emotion off through the busyness of our daily lives that we suppress this desire to help others. He then provides some inspirational stories for how we might all work towards being good Samaritans. This TED talk is available streaming video and MP3 download through the TED.com site.

We've been sending out our Free Resource of the Day Emails for many years now. If you've not subscribed yet, we highly encourage you to do so.