Dr. Maryanne Garry, Professor of Psychology at Victoria University of Wellington joins us again to talk about two really interesting books about cognitive psychology. I enjoy talking to Dr. Garry because she reads real studies that follow scientific processes, where we mean those that explain studies which can be falsified (which are the only real theories).
Science as Falsification was introduced by Karl R. Popper if you want to learn more about it.
Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
In Dr. Garry’s discussion of the book Thinking Fast and Slow, she explains our cognitive biases, the Peak End Rule and how it affects how you feel about vacations and colonoscopies. (Strange things to see in a sentence together, right?)
Amazon Link to Thinking Fast and Slow
Secret Life of the Grownup Brain by Barbara Strauch
In this book on (healthy) cognitive aging, Dr. Garry explains the changes as we age in speed vs. crystalized knowledge, our increased abilities in pattern recognition and mood regulation.
Amazon link to Secret Life of the Grownup Brain
We finish off by talking about studies that when gathered together suggest that peri-menopausal women can help protect against the effects of aging on cognition by considering Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). The two drugs she discusses are Estradiol, and—for women with uteruses—the addition of micronized progesterone to reduce risk of endometrial cancer. Dr. Garry stresses that she is not a medical doctor and that of course you should have this conversation with your doctor, but she does highly suggest that if you wish to continue high cognitive functioning, it would be a good discussion to have with your doctor.
As a palate cleanser, we talked about a terrific piece done by John Oliver on his show, Last Week Tonight entitled Scientific Studies. In this episode he explains how ludicrous the “news” reporting of scientific studies is. Dr. Garry suggests ways to question these studies.