Dr Steven Taylor (The Psychology of Pandemics)

In 2020, the world changed in ways none of us could ever have imagined. Dr Steven Taylor is the author of The Psychology of Pandemics, the first-ever comprehensive analysis of this subject which he published before Covid 19 broke out. Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has so far resulted in over 2.7 million deaths worldwide, with over 126,500 deaths in the UK alone. As the vaccination program beds in and the rules start to fall away, Annie wanted to bring you a conversation that could act as a useful tool in helping us to move forwards out of Covid 19 in the healthiest way possible. 


Enter Dr Steven Taylor - an award winning Professor and Clinical Psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. Steven is an expert at human behaviour in pandemics and in this conversation Annie quizzes him about Covid 19 in relation to pandemics of the past, and how this one has compared - have we learnt anything? We discuss patterns in behaviour when it comes to freedoms being curtailed, the psychology of our journey and how the pandemic has changed us from panic buying to lockdown loneliness, resulting societal changes in terms of relationships, birth rates and wearing masks and what really affects how well people cope.


We are introduced to new phrases like ‘anchoring bias’, where we predict our future based on how we’re feeling now and ‘post traumatic growth’, the idea that you go through an ordeal, a trauma or a pandemic, and you don't just bounce back to where you were, but you actually grow as a human being. 


This is essential listening, reflecting on the biggest change the world has seen in a long time. 


Warning: This episode discusses the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Should you be affected by any of the issues raised in this episode, in the UK, The Samaritans can be reached on 116 123. You can also contact Mind on 0300 123 3393 or head to mind.org.uk.


In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is on 13 11 14. Hotlines in other countries can be found here http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html


Dr Steven Taylor's book can be found here:


You can find our more about his work here:


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