Suicidal Behavior, Science, & Mixed Martial Arts with Dr. David Klonsky

Dr. David Klonsky is a clinical psychology professor who conducts research on suicidal behavior, personality, emotion, and assessment. He developed the three-step theory, which is an important and parsimonious theory of suicidal behavior. David also conducted foundational work on the functions of nonsuicidal self-injury. After discussing suicidal behavior research, we shifted the conversation to open science and criticism of National Institute of Mental Health grant funding priorities. Then, we talked about mixed martial arts – both our own experiences and David’s work consulting with athletes competing in combat sports. We concluded with thoughts about why Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Star Wars are so good. This episode was SO much fun to make, and we hope you enjoy listening to it!

Show Notes

Suicide Research

You can follow Dr. David Klonsky on Twitter and check out his lab’s research on Google Scholar. For example, I recommend:

Ideation-to-Action Theories of Suicide: A Conceptual and Empirical Update

The Role of Theory for Understanding and Preventing Suicide (But Not Predicting It): A Commentary on Hjelmeland and Knizek

On the episode, I mentioned that I wrote a blog post about the three-step theory and how I believe it can advance public discussion about suicide.

Mixed Martial Arts Media Appearances

You can also follow David’s MMA Twitter account.

5 Rounds: Psychology of MMA, Mark Bocek on Bendo vs. Thomson and More – Fight Network

Ronda Rousey’s Return at UFC 207 – Fight Network

Connor McGregor’s Winning Ways; Mentally Breaking Opponents – Fight Network

Suicide prevention information and resources are available here and you can learn more about nonsuicidal self-injury here.

Journalism & Psychology with Jesse Singal

Jesse Singal is a journalist who writes about a range of fascinating topics, including psychology and behavioral science. Journalism plays an important role in communicating research findings to the public, and Jesse shared his insight about how that process works. We also talked about his concerns about current directions in journalism, college mental health, the book he’s writing, his newsletter, his podcast, Twitter, Flip McVicker, and more! We hope you enjoy this episode – thanks so much for listening!

Show Notes

Jesse is a contributing writer and former staffer at New York Magazine, where he edited Science of Us and was a writer-at-large. You can read his articles here.

He also has a book coming out about why half-baked behavioral-science ideas go viral. You can follow him on Twitter for updates about his book, links to his new articles, and pizza commentary.

Definitely check out Jesse’s newsletter and podcast, which focus on clashes between science and social justice advocacy and other interesting subjects.

We discussed Jesse’s articles, The Myth of the Ever-More-Fragile College Student and Psychology’s Favorite Tool for Measuring Racism Isn’t Up to The Job. If the implicit association test and implicit bias interest you, I recommend listening to Jesse’s podcast episode with Patrick Forscher. We also talked about his podcast episode, What It’s Like In “The Bad Part of Town” with Chris Arnade, which was really moving. I was also on Jesse’s podcast to talk about Suicide Research, The Campus Culture Wars, and Florida’s Endearing Weirdness.

If you like what you hear, please tell a friend, rate and review us on iTunes, and follow us on Twitter. Thank you!

Eating Disorders & Suicidal Behavior with Dr. April Smith

This episode is an interview with Dr. April Smith, an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology. First, Dr. Smith shared how she became interested in her current research areas. Next, we talked about potential explanations for elevated suicidal behavior rates among people with eating disorders. Dr. Smith shared how her lab has investigated underlying factors through the lens of the interpersonal theory of suicide. In addition, Dr. Smith is conducting intriguing research on interoception (a person’s ability to sense what’s going on in their body) and its connections to these mental health issues. Dr. Smith’s innovative, scientific approach was fascinating to hear about, and we hope you enjoy learning about it!

You can follow Jedi Counsel on Twitter and like us on Facebook. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on iTunes and tell your friends! Thank you!

For more information:

Check out Dr. Smith’s faculty webpage and lab website. You can also follow her lab on Facebook and Twitter.

Recent articles from Dr. Smith and collaborators include: a meta-analysis on disordered eating and suicidal behavior, an examination of shared risk factors, and a review of research on eating disorders and suicidality.

You can read about her grant on interoceptive deficits and suicidality here.

Here is the Fox et al. (2019) paper that compares self-harm intentions underlying eating disorder and nonsuicidal self-injury behaviors, and here is the paper testing the four-function model of self-harm with binge eating and purging.

You can learn more about eating disorders here and suicide prevention here.

Episode 120: The Science of Suicide Prevention with Dr. Tracy Witte

We spoke to Dr. Tracy Witte, an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, about her fascinating research on suicidal behavior. First, she told us about the interesting path that led her to clinical psychology. Next, she shared how openness to new opportunities led to important interdisciplinary work with different populations (e.g., military, LGBTQ+ veterinarians and students). Veterinary professionals have elevated suicide rates compared to the general population, and Dr. Witte’s work has shed light on potential ways to address this disparity. We concluded by talking about Dr. Witte’s intriguing research on the nature of suicidal behavior and how science can help us to save lives. We learned a lot making this episode, and we hope you enjoy listening to it!

You can follow Jedi Counsel on Twitter and like us on Facebook. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on iTunes and tell your friends! Thank you!

For more information:

Check out Dr. Witte’s faculty page and lab website.

Here’s a blog post about the taxometrics study on suicidal behavior by Dr. Witte and Dr. Holm-Denoma.

You can learn more about suicide prevention here.

Suicide theories discussed in this episode include the interpersonal theory of suicide and the three-step theory.

Learn more about lethal means safety for suicide prevention here and here.