Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Aisling Deegan 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

Hi there, I am Aisling. Over the past four years I have thoroughly enjoyed learning about various psychological topics, and how they apply to our everyday existence. The BSc [Hons] in Applied Psychology at IADT has equipped me with necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes applicable across a broad range of future pursuits. I am particularly interested in both neuropsychology and performance psychology. Ultimately, I aspire to pursue research and career opportunities in areas that can positively impact the health of the population. Please enjoy learning about my project and feel free to contact me if you wish!

Investigating the effects of listening to psychology and mental health-related podcasts

My study explored the effects of listening to psychology and mental-health related podcasts, examining podcast listening frequency, the personality of listeners, and levels of listeners’ self-efficacy. Listening to podcasts, the digital audio, sometimes video files, which are accessible via the internet, has become an increasingly popular past time. According to global podcast charts, many involve hosts, guests and experts regularly discussing psychology and mental health-related topics, such as how to overcome life adversity, and achieve personal goals. Considering this, my study investigated if listening influences self-efficacy, a person’s belief in their abilities to complete tasks and achieve ambitions. Utilizing a pseudo-anonymous online survey, I also gathered information about listeners’ personalities and listening behaviour, which has helped to contribute to the psychology of podcasting, an emerging area of research.

Project Objectives

My project had three main objectives. First, to discover if there were any differences in the openness personality trait levels of the psychology and mental health-related podcast listeners, based on how frequently they listened to such podcasts. Second, to discover if there were any differences in the self-efficacy levels of listeners, based on their listening frequency. Third, to examine if there was a relationship between the openness and self-efficacy levels of listeners. Ultimately, the objective of my project was to expand upon the limited research surrounding psychology and mental health-related podcasts, so that the impact on listeners may be further understood and improved.

Project Outcomes

A total of 177 psychology and mental health-related podcast listeners took part in my study. Consistent with previous psychological findings, my project revealed that on average, those who listen to psychology and mental-health related podcasts more frequently, scored higher in openness, suggesting that frequent listeners may be more curious, and interested in new experiences, than less frequent listeners. There were no significant differences detected in the self-efficacy levels of listeners, based on listening frequency. Interestingly, this contradicts previous psychological literature which has indicated that the main reasons for listening to these types of podcasts include learning how to improve self-regulation, and cope with difficulties. Further research in this area is needed to better understand the effects of listening. Finally, levels of openness and self-efficacy appeared to share a weak positive relationship. It should be noted that openness and self-efficacy can be influenced by a broad range of factors such as emotional states, and previous experiences. Overall, my project discovered more about psychology and mental health-related podcast listeners, and the effects that listening may have.