July 9, 2020
Today it’s great to have Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal on the podcast. Together, Herzog and Signal co-host the Blocked and Reported Podcast. NOTE: This is a Patreon exclusive episode, which means that only the first half is available for public consumption. The rest of the episode is only available to Patreon subscribers. Together, Herzog and Signal co-host the Blocked and Reported Podcast.
July 2, 2020
I’m really excited to have Ayishat Akanbi on the podcast today. Ayishat is a writer and fashion stylist based in London. Personal reflection has guided her approach of reminding us of our commonalities instead of our differences. Not just for social awareness but also self-awareness, Ayishat resists the black and white thinking that can lead to divisive socio-political discourse and is comfortable “in the grey”.
June 25, 2020
Today it’s great to have Dr. Richard Haier on the podcast. Dr. Haier is Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. His research investigates structural and functional neuroanatomy of intelligence using neuroimaging.
June 18, 2020
Today it’s great to have the political psychologist Lilianna Mason on the podcast. Dr. Mason is associate professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.
June 11, 2020
In this episode, I talk with Geoffrey Miller, an American evolutionary psychologist, researcher, and author about elements of evolutionary psychology such as virtue signaling, altruism, sexual selection, and their role in the evolution of human nature.
June 11, 2020
In this episode, I talk with Geoffrey Miller, an American evolutionary psychologist, researcher, and author about elements of evolutionary psychology such as virtue signaling, altruism, sexual selection, and their role in the evolution of human nature.
June 11, 2020
In this episode, I talk with Geoffrey Miller, an American evolutionary psychologist, researcher, and author about elements of evolutionary psychology such as virtue signaling, altruism, sexual selection, and their role in the evolution of human nature.
June 4, 2020
Today it’s great to have Dr. Martin Seligman on the podcast. Dr. Seligman is a leading authority in the fields of positive psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism, and pessimism.
May 21, 2020
In this episode I discuss habits with social psychologist Wendy Wood-- how to break the bad ones, create good habits, and how to make them actually stick.
May 7, 2020
In this episode of The Psychology Podcast I chat with Coach Pete Carroll about how to win with meaning, purpose, and love.
April 30, 2020
How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World with Michele Gelfand   Today it’s great to have the cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand on the podcast. Dr. Gelfand is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Gelfand uses field, experimental, computational, and neuroscience methods to understand the evolution of culture– as well as its multilevel consequences for human groups. In addition to publishing numerous articles in many prestigious scientific outlets, she is the author of Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire the World. In this episode we discuss: What are social norms? The difference between tight and loose cultures The advantages vs. disadvantages of tight vs. loose cultures Why did tight vs. loose cultures evolve in the first place? How chronic threat produces a tight culture Real vs. perceived (imagined) threats How cross-cultural psychology is expanding  The interdisciplinary expansion of the study of social norms How organizations can be tight vs. loose Why the ambidexterity of an organizational culture matters Why people welcomed ISIS in some contexts How to anticipate radical shifts in culture around the world in ways that can be predictable How people differ in terms of what is perceived a threat The potential for meaningful conversation across the political divide The importance of persevering in science How understanding differing cultural codes can help us navigate and negotiate them How can modifying a nation’s norms address protracted social problems? Why Michele is so excited to be in the field now more than ever How these contexts can breed negative behaviors Why we need to exert more control to achieve the Goldilocks principle Why we need to be mindful of social norms Why Michele is hopeful that we can recalibrate social norms that facilitate greater cooperation among cultures    
April 23, 2020
Thriving as an Empath with Judith Orloff “A little self-care goes a long way. Honoring your sensitivities is an act of self-love.” Today it’s so great to have Dr. Judith Orloff on the podcast. Dr. Orloff is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her new book Thriving as an Empath, along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal, offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people  Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has also spoken at Google-LA and has a TEDX talk. The gift of being different How empaths are “emotional sponges” How empaths can be misdiagnosed The importance of being aware of the “phases of nature” and the “cycles of light” Treasure your sensitivity Identify the signs of being overwhelmed with stimulation You are allowed to have peace The new paradigm of being a man The sacredness of commitment Why the past doesn’t control you The importance of setting boundaries  The joy of not overthinking How to hold space for someone without having to fix them Getting in touch with the “magical part of your being” Being willing to feel loss in order to move on Go where the light is How to shield yourself from toxic people How to stop caring about other people’s opinions of us        
April 16, 2020
The Science of Self-Transcendent Experiences with David Yaden   Today it’s great to have David Yaden on the podcast. Dr. Yaden is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medicine. His research focus is on the psychology, neuroscience, and pharmacology of transformative and self-transcendent experiences. He is currently focusing on the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. His scientific and scholarly work has been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, and NPR. In this episode we discuss: The applicability of self-transcendent experiences to the current moment The definition of self-transcendent experiences Andrew Newberg’s pioneering work on the neuroscience of self-transcendent experiences Abraham Maslow’s role in the history of the scientific investigation of self-transcendent experiences The “everyperson’s spiritual experience” The two main components of awe The main characteristics of awe Awe vs. flow The role of technology in triggering self-transcendent experiences The triggers of self-transcendent experiences The limitations of interventions to induce self-transcendent experiences How we can seek out little moments of awe, gratitude, and mindfulness How psilocybin can induce very intense self-transcendent experiences The potential for psychedelic therapy sessions The neuroscience underlying the therapeutic benefit of psychedelics How psychedelic experiences can impact our connection with close others David’s personal self-transendent experience Davis’ interest in studying intense interventions David’s study of the psychology of philosophy
April 9, 2020
Transcend with Scott Barry Kaufman   On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, physicist Sean Carroll chats with Scott Barry Kaufman, host of The Psychology Podcast, about his new book Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization, which is out this week! In this episode we discuss: Why studying humans is more complicated than studying the universe The importance of having humility as a psychologist How Scott’s new book Transcend builds on the work of Abraham Maslow How Maslow never actually drew a pyramid What Maslow actually meant by his “Hierarchy of Needs” The dialectical between security and growth Scott’s new metaphor for the hierarchy of needs How humans can be greater than the sum of their parts Scott’s revised integrated hierarchy of needs Why attachment styles are continuums, not types Why the need for belonging is not the same as the need for intimacy The effects of loneliness on our physical health The latest science of introversion Healthy self-esteem vs. narcissism The “growing tip” Psychological entropy The need for exploration and information seeking The more cosmic aspect of love, or "B-Love" The need for purpose Why self-actualization is not achievement The form of purpose that can lead to transcendence Why nothing is absolutely good or bad  
April 2, 2020
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple with Seth Gillihan Today it’s great to have Dr. Seth Gillihan on the podcast. Dr. Gillihan is a licensed psychologist who has written and lectured nationally and internationally on cognitive behavioral therapy and the role of the brain in psychiatric conditions. His books include The CBT Deck, A Mindful Year: 365 Ways to Find Connection and the Sacred in Everyday Life (co-authoredwith Dr. Aria Campbell-Danesh), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Made Simple, and Retrain Your Brain: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy in 7 Weeks. Dr. Gillihan also blogs for Psychology Today and hosts the weekly Think Act Be podcast, which features a wide range of conversations about living more fully. He has a clinical practice in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, providing treatment to adults with insomnia, OCD, anxiety, depression, and related conditions. Find him on the web at See Seth’s CBT Deck here. In this episode we discuss: How Seth got into therapy  The second wave of CBT The behavioral activation approach Mindful CBT  Seth’s “Think Act Be” approach The importance of core beliefs The cheap form of self-love “Cycling the Puck” The importance of returning to the true center of ourselves The curious paradox of acceptance What is our deepest self? What is consciousness? Why waking up isn’t a once and for all experience How we can be kinder to ourselves  
March 26, 2020
Overcoming the Power of Bad with Roy Baumeister   Today it’s great to have Roy Baumeister on the podcast. Dr. Baumeister is currently professor of psychology at the University of Queensland and is among the most prolific and most frequently cited psychologists in the world, with over 650 publications. His 40 books include the New York Times bestseller Willpower. His research covers self and identity, self-regulation, interpersonal rejection and the need to belong, sexuality and gender, aggression, self-esteem, meaning, consciousness, free will, and self-presentation. In 2013 he received the William James award for lifetime achievement in psychological science (the Association for Psychological Science’s highest honor), and his latest book, co-authored with John Tierney, is called “The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It”. In this episode we discuss: How the human brain as a tendency to focus on the bad Why bad is processed more thoroughly than good Why more tends to be better There are many things where being at the appropriate level is best The latest research on ego depletion  Roy’s take on the replication crisis Why falsely accused people have trouble repairing their reputation The bad gets so much more publicity than the good Early career researchers and the lack of incentive for exporation Why we are wired for bad The importance of the Pollyanna principle Roy’s words of wisdom for those with anxiety over the Coronavirus “The rule of 4” Why are hell fearing religions more popular than those preaching a benevolent message? Gordon Allport’s distinction between mature and immature religion The riskiness of drawing too much on the self Roy’s thoughts on the best route to the good life Ways we can see the bigger picture The “negative Golden Rule” How to get on the “low-bad diet”  
March 19, 2020
Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary with Max Lugavere   Today it’s great to have Max Lugavere on the podcast. Max is a filmmaker, health and science journalist and the author of the New York Times best-selling book Genius Foods: Become Smarter, Happier, and More Productive While Protecting Your Brain for Life, which is now published in 8 languages around the globe. He is also the host of the #1 iTunes health podcast The Genius Life. Lugavere appears regularly on the Dr. Oz Show, the Rachael Ray Show, and The Doctors. He has contributed to Medscape, Vice, Fast Company, CNN, and the Daily Beast, has been featured on NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and in The Wall Street Journal. He is a sought-after speaker and has given talks at South by Southwest, TEDx, the New York Academy of Sciences, the Biohacker Summit in Stockholm, Sweden, and many others. Max is excited to release his sophomore book, The Genius Life: Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary, a lifestyle guide to living happily and healthily with proven, research-based lifestyle tactics. What is “nutritional psychiatry”? The importance of preserving protein in your body How longevity and nutrition is a continually evolving science Environmental toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis The influence of the environment on emotional instability The “three Ps” of detoxification The importance of consuming a “nutrient dense diet” The importance of sweating regularly  The potential of house plants to purify the air The dangers of tap water The dangers of consuming processed foods The importance of whole foods How to make your gym sessions more efficient How exercise is a form of medicine How the right tools in your toolkit can alleviate depression and anxiety The importance of taking a whole body approach  
March 12, 2020
The Latest Science of Growth Mindset with Carol Dweck   Today it’s a real honor to have Carol Dweck on the podcast. Dr. Dweck is a leading researcher in the field of motivation and is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford. Her research examines the role of mindsets in personal achievement and organizational effectiveness.  Dr. Dweck has also held professorships at Columbia and Harvard Universities, has lectured to education, business, and sports groups around the world, has addressed the United Nations, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences, and has won 12 lifetime achievement awards for her research. Her best-selling book Mindset has been widely influential and has been translated into over 25 languages.  In this episode we discuss: Carol’s earliest research on “incremental” vs. “entity” beliefs Carol’s dream of “bottling” the mindsets that lead people to persevere The limitations of Carol’s earlier studies  The two big developments in studying growth mindset Growth mindset exercises The “Big Mama” of growth mindset studies The underwhelming effect size of educational interventions How low SES students benefit more from growth mindset interventions The conditions under which growth mindset interventions don’t work The role of teacher mindset on teaching effectiveness The relationship between growth mindset and other outcomes in life How growth mindset doesn’t invalidate the existence of giftedness Why every child should be challenged Why we shouldn’t cut out gifted and talented programs How praising gifted students for effort can backfire The relationship between mindsets and IQ How having a fixed mindset can sometimes lead to increased performance Cross-cultural differences in mindsets Criticism that growth mindset claims have been overblown Carol Dweck’s dream of improving the sustainability of growth mindset interventions (Dweck’s “next big Mount Everest”) Why mindset is not a “miracle maker”  What Carol Dweck is most excited about in terms of future directions  
March 5, 2020
The Humanity of Race with Coleman Hughes   “There are very few people who have nothing of any value to say.” — Coleman Hughes Today it’s great to have Coleman Hughes on the podcast. Coleman is an undergraduate philosophy major at Columbia University and a columnist for Quillette magazine. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, City Journal, and the Spectator. In this episode we discuss: Coleman’s initial plan in life to become a trombonist Coleman’s early childhood education Coleman’s transformation of his thinking about race Coleman’s nuanced thoughts on intersectionality Why we set up a norm against racial stereotyping Is reverse-racism legitimate? How the main message of the civil rights movement is ignored Coleman’s humanistic perspective on race Coleman’s criticism of the “woke” mindset What makes sense about the woke mindset Looking at things from the perspective of police officers Understanding the causes of the underrepresentation of African Americans in gifted education programs The moral imperative to enhance cognitive development of people in the bottom of society  How racial categories mislead us How people underrate the value of local programs and community to solve problems of racism Why policy shouldn’t look at racial disparities The important distinction between culture and race Why focusing on racial disparities (assuming that racial disparities are a proxy for well-being) is a mistake Coleman’s vision for the good society  
February 27, 2020
How to Be Indistractable with Nir Eyal   Today it’s really great to have Nir Eyal on the podcast. Nir is formerly a Lecturer in Marketing at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and also taught at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design. His first book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, was an international bestseller. His current book, Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, reveals the Achilles’ heel of distraction and provides a guidebook for getting the best of technology without letting it get the best of us. Nir blogs at: In this episode we discuss: The one superpower that Nir would want The root cause of distraction What really motivates us How distraction starts from within How time management is pain management What is the role of boredom in distractibility? How to raise indistractible kids How to remove the external trigger of kids The critical question that people should ask How can you prevent distraction with pacts? How we can use precommitments to keep ourselves focused How people overuse of the word “addiction” The stigmatization of ADHD Treating a kid’s use of technology the same way we think of a swimming pool How children are “hypocrisy detection devices” The importance of setting a good example for children Self-determination theory and the rise of cell phone use Can too much concentration, and too little daydreaming, be a bad thing?  
February 13, 2020
Today we’re excited to have Lori Gottlieb on the podcast. Gottlieb is a psychotherapist and New York Times bestselling author of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, which is being adapted as a television series with Eva Longoria. In addition to her clinical practice, she writes The Atlantic’s weekly “Dear Therapist” advice column and is the co-host of iHeart’s upcoming “Dear Therapists” podcast, produced by Katie Couric. She is also a TED speaker, a ​member of the Advisory Council for Bring Change to Mind, and advisor to the Aspen Institute. She is a sought-after expert in media such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, CNN, and NPR’s “Fresh Air.” Learn more at or by following her @LoriGottlieb1 on Twitter. In this episode we discuss: The fundamental themes of human existence Irvin Yalom’s influence on Lori Gottlieb Why we feel isolated in our experiences The loneliness crisis on college campuses How the internet helps us numb How to know when social media has become an addiction Why happiness as a goal is a disaster SBK analyzes Lori Gottlieb Why we are often scared to do things that excite us Why there is no “hierarchy of pain” The hierarchy of pain and the social justice movement Why is it so hard for us to change when we know what to do? Why we don’t let ourselves be happy The importance of self-compassion The most important factor in the success of therapy What makes for a boring patient? Why feelings sometimes don’t care about facts Common myths of therapy “Part of us wants something and there’s another part of us that goes against the thing we want” Why “our feelings need air” How numbness is a state of being overwhelmed by too many feelings The importance of seeing your own agency and the choices you have
January 30, 2020
“The only normal people are the people you don’t know very well.” — Jonathan Mooney Today we have Jonathan Mooney on the podcast. Jonathan is a dyslexic writer and speaker who did not learn to read until 12 years old. He faced a number of low expectations growing up— was told he would flip burgers, be a high school drop out and end up in jail. Needless to say these prophecies didn’t come to pass. Today, he speaks across the nation about neurological and physical diversity, inspiring those who live with differences and advocating for change. Mooney’s work has been featured in outlets such as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, HBO, NPR, and ABC News, and his books include The Short Bus, Learning Outside the Lines, and most recently, Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines.  In this episode we discuss: What is normal? How the creation of special ed was originally an act of inclusion The unintended complications of creating a special education program Jonathan’s story growing up in special ed The twice-exceptional (2e) movement How giftedness comes with a “complicated brew” of assets and challenges The importance of recognizing the 2e within ourselves and sharing that with the world The importance of not hiding the things that make us different, but celebrating those things How Jonathan once took on many personas to hide his differences How the average got conflated with the impossible ideal in society The value judgement that is placed on IQ from a cultural perspective Going from “How smart are you?” to “How are you smart”? Jonathan feeling deficient because he was different How Jonathan went on a journey driving a school bus across the United States and listened to people with atypical brains and bodies The value of human fallibility The Eye to Eye mentoring program How the private sector corporate diversity policies can make difference by including atypical brains and bodies as part of diversity initiatives
January 16, 2020
Today it's great to have Paul Bloom on the podcast. Dr. Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, one of the major journals in the field. Dr. Bloom is also author or editor of seven books, including Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion  In this wide-ranging and provocative episode we discuss:   Paul's graduate research with Steven Pinker Is language the result of biological evolution or cultural evolution? What "hardwired" really means Why innate mechanisms require environmental input The necessity of bias Some potential downsides of empathy The case for rational compassion  Cognitive empathy vs. affective empathy  Did Hitler have the capacity for empathy?  The joy of suffering  Why do we choose to suffer? The fundamental human need for exploration The human need to overcome challenges Would some people be content watching Netflix and smoking pot all day? The relationship between income and happiness  The importance of spending money well The psychology of expectation and pleasure If someone offer you more money, should you take it? Relief vs. pleasure Does enjoying something depend on how much we think we will enjoy something? Art and authenticity  Art and value judgements Would Tarzan believe in God? Are babies basically good? Why religion is so pervasive Are babies moral? How a powerful moral sense is responsible for an extraordinary amount of evil in the world Is moral grandstanding always bad? Why not everything is virtue signaling
January 2, 2020
Today it’s great to have Cory Muscara on the podcast. Cory is an international speaker and teacher on the topics of presence and well-being. He believes that when people are deeply fulfilled, they are a better force in the world for other beings, the environment, and their communities. For several years he taught mindfulness-based leadership at Columbia University and currently serves as an assistant instructor of positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012, Cory spent 6 months in silence living as a monk in Burma, meditating 14+ hours per day, and now aims to bring these teachings to people in a practical and usable way, presenting to schools, organizations and healthcare systems, as well as through workshops and retreats for the general public. Named by Dr. Oz as one of the nation’s leading experts on mindfulness, his meditations have now been heard more than 10 million times in over 100 countries. Cory is host of the popular daily podcast, Practicing Human, and the author of Stop Missing Your Life: How to Be Deeply Present in an Un-Present World. In this episode we discuss: Cory’s transformation from frat boy to monk Can monks be self-actualizing? The importance of not being enslaved by certain parts of you How to overcame pain through mindfulness The emotional body vs. the sensation body The process of detaching sensations from the labels we put on them Equanimity and allowing life to happen How equanimity is more about our internal experience than our external experience The “pain box” How to soften the “pain wall” Dispelling the myth of the “real you” Barriers to real connection What it means to be fully seen and accepted The importance of radical acceptance How the more parts of you that are brought in and accepted the more you feel as though the wholeness of you is accepted and seen The "scrollercoaster" meditation How we can take control of technology and take back our lives  
December 19, 2019
“Emotion skills are the key to unlocking the potential inside each one of us. And in the process of developing those skills, we each, heart by heart, mind by mind, create a culture and society unlike anything we’ve experienced thus far— and very much like the one we might dare to imagine.”  -- Marc Brackett Today it's great to have Marc Brackett on the podcast. Dr. Brackett is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University. His research focuses on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. Marc is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based, systemic approach to SEL that has been adopted by over 2,000 preschool to high schools across the United States and in other countries. He has published 125 scholarly articles and received numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins award for his research on social and emotional learning. He also is on the board of directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Marc consults regularly with corporations like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google on integrating emotional intelligence principles into employee training and product design and is co-founder of Oji Life Lab, a digital emotional intelligence learning system for businesses. His research has been featured in popular media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, Good Morning America, and NPR. He is the author of Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help our Kids, Ourselves, and our Society Thrive, published by Celadon Books, a division of Macmillan, which has been translated into 15 languages. In this wide-ranging episode we discuss: How Mark is feeling Mark’s rough childhood and how he felt “trapped in his feelings” Negative outcomes that can ensue when you don’t feel you have the permission to feel Some harrowing statistics about how depression and anxiety are on the rise How does the original Salovey and Meyer model of emotional intelligence differ from Daniel Goleman’s model? The emotion scientist vs. the emotion judge Skills of the emotion scientist How Marc’s Uncle changed Marc’s life forever by giving him permission to feel The main components of the RULER framework The many factors that influence how we express our emotions authentically and honestly The mood meter poster and app that allows you to track your emotions over time and look at patterns The malleability of emotional intelligence The difference between temperament and emotional intelligence  The most important thing Marc learned through teaching emotional intelligence How more emotional intelligence can bring world peace (at least according to a 3rd grader) Why we need to spend more time cultivating emotional intelligence
December 5, 2019
“I firmly believe there is no person, no group, no behavior, no thing that is objectively evil. Perhaps evil only really exists in our fears.” -- Julia Shaw Today it’s great to have Dr. Julia Shaw on the podcast. Dr. Shaw is a psychological scientist at UCL. She is best known for her work in the areas of memory and criminal psychology. In 2017 Dr. Shaw co-founded the memory science and artificial intelligence start-up Spot. Spot helps employees report workplace harassment and discrimination, and empowers organizations to build a more inclusive and respectful work environment. In 2016 she published her bestselling debut book "The Memory Illusion", which has appeared in 20 languages and in 2019 she published her second international bestseller "Evil: The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side". Note: This episode goes down a lot of taboo alleys. The dark side of human nature  is a fascinating topic, but there may be some issues that you'd rather not hear about. Please review the list of topics before listening to this episode. In this episode we discuss: How Julia got into criminal psychology How we all do “reality crafting” The depths of human hypocrisy Why we don’t always act in accord with our own morality Julia Shaw’s criticism of the label “evil” The neuroscience of “evil” and Hitler’s brain Your brain on porn How kink is stigmatized in our society Can you be a feminist and engage in BDSM? The “deviant sexual interests” scale The prevalence of rape fantasies Pedophiles vs. ephebophiles Why “curiosity shaming” limits discussion and understanding The science of beastiality and what makes one animal sexier than another animal Why we shame vegans Rape culture and how systems fail and lead to harm What we can do to reduce sexual violence in society The bright side of your dark side How we can use the dark side to be a hero (the heroic imagination)
November 21, 2019
Today it’s great to have Dr. Rex Jung on the podcast. Dr. Jung is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico, and a clinical neuropsychologist in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A graduate of the University of New Mexico, he has practiced neuropsychology in Albuquerque since 2002. His clinical work now centers around intraoperative testing of patients undergoing awake craniotomy to remove tumors within eloquent brain tissue – work with particular relevance to the study of individual differences. He has contributed to over 100 research articles across a wide range of disciplines, involving both clinical and normal populations, designed to assess brain-behavior relationships. He is the Editor of the Cambridge Handbook of the Neuroscience of Creativity. His work has been featured on CNN, BBC, NOVA, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and National Geographic. In this episode we discuss: Rex’s earlier work on the neuroscience of intelligence The distributed brain model of intelligence Rex’s investigation of Scott’s brain How the brain can compensate for disability How our intelligence can change over time Limitations of IQ tests for measuring intellectual potential The limits of neuroplasticity The genetics of intelligence The creative brain How the neuroscience of creativity is sometimes the inverse of the neuroscience of intelligence The “default network” of mental simulation  The human capacity to “simulate or try out ideas before you buy them” The beautiful architecture of the brain The neuroscience of genius Rex’s work on awake craniometries (neurological testing while a patient is awake and a tumor is being removed)
November 7, 2019
Liberate Your Mind with Steven Hayes   Today it’s great to have Dr. Steven Hayes on the podcast. Dr. Hayes is a professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. The author of forty-three books and more than six hundred scientific articles, he has served as president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and is one of the most cited psychologists in the world. Dr. Hayes initiated the development of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and of Relational Frame Theory (RFT), the approach to cognition on which ACT is based. His research has been cited widely by major media, including: Time magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Men’s Health, Self, The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, O, The Oprah Magazine, and In this episode we discuss: Steven Haye’s journey to studying the science of liberation The lessons you can learn from your own pain and suffering How you can apply psychology to human prosperity Some limitations of the CBT approach (“CBT gone bad”) How we all have a “dictator within” Scott and Steven roleplay an ACT session How to apply ACT principles to dieting How Steven defines values The definition and importance of “psychological flexibility” How to get out of the “anxiety trap” How to pivot to what you really want How consciousness connects us to the infinite The 6 things that get in the way of pivoting The social/environmental side of ACT  “What does it gain us to give up on people?” ACT and social transformation What is love?  
October 31, 2019
Dr. Elaine Aron is one of the world’s foremost experts on the highly sensitive person. She ought to be – she was its first researcher! In this episode, we cover this fascinating concept as it relates to a broad swath of psychological concepts like self-esteem, gender, love, leadership, personality, genetics and more. Roughly 20% of the population can be classified as highly sensitive, so all of us likely know someone (or are someone) with this trait. Also, Scott performs a statistical analysis live on air – it’s a first and a lot of fun!
October 24, 2019
A leader in the psychology of human mating, and an expert on both the cultural and biological foundations of love, Helen Fisher shares science-backed information on attraction, mate selection, infidelity, the neuroscience of love and the effects of culture on our biology. There’s a wealth of interesting facts here and some surprising insight into humanity’s quest for romance. We LOVED this episode!
October 17, 2019
A leading expert in the psychology of savantism for over 40 years and the scientific advisor for the film Rain Man, Darold Treffert is a wellspring of knowledge on this fascinating yet often misunderstood condition. In this episode we cover the brain anatomy of savantism, its causes and some of the incredible abilities of famous savants like Kim Peak, who memorized thousands of books verbatim (down to the page number)! We feel fortunate to have had this chance to learn so much about such an interesting topic from one of the most well respected researchers in the field. Please enjoy and tell us what you think!
October 10, 2019
Psychologist Dr. Todd Kashdan shares some unconventional research on how we can harness “negative” psychological characteristics to live whole, successful and fulfilling lives. Topics include the dark triad, emotional experimentation, mindfulness, education, evolution and what it means to live well.
October 3, 2019
Angela Duckworth researches self-control and grit, which is defined as passion and perseverance for long term goals. Her research has demonstrated that there are factors that can be more predictive of success than IQ. In this episode we cover some of her findings on grit, including academic and popular misconceptions of this work. We also discuss research on standardized testing, self-control and more.
September 26, 2019
Today we have Dr. Jordan Peterson on the podcast. Dr. Peterson has taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General, helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia, served as an adviser to senior partners of major Canadian law firms, and lectured extensively in North America and Europe. With his students and colleagues at Harvard and the University of Toronto, Dr. Peterson has published over a hundred scientific papers. Dr. Peterson is also author of two books: Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief and 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which is a #1 bestseller. In this wide-ranging conversation we discuss the following topics: – Why “learned irrelevance” is incredibly important – Why creativity requires keeping a childlike wonder – How hallucinogens clear the “doors of perception” – The “shared vulnerability” model of the creativity-mental illness connection – The neuroscience of openness to experience – The personality of personal correctness – The practical implications of gender differences – The function of the state in helping to make sure there is equality of individual expression – How agreeableness and conscientiousness orient us differently in the social world – The difference between pathological altruism and genuine compassion – The link between pathological altruism and vulnerable narcissism – The difference between responsibility and culpability – How to help people take responsibility and make their lives better   Links 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos Jordan Peterson- What the State is For Jordan Peterson- Future Authoring Program Decreased Latent Inhibition Is Associated With Increased Creative Achievement in High-Functioning Individuals Creativity and Psychopathology: A Shared Vulnerability Model Openness to Experience and Intellect Differentially Predict Creative Achievement in the Arts and Science Openness/Intellect: The Core of the Creative Personality The Evolutionary Genetics of the Creativity-Psychosis Connection Must One Risk Madness to Achieve Genius?  The Real Neuroscience of Creativity Personality and Complex Brain Networks: The Role of Openness to Experience in Default Network Efficiency The Personality of Political Correctness Default and Executive Network Coupling Supports Creative Idea Production Gender Differences in Personality Across the Ten Aspects of the Big Five Men and Things, Women and People: A Meta-Analysis of Sex Differences in Interests Is There Anything Good About Men? Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty Pathological Altruism Vulnerable Narcissism Is (Mostly) a Disorder of Neuroticism
September 19, 2019
Three time bestselling author and human guinea pig Tim Ferriss discusses how to become top 5% in the world with a new skill in just 6-12 months. Scott and Tim debunk the 10,000 hour rule, discuss general principles for accelerated skill acquisition, consider what it means to live the good life and take a sneak peak at Tim’s new show The Tim Ferris Experiment.
September 12, 2019
A pioneering researcher in the psychology of self-compassion, Dr. Kristin Neff provides deep insight into the incredible healing power of being your own ally. In this episode, we cover some immediately useful ways to practice self-compassion and gain its many benefits. Self-compassion has been linked to reductions in anxiety, physical pain, depression and the stress hormone cortisol. It’s been shown to increase motivation, improve a mastery mindset, and enhance well-being. There’s a great deal of levity in this episode as we discuss how we can benefit from learning to care for ourselves the way we care for others.
September 5, 2019
Today we have Robert Greene on the podcast. Robert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, and Mastery, and is an internationally renowned expert on power strategies. His latest book is The Laws of Human Nature. In this episode we discuss: What is human nature? How to transform self-love into empathy The deep narcissist vs. the the heathy narcissist Abraham Maslow’s encounter with Alfred Adler How to confront your dark side Returning to your more authentic self How people who are one-sided are concealing the opposite trait The importance of not taking yourself too seriously How to see through people’s masks The importance of assessing people’s actions over time Why toxic types have a peculiar sort of charm Healthy people-pleasers vs. toxic people-pleasers How to get in deep contact with your purpose The importance of becoming aware of the “spirit of the generation” How to confront your mortality and open your mind to the sublime
August 29, 2019
We are especially grateful (and giddy) to be sharing this episode with our listeners! Brene Brown's work really gels with our core interests here on The Psychology Podcast, and the resulting conversation contains some enthusiastic and empirically informed banter that is sure to inform and delight. We geek out over some counter-intuitive findings, like how incredibly compassionate people have a tendency to set the most boundaries and say "no." We discuss the power of being vulnerable and how the data suggests that it is one of the best predictors of courage. We chat about how trying to be cool is the enemy of truly being cool, how we can enrich future generation’s learning with wholehearted living, and how ignoring our creativity defies our essential nature. It’s ~45 minutes of two experts in the field sharing data, and themselves, and it’s one of our favorite episodes yet.  We’re making a real effort to improve the show for our listeners and would hugely appreciate 15 seconds of your time filling out this short survey: (Email is not required).  
August 22, 2019
Best-selling author Susan Cain shares her personal philosophy and the research that started a movement to empower introverts! For this episode, we wanted to share ourselves – We discuss our values, epiphanies and perspectives on the good life. We also shed light on introversion across a range of topics, including vocations, testing and the differences between scientific and cultural conceptualizations of introversion.
August 15, 2019
Today it’s a delight to have David Vago on the podcast. Dr. Vago is Research Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He also maintains an appointment as a research associate in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory at Harvard Medical School. David aims to clarify adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in health-care settings. In this context, David has been specifically focusing on the study of mindfulness-based interventions in clinical settings, and the basic cognitive and neuroscientific mechanisms by which mindfulness-based practice function. In this episode we discuss: What is contemplative science? History of the idea of “contemplation” Including intuition under the umbrella of contemplative practice The aim of mindfulness Pop writers on mindfulness vs. scientists of mindfulness What do we know after 25 years of mindfulness research? The link between mindfulness and how we cope with pain The link between mindfulness and reducing anxiety The link between mindfulness and improving depression How there are a lot of crap studies out there on mindfulness What are the potential adverse effects of mindfulness? Why it’s difficult to look at the link between mindfulness and cognitive outcomes Mindfulness and its impact on impulse control The impact of mindfulness on attention The need for better measures of outcomes in mindfulness research The link between mindfulness and creativity The false narrative about mindfulness and mind wandering (and the default mode network) The relationship between mindfulness and wisdom The main challenges of investigating mindfulness through neuroscience Why mindfulness is not the end all and be all The usefulness of taking an evidence-based approach to looking at the benefits of mindfulness
August 8, 2019
Today it’s great to have Christian Miller on the podcast. Dr. Miller is A.C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and Director of the Character Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton World Charity Foundation. He is the author of over 75 papers as well as the author of MoralCharacter: An Empirical Theory, Character and Moral Psychology, and most recently, The Character Gap: How Good Are We?  In this episode we discuss: The main aims of the Character Project Christian’s attempt to integrate positive psychology research with philosophy Replication of the famous Milgram experiment Fairness norms among infants Can we draw boundaries around the notion of “moral character”? What factors predict whether people help? How we’re a mixed bag between the poles of compassion and callousness What Christian’s research has discovered about people’s tendency toward helping, hurting, lying and cheating Can we make humans better? How SBK and Aristotle are on the same page    
August 1, 2019
Today with have Brian Nosek on the podcast. Nosek is co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Open Science ( that operates the Open Science Framework ( The Center for Open Science is enabling open and reproducible research practices worldwide. Brian is also a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2002. He co-founded Project Implicit (, a multi-university collaboration for research and education investigating implicit cognition–thoughts and feelings that occur outside of awareness or control. Brian investigates the gap between values and practices, such as when behavior is influenced by factors other than one’s intentions and goals. Research applications of this interest include implicit bias, decision-making, attitudes, ideology, morality, innovation, and barriers to change. Nosek applies this interest to improve the alignment between personal and organizational values and practices. In 2015, he was named one of Nature’s 10 and to the Chronicle for Higher Education Influence list. In this episode we discuss: The genesis of Project Implicit The current state of the field of implicit bias Overuses of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) The common desire people have for simple solutions The potential for misuse of the IAT for real-world selection How hard it is to study human behavior What the IAT is really capturing How the degree to which the IAT is trait or state-like varies by the topic you are investigating Cultural influences on the IAT Brian’s criticism of implicit bias training The latest state of the science on implicit bias How our ideologies creep in even when we are trying to be unbiased The difference between implicit attitudes and conscious attitudes  What would an equality of implicit associations look like? Why bias is not necessarily bad The genesis of The Reproducibility Project What are some classic psychological studies that haven’t replicated? The importance of having compassion for the scientist The importance of having the intellectual humility of uncertainty The importance of cultivating the desire to get it right (instead of the desire to be right) What is open science? What is #BroScience? How hostility on social media can cause us to lose the view of the majority The importance of balancing getting it right with being kind to others
July 25, 2019
“Don’t be afraid. You are not alone.” - Michael Pipich Today we have Michael Pipich on the podcast. Pippich is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist, and has treated a wide range of mental disorders and relationship problems in adults and adolescents for over 30 years. Michael is also a national speaker on Bipolar Disorder and has been featured on radio and in print media on a variety of topics. His latest book is Owning Bipolar: How Patients and Families Can Take Control of Bipolar Disorder. In this episode we discuss: The main characteristics of bipolar disorder The three main types of bipolar The suicidal potential among bipolar Michael’s three-phase approach to treat patients with bipolar The benefits of mania The link between bipolar and creativity How people with bipolar can thrive Taking responsibility for your bipolar How loved ones and family members can support those with bipolar Linkages between bipolar and the different types of narcissism Reaching out to help others
July 18, 2019
Today we have Dr. Gleb Tsipursky on the podcast. Dr. Tsipursky is passionate about promoting truth, rational thinking, and wise decision-making. He is a tenure-track professor at Ohio State, serves as the volunteer President of the nonprofitIntentional Insights, is a co-founder of the Pro-Truth Pledge, and the author of a number of a number of books, most notably the #1 Amazon bestseller The Truth Seeker¹s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide. He is currently working on a book on relationships and cognitive bias. In this interview we discuss: Gleb’s humble worldview How humans are not adapted to evaluate reality clearly “The backfire effect” How to make better choices aligned with reality When should we rely on our gut? How we so often fall prey to the “fundamental attribution error” Ways we can recognize the thinking errors that prevent us from seeing reality more clearly How friends can be the enemies of wise choices The irrationality of political decisions The importance of differentiating between the truth and personal values How Gleb derives his personal values Why people lose so much money in the stock market Why you don’t want to invest in a mutual funds Why the mainstream media be careful when they criticize conservatives The one thing Trump got right in Charlottesville How to convince your enemies to collaborate with you How Gleb escaped the darkness of mental illness through his rational approach to living How we can protect our happiness against emotional traps Gleb’s “Pro-Truth Pledge” ( How you can live the life you want to live    
July 11, 2019
Today it’s great to have Cara Santa Maria on the podcast. Cara is an Emmy and Knight Foundation Award winning journalist, science communicator, television personality, author, and podcaster. She is a correspondent on National Geographic's flagship television series Explorer, and she is the creator and host of a weekly science podcast called Talk Nerdy with Cara Santa Maria. Cara also co-hosts the popular Skeptics' Guide to the Universe podcast, and hosts the new podcast Fixed That for You. Additionally, she co-authored the Skeptics Guide to the Universebook with her podcast co-hosts and is the spokesperson for National Geographic’sAlmanac 2019. Cara is a founding member of the Nerd Brigade and cofounded the annual science communication retreat #SciCommCamp. In this episode we discuss: The importance of studying the good death from a multidisciplinary perspective The challenges working with at-risk adolescent youth What it was like for Cara to shift focus from public science communicator to graduate school Cara’s focus on social justice and diversity within her clinical psychology research How depression and anxiety look different in different cultures and among different languages Barriers to accessibility to studying psychology through a social justice lens Cara’s personal hurdles as a woman in science Cara’s personal experience with Neil deGrasse Tyson The real meaning of free speech How #BelieveAllWomen and due process are not diametrically opposed to each other The importance of taking into account base rates when reasoning about the prevalence of sexual abuse The importance of being as unbiased as possible when encountering individuals Balancing #BelieveAllWomen with #NotAllMen The need for a multi-pronged approach to making social change What to do when social justice narratives conflict with the data The importance of existential-humanistic psychology
July 4, 2019
Today it’s great to have Gustav Kuhn on the show. Born in Switzerland,  Kuhn discovered his passion for magic at the age of 13, and much of his teenage years were dedicated to the art of illusion and deception.  At the age of 19 he moved to London to follow his dream of becoming a professional magician, but his career took a dramatic change after he discovered a keen interest for psychology. Gustav went on to study psychology at Sussex University, and towards the end of his PhD, he noticed a direct link between magic and psychology. His unique background in science and magic allowed him to build bridges between these two domains, which helped him establish a science of magic. Kuhn is now a Reader at Goldsmiths University of London, and director of the MAGIC-Lab (Mind Attention & General Illusory Cognition).  He is one of the pioneering researchers in the Science of Magic and he is one of the founding members and president of the Science of Magic Association. His latest book is called “Experiencing the Impossible: The Science of Magic”. What is the link between psychology and magic? The link between perception and magic What is magic? What is not magic? The link between magic and well-being Early childhood experiences of magicians The link between magic and creativity The role of misdirection in magic The neural basis of magic Do we all experience the same magic? The “magician’s force” The potential for using magic for bad ends Will magicians ever become obsolete in the age of machines? The link between magic and human-machine interaction How we can use science to enhance the magic endeavor
June 27, 2019
Today we have David Brooks on the podcast. Brooks is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and appears regularly on “PBS NewsHour,” NPR’s “All Things Considered” and NBC’s “Meet the Press.” He teaches at Yale University and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the bestselling author of a number of books, including The Social Animal: The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement; The New Upper Class and How They Got There; The Road to Character, and most recently, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life. In this episode we discuss: The evolution of David’s thinking about character The relationship between our commitments and our fulfillment in life Brook’s criticism of self-actualization taken to the extreme The four crises of our time David’s current stance on reparations Why David is a “border stalker” How David reconciles the need for commitment with identity fluidity Commitment vs. individualism The importance of healthy transcendence The enunciation moment What we can do about the current political landscape David’s thoughts on polyamory and the single life    
June 6, 2019
Today it’s great to have Stoya on the podcast. Stoya has been working with sexuality for over a decade. Her writing credits include the New York Times, The Guardian, and Playboy. Her first book of essays, Philosophy, Pussycats, & Porn is available through Not A Cult Media, and her experimental porn project lives at (Note: This episode is very explicit, so if that’s not your thing, please enjoy one of the other other 167 episodes of The Psychology Podcast. If you do listen to this episode, please stick around all the way to the end, as we really enjoyed tying it all together at the end of the episode!) In this episode we discuss a wide range of topics, including: What is porn? What is good porn? Can there be feminism under capitalism? Stoya’s critique of “liberal feminists” The importance of values that transcend sexual preferences How our collective conception of “normal sex” leaves out a whole lot of sexual preferences that “normal” people have Focault on how preventing the discussion of sex is making us even more obsessed with sex The science of sexual fantasies Are there any sexual fantasies that are damaging to normalize? What we can learn about privacy from pornstars The benefits/disadvantages of choosing a porn career Comparing/contrasting BDSM with monogamy Why BDSM is too wide a category to be considered a sexual orientation Why Stoya has to be physically aroused in order to be creative in a porn scene How Scott and Stoya know each other Which author – from anytime thru history – would Stoya like to go out partying with? And what would her drink of choice be for such an occasion? The link between ADHD and creativity
May 30, 2019
Today we have David Sloan Wilson and Steven Hayes on the podcast. David Sloan Wilson is president of The Evolution Institute and a SUNY distinguished professor of biology and anthropology at Binghamton University. Sloan Wilson applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the biological world. His books include Darwin’s Cathedral, Evolution for Everyone, The Neighborhood Project, and Does Altruism Exist? Steven C. Hayes is foundation professor in the department of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. An author of forty-four books and over 600 scientific articles, his career has focused on an analysis of the nature of human language and cognition, and the application of this to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering and the promotion of human prosperity. Hayes has received several awards, including the Impact of Science on Application Award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT). Together, they edited the recent book, “Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Human Behavior.” In this episode we cover a lot of ground, including: Steven’s perspective on language and cognition The difference between evolutionary science and evolutionary psychology How Skinner thought of himself as an evolutionary psychologist How evolutionary theory needs to take a step back and taken into account variation selection How evolutionary science need to be an applied discipline How evolutionary psychology done right acknowledges both an innate and adaptive component Why Steven Hayes thinks that 98% of the research we’re doing in psychology might be wrong Steven’s criticism of psychometric research (he thinks it’s “going down”!) The first time Steven encountered David’s work and how it made him cry Steven’s criticism of how the term “genetic” is used in the psychological literature Separating “pop evolutionary psychology” from good evolutionary science Renee Duckworth’s skeleton metaphor The tension between evolutionary change and stability Why we need to look at function, context, and longitudinal development in order to really balance flexibility and structure,  Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as managing the evolutionary process How multidimensionality and multi-level thinking allows us to manage evolutionary processes like never before Their upcoming book on prosociality   
May 23, 2019
“There is a surplus of charismatic leaders with a fascinating dark side.” — Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic Today it’s great to have Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic on the podcast. Tomas is the Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup, a professor of business psychology at University College London and at Columbia University, and an associate at Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Finance Lab. He’s the author of Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It)  as well as 9 other books, and over 160 scientific publications. He is the co-founder of DeeperSignals and Metaprofiling and a regular contributor to HBR, FastCompany, and BusinessInsider. You can find him on Twitter @drtcp or at Limitations of the “lean in” approach Tomas’s alternative explanation for the existence of gender differences in leadership How people focus more on confidence than competence How we emphasize charisma more than humility How we are more likely to select narcissistic individuals for leadership positions than people with integrity Gender differences in narcissism Is masculinity necessarily toxic? Why we waste so much money on unconscious bias training How do we get more women in leadership roles? The better way to select talented people in the workplace than using gender quotas Do nice guys finish last?
May 16, 2019
“Whether you think you’re better than everybody or worse than everybody, you’re still assuming that you are different than everybody.” — Mark Manson Today it’s great to have Mark Manson on the podcast. His blog,, attracts more than two million readers per month. Mark is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (with over 6 million in sales in the US alone) and his latest book is called Everything is Fucked: A Book About Hope. In this episode we discuss: Why we are a culture in need of hope The paradox of progress How self-control is an illusion How to learn to communicate to yourself effectively “Emo Newton’s” laws of emotion Mark’s definition of growth How to start your own religion The paradox of hope How hope can be incredibly destructive if we’re not careful Kant’s Formula of Humanity How to grow up Political extremism and maturity The difference between #fakefreedom and real freedom Why we are bad algorithms and why we shouldn’t fear artificial intelligence so much What Mark dares to hope for  
May 9, 2019
Today it’s a great pleasure to have Dr. Scott Peters on the podcast. Dr. Peters is an associate professor of educational foundations and the Richard and Veronica Teller Endowed Faculty Fellow of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he teaches courses on measurement and assessment, research methodology, and gifted education. His research focuses on educational assessment, gifted and talented student identification, disproportionality within K-12 education, and educational policy. He is the first author of Beyond Gifted Education: Designing and Implementing Advanced Academic Programs and the co-author (along with Jonathan Plucker) of Excellence Gaps in Education: Expanding Opportunities for Talented Students, published by Harvard Education Press. In this episode we discuss: Advocates vs. scientists in the field of gifted education Does teacher training in gifted education have any effect on self-reported teaching in the classroom? How the desire for good advocacy in gifted education can bias good science The real need to advocate for kids who aren’t being challenged in the regular classroom The absurdity of teaching children based solely on how old they are Is there room at the table for all different perspectives in the gifted education field? The problem with the “gifted” label How can you balance excellence with equity? How to close the “excellence gap” in gifted education What domains should be included in gifted education? The importance of “frontloading” opportunities in school Acceleration vs. enrichment What happens when addressing underrepresentation is the main goal of gifted education? The value of using local norms for gifted student selection Is complete excellence gap reduction a reasonable goal of gifted education? Scott’s plan for addressing excellent gaps in gifted education
April 25, 2019
“Play is life force itself… when we can sense and amplify its most life-affirming, transformative impulses, it will point us directly to the Playground.” Today it’s great pleasure to have Gwen Gordon on the podcast. Gordon began her career building Muppets for Sesame Street. Since leaving Sesame Street, Gwen developed Awakened Play, a play-based approach to making behavior change irresistible and transformation delightful. She has applied her insights in organizations ranging from San Quentin Prison to the MIT Media Lab and from IDEO to PepsiCo. Along the way, Gwen has collected a master’s degree in philosophy and an Emmy award in children’s programming. Her latest book is The Wonderful W, which is the first picture book for grownups. In this episode we discuss: What is play? How everything is really “fear of the void” The doorway to the sense of wholeness Gwen’s experience working at Sesame Street Correcting the record about how Gwen created the Rockheads on Sesame Street Scott’s crush on Miss Piggy The shadow side to play How the playground is our true habitat The incredible importance of adult play The inherent paradoxes of play How play relates to attachment theory How play is a healthy stepping stone to healthy childhood development
April 18, 2019
Today it’s great to have Ruth Richards on the podcast. Dr. Richards is a psychologist, psychiatrist, professor at Saybrook University, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. She has published numerous articles, edited/written three previous books on everyday creativity, and received the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement (Division 10, American Psychological Association). Dr. Richards sees dynamic creative living as central to individuals and cultures, and a new worldview. Her latest book is called “Everyday Creativity and the Healthy Mind: Dynamic New Paths for Self and Society”, which recently won the won a Nautilus Silver Award. In this episode we discuss: What is “everyday creativity”? What is “universal creative potential”? All the ways people can do things differently The four P’s of creativity Openness and creativity Chaos and complexity in creativity The role of the unconscious mind in creativity The link between mental illness and creativity The controlled chaos of creativity The healing function of creativity Can consciousness get in the way of creativity? Can creativity heal the world?
April 11, 2019
"We should be humble in the face of temptations to engineer society in opposition to our instincts. Fortunately, we do not need to exercise any such authority in order to have a good life. The arc of our evolutionary history is long. But it bends toward goodness." -- Nicholas Christakis Today we have Nicholas Christakis on the podcast. Christakis is a physician and sociologist who explores the ancient origins and modern implications of human nature. He directs the Human Nature Lab at Yale University, where he is the Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science in the departments of Sociology, Medicine, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Statistics and Data Science, and Biomedical Engineering. He is also the codirector of the Yale institute for Network Science, the coauthor of Connected, and most recently, author of the book Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society,which on its first week became a NY Times bestseller. In this episode we discuss: Why breadth of knowledge across fields is important The evolutionary forces that have shaped our capacity for living socially Can you love your own group without hating everyone else? How can crowds be a force for good? How the capacity for friendship is connected to the evolution of cooperation Can you love your own group and evenloveother groups as well? Framing group dynamics in terms of collective narcissism The “social suite†of human nature The “forbidden experiment†Experiments on artificial societies How long will Homo Sapiens last? The importance of elephant friendships How evolution has shaped our societies The importance of recognizing our common humanity
April 4, 2019
Today it’s a pleasure to have Molly Crockett on the podcast. Dr. Crockett is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Yale University and a Distinguished Research Fellow at the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics. Prior to joining Yale, Dr Crockett was a faculty member at the University of Oxford’s Department of Experimental Psychology and a Fellow of Jesus College. She holds a BSc in Neuroscience from UCLA and a PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Cambridge, and completed a Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship with economists and neuroscientists at the University of Zürich and University College London. In this episode we discuss: The discrepancy between outrage in real life vs. online outrage Cultural evolution and the selection and amplification of online content How basic reinforcement learning principles drive the design of online systems to maximize the amount of time we spend on the platforms Is the “habitual online shamer” addicted to outrage? Habitual behavior vs. addiction Is “outrage fatigue” happening en masse? Should we be thinking about rationing our outrage (reserving it for issues we find most important)? The costs and benefits of outrage Why people punish and the discrepancy between the actual reasons why we punish (inferred from behavior) vs. self-reported motives The difficulty doing science on topics that are incredibly heated in public social discourse The intractably intertwined nature of science and social justice What technologies might be doing to the way that young people construe the social world The human capacity for forgiveness Twitter Q & A
March 21, 2019
Today it’s an honor to have Ryan Niemiec and Robert McGrath on the podcast. Ryan is an author or co-author of nine books, an award-winning psychologist, international keynoter, and education director of the VIA Institute on Character. Robert is Professor of Psychology at Farleigh Dickinson University, senior scientist at the VIA Institute, and has published extensively on the topic of character and virtue. Together, they are author of the new book, The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate and Ignite Your Positive Personality. Find our your character strengths at In this episode, we discuss the following: What is a positive personality? The measurement of character strengths Why are so many people interested in learning about their character strengths? How self-knowledge can impact people positively in their lives The difference between virtue and character The three main sources of a good character Is it possible to have a perfect character? Does the perfectly virtuous person exist? Is enlightenment actually possible? The developmental trajectory of character strengths Is the development of character strengths for everybody, including those experiencing adversity?
March 7, 2019
“At a certain point, the outcome is the opportunity. We have to focus on the bottom line: what is it going to take to get kids ready?” — Colin Seale Today it’s great to have Colin Seale on the podcast. Colin was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York to a single mother and an incarcerated father. He has always had a passion for educational equity. Tracked early into gifted and talented programs, Colin was afforded opportunities his neighborhood peers were not. He founded thinkLaw (, an award-winning organization to help educators leverage inquiry-based instructional strategies to close the critical thinking gap and ensure they teach and REACH all students, regardless of race, zipcode or what side of the poverty line they are born into. When he’s not serving as the world’s most fervent critical thinking advocate, Colin proudly serves as the world’s greatest entertainer to his two little kiddos and a loving husband to his wife Carrie. In this episode we discuss: Colin’s pragmatic approach to solving educational inequalities The main goals of ThinkLaw The benefit of people of different races talking about their common humanity How we can have high expectations for every child The twice exceptional movement How we continuously lead genius on the table The excellence gap in gifted education Equality of opportunity vs. equality of outcome The right kind of love How the victory is in the struggle Giving children a reason to have grit Why we need to recognize disruptors as innovators Creating the space for divergent thinkers
February 14, 2019
“There can be no autonomy without the autonomy to choose, without coercion or constraint, or in spite of it, who our lovers will be.” — Wednesday Martin Today we have Wednesday Martin on the podcast. Dr. Martin has worked as a writer and social researcher in New York City for more than two decades. The author of Stepmonster and the instant New York Times bestseller Primates of Park Avenue, she writes for the online edition of Psychology Today and her work has appeared in The New York Times and Dr. Martin’s latest book is called “Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free.” In this episode we discuss: How Wednesday tries to make the sex research “delicious and fun” How female infidelity is mired in so much misunderstanding How Millenial women are more sexually adventurous compared to Millennial men What’s the consensual non-monogamy movement? How we evolved to be “cooperative breeders” What is “female flexuality”? Why we need to stop pathologizing those who embrace non-monogamy How women are driving the polyamory movement The good reasons why monogamy is hard and the other options that exist How your attachment style and sociosexuality are linked to consensual non-monogamy Disagreeable women and sociosexuality Rethinking sex differences in the drive for sexual novelty Pornography viewing differences between men and women Common triggers of violence in relationships Rethinking the motivations underlying sex differences in cheating How better science can help us all have hotter sex
February 7, 2019
“At the end of your life, you won’t remember the thoughts or intentions you had. You’ll remember the actions you took. You’ll judge yourself by how you showed up, by what you did, what you said, how you acted, and whether you performed the way you knew you could in any of the stages of life.”    Today we have Todd Herman on the podcast. Herman is a performance advisor to Olympians, pros, and business leaders, and he creates proven systems to help teams & achievers win with less stress. Herman’s latest book is “The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life.” - How alter egos are part of the human psyche - The difference between childish and childlike - Why having an alter ego is about being the best version of yourself - Multiple self theory and the importance of context -  The Core Self vs. The Trapped Self vs. The Heroic Self - How to go from an ordinary world to an extraordinary world - How to activate the person you truly want to become - How to get into the “wow” mindset - Todd’s traumatic backstory and how it has led to his superpower - The hidden forces of the enemy - How the creative imagination is like the backdoor to performance
January 24, 2019
Finding your voice, learning how to say what you mean, and how to listen deeply: this is one of the most rewarding journeys you can take.” — Oren Jay Sofer Today we have Oren Jay Sofer on the podcast. Sofer teaches meditation and communication nationally. He holds a degree in Comparative Religion from Columbia University, and is a member of the Spirit Rock Teacher’s Council. He is also a Certified Trainer of Nonviolent Communication, a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner for healing trauma, and he is the Senior Program Developer at Mindful Schools. Sofer is author of Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication. In this episode we discuss:   The importance of slowing down Marshall Rosenberg’s system of nonviolent communication How our behaviors can viewed as an attempt to meet a deeper need Entering relationships from a sense of deprivation vs. a place of growth The importance of relational awareness The undervalued skill of healthy communication Why intention is the single most important ingredient in dialogue Martin Buber’s distinction between the I-Thou vs. I-It relationship The importance of the “do over” How to heal after a breakup The importance of forgiveness and how it happens on its own time schedule    
January 10, 2019
Today it’s an honor to have Richard Katz on the podcast. Dr. Katz received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught there for twenty years. The author of several books, he has spent time over the past 50 years living and working with Indigenous peoples in Africa, India, the Pacific, and the Americas. He is professor emeritus at the First Nations University of Canada and an adjunct professor of psychology at the University of Saskatchewan. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. His latest book is Indigenous Healing Psychology: Honoring the Wisdom of the First Peoples. Author royalties will be given back to the Indigenous elders whose teachings made the book possible. In this episode we discuss: How being an outsider allows you to see the limitations of the world you are living in Richard’s friendship with Abraham Maslow Setting the record straight: The real influence of the Blackfeet Nation on Maslow’s theory of self-actualization How modern day psychology has oppressed the verbal-experimental paradigm The limitations of modern measurement The tension between the scientific method and the narrative approach to psychology Are all modes of the scientific process valid? How indigenous people are misunderstood, under-respected, and under-appreciated What the field of psychology could be if it incorporated indigenous ways of being Link Kalahari People’s Fund
December 27, 2018
Today I’m really excited to have Kati Morton on the podcast. Morton is as an entrepreneur, YouTube creator, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Santa Monica, CA. Morton has built a global mental health online community, and is author of the book “Are U OK?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health.” In this episode we discuss: What’s the difference between mental health and mental illness? Breaking down the stigma of mental illness What should you look for when looking for a therapist? What are some warning signs of a terrible therapist? What’s the best way to deal with a toxic co-worker? What's the link between vulnerable narcissism and borderline personality disorder? How do you know if you need mental help? What are some of the most validated forms of therapy available today? How do you break up with friends that you’ve outgrown? The importance of healthy assertiveness How a very small no can equate to a very large yes How can you get more mental help when you need it?
December 20, 2018
Today we have Jonah Sachs on the podcast. Jonah is an author, speaker, storyteller, designer, and entrepreneur. He is the author of Winning the Story Wars: Why Those Who Tell— and Live— The Best Stories Will Rule the Future, and most recently, Unsafe Thinking: How to Be Nimble and Bold When You Need It Most. In this episode we discuss: What is safe unsafe thinking? The power of intuition for creativity Does your subconscious have free will? Dual-process theory and creativity How can you challenge and change yourself when you need it most? The importance of context for creativity The different phases of the creative process The importance of rocking the boat The benefits of collaborating with your enemies How can you stay motivated when changing habits is so hard? What’s the difference between flow and deliberate practice? The difference between values and identity Making a safe culture for risks How to gamify dissent
December 13, 2018
Today we have Dr. Michael Inzlicht on the podcast. Dr. Inzlicht's  primary appointment at the University of Toronto is as professor in the Department of Psychology, but he is also cross-appointed as Professor at the Roman School of Management, and he is a Research Fellow at the Behavioral Economics in Action group. Michael conducts research that sits at the boundaries of social psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. Along with Yoel Inbar, he hosts the podcast “Two Psychologists Four Beers.” In this episode we discuss: How serious is the replication crisis in psychology? Can the human social realm ever be removed from scientific critique? Do psychologists need to grow a thicker skin? Academic bullying vs. respectful critique Is there a gendered element to bullying in science? Is ego depletion real? Methodological issues with the ego depletion paradigm Real world ego depletion vs. laboratory-based ego depletion The lack of correspondence between self-report measures of self-control and performance measures The importance of distinguishing between self-control and self-regulation The paradoxical relationship between trait self-control and state self-control The "law of least work" or why we are so lazy most of the time The psychology of boredom
December 6, 2018
Today we have Shannon Odell on the podcast. Odell is a Brooklyn based writer, comedian, and scientist. She co-hosts and produces Drunk Science, an experimental comedy show deemed “a stroke of genius” by Gothamist and a finalist in TruTV’s comedy break out initiative. She also co-created, writes, and stars in the Inverse original series “Your Brain on Blank”, where she explains the science behind how everything-from alcohol to caffeine to puppies- affects the brain. She can also be seen at Weill Cornell Medicine, where she is a Neuroscience PhD candidate studying the epigenetic underpinnings of hippocampal function. You can visit Shannon’s YouTube channel here. How Shannon got into science comedy How science can be funny Similarities between the personalities of comedians and scientists Political correctness in comedy and science How science communication is often so humorless Your brain on… the flu. Your brain on… breakups. Your brain on… puppies. Your brain on… caffeine. Your brain on… social media. Epigenetics and the effects of early life adversity on the brain How science can inform treatment options Barriers for women entering science
November 29, 2018
Today we have Robert Greene on the podcast. Robert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, The 33 Strategies of War, The Art of Seduction, and Mastery, and is an internationally renowned expert on power strategies. His latest book is The Laws of Human Nature.   In this episode we discuss:   What is human nature? How to transform self-love into empathy The deep narcissist vs. the the heathy narcissist Abraham Maslow’s encounter with Alfred Adler How to confront your dark side Returning to your more authentic self How people who are one-sided are concealing the opposite trait The importance of not taking yourself too seriously How to see through people’s masks The importance of assessing people’s actions over time Why toxic types have a peculiar sort of charm Healthy people-pleasers vs. toxic people-pleasers How to get in deep contact with your purpose The importance of becoming aware of the "spirit of the generation" How to confront your mortality and open your mind to the sublime
November 22, 2018
Today it’s a great honor to have A.J. Jacobs on the podcast. Jacobs is the author of Thanks a Thousand, It’s All Relative, Drop Dead Healthy, and the New York Times bestsellers The Know-It-All, The Year of Living Biblically, and My Life as an Experiment. He is a contributor to NPR, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. He lives in New York City with his wife and kids. Get a handwritten thank you card at In this episode we discuss: What is Project Gratitude? How A.J. went from grumpy to grateful Why A.J. chose coffee as his main source of gratitude The importance of savoring coffee (and everything else in life that matters) Why we should be grateful for the barrister The enemy of gratitude The importance of the “zarf” Where gratitude emerges, according to gratitude expert Bob Emmons They importance of reframing your life Some strategies to increase gratitude in daily life
November 15, 2018
"It's going to be Okay."-- Steve Stewart-Williams Today I’m delighted to have Steve Stewart-Williams on the podcast. Dr. Stewart-Williams is a New Zealander who moved to Canada, then to Wales, and then to Malaysia, where he is now an associate professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. His first book, Darwin, God, and the Meaning of Life, was published in 2010 and his latest book is The Ape That Understood the Universe: How the Mind and Culture Evolve. In this episode we cover the following topics: What would the human species look like from the perspective of an alien? Are humans just evolved fish? How far does evolutionary psychology take us in understanding human nature? What are some common myths about the evolutionary process? How we can be evolutionary “losers” and still be human success stories The distinction between altruism and selfishness Why the evolutionary psychology perspective is not enough to understand human nature How culture evolved among humans The link between human creativity and cultural evolution The potential human conflict between passing on genes vs. passing on memes How culture can amplify our nature Steve answers questions from Twitter
November 1, 2018
Today it’s an honor to have Dr. Sean Carroll on the podcast. Dr. Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. Recently, Carroll has worked on the foundation of quantum mechanics, the arrow of time, and the emergence of complexity. He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among others. Dr. Carroll has given a TED talk on the multiverse that has more than 1.5 million views, and he has participated in a number of well-attended public debates concerning material in his latest book, which is entitled “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.”   - The meaning of “post-existentialism”   - What is “poetic naturalism”?   - What is the fundamental nature of reality?   - Do “tables” and “chairs” really exist?   - The difference between rich ontology and sparse ontology   - The Bayesian probability of the existence of God   - How the universe evolved   - The analogy between psychological entropy and naturalistic entropy   - Can we think about the brain in useful terms entropically?   - In what sense do we have free will?   - How hard is the hard problem of consciousness?   - The importance of “existential gratitude”   - The link between quantum mechanics and consciousness   - Is there life (consciousness) after death?   - How can we create purpose, meaningfulness, mattering, morality, and ethics in a natural world?
October 25, 2018
Today we have Dan Pink on the podcast. Pink is the author of six provocative best-selling books— including his newest: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. His other books include A Whole New Mind, Drive, and To Sell is Human. Pink’s books have won multiple awards and have been translated into 38 languages. In this episode we discuss the following topics: What is the best way to motivate people? The case for “metapay” among self-actualized people How purpose is a powerful motivator The “motivation continuum” The ways contingent rewards can go awry Is it possible to be "unhealthily autonomous"? The importance of “killing your darlings” Dark triad selling vs. cooperative selling The “identity civil war” and zero-sum thinking The new ABCs of communication The myth of the necessity of extraversion for sales success The importance of time management The best and worst times to do… When is the best time to have a mid-life crisis?
October 18, 2018
Today it’s a great delight to have James Clear on the podcast. Clear’s website,, receives millions of visitors each month, and hundreds of thousands subscribe to his email newsletter. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Time, and Entrepreneur, and on CBS This Morning, and is taught in colleges around the world. Clear is the creator of The Habits Academy, the premier training platform for organizations and individuals that are interested in building better habits in life and work. His latest book is called “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones”.   - How the mind is a “suggestion engine”   - How James has grown since his last appearance on The Psychology Podcast   - The importance of “dichotomy transcendence”   - The importance of choosing the best environment for your genes   - How was easily fall into “frictionless” habits   - How environment design plays a crucial role in habit change   - The four laws of behavior change   - The multiple levels of behavior change   - The link between identity and habit change   - The importance of small habits   - Why we should stop focusing on goals and focus on systems instead   - Why it’s easier to build a new habit in a new environment   - How to go from good to great
October 11, 2018
Today it’s a great honor to have Dr. Robert Plomin on the podcast. Dr. Plomin is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King's College London. He previously held positions at the University of Colorado Boulder and Pennsylvania State University. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the British Academy for his twin studies and his groundbreaking work in behavioral genetics. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including G is for Genes: The Impact of Genetics on Education and Achievement (with Kathryn Asbury), and most recently, BluePrint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are. In this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss the following topics: How Robert became interested in genetics The importance of going “with the grain” of your nature Robert’s twin studies methodology How genotypes become phenotypes How kids select their environments in ways that correlate with their genetic inclinations The genetic influence on television viewing How virtually everything is moderately heritable The effects of extreme trauma on the brain The developmental trajectory of heritability How the abnormal is normal How we could use polygenic information to inform educational interventions The potential for misuse of genetic information to select children for particular educational tracks Recent research on shared environmental influences on educational achievement The “nature of nurture” The variability of heritability across different cultures and levels of SES The role of education on intelligence How teachers can and cannot make a difference The genetics of social class mobility Free will and how we can change our destiny Further Reading Fifty years of twin studies: A meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits The nature of nurture: effects of parental genotypes Variation in the heritability of educational attainment: An international meta-analysis Genetic analysis of social-class mobility in five longitudinal studies Large cross-national differences in gene x socioeconomic status interaction on intelligence How much does education improve intelligence? A meta-analysis Are cognitive gand academic gone and the same g? A systematic review of personality trait change through intervention How scientists are learning to predict your future with your genes Using nature to understand nurture What makes us who we are?  Can 'genius' be detected in infancy? A brief history of everyone who ever lived The gardner and the carpenter: What the new science of child development tells us about the relationship between parents and children The effects of childhood maltreatment on brain structure, function and connectivity
October 4, 2018
Today we have Dr. Justin Lehmiller on the podcast. Dr. Lehmiller is a Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute and author of the book Tell Me What you Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life. Lehmiller is an award winning educator, having been honored three times with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence from Harvard University, where he taught for several years. He is also a prolific researcher and scholar who has published more than 40 pieces of academic writing to date, including a textbook entitled The Psychology of Human Sexuality. On this episode we cover a wide range of provocative and fascinating findings from the largest survey on sexual fantasies of all time. Topics include: The most common sexual fantasies among humans The most taboo sexual fantasy category Fantasy vs. desire Reducing shame for the content of one’s sexual fantasies The relationship between the fantasy-prone personality and sexual fantasies The importance of sexual self-actualization for well-being The benefits of open communication of our fantasies with our partners Sexual orientation vs. sexual flexibility The truth behind widely held stereotypes about BDSM Gender differences in sexual fantasies What your sexual fantasies say about you The sexiest superhero OCD and gender bending Does size really matter? Which fantasy is the least likely to work out when it’s actually acted out? How can more people turn their fantasies into reality in a healthy way? How can we break the barriers in society that prevent us from properly communicating our sexual desires?
September 20, 2018
Today we have Michael Shermer and Philip Goff on the podcast. Michael is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things, The Believing Brain, and Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality & Utopia. Goff is an associate professor in philosophy at Central European University in Budapest. His main research focus is trying to explain how the brain produces consciousness. His first book, which was published by Oxford University Press, is called Consciousness and Fundamental Reality. Goff is currently working on a book on consciousness aimed at a general audience. In this episode we cover the following topics: Is reasoning the ultimate route to truth? What if human rational faculties can’t comprehend the ultimates realities of existence? Will the hard problem of consciousness ever be solved? Panpsychism as a scientific alternative for explaining consciousness The latest neuroscience of consciousness and its implications for understanding the hard problem of consciousness The insights that can be gleaned through understanding subjective experience Will we ever discover if free will exists? To what extent can our understanding of cognitive neuroscience and genetics can elucidate the extent of our free will? The possibility for “free won’t” Can science ever solve the mystery of the existence of God? How can the science of consciousness, free-will, and God help alleviate fundamental existential concerns of humanity?
September 13, 2018
Today I’m delighted to have Sara Algoe on the podcast. Dr. Algoe is associate professor of social psychology at the University of Virginia. Her expertise spans emotions, relationships, and health psychology. Her basic research questions illuminate the social interactions that are at the heart of high-quality relationships. These include giving to others, expressing gratitude, and sharing laughter. In this episode we discuss: The main components of “positive interpersonal processes” The effect of gratitude on the other person in relationships The importance of context in positive psychology How positive and negative emotions can co-exist simultaneously The “find, remind, and bind” theory of gratitude The importance of gratitude in everyday life “Meta” positive emotions The essentials vs. luxuries of well-being The validity of gratitude interventions “Gratitude burnout” Appreciation vs. gratitude The need for evil to define the light
September 6, 2018
“There are two ideas about safe spaces. One is a very good idea, and one is a terrible idea. The idea of being physically safe on a campus, not being subjected to sexual harassment and physical abuse, or being targeted for something specifically for some sort of hate speech… I’m perfectly fine with that. But there’s another that is now ascendent, which I just think is a horrible view, which is ‘I need to be safe ideologically, I need to be safe emotionally, I just need to feel good all the time. And if someone says something that I don’t like, that is a problem for everyone else, including the administration.’ I think that is a terrible idea for the following reason: I don’t want you to be safe ideologically. I don’t want you to be safe emotionally. I want you to be strong. That’s different. I’m not going to pave the jungle for you. Put on some boots, and learn how to deal with adversity. I’m not going to take all the weights out of the gym. That’s the whole point of the gym. This is the gym.” — Anthony Van Jones Today we have Jonathan Haidt on the podcast. Dr. Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Dr. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures— including the cultures of American progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis, and of The New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. His third book, co-authored with Greg Lukianoff, is called The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure. In this episode we discuss:  “The tumultuous years” on college campuses from 2015-2017 Wisdom and its opposite The three great untruths The main aims of Heterodox Academy The importance of exposing students to opposing views on campus The detrimental effects of moral amplification How moral foundations theory helps explain political divides The common humanity of liberals and conservatives The psychological function of having a common enemy How social media amplifies tribalism The rise of antifragility The net effect of “callout culture” The importance of play in early childhood The importance of cognitive behavioral therapy and sharpening your intuitions The importance of both racial/ethnic minority diversity and viewpoint diversity How to help young people flourish in college Links Heterodox Academy Wisdom as a classical source of human strength: Conceptualization and empirical inquiry Moral amplification and the emotions that attach us to saints and demons Liberals and conservatives rely on common moral foundations when making moral judgments about influential people How to Win Friends and Influence People Tweetdelete
August 23, 2018
Today we have Carl Zimmer on the podcast. Zimmer reports from the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life. Since 2004 he was written about science for the New York Times, where his column “Matter” has appeared weekly since 2013. Zimmer has won many awards for his work, including the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded by the Society for the Study of Evolution to recognize individuals whose sustained efforts have advanced public understanding of evolutionary science. Zimmer is the author of thirteen books about science. His latest book is She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Power, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.   In this episode, we discuss:   - The difference between genetics and heredity   - The perils and promises of gene-editing technologies   - The potential for unethical application of emerging genetics findings   - The potential for misuse of the genetics of intelligence in education   - The potential perils of genetically modified mosquitoes    - The potential perils of genetically modified crops   - The quirky nature of epigenetics   - The existence of “human chimeras”   - The limitations of DNA testing
August 16, 2018
 "When you turn your back on reality you lose the ability to manipulate reality. One would think that is self-evident. I didn't go into this to not try to find the truth." -- James Flynn* Today it is an honor to have Dr. James Flynn on the podcast. Dr. Flynn is Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago and recipient of the University’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Career Research. In 2007, the International Society for Intelligence Research named him its Distinguished Contributor. His TED talk on cognitive and moral progress has received over 3.5 million visits. His long list of books include Are We Getting Smarter?, What is Intelligence?, Where Have All the Liberals Gone?, Fate and Philosophy, How to Improve Your Mind, and most recently, Does Your Family Make You Smarter?: Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy. In this episode we cover a wide range of topics relating to intelligence and its determinants, including: Flynn’s attempts to clarify intelligence and its causes The g factor, and what gives rise to it The validity of multiple intelligences theory Intergenerational trends (the “Flynn effect”) vs. Within-generation trends The “social multiplier” model of intergenerational trends in intelligence Individual multipliers vs. social multipliers The multiple causes of black-white differences in IQ Charley Murray and the meritocracy thesis Transcending the politics of intelligence research The dangers of suppressing ideas and research The 20% wiggle room of autonomy on IQ tests The difference between internal and external environment The impact of having a “family handicap” on SAT scores What we can learn from astronomy about human intelligence Toward a meta-theory of intelligence Toward a more humane society Links Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents [TED Talk] Reflection about intelligence over 40 years Heritability Estimates Versus Large Environmental Effects”: The IQ Paradox Resolved The g beyond Spearman’s g: Flynn’s paradoxes resolved using four exploratory meta-analyses  IQ Bashing, Breadkdancing, the Flynn Effect, and Genes Men, Women, and IQ: Setting the Record Straight  The Flynn Effect and IQ Disparities Among Races, Ethnicities, and Nations: Are There Common Links? The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized  Twitter Q & A with James Flynn 1. “Would a 100 IQ person today be a genius if transported to the year 1918? If not, why not.” Flynn: No,  they would just be better adapted in their ability to meet educational demands. 2. “Are you concerned with the growing misuse of genetic causal fallacies in heritability research, and what can be done to make sure that researchers do not assert implications that are not supported by the data? Is this a question of education?” Flynn: Whenever I catch them I am disturbed by both bad genetic hypotheses and bad environmental ones. 3. “What has caused the Flynn reversal in Nordic and some other rich countries? Markus Jokela suggested it could be health related.” Flynn: See this article in Intelligence by myself and Shayer on IQ decline. 4. “Prof. Flynn has written about the increase in non-verbal reasoning on IQ tests that is attributed to the exposure to analytical/sequential/logical reasoning through technology. What should we do, then, to increase the verbal side of our reasoning, or have we reached the peak?” Flynn: Read good literature and stand out against the trend to read less and less (see Flynn, The Torchlight List  and The New Torchlight List.  5. “Could the Flynn effect be based at least partially on a trade off, meaning that with change in culture promoting development of skills associated with higher IQ scores, this rise is at a cost of eg working memory?” Flynn: I don’t think there is a downward trend in working memory – see Does Your Family Make You Smarter? 6. “Do the intelligence gains the Flynn effect reveals show an in increase in the g factor?” Flynn: No – see “Reflection about intelligence over 40 years” just posted on the net. 7. “What do you make of American SAT/ACT trends, that is the Asian scores increases and the Native-American scores declines?” Flynn: Sorry I have only looked at black and white. 8. “Does you ever think there will come a time when rational, non-bigoted people can publicly discuss race and gender topics relating to his research?” Flynn: Well I hope so – but there is no trend in that direction. -- * Quote taken from a lecture Flynn gave at the University of Cambridge on July 20, 2012.
August 2, 2018
Today we have Michael Steger on the podcast. Dr. Steger is a Professor of Psychology, and the Founding Director of the Center for Meaning and Purpose at Colorado State University. He studies the link between meaning in life and well-being, as well as the psychological predictors of physical health and health-risk behaviors, and the facilitators and benefits of engaging in meaningful work.   In this episode we discuss the following topics:   - The definition of meaning in life   - The measurement of meaning   - The dark triad and meaning   - “The Hitler Problem”   - Life satisfaction vs. meaning in life   - Different forms of pleasure   - The possibility for “meaning exhaustion”   - Meaningful work   - The difference between coherence, purpose, and significance   - Different meanings of purpose   - The strongest sources of meaning in life  
July 26, 2018
Today we have Bradley Campbell on the podcast. Dr. Campbell is a sociologist interested in moral conflict— clashes of right and wrong and how they are handled. Most of his work examines genocide, which normally arises from large-scale interethnic conflicts. Recently he has also begun to examine the much smaller-scale conflicts on modern college campuses. His latest book, co-authored with Jason Manning is called “The Rise of Victimhood Culture: Microaggressions, Safe Spaces, and the New Culture Wars.” The clash between victimhood and dignity culture The sociology of genocide and conflict The difference between honor culture, dignity culture, and victimhood culture Victimhood as a form of status Microaggressions on campus Anti-PC culture vs. victimhood culture Distinguishing real victimhood from victimhood culture Conservative victimhood vs. liberal victimhood Those who embrace offensiveness Healthy Activism: vs. Psychopathological activism The main goals of the Heterodox Academy The need for more generosity and forgiveness among differing viewpoints, cultures, and neurodiverse individuals
July 12, 2018
Today it’s great to have Amy Alkon on the podcast. Amy Alkon is a “transdisciplinary applied scientist”, who synthesizes research findings from various areas, translates the findings into understandable language, and then creates practical advice based on the latest science. Alkon writes The Science Advice Goddess, an award-winning, syndicated column that runs in newspapers across the United States and Canada. She is also the author of Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck and I See Rude People. She has been on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NPR, CNN, MTV, and does a weekly science podcast. She has written for Psychology Today, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, the New York Daily News, among others, and has given a TED talk. She is the President of the Applied Evolutionary Psychology Society, and she lives in Venice, California. Amy’s latest book is Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living With Guts and Confidence.   In this episode you will learn:   The importance of action for overcoming your fears How people-pleasing backfires How you can use fear as a tool for change How to “impersonate your way to being the real you” Why authenticity is overrated How to have a secure self-esteem How to reduce shame How Amy asked for feedback while she was dating How to have the courage to say “no” Why it’s better to have systems than goals “The importance of “small wins” Why dating is a numbers game   How to feel more empowered in your life
July 5, 2018
Today it’s a great honor to have Steven Pinker on the podcast. Dr. Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He grew up in Montreal and earned his BA from McGill and his PhD from Harvard. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his ten books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, and most recently, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Pinker is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and writes frequently for The New York Times, The Guardian, and other publications.  In this episode we discuss the following topics: The main thread that runs through all of Pinker’s work Does reducing economic inequality increase happiness? Does increased autonomy lead to increased happiness? How humanism is compatible with spirituality Why we should not confuse evolutionary adaptation (in Darwin’s sense) with human worth The difference between the ultimate and proximal levels of analysis Why Evolutionary Psychology is often so misunderstood Why human nature isn’t necessarily conductive to human flourishing How the laws of the universe don’t care about you Why do intellectuals hate progress so much? What are some indicators of human progress? Why should people care about human progress over the course of history? The myth of the suicide and loneliness “epidemics” Why we enjoy and care more about food and children than oxygen Rates of sexual assault and mental health on campus The increasing divisiveness and irrationality of politics How the recent presidential election was a “carnival of irrationality” Humanistic ethics Can we have a good without a God? The possibility of the unification of knowledge across the arts, humanities, and sciences Toward a third culture
June 21, 2018
“How can we use these peak experiences to help people create community that is healthy and to be better human beings?” -- Katherine MacLean Katherine MacLean, PhD is a research scientist, teacher and meditator. In her academic research (2004-2013) at UC Davis and Johns Hopkins University, she studied how psychedelics and mindfulness meditation can promote beneficial, long-lasting changes in personality, well-being and brain function. In the fall of 2015, she co-founded and began directing the Psychedelic Education & Continuing Care Program in New York (, where she has facilitated monthly integration groups for psychedelic users and training workshops for both clinicians and the public. She currently lives on an organic farm and is preparing to be a study therapist on the upcoming Phase 3 trial of MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder. Learn more: In this wide-ranging discussion, we cover the following topics: - What happened after Katherine “died” in 2012 - Discovery oriented research vs. practical research on psychedelics - Effects of psychedelics on “existential distress” - Potential benefits of psychedelics on end-of-life care and terminal cancer patients - Potential benefits of MDMA for PTSD - The existence of “enlightened assholes” - Skepticism about brain research on psychedelics - The role of the default network in "ego dissolution" - Misrepresentation of the default network in the psychedelic and meditation literatures - Benefits of psychedelics and meditation in combination - Psychedelics and openness to experience - From anxiety attack to “beauty attack”  - The potential for healthy psychedelic integration and increased community Links "Open Wide and Saw Awe" | Katherine MacLean | TEDxOrcasIsland A Systematic Review of Personality Trait Change Through Intervention Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors Psilocybin Mushrooms for Treating Depression Validation of the revised Mystical Experience Questionnaire in experimental sessions with psilocybin Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness Cognitive aging and long-term maintenance of attentional improvements following meditation training Therapeutic effect of increased openness: Investigating mechanism of action in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy
June 7, 2018
Today we have Dr. Ellen Hendriksen on the podcast. Dr. Hendriksen is a clinical psychologist who helps millions calm their anxiety and be there authentic selves through her award-winning Savvy Psychologist podcast, which has been downloaded over 5 million times, and at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Her latest book is called “How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety.”   What is your real self?   What is social anxiety?   What is the opposite of social anxiety?   What’s the goal of therapy to treat social anxiety?   How to be comfortable when you are “caught being yourself”   The importance of self-compassion   The difference between introversion and social anxiety   Techniques to overcome social anxiety   The Orchid-Dandelion Hypothesis   The relationship between the highly sensitive person and openness to experience   The importance of going out and living your life first, and letting your confidence catch up   The importance of turning attention “inside out”   How perfectionism holds us back   The importance of “daring to be average”   The myth of “hope in a bottle”   Gender differences in the manifestation of social anxiety     Thanks!!
May 24, 2018
Today we have Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski on the podcast. Dr. Wrzesniewski is a professor of organizational behavior at the Yale School of Management. Her research focuses on how people make meaning of their work in difficult contexts, such as stigmatized occupations, virtual work, or absence of work, and the experience of work as a job, career, or calling. Her current research involves studying how employees shape their interactions and relationships with others in the workplace to change both their work identity and the meaning of the job.   Topics incude:   - The definition of meaning   - The four main sources of meaning   - Spirituality as a potential source of meaning at work   - The way work allows us to transcend the self   - The definition of calling   - How to find your most meaningful calling   - The importance of “self-resonance”   - The difference between consequences and motives   - What is job crafting and how can it help you increase your calling?   - Is job crafting contagious?   - The benefit of collective, team-level job crafting   - The impact of virtual work on job crafting   - How does meaning shape job transitions?   - The effects of occupational regret on people’s lives
May 17, 2018
“Nature doesn’t care about our desire to have these clean political categories for legal purposes.” — Alice Dreger Today I’m really excited to have Dr. Alice Dreger on the podcast. Dr. Dreger is a historian, bioethicist, author, and former professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Dreger is widely known for her academic work and activism in support of people at the edge of anatomy, such as conjoined twins and those with atypical sex characteristics. In her observations, it’s often a fuzzy line between “male” and “female”, among other anatomical distinctions. A key question guiding a lot of Dr. Dreger’s work (and which was the topic of her TEDx talk) is “Why do we let our anatomy determine our fate?” Dr. Dreger is the author of multiple books, including “One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal” and “Galieleo’s Middle Finger Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science.” In this episode, we discuss a wide range of topics, including: How Dr. Dreger got involved in the “Intersex Rights Movement” in the mid-90s The difference between anatomy and gender identity The relationship between our bodies and our personal and social identities and the role of science and medicine in determining this relationship Who gets to tell your body what it means How the mind isn’t the only place where identity exists, and how our identities also exist in the minds of others The future of gender pronouns How we should treat those who do not fit traditional notions of sex, such as the fascinating cases of “androgen sensitivity syndrome” and “congenital adrenal hyperplasia” How we can see more value in variation in anatomy The need for a more reality-based government Why the phrase “identity politics” is distracting and only part of a larger problem The benefits and disadvantages of the “Intellectual Dark Web” The increasing difficulty of being able to tell what is true and what is false in the media Why we spend so much of our energy on tribal politics and avoid the real humanitarian problems in the world Why tribal life is so compelling The need to balance male and female ways of being What an “Intellectual Light Web” might look like
May 10, 2018
Today it’s an honor to have Dr. William Damon on the podcast. Dr. Damon is Director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence and Professor of Education at Stanford University. Damon’s current research explores how young people develop purpose in their civic, work, family, and community relationships. He examines how people learn to approach their vocational and civic lives with a focus on purpose, imagination, and high standards of excellence. Damon also has written widely about how to educate for moral and ethical understanding. Dr. Damon’s most recent books include The Power of Ideals, Failing Liberty 101, and The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life.   In this wide-ranging discussion, we cover the following topics:   - The definition of purpose   - The role of values in purpose   - The difference between purpose and meaning   - Vicktor Frankl’s “will to meaning”   - How purpose is a late developing capacity   - The difference between purpose and resiliency   - The paths to purpose among young people   - Methods for developing purpose   - Moral commitment among moral exemplars   - Purpose among leaders   - The importance of taking "ultimate responsibility" in life   - How we are leaving young people unprepared in a civic society
April 26, 2018
“The happiest person is the person doing good stuff for good reasons.”  — Kennon Sheldon Dr. Kennon Sheldon is a psychologist at the University of Missouri who studies motivation, goals, and well-being, from both a self-determination theory and a positive psychology perspective. He has authored or co-authored multiple books, including “Optimal human being: An integrated multi-level perspective”. Dr. Sheldon has been cited more than 30,000 times, and in 2010, he was named one of the 20 most cited social psychologists. In this wide-ranging episode we discuss: How Ken went from aspiring musician to leading research on goals Whether the pursuit of happiness is worth it Is happiness in your genes? The link between goals and happiness The what and why of motivated goal pursuit The basic needs of self-determination theory Deprivation vs. growth needs Self-concordance theory The link between values and happiness How much can we use science as a guide to values? Are there some ways of being more conducive to happiness than others? How to get in touch with your OVP (organismic valuing process) Marrying positive psychology and humanistic psychology The relationship between personal goals and personal projects How to know when to change your goals The good life: well-being or well-doing?
April 19, 2018
Today I’m delighted to speak with Patricia Stokes, an adjunct professor at Barnard College who studies problem solving and creativity/innovation. Stokes is author of the book Creativity from Constraints: The Psychology of Breakthrough, which was informed by her psychological research as well as her background in art and advertising. In this episode, we cover: – How Patricia went from art and advertising to creativity researcher – The importance of constraints and variability for creativity – How constraints can promote or preclude creativity – Using constraints to solve the “creativity problem” – How “the solution path defines the goal state” – The four major constraints on creativity – How teachers and parents should praise children for optimal creativity – How to reward the courage to be novel – The importance of constraints in fashion and literature – How to explain Lady Gaga’s creativity
April 12, 2018
It’s great to have Dr. Robert Leahy on the podcast today. Dr. Leahy completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School under the direction of Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy. Dr. Leahy is the past president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, past president of the International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy, past president of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy (NYC), and a clinical professor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill-Cornell University Medical School. Dr. Leahy has received the Aaron T. Beck award for outstanding contributions in cognitive therapy, and he is author and editor of 25 books, including The Worry Cure, which received critical praise from the New York Times and has been selected by Self Magazine as one of the top eight self-help books of all time. His latest book is The Jealousy Cure: Learn to Trust, Overcome Possessiveness, and Save Your Relationship. Topics: Why Dr. Lahey wrote The Anxiety Cure The new science of jealousy How jealousy differs from envy Why jealousy evolved What is the downside of intense jealousy? Why we don’t want to get rid of jealousy Are men and women equally jealous? The relationship between attachment style and jealousy What if there really is a reason to be jealous? What are some practical techniques that people can use to cope with their jealousy? The importance of normalizing jealousy
April 5, 2018
Today I’m really excited to have Colin DeYoung on the podcast. Dr. DeYoung is associate professor of psychology at the University of Minnesota. He specializes in personality psychology but is especially interested in personality neuroscience. Besides being a prolific academic and researcher, I am also honored to count him as a dear friend and collaborator. In this episode we discussed wide-range of topics relating to personality, including: The modern day personality hierarchy The “Big Two”: Stability and Plasticity How Carl Jung developed his theory of introversion The latest science of introversion The scientific validity of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Dopamine as the “neuromodulator of exploration” The two major dopamingeric pathways Why personality variation evolved The neuroscience of conscientiousness The link between compassion and imagination The neuroscience of anxiety The cybernetics of personality Rethinking psychopathology The effects of therapy on personality change Links Cybernetic Big Five Theory The neuromodulator of exploration: A unifying theory of the role of dopamine in personality Personality neuroscience and the biology of traits Opening up openness to experience: A four-factor model and relations to creative achievement in the arts and sciences The neuroscience of anxiety 
March 29, 2018
Today we have Dr. Jordan Peterson on the podcast. Dr. Peterson has taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General, helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia, served as an adviser to senior partners of major Canadian law firms, and lectured extensively in North America and Europe. With his students and colleagues at Harvard and the University of Toronto, Dr. Peterson has published over a hundred scientific papers. Dr. Peterson is also author of two books: Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief and 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which is a #1 bestseller. In this wide-ranging conversation we discuss the following topics: – Why “learned irrelevance” is incredibly important – Why creativity requires keeping a childlike wonder – How hallucinogens clear the “doors of perception” – The “shared vulnerability” model of the creativity-mental illness connection – The neuroscience of openness to experience – The personality of personal correctness – The practical implications of gender differences – The function of the state in helping to make sure there is equality of individual expression – How agreeableness and conscientiousness orient us differently in the social world – The difference between pathological altruism and genuine compassion – The link between pathological altruism and vulnerable narcissism – The difference between responsibility and culpability – How to help people take responsibility and make their lives better   Links 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos Jordan Peterson- What the State is For Jordan Peterson- Future Authoring Program Decreased Latent Inhibition Is Associated With Increased Creative Achievement in High-Functioning Individuals Creativity and Psychopathology: A Shared Vulnerability Model Openness to Experience and Intellect Differentially Predict Creative Achievement in the Arts and Science Openness/Intellect: The Core of the Creative Personality The Evolutionary Genetics of the Creativity-Psychosis Connection Must One Risk Madness to Achieve Genius?  The Real Neuroscience of Creativity Personality and Complex Brain Networks: The Role of Openness to Experience in Default Network Efficiency The Personality of Political Correctness Default and Executive Network Coupling Supports Creative Idea Production Gender Differences in Personality Across the Ten Aspects of the Big Five Men and Things, Women and People: A Meta-Analysis of Sex Differences in Interests Is There Anything Good About Men? Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty Pathological Altruism Vulnerable Narcissism Is (Mostly) a Disorder of Neuroticism
March 22, 2018
Today I’m really excited to have Max Lugavere on the podcast. Max is a filmmaker, health and science journalist, and brain food expert. He is also the director of the upcoming film Bread Head, the first-ever documentary about dementia prevention through diet and lifestyle, and he is co-author, with Dr. Paul Grewal, of the just released book, Genius Foods. In this episode, we discuss the following: How he got into his line of work How Alzheimer’s may be prevented through diet The biomarkers of aging Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats How to understand research on diet and medicine Genius foods you can add to your diet right now His supplement regime The importance of gut health The Hygiene Hypothesis on the rise of autoimmune diseases The only fruits he recommends for a healthy diet Cholesterol—not bad after all?  The emerging research on “psychobiotics” (treating psychological disorders with probiotics) Stress, sleep and exercise Metabolic health and the brain Links Follow Max on Twitter Get his book Genius Foods, which is out now For everything else Max does     
March 15, 2018
This week I'm thrilled to welcome Mark Leary, Ph.D. to The Psychology Podcast! Dr. Leary is the Garonzik Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University and author of The Curse of the Self. His research interests focus on social motivation and emotion, and on processes involving self-reflection and self-relevant thought. He has written or edited 12 books and over 200 scholarly articles and chapters. He was the 2010 recipient of the Lifetime Career Award from the International Society for Self and Identity and a 2015 co-recipient of the Scientific Impact Award from the Society for Experimental Social Psychology.  During our chat we covered a number of mutual research interests including: Self-esteem, identity and their relationships to behavior The distinction between “instrumental social value" and "relational social value" The human need for belonging The concept of “self-presentation strategies" and their variations: Imposter syndrome Self-promotion Ingratiation The difference between egoism and egotism   Links:    Read Dr. Leary's new blog at PsychologyToday
March 8, 2018
Today I’m delighted to have actress Kathryn Prescott on the podcast! Kathryn is an actor and photographer, originally from London. Ms. Prescott got her first big break when she was 17 playing Emily, a young lesbian with a homophobic twin sister, in the cult UK TV show “Skins”. A few years later she moved to the US to play the lead role in the MTV teen drama “Finding Carter” and has since appeared in various other projects including ‘To The Bone’, ‘Reign’ and ’24: Legacy’. Ms. Prescott is currently shooting her second season of AMC’s ‘The Son’ and has a movie coming out on Netflix in April called “Dude”. After joining up with The Big Issue Foundation and Centrepoint in the UK for a photography exhibition to raise money for both organizations, she wanted to do something similar in the US, so she got in touch with Homeless Health Care Los Angeles but decided to do something a little different. Her film explores the cyclical nature of pain and isolation when it comes to addiction while highlighting the devastating effect that the opioid epidemic is having on America’s youth. Mrs. Prescott has been surrounded by addiction throughout her life and people’s reactions to it have always fascinated her. In addition to listening to this fascinating interview with Ms. Prescott, please watch and share her important video and see other links below:   Links The official website for “Dear You” “Dear You” on social media: Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook A great podcast explaining how one sentence helped set off the opioid epidemic Comedian Stuart McMillen explaining the “Rat Park” experiments Johann Hari’s TED talk on why everything you think you know about addiction is wrong Kathryn Prescott on twitter Homeless Health Care Los Angeles Podcast chat with Maia Szalavitz on rethinking addiction
February 22, 2018
Melissa Dahl is a senior editor covering health and psychology for New York's The Cut. In 2014, she cofounded New York’s popular social science site, Science of Us. Her work has appeared in Elle, Parents, and Her new book, Cringeworthy, is her first book.    In our conversation, Melissa shares with us:   - How awkwardness comes from self-consciousness and uncertainty   - How doing improv can help you become less awkward   - How we create more drama with ourselves than necessary   - What we can do to become more one with our awkwardness   - Why the “irreconcilable gap” can lead to awkwardness   - How to find the “growing edge” and challenge yourself to have more awkward conversations   This episode may be the most awkward episode of The Psychology Podcast yet (and that’s saying a lot!). So you won’t want to miss it! :)
February 15, 2018
“What is it in the human psyche that allows us to achieve, create, discover, and invent in ways that no other species can?” This is a question Jessica Tracy explores in her book Take Pride: Why the Deadliest Sin Holds the Secret to Human Success. Tracy is a professor of psychology, an emotion researcher, and a social-personality psychologist at the University of British Columbia. In our conversation we discuss the established and emerging research on: The 2 distinct expressions of pride (hubristic and authentic), and how they relate to the routes to power (dominance and prestige), The experience and expressions of shame, and how the emotion has made its way into the research on everything from narcissism to addiction, The moral and self-conscious emotions, and the roles they play in decision making. Thanks to Jessica for coming on the podcast and discussing these fascinating and important lines of research!
February 8, 2018
Dr. Mithu Storoni is a Cambridge-educated physician, researcher and author, interested in chronic stress and its implications on mental well-being, decision-making, performance, and brain health.  In her latest book STRESS PROOF – the scientific solution to protect your brain and body and be more resilient every day, she takes cutting-edge research findings from over 500 published studies and distills them into hundreds of lifestyle-based tricks to help our brains achieve improved mental clarity, increased tranquility, sharper focus, and heightened performance. In our conversation, Mitthu shares with us: The physical symptoms of stress Tips to improve your emotional regulation The perils of rumination and how to overcome it The physiological differences between acute and chronic stress The benefits of different kinds of meditation (mindfulness, open-monitoring, etc.) The research on how lifestyle interventions (ie. The mind diet, cognitive training) can be used to treat chronic stress You can find Mithu’s book Stress Proof on Amazon. Follow Mithu on Twitter @StoroniMithu.   
January 18, 2018
Today I’m really excited to have James and Suzann Pileggi Pawelski on the podcast. James is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania where he cofounded the Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program with Martin Seligman. Suzie is a freelance writer, Psychology Today blogger, and well-being consultant specializing in the science of happiness and its effects on relationships and health. Together, James and Suzie are co-authors of the newly-released book “Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts”. They also give Romance and ResearchTM workshops together around the world. In this episode we discuss: What people get wrong about relationships What the "relationship gym" is How to cultivate "Aristotelian love" The specific ways positive psychology can help you be happy with a partner The role of gratitude in relationships How to sustain passion in a relationship
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