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The Psychology Podcast podcast

The Psychology Podcast

In each episode, we talk with inspiring scientists, thinkers, and other self-actualized individuals who will give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in. Scott Barry Kaufman explores the depths of human potential and tries to get a glimpse into human possibility in every episode.

In each episode, we talk with inspiring scientists, thinkers, and other self-actualized individuals who will give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in. Scott Barry Kaufman explores the depths of human potential and tries to get a glimpse into human possibility in every episode.

 

#314

Todd Rose (Part II) || Collective Illusions

Today we welcome Todd Rose, the co-founder and president of Populace, a nonprofit think tank that works to find solutions to redistribute opportunity, so all people have the chance to live fulfilling lives in a thriving society. Prior to Populace, he was a faculty member at Harvard University where he founded the Laboratory for the Science of Individuality and directed the Mind, Brain, and Education program. Todd is the best-selling author of Dark Horse and The End of Average. and his most recent book is called Collective Illusions. For part two of our interview, I talk to Todd Rose about collective illusions. Humans are a tribal species, prone to conformity. In a lot of instances, we will act according to what our in-group wants rather than what we want as individuals. Ironically, Todd's research shows that we make poor inferences about the majority consensus. Failing to recognize collective illusions can have negative consequences on our identities, relationships, values, and society. To avoid falling into conformity traps, Todd encourages us to live congruent private and public lives that adhere to our personal convictions. Website: [www.toddrose.com] (http://www.toddrose.com/) Twitter: [@ltoddrose] (https://twitter.com/ltoddrose?lang=en)   Topics 03:10 What is a collective illusion? 06:16 Social media and perceived consensus 13:38 Self-fulfilling political polarization 19:10 Socializing the concept of collective illusions 20:49 Gender bias in politics 22:59 Conformity traps in groups and relationships 28:15 Do republicans think the 2020 elections were rigged? 31:32 Preference falsification and manipulation 36:22 The need for belonging and self-expression 38:26 False expectations distort relationships 39:48 Congruence, positive deviance, and authentic responsibility 46:54 Norms as checking mechanisms ... Read more

12 May 2022

49 MINS

49:12

12 May 2022


#313

Todd Rose (Part I) || Rethinking Intelligence

Today we welcome Todd Rose, the co-founder, and president of Populace, a nonprofit think tank that works to find solutions to redistribute opportunity, so all people have the chance to live fulfilling lives in a thriving society. Prior to Populace, he was a faculty member at Harvard University where he founded the Laboratory for the Science of Individuality and directed the Mind, Brain, and Education program. Todd is the best-selling author of Dark Horse, The End of Average, and his most recent book is called Collective Illusions. For part one of our interview, I talk to Todd Rose about intelligence. From both history and research, we know that standardized tests made the false assumption that an average baseline of intelligence can be captured through IQ. Until today, our education system continues to value general cognitive ability over more specific skills. Instead of focusing on test scores, Todd asks us to look at jagged profiles so we can create environments where everyone can thrive. To truly cultivate human potential, Todd asserts that we need to rethink our traditional frameworks about intelligence. Website: [www.toddrose.com] (http://www.toddrose.com/) Twitter: [@ltoddrose] (https://twitter.com/ltoddrose?lang=en)   Topics 01:50 Dropping out of high school 04:20 Kurt Fischer’s Dynamic Skill Theory 09:33The problem with standardized testing 12:00 Jagged profiles matter more than IQ scores 15:26 There is no aptitude without strategy 22:54 Everybody is capable of excellence 23:58 Changes to improve our school system 28:23 Education transforms lives  33:59 How Todd got into an honors program 40:46 The bell curve of intelligence 43:22 Stop pathologizing natural human variation  47:40 IQ limits our view of human potential 58:43 Individual contribution over cognitive ability ... Read more

05 May 2022

1 HR 02 MINS

1:02:30

05 May 2022


#312

Dan Pink || Normalize Regret

Today we welcome Dan Pink who is the New York Times bestselling author of When, Drive, A Whole New Mind, and To Sell is Human. Dan’s books have won multiple awards, have been translated into 42 languages, and have sold millions of copies around the world. His articles and essays have also appeared in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, Slate, and other publications. His most recent book is called The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward.  In this episode, I talk to Dan Pink about regret. Dan collected regrets from over 15,000 people across different countries and sorted them into four major categories. He shares insights from his research and shows us how to reframe regret so we can live out the rest of our lives with more authenticity and purpose. We also touch on the topics of happiness, mortality, philosophy, post-traumatic growth, and personality. Website: [www.danpink.com] (https://www.danpink.com/) Twitter: [@DanielPink] (https://twitter.com/DanielPink)   Topics 02:52 The universality of regret 05:40 Demographic differences in regrets 11:53 Free will and fatalism 15:47 What could have beens 19:13 Action vs inaction 24:12 The four core regrets 28:40 Regret done right 36:04 Debunking “No regrets” 37:59 We don’t talk enough about mortality 41:20 Deathbed regrets 42:38 Regret and gratefulness 45:40 Treat yourself with kindness 47:30 Shame, guilt, remorse  48:21 Do public figures experience more regret? ... Read more

28 Apr 2022

51 MINS

51:31

28 Apr 2022


#311

Lisa Miller || The Awakened Brain

Today we welcome Dr. Lisa Miller, the founder and director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute. Her innovative research has been published in more than one hundred peer-reviewed articles in leading journals, including Cerebral Cortex, The American Journal of Psychiatry, and the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She is the New York Times bestselling author of The Spiritual Child and The Awakened Brain. In this episode, I talk to Lisa Miller about the new science of spirituality. Despite what skeptics might believe, science and spirituality don’t necessarily contradict each other. Lisa’s research has found that humans are born with a natural capacity to connect with the spiritual. By being open to the transcendent, our brains can reap the benefits of resiliency, creativity, and more. We also touch on the topics of neuroscience, existentialism, mindfulness, and empiricism. Website: [www.lisamillerphd.com] (https://www.lisamillerphd.com/) Twitter: [@lisamillerphd] (https://twitter.com/lisamillerphd)   Topics 01:34 The Awakened Brain 06:14 Conversations with Martin Seligman 13:20 The spiritual child 15:16 Science augments spirituality  17:26 Defining spirituality and devotion 25:04 Personality correlations with spirituality 27:25 A monism approach to consciousness  31:27 Searching for life’s meaning 37:08 Schumann resonances  39:56 Religious war is outdated 43:34 Transcendence is a process 46:57 Meditation practice with Lisa ... Read more

21 Apr 2022

51 MINS

51:27

21 Apr 2022


#310

Carl Hart || Drug Use for Grown-Ups

Today we welcome Carl Hart. He is the Ziff Professor of Psychology in the Departments of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University. He is known for his research on neuropsychopharmacology and his advocacy for the decriminalization of recreational drugs. Carl is the author of High Price and has co-authored the introductory textbook Drugs, Society, and Human Behavior with Charles Ksir. His most recent book is called Drug Use for Grown-Ups. In this episode, I talk to Carl Hart about drug use and addiction. Society is quick to judge all drug users as addicts but Carl’s research found that the majority of drug users do not meet the criteria for pathology. Recreational drugs, when used responsibly, can have positive effects on people.  Instead of waging a war on drugs, Carl advocates for laws that better regulate the production and sale of substances. We also touch on the topics of health, law, racism, cognition, and sociology. Website: [drcarlhart.com] (https://drcarlhart.com/) Twitter: [@drcarlhart] (https://twitter.com/drcarlhart)   Topics 02:32 Carl’s interest in neuropsychopharmacology 06:12 The brain disease model of addiction 11:22 Should we talk about drugs with kids? 13:47 Responsible drug use for grown-ups 17:08 Drugs in pursuit of happiness 22:54 The Harrison Narcotics Tax Act  29:28 Scott’s experience with edibles 33:21 Why we need drug checking facilities 37:01 The drug user tropes in media  41:59 Predictors of drug abuse and addiction  46:42 Drug overdose and safety 50:09 Personal responsibility in drug addiction 52:45 Our moralism is killing us 55:06 Coming out as a heroin user 57:52 Bob Marley and James Baldwin  ... Read more

14 Apr 2022

1 HR 00 MINS

1:00:49

14 Apr 2022


#309

Susan Cain || The Beauty of Bittersweet

Today we welcome Susan Cain. She is the author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, which spent eight years on The New York Times bestseller list, and has been translated into 40 languages. Susan’s TED talk has been viewed over 40 million times and was named by Bill Gates as one of his all-time favorite talks. Her new masterpiece is called Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Whole. In this episode, I talk to Susan Cain about the complex emotion of bittersweet. We explore melancholy and how the intertwined recognition of beauty and impermanence can be tapped for creative pursuits. Susan also talks about how existential longing is a natural part of the human condition, allowing us to form deeper connections with one another. We also touch on the topics of creativity, spirituality, relationships, grief, and mortality.  Website: [susancain.net] (https://susancain.net/) Twitter: [@susancain] (https://twitter.com/susancain)   Topics 02:31 The spectrum of bittersweet 06:10 The paradox of tragedy 07:41 Melancholy is not always depression 11:16 Longing for Eden 16:22 Spirituality is a manifestation of longing 18:30 Existential longing, awe, and wonder 23:25 Reaching through acts of love 30:30 The new science of transcendence 35:59 Mortality and transhumanism  39:44 Maslow’s plateau experiences  43:17 The epigenetics of inherited trauma 48:30 Follow your existential longing ... Read more

07 Apr 2022

50 MINS

50:24

07 Apr 2022


#308

Tim Urban || Climbing the Thinking Ladder

Today we welcome Tim Urban. He is the writer and illustrator of the blog Wait But Why, which he co-founded with Andrew Finn in 2013. With wry stick-figure illustrations and occasionally epic prose, Wait But Why has garnered millions of unique page views, thousands of patrons and famous fans like Elon Musk. His long-form blog covers a range of subjects including artificial intelligence, outer space, and procrastination. Tim earned his A.B. from Harvard University, graduating cum laude with a major in Government.  In this episode, I talk to Tim Urban about the complex relationship between identity and critical thinking. Tim cautions against blind loyalty to specific ideologies for it can lead to an echo chamber of tribal minds. Instead of dogmatic maxims, he suggests we uphold basic core principles that guide our thoughts and behavior. In this way, Tim believes we engage in high rung thinking all the while cultivating “idea labs” within our culture. We also touch on the topics of dating, education, politics, writing, morality, and tech.   Website: [waitbutwhy.com] (https://waitbutwhy.com/) Twitter: [@waitbutwhy] (https://twitter.com/waitbutwhy)   Topics 02:21 Intellectual ADHD 06:14 Detached truth seeking  08:40 Pitfalls of low rung thinking 16:15 Tim’s upbringing and education 21:01 Dating is kind of like Grand Theft Auto 37:50 “Your ego is a backpack” 44:35 The world needs your spaghetti brain 51:38 Idea labs and echo chambers 57:42 The spectrum of opposing views 1:01:13 Repressing science for ideology 1:09:24 Life, death, and cryonics 1:25:05 Learning in analogies and metaphors 1:29:44 Evaluating high quality ideas 1:36:23 Choosing what to read 1:39:35 Tim’s life altering idea 1:42:28 Mars, capitalism, neurolinks  1:47:02 Lightning round 1:53:07 But why wait? ... Read more

31 Mar 2022

1 HR 48 MINS

1:48:03

31 Mar 2022


#307

Jane McGonigal || Playing Games with the Future

Today we welcome Jane McGonigal. She is a world-renowned game designer who challenges players to tackle real-world problems such as poverty, depression, and climate change through collaboration. Jane is also a future forecaster, serving as the current Director of Games Research & Development at the Institute for the Future. Her games and forecasting work have been featured in The New York Times, Wired, The Economist, CNN, NPR and more. As a two-time New York Times bestselling author, she has recently published her third book called Imaginable.  In this episode, I talk to Jane McGonigal about the intersection of gaming and future forecasting. Jane asserts that games are not just for escapist entertainment; they could also be used to help prepare us for what’s to come. Imagining fictional simulations can inspire us to make present changes which can influence our personal and collective futures for the better. We also touch on the topics of creativity, psychotherapy, forecasting, hope, and tech.  Website: [janemcgonigal.com] (https://janemcgonigal.com/) Twitter: [@avantgame] (https://twitter.com/avantgame)   Topics 02:08 Futurist game design 05:44 Imagination and the psychological safety of games 09:17 Forecasting and psychotherapy  15:54 Urgent optimism 21:10 Predicting the COVID-19 pandemic in 2010 23:52 Can we predict our own futures? 27:50 Affective vs behavioral forecasting 34:05 The Institute for the Future 36:52 Future scenarios change present behavior 41:41 The perils and promise of facial recognition 47:24 Assessment and benefits of futurist imagination 52:45 The need for more longitudinal studies  ... Read more

24 Mar 2022

58 MINS

58:03

24 Mar 2022


#306

Antonio Damasio || Inside Consciousness

Today we welcome Dr. Antonio Damasio. He is an internationally recognized neuroscientist whose extensive research has shaped the understanding of neural systems and consciousness. With over a hundred journal articles and book chapters, he has earned many prestigious awards throughout his career. Currently, he serves as University Professor, the David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Philosophy, and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at the University of Southern California. His books Descartes’ Error, Looking for Spinoza, Self Comes to Mind, The Strange Order of Things, and Feeling & Knowing, have been published in translation and are taught in universities throughout the world. In this episode, I talk to Antonio Damasio about consciousness. People often think that the mind and consciousness are the same thing, but Dr. Damasio disputes this notion. He argues that it’s the complex relationship of both our brains and bodies that makes sentient thought possible. Homeostatic feelings like hunger and pain developed before emotions; and along with it came consciousness. We also touch on the topics of perception, mental illness, evolution, panpsychism, AI and machine learning.  Website: [dornsife.usc.edu/bc] (https://dornsife.usc.edu/bc) Twitter: [@damasiousc] (https://twitter.com/damasiousc?lang=en)   Topics 02:17 Time-locked multiregional retroactivation 11:32 The difference between the mind, intelligence, and consciousness 18:37 Panpsychism is an escape 22:50 AIs can replicate minds but not consciousness  25:42 Feeling gave way to consciousness 30:59 The purpose of emotions 33:25 The evolution of feelings and emotions 38:28 The interoceptive nervous system 44:23 Does mental illness disrupt consciousness? 49:51 Creativity as a bottom-up process 54:38 Consciousness can hinder creativity 58:09 Scott’s interest in panpsychism 59:18 Can we ever make feeling machines? ... Read more

17 Mar 2022

58 MINS

58:58

17 Mar 2022


#305

Charles Koch || Believe in People

In this episode, my guest is Charles Koch. Charles G. Koch is chairman and CEO of Koch Industries, one of the largest privately held American companies. During his tenure with the company, the estimated value has grown from $21 million to more than $100 billion. Charles has published several books detailing his business philosophy: The Science of Success, Good Profit, and Believe in People. As an influential philanthropist, he supports education, a community of organizations addressing persistent poverty, and public-policy research focused on developing effective solutions to societal problems. He has founded numerous organizations, including Stand Together and the Cato Institute. He holds two master’s degrees in nuclear and chemical engineering from MIT and lives in Wichita, Kansas, with his wife, Liz. In this episode, I talk to Charles Koch about his bottom-up approach to social change. Charles recognizes that each individual has a gift; schools and organizations should cultivate these unique strengths instead of trying to force people into molds. Charles asserts that institutions can create more meaningful value this way, by truly believing in people. We also touch on the topics of multiple intelligences, self-actualization, education, innovation, and philanthropy. Website: [charleskoch.com] (https://charleskoch.com/) Twitter: [@KochIndustries] (https://twitter.com/KochIndustries)   Topics 04:02 Multiple intelligence theories 07:44 Finding consistent principles of human progress 10:08 Transforming Koch Industries 14:38 Virtuous Cycles of Mutual Benefit 20:07 Bottom-Up Solutions for a Top-Down World 23:51 Empowering contribution-motivated individuals 31:27 Supervisors as self-actualization coaches 37:16 From partisanship to partnership 42:35 Charles’ vision for a self-actualizing society 44:18 Eupsychian Management by Maslow 47:50 Frederick Douglass and Viktok Frankl 51:41 #GiveTogetherNow  53:00 A society that rewards synergy ... Read more

10 Mar 2022

56 MINS

56:59

10 Mar 2022


#304

Rhonda Magee || The Inner Work of Racial Justice

In this episode, I talk to law professor and mindfulness leader Rhonda Magee about her book The Inner Work of Racial Justice. We discuss her innovative approach to healing racial divides using mindfulness. Rhonda argues that when we bring awareness and compassion to ourselves, relationships, and the environment, we invite healing and connection. We also touch on the topics of education, spirituality, liberation, democracy, and community. Bio Rhonda V. Magee (M.A. Sociology, J.D.) is a Professor of Law at the University of San Francisco and an internationally-recognized thought and practice leader focused on integrating mindfulness into higher education, law and social change work. Rhonda’s teaching and writing support compassionate conflict engagement and management; holistic problem-solving to alleviate the suffering of the vulnerable and injured; presence-based leadership in a diverse world, and humanizing approaches to education. Her book, The Inner Work of Racial Justice, advocates for a mindfulness and compassion-based approach to confront racial injustice and work towards healing. Website: [www.rhondavmagee.com] (https://www.rhondavmagee.com/) Twitter: [@rvmagee] (https://twitter.com/rvmagee)   Topics 01:45 Rhonda’s childhood and upbringing 06:48 Personal vs systemic racism  09:43 Education during desegregation  16:55 Rhonda’s interest in mindfulness 25:12 Bridge racial divides with mindfulness 32:51 Liberating practices grounded in being 42:59 Listen for understanding and connection 46:28 The ecology for justice 51:47 Find a collective consensus  ... Read more

03 Mar 2022

54 MINS

54:41

03 Mar 2022


#303

Daniel Schmachtenberger || Towards a Radical Cultural Enlightenment

In this episode, I talk to social philosopher Daniel Schmachtenberger about exponential technology and its effects on our current world. According to Daniel, organizations that harness the power of modern tech rarely use it for good–like how social media companies boost polarizing content to maximize user engagement–leading to a distrust of science and destabilized democracies. To overcome humanity’s current existential threat, Daniel argues we all need to work towards a radical cultural enlightenment. We also touch on the topics of collective intelligence, human development, power, responsibility, and civilization. Bio Daniel Schmachtenberger is a founding member of The Consilience Project, aimed at improving public sensemaking and dialogue. The throughline of his interests has to do with ways of improving the health and development of individuals and society, with a virtuous relationship between the two as a goal. Motivated by the belief that advancing collective intelligence and capacity is foundational to the integrity of any civilization, and necessary to address the unique risks we currently face given the intersection of globalization and exponential technology, he has spoken publicly on many of these topics, hoping to popularize and deepen important conversations and engage more people in working towards their solutions. Website: [consilienceproject.org] (https://consilienceproject.org/)   Topics 02:52 Techno-optimism vs techno-pessimism  04:28 Definition of exponential technology 08:39 Is the world getting better from tech? 10:37 The radical asymmetry of power 13:58 Decoupling rewards from development 25:19 A new social media algorithm  28:56 Tribal politics, certainty, and perspective taking  33:55 Developing better cognitive capacities 42:06 Rights and responsibilities in a liquid democracy 46:23 The next phase of open societies 49:26 The Consilience Project 52:23 The need for cultural enlightenment  56:13 Creating an antifragile world 58:49 Collective intelligence 1:00:39 Establish expertise and credibility in institutions 1:05:24 The unique existential threat of the 21st Century  ... Read more

24 Feb 2022

1 HR 08 MINS

1:08:58

24 Feb 2022


#302

Todd Kashdan || The Art of Insubordination

In this episode, I talk to esteemed psychologist Todd Kashdan about the art of insubordination. As creatures of habit, humans seek familiarity in thoughts, behaviors, and interactions. But Todd argues that deviating from norms isn’t always a bad thing—especially if it’s in pursuit of positive change. To enact principled dissent effectively, Todd teaches us how to persuade the majority and how to embrace unconventional solutions. We also touch on the topics of conformity, intimacy, influence, victimhood, and curiosity. Bio Todd Kashdan is among the world’s top experts on the psychology of well-being, psychological strengths, mental agility, and social relationships. His research has been featured in hundreds of media outlets, including multiple articles in the Harvard Business Review, New York Times, and Forbes. In 2010, he received the Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year Award at George Mason University and in 2013, he received the Distinguished Early Career Researcher Award by the American Psychological Association. Todd is the author of Curious?, The Upside of Your Darkside, and Designing Positive Psychology. His latest book is The Art of Insubordination.  Website: [toddkashdan.com] (https://toddkashdan.com/) Twitter: [@toddkashdan] (https://twitter.com/toddkashdan)   Topics 01:34 The elements of principled insubordination 05:07 Why do people conform? 08:57 Social change by principled rebels  14:21 Win responsibly 19:02 Extract wisdom from weirdos 24:22 Do cartwheels in the library 29:06 Self-care for rebels 31:25 How to win over the majority 36:13 Spark curiosity not fear 42:03 Build stronger alliances during conflict 48:23 Boredom, polarization, and insight ... Read more

17 Feb 2022

53 MINS

53:46

17 Feb 2022


#301

Eric Topol || Public Service Announcement: Separating Facts from Myths in the Pandemic

It's important to recognize that when we're dealing with a very new or rapidly changing phenomenon, like we have been with the pandemic, even the "scientific consensus" can easily be wrong because there's not been much time for the rigorous replicability studies to be conducted or even sometimes to accurately measure the proper effect sizes.  However, I also believe it's important that we don't create a false equivalency between very fringe ideas that are unsupported by the current evidence base and a scientific consensus that is grounded in rigorous methodology.  This is why I sought out the counsel of Dr. Eric Topol on today's show. Despite being one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine and being extremely well regarded in his field of cardiology, he's also been a bright light on social media, shining a light on the best available evidence in the pandemic. He thoughtfully considered all my questions and was very careful to make clear what the current evidence base says without ruling out alternative possibilities in the future in light of new evidence.  In this episode, we cover a number of hot button issues surrounding the pandemic including the potential use of ivermectin to end the pandemic, the potential for increased risk of myocarditis among certain populations after vaccination. We even discuss the role human psychology and human behavior have played in this pandemic. Ultimately, Dr. Topol is optimistic about the future of the pandemic and outlines things coming down the horizon that should give us hope. But as we discussed, the major problems tend to be human problems.  Bio Eric Topol is a cardiologist, scientist, and author. He is the Founder and Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, Professor of Molecular Medicine, and Executive Vice-President of Scripps Research. As a researcher, he has published over 1200 peer-reviewed articles, with more than 290,000 citations, elected to the National Academy of Medicine, and is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine. Dr. Topol has been voted as the #1 most Influential physician leader in the United States in a national poll conducted by Modern Healthcare. Besides editing several textbooks, he has published 3 bestseller books on the future of medicine: The Creative Destruction of Medicine, The Patient Will See You Now, and Deep Medicine: How Artificial Intelligence Can Make Healthcare Human Again. Website: [drerictopol.com] (https://drerictopol.com/) Twitter: [@EricTopol] (https://twitter.com/EricTopol)   Topics 05:51 What is Emergency Use Authorization (EUA)? 08:21 COVID-19 vaccines are humanity’s greatest medical achievement 12:05 Infection acquired immunity 13:47 Vaccine and COVID induced myocarditis  16:56 The efficacy of booster shots  20:20 Ivermectin studies: what does the data say?  25:15 How to improve pandemic response 30:02 Hope for the future of the pandemic   ... Read more

10 Feb 2022

31 MINS

31:42

10 Feb 2022