A talk with conflict resolution specialist Guy Burgess, who, along with his wife Heidi Burgess, run the project www.beyondintractability.org. Guy and Heidi wrote a paper in 2022 titled "Applying conflict resolution insights to the hyper‐polarized, society‐wide conflicts threatening liberal democracies." I talk with Guy about: how conflict resolution principles might be applied to U.S. polarization problems; the importance of addressing liberal-side contributions to polarization; the common...
A talk with Blake Mobley about the business of recruiting: matching job seekers with companies that are hiring. Blake is the co-founder and managing director of recruiting company Keeper Recruiting, which specializes in biotech. Topics discussed include: what the process of recruiting is like; how Keeper goes about learning pertinent details about job seekers; the metrics by which recruiting companies are judged to be successful; the different "core motivators" people can have in their lives...
I was interviewed on Mahima Samraik's podcast Breaking The Facts about my struggles with anxiety and mental issues as a young man, which led to me dropping out of college in the middle of my second year of college. We talk about what that experience was like; recommendations for people dealing with similar problems; and the obstacles that can get in the way of getting help.
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A talk with psychologist Richard Bentall, author of the well known book Madness Explained, which examines the psychological causes of the symptoms associated with psychosis, schizophrenia, mania, and other mental issues. Topics we talk about include: the experiences and mental struggles that can lead to psychosis and other mental illness; how theories of mental illness have changed over time; pushback and criticism of psychology-focused explanations of mental illness; aspects of madness that...
A talk with Larry Hart, a football coach at the University of Houston, and the author of the book The Recruit's Playbook. Topics discussed include: common behavioral patterns (tells) that are used to get an edge on opponents and teams; reading the signals that opponent coaches give to players; reading formation patterns; the importance of reviewing game tape; predicting how athletes will perform when one is recruiting them; and more.
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A talk with nonverbal behavior expert Alan Crawley, also known by his online handle Sin Verba (www.sinverba.com). Topics discussed include: why he became interested in behavior; the challenges of studying behavior; the practical benefits of studying behavior (including connecting better with others); irresponsible "behavior experts" who share bad information; and how to spot bad behavior information.
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A talk with Steven Heine about how we react to our sense of meaning being threatened. What happens when our mental frameworks of how the world works don’t hold up and things seem chaotic? What happens when our sense of what’s existentially meaningful in our lives is threatened? Topics discussed: Heine et al’s Meaning Maintenance Model; existential crises, including mid-life crises and adolescent angst; how polarization might be related to threats to meaning; positive aspects to our worldviews...
A talk with Andrew O'Donohue, co-author of Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization. Andrew has studied how societal conflicts play out in many countries, and the harm those conflicts inflict. Topics discussed include: why it is that political polarization is so common a state for humans; how polarization has played out in various countries; countries that can serve as comparisons for America in terms of polarization; the psychological drivers of polarization; the...
A talk with Sabrina Hoppe about a 2018 study that showed how eye movements are correlated with personality. That paper was named 'Eye movements during everyday behavior predict personality traits.' We talk about how the study was set up, what the results were, how strong the correlations found were, reasons for why such patterns might exist, possible applications, and more.
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A talk with communication researcher Tim Levine about nonverbal behavior and deception detection. Tim's stance is that there's no evidence that nonverbal behavior is useful for detecting deception. He's the author of Duped: Truth-Default Theory and the Social Science of Lying and Deception. His work was featured in Malcom Gladwell's book Talking to Strangers.
Topics discussed include: what the research says about nonverbal behaviors; why it's so hard to get reliable indicators of deception;...
A talk with Dr. Casey Grover, addiction specialist and host of the podcast Addiction in Emergency Medicine and Acute Care, about how doctors attempt to determine if a patient is trying to get a drug prescription under false pretenses (e.g., claiming to be in pain to get opioids). Topics discussed: why "drug-seeking behavior" is not a good phrase; what some classic drug-seeking behaviors are and also why they're not very reliable; steps doctors take if they think someone might have a use...
This is a reshare of a 2020 talk with psychology researcher Neguine Rezaii. She and her research team used machine learning to find language patterns used by teenagers who were at risk of schizophrenia that were correlated with later schizophrenia diagnosis. The two language patterns found in the subjects' speech were 1) a low semantic density (i.e., low degree of meaning), and 2) speech related to sound or voices.
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A reshare of a 2018 talk with jury specialist Christina Marinakis about how she makes use of human psychology and human behavior in her jury consultancy work. Topics discussed: jury selection procedures; what jury consultants do; the relative importance of jury selection compared to the strength of the case; clues to potential jurors' beliefs and future behaviors from their body language, verbal answers, clothes, and more.
A reshare of a 2019 talk with forensic linguistic researcher Olu Popoola where we discuss indicators that online reviews are fake or genuine. We talk about his work analyzing indicators of deception, and talk about some research he did on Amazon book reviews. If you've ever read an online review and wondered "This seems fake, but how do I really know?", I think you'd enjoy this one.
A talk with psychology researcher Matthew Hornsey about political polarization and the psychology behind it. Other topics discussed include: why people can believe such different (and unreasonable) ideas; persuasive tactics; the importance of people criticizing their own group; why groups mainly listen to in-group members and ignore the same ideas from out-group members.
A rebroadcast of one of my most popular episodes: a talk from 2018 with Mark McClish, who's an expert in analyzing spoken and written statements for hidden meaning, and who's been a US Marshal and law enforcement trainer. He's the author of the books I Know You Are Lying and Don't Be Deceived.
As part of an effort to share some of the best and most popular early episodes of my podcast, this is a rebroadcast of a 2019 episode where I interviewed psychology and relationship researcher Brandi Fink. We talk about behavioral patterns that indicate either healthy or unhealthy relationships, talk about analyzing video footage of interpersonal interactions, cultural differences in relationship dynamics, and more.
A talk with Bill Ottman, co-founder and CEO of the social media platform Minds, which is known for its minimal content moderation approach. Ottman and others (including Daryl Davis, a black man known for singlehandedly deradicalizing white supremacists) recently wrote a paper titled "The Censorship Effect," which examined how strict censorship/banning policies may actually increase antisocial, radicalized views. We talk about the psychology behind how increased censorship policies may...
A talk with political scientist Leonie Huddy on the topic of research on American racism and prejudice. I was interested in discussing framings like this one from a 2012 USA Today article: "U.S. majority have prejudice against blacks" and ask her if such confident framings were justified based on the research, or if they were over-stated and irresponsible. Topics discussed: the ambiguity that can be present when attempting to study prejudice, especially for studies that seek to measure it...
A talk with psychology and addiction behavior researcher Paul Delfabbro about cryptocurrency, problem gambling, and addiction. Delfabbro has worked on several papers related to cryptocurrency, including a paper titled "The psychology of cryptocurrency trading: Risk and protective factors" and one titled "Cryptocurrency trading, gambling, and problem gambling." Also discussed: the role of social media in amplifying addictions, day trading, and video game addiction.
An examination of the reasons why people believe the 2020 election was "rigged," stolen, or otherwise illegitimate. This includes a talk with Peter Wood, a sociologist and political thinker and writer, who strongly believes that the 2020 election was stolen. Other topics discussed: election distrust by liberals (in 2016, for example), and how election distrust and chaos is a common endpoint for very polarized democratic nations.
A talk with Dino Levy about his research team's research, which used monitoring of facial muscles and machine learning to detect lies at an impressive 73% success rate. Their paper was titled "Lie to my face: An electromyography approach to the study of deceptive behavior." We talk about the results, the possible explanations, comparisons to polygraph lie detection, and applications of this research and lie detection technology in general.
A talk with political scientist Thomas Zeitzoff, who has studied political conflicts. We talk about survey results that show an increase in Americans' willingness to support political violence, and how that relates to our fears over future violent conflicts and "civil war" scenarios in America. Other topics discussed include: the psychology of polarization; the Ukraine-Russia conflict and the role of social media in that; the effects of social media on society in general.
Brandon Sheils is a professional poker player who recently did a scientific study of poker tells as part of getting a Masters degree in Psychology. Topics discussed: the challenges of studying poker behavior; how he structured his study; what the results were; AI and machine learning potential for studying behavior; some times he's used behavior to make a poker decision.