Feeling stuck? Can't build momentum to escape all the loops keeping you from moving forward? Our guest in this episode is professor, author, therapist, and speaker Britt Frank, a trauma specialist who treats people with unique and powerful techniques and approaches which help clients to get out of the feeling of being stuck.
Published 05/28/23
Published 05/28/23
How to manage procrastination according to Margaret Atwood, how to work around your first-instinct fallacy, the upsides of imposter syndrome, the best way to avoid falling prey to the Dunning-Kruger effect, how to avoid thinking like a preacher, prosecutor, or politician so you can think like a scientist instead – and that’s just the beginning of the conversation in this episode with psychologist, podcast host, and author Adam Grant.
Published 05/13/23
In this episode we sit down with astronomer Phil Plait to discuss his new book, Under Alien Skies, in which he describes what it would be like through human eyes and physical experiences to actually travel to Saturn, Mars, asteroids, and distant stars.
Published 04/30/23
Is a hotdog a sandwich? Well, that depends on your definition of a sandwich (and a hotdog), and according to the most recent research in cognitive science, the odds that your concept of a sandwich is the same as another person's concept are shockingly low. In this episode we explore how understanding why that question became a world-spanning argument in the mid 2010s helps us understand some of the world-spanning arguments vexing us today.
Published 04/16/23
This episode’s guest is Anand Giridharadas, the author of The Persuaders – a book about activists, politicians, educators, and everyday citizens who are on the ground working to change minds, bridge divisions, and fight for democracy.
Published 04/02/23
This episode’s guest is Bo Seo, the author of Good Arguments – a book about how he became a world debate champion in which he not only teaches us how to apply what he has learned to everyday life but imagines communities built around, not despite, constant arguing and disagreement. Seo says that a political life without constant disagreement would be impoverished. As he puts it, quote, "Nations are, at their best, evolving arguments. As he writes, “In a liberal democracy, good arguments are...
Published 03/19/23
This episode’s guest is Mónica Guzmán, the author of I Never Thought of It That Way – a book with very practical advice on how to have productive conversations in a polarized political environment via authentic curiosity about where people’s opinions, attitudes, and values come from.
Published 03/05/23
In this episode, we sit down with famed stage magician and infamous instructor of the school of scams, Brian Brushwood, whose new podcast explores the world's greatest con artists and con jobs from World War II to modern game shows.
Published 02/19/23
In the show you’ll learn from therapist Britt Frank about the physiological origins of procrastination – the inner brake pedal and gas pedal – and what to do to escape the two different versions of this universal challenge to getting unstuck and getting things done.
Published 02/05/23
Nick Sonnenberg doesn’t believe there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. That’s because when his business was in crisis mode, he developed a framework for eliminating inefficiencies and preventing the sort of metawork – working on working – that leads to scavenger hunts and meetings that could be emails, and for that matter, email runarounds that get everyone ever farther from inbox zero. He turned that framework into a consultancy business, and put it all together in...
Published 01/22/23
In this episode we sit down with psychologist Dacher Keltner, one of the world’s leading experts on the science of emotion, the man Pixar hired to help them write Inside Out. In his new book – Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life – he outlines his years of work in this field, the health benefits of awe, the evolutionary origins and likely functions, and how to better pursue more awe and wonder in your own life.
Published 01/08/23
In this episode, Micheal Rousell, author of The Power of Surprise, explains the science of surprise at the level of neurons and brain structures, and then talk about how surprises often lead to the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, the different personal narratives that guide our behaviors and motivations and goals, and, perhaps most importantly, our willingness to be surprised again so that we can change and grow.
Published 12/24/22
Temple Grandin was born in 1947 at a time when words like neurodivergent and neurotypical had yet to enter the lexicon, at a time when autism was not well understood, and since she didn’t develop speech until much later than most children she might have led a much different life if it hadn’t been for people around her who worked very hard to open up a space for her to thrive and explore her talents and abilities. In this episode we discuss all that as well as her latest book, Visual Thinking,...
Published 12/11/22
In this episode we explore what narcissism is (and what is most-definitely is not). There is a form of narcissism which has been, up until now, confused with psychopathy. But a new paper, the result of years of experiments, suggests narcissists are not psychopaths, and psychopaths are not narcissists.
Published 11/27/22
In this episode we sit down with Jeremy Utley of the Stanford d.school to discuss his new book, Ideaflow, which is all about how to create a practice for producing and trading ideas in massive quantities – whether in an organization or as an individual entrepreneur or content-creator – along with a system for sorting the garbage from the gold. We discuss, among many other things, why it is important to focus on input more than output, how to stop obsessing over quality while generating...
Published 11/13/22
Here’s a special bonus episode featuring my recent conversation with Tim Harford, author, economic journalist, and host of the Cautionary Tales podcast. We discussed a story from my new book, How Minds Change, about a conspiracy theorist who was certain 9/11 was an inside job until he actually visited Ground Zero to meet architects, engineers and the relatives of the dead. Tim and I reflect on what Charlie can teach us about those who hold strong beliefs even in the face of damning, contrary...
Published 10/28/22
I recently sat down for a live event and Q&A with the great Annie Duke to discuss her new book, Quit: The power of knowing when to walk away. This episode is the audio from that event. Quit is all about how to develop a very particular skill: how to train your brain to make it easier to know which goals and plans are worth sticking to and which are not.
Published 10/16/22
In this episode we sit down with NYU psychologist Jay Van Bavel who is very good at Twitter. His feed is always overflowing with the absolute latest and greatest research from psychology with links to papers as they come out – on many of the topics we so often explore on this podcast – and in this episode we discuss ten of those tweets and the research he’s shared.
Published 10/03/22
In this episode we sit down with Douglas Rushkoff, a media scholar, journalist, and professor of digital economics who has a new fire in his belly when it comes to the world of billionaire preppers, which comes across in his new book Survival of the Richest: Escape Fantasies of the Tech Billionaires – inspired by his invitation to consult a group of the world’s richest people on how to spend their money now to survive an apocalypse they fear is coming within their lifetimes.
Published 09/18/22
In this episode we welcome back author Will Storr whose new book, The Status Game, feels like required reading for anyone confused, curious, or worried about how politics, cults, conspiracy theories communities, social media, religious fundamentalism, polarization, and extremism are affecting us - everywhere, on and offline, across cultures, and across the world. What is The Status Game? It’s our primate propensity to perpetually pursue points that will provide a higher level of regard among...
Published 09/04/22
When we talk about conspiracy theories we tend to focus on what people believe instead of why, and, more importantly, why they believe those things and not other things. In this episode, we sit down with two psychologists working to change that, and in addition, change the term itself from conspiracy theory to conspiracy narrative, which more accurately describes what makes any one conspiracy appealing enough to form a community around it and in rare cases result in collective action.
Published 08/22/22
Our guest in this episode is the behavioral scientist Jon Levy who wrote a book titled You’re Invited, the Art and Science of Cultivating influence. The book details how Jon was able to convince groups of Nobel Laureates, Olympians, celebrities, Fortune 500 executives, and even a princess to not only give him advice, but cook him dinner, wash his dishes, sweep his floors, and then thank him for the experience.  How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome Contest:...
Published 08/07/22
In this episode we sit down with Jennifer Shahade, a two-time U.S. Women’s Chess Champion, author, speaker, and professional poker player whose new book, Chess Queens, is the true story of the greatest female players of all time interwoven with her own experiences as a chess champion. How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome Contest: https://sites.prh.com/hmc-giveaway  Show Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.com  Newsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.com Jennifer Shahade’s...
Published 07/25/22
New research suggests people on opposite sides of wedge issues want to listen to each other. We are each eager to hear differing opinions and understand opposing views, and when we do it can change our minds (at least a little), but only when we aren't triggered by the psychological phenomenon of reactance - one of several ideas we explore in this episode. How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome Newsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.com/subscribe Show Notes:...
Published 07/10/22