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You Are Not So Smart

You Are Not So Smart

You Are Not So Smart is a show about psychology that celebrates science and self delusion. In each episode, we explore what we've learned so far about reasoning, biases, judgments, and decision-making.

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247 - Narcissism (rebroadcast)

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.

In the psychological literature, narcissism comes in two varieties. Grandiose narcissists tend to really, truly love themselves and heavily manipulate their social environment for personal gain. Vulnerable narcissists don?t love themselves, not their true selves. Vulnerable narcissists love their image, and they are highly aware of the fact that it is an image and work very hard to prevent anyone else realizing that. According to the research explored in this episode, there is no such thing as a grandiose narcissist ? that?s just another way to describe a psychopath.

Vulnerable narcissists like Don Draper in Mad Men cope with their insecurity by donning a mask, and then spend most of their lives protecting that mask out of a fear of what will happen if people ever see what it hides.

How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehomeShow Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.comNewsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.comNarcissism through the lens of performative self-elevation
2022-11-27
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246 - Ideaflow - Jeremy Utley

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 quantity, and peanut butter pumps.

Jeremy Utley: https://www.jeremyutley.designIdeaflow: https://www.ideaflow.designStanford d.school: https://dschool.stanford.eduHow Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehomeShow Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.comNewsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.comJeremy Utley?s Twitter: https://twitter.com/jeremyutleyDavid McRaney?s Twitter: https://twitter.com/davidmcraneyYANSS Twitter: https://twitter.com/notsmartblogBerkeley Alembic Event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/how-minds-change-with-david-mcraney-tickets-443811591417
2022-11-13
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245 - The Conspiracy Theorist Who Changed His Mind - Tim Harford

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 he can teach us about those who hold strong beliefs even in the face of damning, contrary evidence and why persuasion, especially if attempted poorly, isn't always the right answer. 

? Hear more from Cautionary Tales at https://podcasts.pushkin.fm/ctsmart

? How Minds Change: https://www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome

 

2022-10-28
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244 - Quit - Annie Duke

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. 

- Toronto Live Event: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/how-minds-change-a-conversation-lab-with-david-mcraney-misha-glouberman-tickets-410047431907

- How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome

- Show Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.com

- Newsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.com

- Annie Duke's Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnieDuke 

 

2022-10-16
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243 - Psychological Tweetathon with Jay Van Bavel

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.

Toronto Live Event: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/how-minds-change-a-conversation-lab-with-david-mcraney-misha-glouberman-tickets-410047431907How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehomeShow Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.comNewsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.comJay Van Bavel?s Twitter: https://twitter.com/jayvanbavel
2022-10-03
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242 - Survival of the Richest - Douglas Rushkoff

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.

Live Event at Caveat: https://caveat.nyc/event/how-minds-change-9-20-2022How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehomeShow Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.comNewsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.comDouglas Rushkoff's Website: https://rushkoff.com
2022-09-18
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241 - The Status Game - Will Storr

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 the people who can (if we provoked such a response) take those points away. And deeper still, it?s the propensity to, once we find a group of people who regularly give us those points, care about what they think more than just about anything else.

In the interview, we discuss our inescapable obsession with reputation and why we are deeply motivated to avoid losing this game through the fear of shame, ostracism, embarrassment, and humiliation while also deeply motivated to win this game by earning what will provide pride, fame, adoration, respect, and status.

Live Event at Caveat: https://caveat.nyc/event/how-minds-change-9-20-2022  How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome Show Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.com  Newsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.com Will Storr?s Website: https://willstorr.com 

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-09-04
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240 - QAnon and Conspiracy Narratives (rebroadcast)

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.

How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome Show Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.com  Newsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-08-22
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239 - You're Invited - Jon Levy

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: https://sites.prh.com/hmc-giveaway  Show Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.com  Newsletter: https://davidmcraney.substack.com Jon Levy's Website: https://www.jonlevytlb.com 

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-08-07
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238 - Chess Queens - Jennifer Shahade

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 Website: https://jennifershahade.com 

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-07-25
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237 - Reactance - Michele Belot

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: www.youarenotsosmart.com  Michèle Belot on Twitter: http://twitter.com/belotmichele

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-07-11
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236 - How Minds Change

In this episode I read an excerpt from my new book How Minds Change, a portion concerning how to change minds about abortion rights, and Chris Clearfield interviews me about that very same book - which is out now and available everywhere.

Link to learn more about How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome  Link to learn more about Deep Canvassing: www.newconvo.org  Link to my new newsletter: davidmcraney.substack.com/subscribe Link to Chris Clearfield?s handout: www.chrisclearfield.com/change   

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-06-27
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235 - Tough - Terry Crews

Terry Crews, actor, athlete, artist, President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho, star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, host of America?s Got Talent - that Terry Crews joins us to discuss his new book, Tough. In the book, Terry shares the raw story of his quest to find the true meaning of toughness and in so doing fundamentally change his concept of himself by uprooting a deeply ingrained toxic masculinity and finally confronting his insecurities, painful memories, and limiting beliefs.

Link to preorder How Minds Change: https://www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome



Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-06-13
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234 - The Truth Wins - Tom Stafford

Link to preorder How Minds Change and get your preorder bonuses: https://www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome

Deliberation. Debate. Conversation. Though it can feel like that?s what we are doing online as we trade arguments back and forth, most of the places where we currently gather make it much easier to produce arguments in isolation rather than evaluate them together in groups. The latest research suggests we will need much more of the latter if we hope to create a new, modern, functioning marketplace of ideas. In this episode, psychologist Tom Stafford takes us through his research into how to do just that.

Show notes at: http://www.youarenotsosmart.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-05-29
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233 - The Puzzler - A. J. Jacobs

Link to preorder How Minds Change: www.davidmcraney.com/howmindschangehome

Our guest in this episode is A.J. Jacobs, the the four-time New York Times bestselling author of The Year of Living Biblically, Thanks A Thousand, It?s All Relative, and The Know It All.

His new book, The Puzzler, is a fun, weird, refreshingly scientific book all about the human brain's fascination with puzzles. Seriously, there?s all sorts of explorations in the book about neural pathways, behavioral routines, how we learn, what gets us into loops, and - this is true - a few attempts to solve the puzzle of our very existence.

Show Notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com

Patreon: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

Twitter: www.twitter.com/notsmartblog

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-05-16
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232 - Think Again - Adam Grant

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.

In the show, we discuss both his new book ? Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don?t Know ? and his TED Original Podcast, WorkLife, in which he interviewed Margaret Atwood, the author of The Handmaid?s Tale, to learn how she deals with the constant allure of social media and streaming videos in a future where giving in to procrastination is easier than it has ever been.

In the show, you?ll hear portions of that interview followed by a lengthy interview with Grant about his new book in this all-over-the-place, extensive exploration of how to rethink your own thinking.

Link to get a free ticket to the online event we call The Conversation Lab: https://www.mishaglouberman.com/convolab-may3

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-05-01
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231 - On Being Certain - Robert Burton (rebroadcast)

In this episode, we sit down with neurologist Robert Burton, author of On Being Certain, a book that fundamentally changed the way I think about what a belief actually is. That?s because the book posits conclusions are not conscious choices, and certainty is not even a thought process. Certainty and similar states of ?knowing,? as he puts it, are "sensations that feel like thoughts, but arise out of involuntary brain mechanisms that function independently of reason."

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-04-17
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230 - The Science of Stuck - Britt Frank

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 a unique and powerful set of techniques and approaches which, taken together, helps clients to get out of the feeling of being STUCK.

In the show, we nerd out with Britt about how hard it is to be a person, and though this interview is supposed to be about her new book - "The Science of Stuck, Breaking Through Inertia to Find your Path Forward - at least of half of this interview turned out to be was wide-ranging conversation chasing down many nested tangents about everything from procrastination to somatic markers to trauma to the multitudes of the self and more.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-04-03
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229 - What's Your Problem? - Jacob Goldstein

In this episode, Jacob Goldstein, the longtime host of NPR?s Planet Money, talks about his new podcast about technology and business called What?s Your Problem? with Jacob Goldstein. Goldstein spent more than a decade as co-host of Planet Money reporting stories that make economic journalism approachable. In his new weekly show, What?s Your Problem?, Goldstein?s curiosity leads him into conversations with top global entrepreneurs and engineers about the cutting-edge problems they?re trying to solve. Each episode focuses on a new company and innovator and their challenges, from teaching computers to understand humans better to running a niche business where access to consumers hinges on tech company algorithms.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-03-28
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228 - The Power of Regret - Daniel H. Pink

NO REGRETS - Our guest in this episode of the You Are Not So Smart podcast is Daniel Pink, the five-time NYT Bestselling author of When and To Sell is Human and Drive and A Whole New Mind. His new book is The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward, a rebuke of the concept of "no regrets" and exploration of the benefits of regret and how to harness them.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-03-19
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227 - Imaginable - Jane McGonigal

Jane McGonigal's new books details how she creates alternate reality games in which people take part in virtual worlds, and, in so doing, gain a sensitively to the cues (and a familiarity with the conditions) that could lead to certain outcomes, making it possible to both prevent those outcomes and create the futures they'd rather live in instead.LINK TO

LINK TO THE FREE CONVERSATION LAB WORKSHOP: https://www.mishaglouberman.com/free-convolab-march14

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-03-06
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226 - The World's Greatest Con - Brian Brushwood

In this episode, we sit down with famed stage magician, 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.

We cover everything in this episode from why you can't con an honest person to the power of shame and fame to folk psychology to how the British conned Hitler using one of the oldest tricks in the book to how one man broke the code for Press Your Luck earning him the most money ever awarded in a single day on any program in the history of game shows.

LINK TO THE SIGN UP FOR THE FREE CONVERSATION LAB ONLINE WORKSHOP: https://www.mishaglouberman.com/yansswelcome

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-02-21
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225 - Blindsight and Neuromarketing

In this episode, neuromarketing experts Prince Ghuman and Matt Johnson discuss the many strange examples from their book, Blindsight, in an effort to make us all smarter consumers, empowered to make better decisions after touring a showcase of all the less-obvious ways marketing, advertising, venues, restaurants, shopping malls, casinos, social media companies, and more, knowingly use neuroscience and psychology to affect our behavior.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-02-06
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224 - The Conversation Lab - Misha Glouberman

In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, we sit down once again with Misha Glouberman, an expert on conflict and conversation, to discuss how best to improve your communication skills and turn what you suspect will be a difficult interaction into something marvelous and fruitful - the sort of talk that strengthens your relationship with the other person and leaves you both feeling like you gained and learned something ? the kind you'd like to have again.

Mentioned in the show, here is the link to a free online class with Misha Glouberman on Feb 1st.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-01-23
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223 - To Persuade is Human?

This episode, featuring Andy Luttrell of the Opinion Science Podcast, is all about a machine, built by IBM, that can debate human beings on any issue, which leads to the question: is persuasion, with language, using arguments, and the ability to alter another person?s attitudes, beliefs, values, opinions, and behavior a uniquely human phenomenon, or could you be persuaded to change your mind by an artificial intelligence designed to do just that? If so, what does that say about opinions, our arguments, and in the end, our minds?



Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2022-01-09
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222 - The Power of Surprise - Michael Rousell

Not all surprises trigger change, but almost all change is triggered by surprise. 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.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-12-27
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221 - Conversations and Conversions at the Portable Planetarium

In this episode we sit down with Joey Rodman (@okiespacequeen), a science educator in Oklahoma whose recent Twitter thread about using a portable planetarium to reach out to flat earthers went viral thanks to their counterintuitive advice about how to discuss science denial and conspiracy theories with people who may have never interacted with a scientist before.

After years of on-the-ground, one-on-one conversations, Joey has developed a technique similar to those we've discussed on the show, including street epistemology, motivational interviewing, deep canvassing, and even the socratic method. It shares elements with all of these, but was developed in-person through conversations with people who met with Joey in their communities and home towns.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-12-12
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220 - A Very Short History of Life on Earth - Henry Gee

In this episode, we sit down with Henry Ernest Gee, the paleontologist, evolutionary biologist and senior editor of the scientific journal Nature.

I was honored to get the opportunity chat with one of the absolute titans of science journalism and science communication about his new book: A Very Short History of Life on Earth, 4.6 billion years in 12 chapters.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-11-29
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219 - Irrational Labs - Evelyn Gosnell

In this episode we sit down with expert in behavioral economics Evelyn Gosnell, who is also the managing director of Irrational Labs, an organization that uses social science to help other organizations make big decisions, fight misinformation, and design better products and services.

In a new information ecosystems where our primate brains, which evolved to spread gossip and argue and debate and deliberate and play status games and manage our reputations among trusted peers and signal our attitudes about what we perceive as "us" versus what we perceive as "them," several organizations are helping the places where we gather to do these things create better environments in which to do them.

Evelyn Gosnell is the managing director of one of those organizations, Irrational Labs, and on this show ? a podcast about the science of judgment, decision making, bias, and reasoning ? she will give us a behind-the-scenes look at how they use the latest research, and conduct their own research, to improve the world.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-11-14
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218 - Unwinding Anxiety - Jud Brewer

In this episode, Dr. Jud Brewer, a neuroscientist and addiction psychiatrist, discusses the biological origins of anxiety and how to unwind our feedback loops using techniques derived from his lab?s research.

Since his last appearance on the show, Dr. Jud has written and published a book which is now a NYT bestseller titled Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind which he describes as, ?a clinically proven step-by-step plan to break the cycle of worry and fear that drives anxiety and addictive habits.?

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-10-31
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217 - Livewired - David Eagleman (rebroadcast)

In this episode we sit down with neuroscientist David Eagleman to learn how brains turn noise into signal, chaos into order, electrical spikes into meaning, and how new technology can expand subjective reality in ways never before possible.

In his new book, Livewired, Eagleman explores how brains come into the world "half baked" so they can create reality itself out of the inputs and experiences available. And now, thanks to that plug-and-play plasticity, with the latest tools, not only can we return senses to people who've lost them, but we can add to any brain senses we can't imagine.

Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com

Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart Omny: https://omny.fm/shows/you-are-not-so-smart Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/youarenotsosmart Twitter: https://twitter.com/notsmartblog Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/youarenotsosmart



Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-10-17
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216 - Shape - Jordan Ellenberg

In this episode, we sit down with Jordan Ellenberg, the John D. MacArthur Professor of Mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

His writing has appeared in Slate, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, and he is the New York Times bestselling author of How Not to Be Wrong ? but in this episode we will discuss his new book, Shape: The hidden geometry of information, biology, strategy, democracy and everything else.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-10-03
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215 - Jerks at Work - Tessa West

In this live taping of the podcast at Caveat in NYC, Dr. Tessa West, the author of Jerks at Work, conducts quizzes to see what kind of jerk you are and what kind of jerk most-easily persuades you in the workplace. You will also learn how to counteract the behaviors of people who make work suck more than it should.

West is a leading expert on interpersonal interaction and communication and will explain how to make work suck less as we return to our offices and figure out how to balance working remotely with working in-person after a year of re-imagining what work even means. West?s new book is an exploration of all the psychological research into how and why gaslighters, bulldozers, neglectors, micromanagers and more do their thing in our workplaces and how to use what we know from decades of psychological research to counteract their Machiavellian machinations.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-09-19
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214 - Exploring Genius

Over the course of this audio documentary series, David McRaney explores the history and science of intelligence, IQ, and remarkable talent through interviews with dozens of intelligence experts and actual "geniuses" (a 5-year-old prodigy, the man with the highest IQ ever recorded, etc). McRaney wrestles with the complexity of GENIUS as a cultural construct and considers how we can unlock its positive potential within ourselves.

LINK TO GET THE HEAR FIRST EPISODE AND GET TWO-WEEKS OF HIMALAYA FOR FREE

What You'll Learn:
- The history of the word and concept of genius
- How genius gets measured and defined
- What life is like for geniuses, in the past, now and in the future

From the creator of YANSS, a new 6-part, 7-hour audio documentary exploring the science and history of the idea and word, ?genius,? featuring dozens of interviews with experts and those with extraordinary talents and extreme intelligence.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-09-03
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213 - Vaccine Hesitancy

In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, we sit down with eight experts on communication, conversation, and persuasion to discuss the best methods for reaching out to the vaccine hesitant with the intention of nudging them away from hesitancy and toward vaccination.

Mentioned in the show, here is the link to a free online class with Misha Glouberman where you will learn how to have better conversations with the vaccine hesitant: LINK

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-08-24
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212 - The Power of Us - Jay Van Bavel

In this episode, we sit down with psychologist Jay Van Bavel to discuss his new book, The Power of Us, an exploration of "the dynamics of shared, social identities. What causes people to develop social identities? What happens to people when they define themselves in terms of group memberships? Under what conditions does the human proclivity to divide the world into ?us? and ?them? produce toxic conflict and devastating discrimination? And how can shared identities instead be harnessed to improve performance, increase cooperation, and promote social harmony?"

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-08-08
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211 - QAnon and Conspiratorial Narratives

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.

- Show notes at youarenotsosmart.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-07-25
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210 - Julia Shaw - The Memory Illusion (rebroadcast)

Our guest on this episode is Dr. Julia Shaw, the author of The Memory Illusion.

Julia is famous among psychologists because she was able to implant false memories into a group of subjects and convince 70 percent of them that they were guilty of a crime they did not commit, and she did so by using the sort of sloppy interrogation techniques that some police departments have been truly been guilty of using in the past.

From her book?s website: ?In The Memory Illusion, Dr Julia Shaw uses the latest research to show the astonishing variety of ways in which our memory can indeed be led astray. Fascinating and unnerving in equal measure, the international bestseller The Memory Illusion has been translated into 20 languages and offers a unique insight into the human brain, challenging you to question how much you can ever truly know about yourself.?

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-07-11
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209 - Masks (rebroadcast)

In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, we sit down with four experts on human behavior to try and understand how wearing masks, during the COVID-19 pandemic, became politicized.

In the show, we take a take a deep dive into tribal psychology, which, in essence, says that humans are motivated reasoners who alter their thinking, feeling, and behaving when thinking, feeling, and behaving in certain ways might upset their peers.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-06-28
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208 - The Extended Mind - Annie Murphy Paul

In this episode we sit down with Annie Murphy Paul, the acclaimed science writer, whose new book, The Extended Mind is all about how the brain is part of systems, and it is those systems that constitute the mind. In other words, our minds are not, as she puts it, brainbound, but they extend to our computers, our notebooks, our friends and neighbors and colleagues and partners. The environments in which we move, natural and otherwise, deeply influence how we think, what we think, and what we CAN think, and in addition, everything the brain does becomes a reference for extended thinking, and these feedback loops extend what the mind can do.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-06-13
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207 - A Slight Change of Plans - Maya Shankar

A few weeks ago, Maya Shankar and her team reached out to me noting their new show, A Slight Change of Plans, which explores how various fascinating people have changed their minds, often after something unexpected happened in the story of their lives, overlapped in its interests and goals with You Are Not So Smart.

One of her guests, Megan Phelps-Roper, was recently a guest on this show, and Daryl Davis is one of her guests who I?ve long wanted to feature on this podcast. So, as podcasters do from time to time, Maya wondered if she could come on this podcast to promote her podcast, and seeing as our interests and obsessions and work and overall mission aligned so strongly, I said, "Absolutely, I would love that," and this is that episode

Show Notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-05-31
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206 - Narcissism

In this episode we explore what narcissism is and what is most-definitely is not. You will learn is that narcissists are not psychopaths, and vice-versa, but there is a form of narcissism which had been, up until now, confused with psychopathy, and vice-versa. According to the research of the two psychologists in this episode, narcissism may even need to be renamed, because it isn't excessive self-love, it's excessive self-loathing. Narcissists like Don Draper in Mad Men cope with their insecurity by donning a mask, and then spend most of their lives protecting that mask out of a fear of what will happen if people ever see what it hides.

- Show notes at www.youarenotsosmart.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-05-16
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205 - Unfollow - Megan Phelps-Roper

In this episode we sit down with Megan Phelps-Roper, the author of Unfollow, a memoir of her time in Westboro Baptist Church, and an exploration what it took to convince her to leave. I interviewed Megan for my upcoming book, How Minds Change, and in this interview you will learn all about assimilation and accommodation, cult deprogrammers, and the steps Megan says one must take if they want to change someone's mind.

- Vote for You Are Not So Smart at The Webby Awards! Link here: https://vote.webbyawards.com/PublicVoting#/2021/podcasts/general-series/science-education

- Show notes at www.youarenotsosmart.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-05-04
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204 - On Being Certain - Robert Burton

In this episode, we sit down with neurologist Robert Burton, author of On Being Certain, a book that fundamentally changed the way I think about what a belief actually is. That?s because the book posits that conclusions are not conscious choices and certainty is not even a thought process. Certainty and similar states of ?knowing? as he puts it, are "sensations that feel like thoughts, but arise out of involuntary brain mechanisms that function independently of reason."

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-04-19
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203 - Transcend - Scott Barry Kaufman

In this episode we sit down with Scott Barry Kaufman, one of the most-influential and prolific psychologists working today, to discuss his new book, Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization.

Business Insider magazine named Kaufman one of the ?50 groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world,? and you would agree after hanging out with him. In my experience, you feel seen, heard, respected, challenged, and above all, when you leave a conversation with Scott, you do so feeling either like you must work on your purpose in life from that point on, or you must work to find it.

In the show, we discuss our shared desire to bring humanistic psychology back to the forefront and walk through Kaufman?s re-imagining of Maslow?s Hierarchy of Needs and trace Kaufman?s journey through Maslow?s unpublished journals about his unfinished theory of transcendence which Kaufman hopes to complete by picking up where Maslow left off just before his untimely death.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-04-04
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202 - Desirability Bias (rebroadcast)

Confirmation bias is our tendency to seek evidence that supports our beliefs and confirms our assumptions when we could just as well seek disconfirmation of those beliefs and assumptions instead.

Confirmation is such a prevalent feature of human cognition, that until recently a second bias has been hidden in plain sight. Recent research suggests that something called desirability bias may be just as prevalent in our thinking. When future desires and past beliefs are incongruent, desire wins out.

- Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com
- Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-03-21
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201 - Good Dog - Kate Leaver

In this episode we sit down with journalist and author Kate Leaver to explore her new book, Good Dog, which covers "the science and history of our extraordinary relationship with dogs and focusing on the role that dogs can play in enriching and improving our mental and emotional health."

Show Notes at: YouAreNotSoSmart.com

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-03-07
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200 - Socks and Crocs (rebroadcast)

When facing a novel and uncertain situation, the brain secretly disambiguates the ambiguous without letting you know it was ever uncertain in the first place, leading people who disambiguate differently to seem iNsAnE.

This episode is about why we so often don't understand why we disagree, which leads us to disagree even more, and we explore that through the science behind The Dress. We look into why some people see it as black and blue, others see it as white and gold, and how the scientific investigation of why that is led to the scientific investigation of socks and Crocs, and how the scientific investigation of socks and Crocs may be, as one researcher explains, the nuclear bomb of cognitive neuroscience.

- Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com

- Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart



Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-02-22
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199 - Math Without Numbers - Milo Beckman

In this episode we explore the weirdness and wonder of Math Without Numbers with mathematician Milo Beckman who wrote a book about the math behind multiple infinities, strange topologies, and extra dimensions, all without using numbers to explain some of the most fascinating and complex ideas that usually only make sense when scribbled in strange notations on a blackboard.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-02-08
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198 - Reflection and Insurrection

In this episode, we explore the psychological mechanisms that led to the the storming of the Capitol, an event that sprang from a widespread belief in a conspiracy theory that, even weeks later, still persists among millions.

Patreon: http://patreon.com/youarenotsosmart

2021-01-25
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