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45 minutes | Dec 9, 2019
Social Status: The Key to the Matrix Part III
This episode features: -Why does men’s testosterone go down when they fall in love? -Does “power posing” have any psychological effects? -What is “humblebragging” and why does it pervade social media? -Is our preference for democracy really a preference for high status? -What is self-esteem? -How to increase self-esteem (the answer is disappointing) -How to act high status (the answer is not disappointing) Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Cameron, J. J., & Stinson, D. A. (2017). Sociometer Theory. Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences, 1-6. Feltovich, N., Harbaugh, R., & To, T. (2002). Too Cool for School? Signalling and Countersignalling. RAND Journal of Economics, 33(4), 630-649. Gettler, L. T., McDade, T. W., Feranil, A. B., & Kuzawa, C. W. (2011). Longitudinal evidence that fatherhood decreases testosterone in human males. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(39), 16194-16199. Longman, D. P., Surbey, M. K., Stock, J. T., & Wells, J. C. (2018). Tandem androgenic and psychological shifts in male reproductive effort following a manipulated “win” or “loss” in a sporting competition. Human Nature, 29(3), 283-310. Amy Cuddy TED Talk Is it time to give up on self-esteem? Move on – this isn’t true Politics isn’t about policy Check This Rec: Future Strategist
27 minutes | Nov 25, 2019
Social Status: The Key to the Matrix Part II
This episode features: -Why does high status reduce creativity? -How to remain creative as you gain status -When should you distrust your own moral reasoning? -How do we come to learn what counts as high status in our culture? -What are the psychological underpinnings of “inspiration”? -How to feel less motivated to engage in conspicuous consumption Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Borjas, G. J., & Doran, K. B. (2015). Prizes and productivity how winning the fields medal affects scientific output. Journal of human resources, 50(3), 728-758. Ethical Injunction High Status and Stupidity: Why? Check This Rec: Murray, D. (2019). The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.
35 minutes | Nov 11, 2019
Social Status: The Key to the Matrix Part I
This episode features: -How do people behave differently when they are high vs low status? -How did human social status evolve? -Should you try to dampen your desire for status? -Are EAs too credential-focused? -Is publishing in academic journals overrated? -Can you get more done by working alone than by starting an organization? -What causes groups to splinter? -How has effective altruism “professionalized?” What are the upsides and downsides of this trend? Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Anderson, C., Hildreth, J. A. D., & Howland, L. (2015). Is the desire for status a fundamental human motive? A review of the empirical literature. Psychological Bulletin, 141(3), 574. Cheng, J. T., Tracy, J. L., & Anderson, C. (Eds.). (2014). The psychology of social status. New York, NY: Springer. Puts, D. A. (2010). Beauty and the beast: Mechanisms of sexual selection in humans. Evolution and human behavior, 31(3), 157-175. Solnick, S. J., & Hemenway, D. (1998). Is more always better?: A survey on positional concerns. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 37(3), 373-383. Celebrating failed projects Estimating readership of different EA/LW writings (EA Forum comment) Check This Rec: The Dissenter YouTube channel The Dissenter podcast
44 minutes | Oct 21, 2019
How to Make Mistakes, Fail, and Give Up
This episode features: -How to evaluate your chance of successfully completing difficult projects -Can you be justified in believing that you are an extraordinary person who can do extraordinary things? -When to trust the advice of others and when not to -How to fail faster -How to judge a project based on how well it fails -How to avoid repeating mistakes -Why you should want to fail occasionally -How to make failure more foreseeable: the “premortem” Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Klein, G. (2007). Performing a project premortem. Harvard business review, 85(9), 18-19. Roese, N. J., & Vohs, K. D. (2012). Hindsight bias. Perspectives on psychological science, 7(5), 411-426. Arbital postmortem Celebrating failed projects How Many of the 540,000 Podcasts have “Podfaded?” Inadequate Equilibria: Where and How Civilizations Get Stuck ‘Never Settle’ Is A Brag Umeshisms Why we should err in both directions Check This Rec: Philosophical Disquisitions Episode #44 – Fleischman on Evolutionary Psychology and Sex Robots
55 minutes | Sep 30, 2019
How to Learn Better
This episode features: -What are the best and worst studying techniques? -Do “learning styles” exist? -How to squeeze more learning into your day -How to start learning a new field -How to cultivate viewpoint diversity -How to avoid getting parasitized by bad ideas -Should you study in the morning or at night? -Can napping enhance learning? Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Brown, P. C., Roediger III, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Make it stick. Harvard University Press. Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., Marsh, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising directions from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4-58. Feld, G. B., & Diekelmann, S. (2015). Sleep smart—optimizing sleep for declarative learning and memory. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 622. Isarida, T., & Isarida, T. K. (2014). Environmental context-dependent memory. Advances in experimental psychology research, 115-51. Anki Audible Crucial Considerations and Wise Philanthropy Oxbridge Notes Guide To Autodidactism Rationality: From AI to Zombies Spaced Repetition for Efficient Learning The Best Textbooks on Every Subject Twelve Virtues of Rationality Why should effective altruists embrace uncertainty? Wyzant You and Your Research Check This Rec: Foundations of Economic Prosperity taught by Daniel Drezner Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths of Language Usage taught by John McWhorter The Higgs Boson and Beyond taught by Sean Carroll
45 minutes | Sep 2, 2019
How Altruistic Should You Be?
This episode features: -Arguments against utilitarianism -What moral views do philosophers favor? -Why you should consider moral uncertainty when deciding how altruistic to be -How does giving away 10% of your income affect your happiness? -Why donating 10% of your income is not too demanding (for middle class members of affluent countries) -How should the prospect of value drift affect your commitment to altruism? -Do people underestimate the selfish benefits of altruism? -Does effective altruism help save us from the “hedonic treadmill”? Full transcript -References- Be a Free EA: Dunn, E. W., Aknin, L. B., & Norton, M. I. (2008). Spending money on others promotes happiness. Science, 319(5870), 1687-1688. MacAskill, W., Mogensen, A., & Ord, T. (2018). Giving Isn’t Demanding. The Ethics of Giving: Philosophers' Perspectives on Philanthropy, 178. Bourget, D., & Chalmers, D. J. (2014). What do philosophers believe?. Philosophical studies, 170(3), 465-500. Singer, P. (1972). Famine, affluence, and morality. Philosophy & public affairs, 229-243. EA Survey 2018 Series: How Long Do EAs Stay in EA? Nobody is Perfect, Everything is Commensurable One Life Against the World Peter Singer TED Talk Toby Ord on Moral Uncertainty Check This Rec: Very Bad Wizards Episode 135: Utilitarianism and Moral Identity Very Bad Wizards Episode 147: Effective Altruism and Moral Uncertainty (with The One True Scotsman, Will MacAskill)
33 minutes | Aug 19, 2019
The Personality of Effective Altruists Part II
This episode features: -Are people with autism spectrum disorder more utilitarian? -Do utilitarian judgments in trolley problems predict interest in effective altruism? -What is the “identifiable victim effect” -Why empathy is bad for morality -Are effective altruists more empathetic than average? Less empathetic? -Why do EAs disproportionately study STEM subjects and work in STEM fields? -Why is EA mostly male? -Why does gender predict cause preferences? Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Baron-Cohen, S., & Wheelwright, S. (2004). The empathy quotient: an investigation of adults with Asperger syndrome or high functioning autism, and normal sex differences. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 34(2), 163-175. Batson, C. D., Klein, T. R., Highberger, L., & Shaw, L. L. (1995). Immorality from empathy-induced altruism: When compassion and justice conflict. Journal of personality and social psychology, 68(6), 1042. Bloom, P. (2017). Empathy and its discontents. Trends in cognitive sciences, 21(1), 24-31. Brewer, R., Marsh, A. A., Catmur, C., Cardinale, E. M., Stoycos, S., Cook, R., & Bird, G. (2015). The impact of autism spectrum disorder and alexithymia on judgments of moral acceptability. Journal of abnormal psychology, 124(3), 589. Cecchetto, C., Korb, S., Rumiati, R. I., & Aiello, M. (2018). Emotional reactions in moral decision-making are influenced by empathy and alexithymia. Social neuroscience, 13(2), 226-240. Conway, P., Goldstein-Greenwood, J., Polacek, D., & Greene, J. D. (2018). Sacrificial utilitarian judgments do reflect concern for the greater good: Clarification via process dissociation and the judgments of philosophers. Cognition, 179, 241-265. Gleichgerrcht, E., Torralva, T., Rattazzi, A., Marenco, V., Roca, M., & Manes, F. (2012). Selective impairment of cognitive empathy for moral judgment in adults with high functioning autism. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience, 8(7), 780-788. Gleichgerrcht, E., & Young, L. (2013). Low levels of empathic concern predict utilitarian moral judgment. PloS one, 8(4), e60418. Greene, J. D. (2015). Beyond point-and-shoot morality: Why cognitive (neuro) science matters for ethics. The Law & Ethics of Human Rights, 9(2), 141-172. Hein, G., Silani, G., Preuschoff, K., Batson, C. D., & Singer, T. (2010). Neural responses to ingroup and outgroup members' suffering predict individual differences in costly helping. Neuron, 68(1), 149-160. Kahane, G. (2015). Sidetracked by trolleys: Why sacrificial moral dilemmas tell us little (or nothing) about utilitarian judgment. Social neuroscience, 10(5), 551-560. Kahane, G., Everett, J. A., Earp, B. D., Caviola, L., Faber, N. S., Crockett, M. J., & Savulescu, J. (2018). Beyond sacrificial harm: A two-dimensional model of utilitarian psychology. Psychological Review, 125(2), 131. Kahane, G., Everett, J. A., Earp, B. D., Farias, M., & Savulescu, J. (2015). ‘Utilitarian’ judgments in sacrificial moral dilemmas do not reflect impartial concern for the greater good. Cognition, 134, 193-209. Kogut, T., & Ritov, I. (2005). The “identified victim” effect: An identified group, or just a single individual?. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 18(3), 157-167. Levant, R. F., Hall, R. J., Williams, C. M., & Hasan, N. T. (2009). Gender differences in alexithymia. Psychology of men & masculinity, 10(3), 190. Patil, I., Melsbach, J., Hennig-Fast, K., & Silani, G. (2016). Divergent roles of autistic and alexithymic traits in utilitarian moral judgments in adults with autism. Scientific reports, 6, 23637. Patil, I., & Silani, G. (2014). Reduced empathic concern leads to utilitarian moral judgments in trait alexithymia. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 501. Ruzich, E., Allison, C., Chakrabarti, B., Smith, P., Musto, H., Ring, H., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2015). Sex and STEM occupation predict autism-spectrum quotient (AQ) scores in half a million people. PloS one, 10(10), e0141229. Singer, P. (2015). The most good you can do: How effective altruism is changing ideas about living ethically. New Haven, CT: Yale University. Vyas, K., Jameel, L., Bellesi, G., Crawford, S., & Channon, S. (2017). Derailing the trolley: Everyday utilitarian judgments in groups high versus low in psychopathic traits or autistic traits. Psychiatry research, 250, 84-91. Check This Rec: Nesse, R. M. (2019). Good reasons for bad feelings: insights from the frontier of evolutionary psychiatry. Penguin.
41 minutes | Aug 5, 2019
The Personality of Effective Altruists Part I
This episode features: -Are effective altruists especially prone to anxiety and depression? -Are effective altruists high in autistic-like traits? -Is effective altruism especially appealing to people high in autistic-like traits? -Are people high in autistic-like traits more rational? -Why do we fall prey to biases like the attraction effect, the sunk cost fallacy, and the framing effect? -Are people high in autistic-like traits more oriented towards “System 2” thinking? -Are people high in autistic-like traits less susceptible to cognitive biases? Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Brosnan, M., Lewton, M., & Ashwin, C. (2016). Reasoning on the autism spectrum: a dual process theory account. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 46(6), 2115-2125. De Martino, B., Harrison, N. A., Knafo, S., Bird, G., & Dolan, R. J. (2008). Explaining enhanced logical consistency during decision making in autism. Journal of Neuroscience, 28(42), 10746-10750. Farmer, G. D., Baron-Cohen, S., & Skylark, W. J. (2017). People with autism spectrum conditions make more consistent decisions. Psychological science, 28(8), 1067-1076. Fujino, J., Tei, S., Itahashi, T., Aoki, Y., Ohta, H., Kanai, C., ... & Takahashi, H. (2019). Sunk cost effect in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 49(1), 1-10. Gosling, C. J., & Moutier, S. (2018). Brief report: Risk-aversion and rationality in autism spectrum disorders. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 48(10), 3623-3628. Guo, Q., Sun, P., & Li, L. (2018). Why neurotic individuals are less prosocial? A multiple mediation analysis regarding related mechanisms. Personality and Individual Differences, 128, 55-61. Levin, I. P., Gaeth, G. J., Foley-Nicpon, M., Yegorova, V., Cederberg, C., & Yan, H. (2015). Extending decision making competence to special populations: a pilot study of persons on the autism spectrum. Frontiers in psychology, 6, 539. Lodi-Smith, J., Rodgers, J. D., Cunningham, S. A., Lopata, C., & Thomeer, M. L. (2019). Meta-analysis of Big Five personality traits in autism spectrum disorder. Autism, 23(3), 556-565. Ruzich, E., Allison, C., Smith, P., Watson, P., Auyeung, B., Ring, H., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2015). Measuring autistic traits in the general population: a systematic review of the Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ) in a nonclinical population sample of 6,900 typical adult males and females. Molecular autism, 6(1), 2. Shah, P., Catmur, C., & Bird, G. (2016). Emotional decision-making in autism spectrum disorder: the roles of interoception and alexithymia. Molecular autism, 7(1), 43. Autism Spectrum Quotient Alexithymia Questionnaire People with autism make more rational decisions, study shows Check This Rec: The Psychology Podcast Episode 143: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are with Robert Plomin
29 minutes | Jul 15, 2019
This episode features: -Why the Myers-Briggs is wrong, yet popular -What is the structure of personality -How does personality change throughout the lifespan -Can you intentionally change your personality? -Do we change more than we think we will? -What is the effect of genes on personality -What is the effect of parenting on personality -Which unique experiences shape personality? (The answer to this is disappointing) Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Damian, R. I., Spengler, M., Sutu, A., & Roberts, B. W. (2018). Sixteen going on sixty-six: A longitudinal study of personality stability and change across 50 years. Journal of personality and social psychology. Gosling, S. (2018). Snoop: What your stuff says about you. Profile Books. Holland, A. S., & Roisman, G. I. (2008). Big Five personality traits and relationship quality: Self-reported, observational, and physiological evidence. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 25(5), 811-829. Plomin, R., DeFries, J. C., Knopik, V. S., & Neiderhiser, J. M. (2016). Top 10 replicated findings from behavioral genetics. Perspectives on psychological science, 11(1), 3-23. Quoidbach, J., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2013). The end of history illusion. Science, 339(6115), 96-98. Roberts, B. W., Walton, K. E., & Viechtbauer, W. (2006). Patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life course: a meta-analysis of longitudinal studies. Psychological bulletin, 132(1), 1. Take an online Big Five personality measure App designed to help you change your personality (website is in German) Check This Rec: Two Psychologists Four Beers Episode 22: Blend of Darkness (with Brent Roberts)
48 minutes | Apr 8, 2019
Value Drift & How to Not Be Evil Part II
This episode features: -What proportion of effective altruists decrease their involvement over time? -Why do people decrease their involvement with effective altruism? -Why effective altruist values are particularly vulnerable to drift -Should you expect your values to get better or worse over time? -Should you try to prevent value drift? -How you can use nudges and commitment devices to prevent value drift -How the “foot-in-the-door” phenomenon might push you towards doing good now, even if your impact is small -Should you choose effective altruist projects based on selfish considerations? Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Cross, K. P. (1977). Not can, but will college teaching be improved?. New Directions for Higher Education, 1977(17), 1-15. Freedman, J. L., & Fraser, S. C. (1966). Compliance without pressure: the foot-in-the-door technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 4(2), 195. Quoidbach, J., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2013). The end of history illusion. Science, 339(6115), 96-98. Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2009). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. Penguin. Van Gestel, L. C., Kroese, F. M., & De Ridder, D. T. D. (2018). Nudging at the checkout counter–A longitudinal study of the effect of a food repositioning nudge on healthy food choice. Psychology & Health, 33(6), 800-809. EA Survey 2018 Series: Community Demographics & Characteristics Empirical data on value drift Concrete Ways to Reduce Risks of Value Drift Check This Rec: Wrangham, R. (2019). The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution. Pantheon.
34 minutes | Mar 25, 2019
Value Drift & How to Not Be Evil Part I
This episode features: -How do our values change as we age -How does empathy shape values -Why are we so conformist? -Why we underestimate our risk of corruption -Why many people argue that death is good/necessary -How ethical slippery slopes lead to severe moral transgressions -How evil behavior leads to worse values Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Crane, W. (1887). The Baby's Own Aesop. Gouveia, V. V., Vione, K. C., Milfont, T. L., & Fischer, R. (2015). Patterns of value change during the life span: Some evidence from a functional approach to values. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(9), 1276-1290. Paul, L. A. (2014). Transformative experience. OUP Oxford. Quoidbach, J., Gilbert, D. T., & Wilson, T. D. (2013). The end of history illusion. Science, 339(6115), 96-98. Shu, L. L., Gino, F., & Bazerman, M. H. (2011). Dishonest deed, clear conscience: When cheating leads to moral disengagement and motivated forgetting. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(3), 330-349. Weinstein, N. D. (1980). Unrealistic optimism about future life events. Journal of personality and social psychology, 39(5), 806. Welsh, D. T., Ordóñez, L. D., Snyder, D. G., & Christian, M. S. (2015). The slippery slope: How small ethical transgressions pave the way for larger future transgressions. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(1), 114. In U.S., 87% Approve of Black-White Marriage, vs. 4% in 1958 Impatient Idealism Bernie Madoff’s Secretary Spills His Secrets Check This Rec: Obedience (documentary)
50 minutes | Feb 25, 2019
How to Be More Creative
This episode features: -Do you need 10,000 hours of practice to be an expert? -What is the connection between creativity and mental illness -Can drugs make you more creative? -Can electrically stimulating your brain make you more creative? -Are smarter people more creative? -How do psychologists measure creativity -Which personality trait predicts creativity -Techniques for enhancing creativity Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Chi, R. P., & Snyder, A. W. (2012). Brain stimulation enables the solution of an inherently difficult problem. Neuroscience letters, 515(2), 121-124. DeYoung, C. G., Flanders, J. L., & Peterson, J. B. (2008). Cognitive abilities involved in insight problem solving: An individual differences model. Creativity Research Journal, 20(3), 278-290. Kaufman, S. B., & Gregoire, C. (2016). Wired to create: Unraveling the mysteries of the creative mind. Penguin. Simonton, D. K. (1988). Scientific genius: A psychology of science. Cambridge University Press. Stanley, K. O., & Lehman, J. (2015). Why greatness cannot be planned: The myth of the objective. Springer. Nine dot problem Want Some Creativity? Crank-up the Constraints Deep Habits: Think Hard Outside The Office Deep Habits: Three Tips for Taming Undecidable Tasks Check This Rec: Plomin, R. (2018). Blueprint: How DNA makes us who we are. MIT Press.
43 minutes | Feb 4, 2019
Should You Go to Graduate School?
This episode features: -What to consider when choosing a graduate program -Why I was told to avoid getting A’s in my classes, and why it might be a good idea for you as well -What are your chances of graduating from grad school -What are your chances of getting an academic position after grad school -How to avoid being corrupted by the academic incentive structure -How is grad school different from undergrad? -Tips for succeeding in grad school -How to avoid being bitten by the Curse of Knowledge Full transcript -References- Career Frontier: PhD completion rate data Data on tenure-track appointments after PhD Science PhD Career Preferences: Levels, Changes, and Advisor Encouragement Systematic Inequality and Hierarchy in Faculty Hiring Networks Allocating Risk Mitigation Across Time 80000 Hours interview with Owen Cotton-Barratt 80000 Hours survey of organizational leaders 80000 Hours career review of academic research 80000 Hours pros and cons of grad school 80000 Hours Should I Help Now or Later? Check This Rec: Bloggingheads.tv diavlog between Diana Fleischman and Robert Wright
28 minutes | Nov 26, 2018
Explanations That Are Often Wrong Part II
This episode features: -Can political symbols change political beliefs? -What makes pseudoscience appealing -How to evaluate futurism -How do chronically accessible concepts change our perception -How to think about the complexity of theories -Priming: fact or fiction? -Can barely-noticeable changes in the environment have big effects on behavior? Full transcript -References- Unapplied Rationality: Carter, T. J., Ferguson, M. J., & Hassin, R. R. (2011). A single exposure to the American flag shifts support toward Republicanism up to 8 months later. Psychological science, 22(8), 1011-1018. Klein, R. A., Ratliff, K. A., Vianello, M., Adams Jr, R. B., Bahník, Š., Bernstein, M. J., ... & Cemalcilar, Z. (2014). Investigating variation in replicability. Social psychology. Pinker, S. (1997). How the mind works. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co. Sperber, R. D., McCauley, C., Ragain, R. D., & Weil, C. M. (1979). Semantic priming effects on picture and word processing. Memory & Cognition, 7(5), 339-345. Mysterious Answers to Mysterious Questions Check This Rec: Wrangham, R. (2009). Catching fire: How cooking made us human. Basic Books. Announcement: I will not be releasing episodes in December. The next episode will come out in January.
38 minutes | Nov 12, 2018
Explanations That Are Often Wrong Part I
This episode features: -Are smart phones causing young people to be more lonely and depressed -How can the supplement industry stay afloat if so many supplements are useless -Discussion of how a paper on psychic powers got published in a top psychology journal -Why people are often less incompetent than you think -Why so many professors are bad teachers -What style of thinking is associated with making successful predictions of the future -Why do so many people still reject evolution -Does eating chocolate make you more likely to win the Nobel Prize? (No.) Full transcript -References- Unapplied Rationality: Bem, D. J. (2011). Feeling the future: experimental evidence for anomalous retroactive influences on cognition and affect. Journal of personality and social psychology, 100(3), 407. Creswell, J. D., Welch, W. T., Taylor, S. E., Sherman, D. K., Gruenewald, T. L., & Mann, T. (2005). Affirmation of personal values buffers neuroendocrine and psychological stress responses. Psychological Science, 16(11), 846-851. Kelemen, D. (1999). The scope of teleological thinking in preschool children. Cognition, 70(3), 241-272. Lindbeck, A. (1972) The Political Economy of the New Left. New York: Harper and Row. Maurage, P., Heeren, A., & Pesenti, M. (2013). Does Chocolate Consumption Really Boost Nobel Award Chances? The Peril of Over-Interpreting Correlations in Health Studies, 2. The Journal of nutrition, 143(6), 931-933. Tetlock, P. E. (2017). Expert political judgment: How good is it? How can we know?. Princeton University Press. Twenge, J. M. (2017). IGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us. Simon and Schuster. Chocolate Consumption, Cognitive Function, and Nobel Laureates Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation? In U.S., Belief in Creationist View of Humans at New Low Letter: A riddle about liberals Let's call the pro-lifers what they are: pro-death Self-affirmation Wikipedia Secret to Winning a Nobel Prize? Eat More Chocolate Teens: This is how social media affects your brain Check This Rec: Science, Technology & the Future
39 minutes | Oct 29, 2018
How to Evaluate Research & EA Origin Story
This episode features: -A quiz to test your intuitions about which studies replicate and which don’t -An effective altruist origin story -Heuristics for evaluating scientific research -The role of incentives in the replication crisis -What should your prior be for whether research will replicate -Which subfield of psychology has the worst replication rate -Why it’s a mistake to conceptualize glucose as a willpower resource -Problems with interpreting studies of the dictator game Full transcript -References- Did It Replicate?: Baker, M. (2016). 1,500 scientists lift the lid on reproducibility. Nature News, 533(7604), 452. de Bloom, J., Ritter, S., Kühnel, J., Reinders, J., & Geurts, S. (2014). Vacation from work: A ‘ticket to creativity’?: The effects of recreational travel on cognitive flexibility and originality. Tourism Management, 44, 164-171. Kurzban, R. (2010). Does the brain consume additional glucose during self-control tasks?. Evolutionary Psychology, 8(2), 147470491000800208. Open Science Collaboration. (2015). Estimating the reproducibility of psychological science. Science, 349(6251), aac4716. Winking, J., & Mizer, N. (2013). Natural-field dictator game shows no altruistic giving. Evolution and Human Behavior, 34(4), 288-293. Replication attempt 1 Replication attempt 2 Replication attempt 3 Replication attempt 4 Replication attempt 5 Replication attempt 6 How to Build Your CV Story Time: The mechanics of my recent productivity by Nate Soares On saving the world by Nate Soares Check This Rec: Bloom, P. (2017). Against empathy: The case for rational compassion. Random House.
48 minutes | Oct 15, 2018
Why Are We Biased? Part II
This episode features: -Why breakups are always the other person’s fault -Why does love cause us to see our partner as better than they really are -How much do people lie -What do people lie about in their online dating profile -Is it possible to detect lies -What traits make somebody likable vs unlikable -How do we deceive ourselves -Why we often don’t understand our own motivations Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Anderson, N. H. (1968). Likableness ratings of 555 personality-trait words. Journal of personality and social psychology, 9(3), 272. Bond Jr, C. F., & DePaulo, B. M. (2006). Accuracy of deception judgments. Personality and social psychology review, 10(3), 214-234. DePaulo, B. M., Lindsay, J. J., Malone, B. E., Muhlenbruck, L., Charlton, K., & Cooper, H. (2003). Cues to deception. Psychological bulletin, 129(1), 74. Helweg-Larsen, M., Sadeghian, P., & Webb, M. S. (2002). The stigma of being pessimistically biased. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 21(1), 92-107. Kurzban, R. (2011). Why everyone (else) is a hypocrite: Evolution and the modular mind. Princeton University Press. Simler, K., & Hanson, R. (2017). The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life. Oxford University Press. Tetlock, P. E. (2017). Expert political judgment: How good is it? How can we know?. Princeton University Press. Weinstein, N. D. (1980). Unrealistic optimism about future life events. Journal of personality and social psychology, 39(5), 806. OKCupid data on lying in online dating profiles Deflategate poll data Check This Rec: Edge.org
33 minutes | Oct 1, 2018
Why Are We Biased? Part I
This episode features: -Why men perceive more sexuality in women’s behavior than women say they intend -Several opportunities to test your own biases -Examples of how both evolutionary psychologists and social psychologists have explained bias the wrong way -Why it’s unsatisfactory to say that we have false beliefs in order to “make ourselves feel good” -Why do people ignore basic probability theory -Why are people bad at abstract logic -How to make people much better at logic problems -An explanation of the famous “Linda Problem” Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Brown, J. D. (2012). Understanding the better than average effect: Motives (still) matter. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(2), 209-219. Cosmides, L. (1989). The logic of social exchange: Has natural selection shaped how humans reason? Studies with the Wason selection task. Cognition, 31(3), 187-276. Cosmides, L., Barrett, H. C., & Tooby, J. (2010). Adaptive specializations, social exchange, and the evolution of human intelligence. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 200914623. Fiddick, L., Cosmides, L., & Tooby, J. (2000). No interpretation without representation: The role of domain-specific representations and inferences in the Wason selection task. Cognition, 77(1), 1-79. Haselton, M. G., & Buss, D. M. (2000). Error management theory: A new perspective on biases in cross-sex mind reading. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78, 81–91 Haselton, M. G., Nettle, D., & Murray, D. R. (2015). The evolution of cognitive bias. The handbook of evolutionary psychology, 1-20. Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. London: Penguin Books. Perilloux, C., & Kurzban, R. (2015). Do men overperceive women’s sexual interest?. Psychological Science, 26(1), 70-77. Positive Illusions Wikipedia Check This Rec: Carroll, S. M. (2018). Why Is There Something, Rather Than Nothing?. arXiv preprint arXiv:1802.02231.
46 minutes | Sep 17, 2018
Modularity Insights for Charisma and Creativity
This episode features: -How to get outside of your head -Why optimal performance sometimes requires “not trying” -What are the psychological traps that can make us dull and uncreative -A framework for overcoming bias -Examples of how to correct for the planning fallacy and confirmation bias -The phenomenology of creativity -How do artists reconnect with their creativity when they hit a roadblock -What cognitive process leads to great artwork and scientific discovery Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. London: Penguin Books. Nelson, B., & Rawlings, D. (2007). Its own reward: A phenomenological study of artistic creativity. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology, 38(2), 217-255. Ross, M., & Sicoly, F. (1979). Egocentric biases in availability and attribution. Journal of personality and social psychology, 37(3), 322. Thomson, K. S., & Oppenheimer, D. M. (2016). Investigating an alternate form of the cognitive reflection test. Judgment and Decision Making, 11(1), 99. Thinking Fast and Slow Wikipedia Check This Rec: Miller, G. (2009). Spent: Sex, evolution, and consumer behavior. Penguin.
45 minutes | Sep 3, 2018
Modularity of Mind & Improve Your Public Speaking
This episode features: -Why people can’t justify their moral decisions -How is it that some blind people can use visual information -What is the basic structure of the brain -Why it is we can both want something and not want it -Why people can be unaware of their decision-making process -Basic principles of public speaking -Particular fixes to improve your public speaking -Ways to practice public speaking Full transcript -References- Apply Psychology: TED talk on choice-blindness Haidt, J. (2001). The emotional dog and its rational tail: a social intuitionist approach to moral judgment. Psychological review, 108(4), 814. Haidt, J., Bjorklund, F., & Murphy, S. (2000). Moral dumbfounding: When intuition finds no reason. Unpublished manuscript, University of Virginia. Kurzban, R. (2011). Why everyone (else) is a hypocrite: Evolution and the modular mind. Princeton University Press. Expertise: Toastmasters International Check This Rec: BloggingHeads.tv
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