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People Who Read People: A Behavior and Psychology Podcast
60 minutes | Jul 28, 2021
Why do so many people "want to watch the world burn"?, with Kevin Arceneaux
An interview with Kevin Arceneaux, a researcher on the “need for chaos” research project, which found that a surprising number of people, around 40% of those polled, seem to have antisocial views about society in that they either agreed with or did not disagree with statements like “When I think about our political and social institutions, I cannot help thinking 'just let them all burn'?” We talk about what the study entailed, and what the factors could be that help explain this surprising find.
29 minutes | Jul 25, 2021
Ben Roethlisberger's tell, and other football and sports tells, with Jon Hoefling
A talk with sports analyst and broadcaster Jon Michael Hoefling, who writes for Deadspin. We discuss a recent story about Steelers quarterback Roethlisberger and an apparent tell he has, where his foot position indicates whether he'll run or pass. We also discuss some other tells in football and sports in general, including the story about Andre Agassi having a read on Boris Becker, and some tells in baseball.
70 minutes | Jul 17, 2021
Is gender identity theory itself creating some gender dysphoria?, with Carey Callahan
An interview with Carey Callahan, a therapist who writes about gender dysphoria and transgender issues, with a focus on medical and healthcare aspects. Topics include: why well meaning attempts at discussing transgender topics can inspire so much anger; how polarization on this topic relates to polarization in other areas; controversy around how many obstacles there should be for someone who wants to transition; criticisms of gender identity theory; the idea that gender identity theory itself may be amplifying dysphoric symptoms; the role of environmental factors.
49 minutes | Jul 14, 2021
How might we better connect with people?, with Ted Brodkin and Ashley Pallathra
How might we connect better with each other? An interview with Ashley Pallathra and Edward Brodkin, co-authors of Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections. We talk about the obstacles we face in our attempts to form better connection with others.
23 minutes | Jun 26, 2021
Reading tells in the video game Apex Legends, with Brandon Singer, aka Nocturnal
An interview with professional gamer Nocturnal (OhNocturnal on Twitch), about reading opponent behavior in Apex Legends. We also talk about the financial aspects of being a pro video gamer.
58 minutes | Jun 4, 2021
Reading tells in tennis, with Carlos Goffi
An interview about the role of psychology and understanding behavior in tennis, with experienced tennis player and coach Carlos Goffi. Goffi has coached tennis for more than 30 years, has coached John McEnroe, and is the author of the well known tennis book Tournament Tough. We talk about reading opponents' physical tells and their mood, about psychological strategizing, and about the impact of personal life factors on a player's ability to compete. We also talk about Andre Agassi's claim that he had a very reliable tell on Boris Becker.
84 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Factors in excessive use of police force, with retired police captain James Mitchell
A talk with James Mitchell, a retired police captain who worked in Prince George's County, Maryland. We talk about the U.S. problem of excessive police violence, with the goal of understanding some of the factors that can lead to unjustified and too aggressive police responses. Issues include: George Floyd's death and how the cops handled that; how mental health issues relate to police response issues; how cops can escalate a situation whether they mean to or not, and more.
62 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
Living with anxiety, with Scott Stossel, national editor of The Atlantic
I interview Scott Stossel, who is the national editor of the magazine The Atlantic, and the author of the book My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind. That book is a history of humanity's understanding and treatment of anxiety, and also a personal history in which Scott recounts honestly and openly his own struggles with extreme, debilitating anxiety. I talk to Scott about what he's learned in his research and personal life about the factors behind anxiety and how we might, as much as we are able to, overcome it. I (host Zach Elwood) also talk about my own struggles with anxiety, which have taken a different form from Scott's.
60 minutes | Mar 27, 2021
Psychological and environmental factors in psychosis and schizophrenia, with Nathan Filer
An interview with Nathan Filer, author of the non-fiction book 'The Heartland: Finding and Losing Schizophrenia' and the fiction book 'The Shock of the Fall'. We talk about environmental, experiential factors in schizophrenia, about the understandable pushback there can be to examining these areas, about the uncertainty around these topics, and about the power of language and the namings we give things. I also talk about the mental issues I struggled with as a young man.
16 minutes | Feb 25, 2021
I talk to an 8-year-old kid
In this episode, I interview an 8-year-old. We talk about such topics as: how she knows other kids want to be her friend, how she knows adults are upset with her, tricks she uses to watch more TV, the etiquette around Infection Tag (one of her favorite games), and her thoughts on various supernatural beings, including Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.
22 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
Gina Assaf, who has "long haul" covid, discusses her research on it
An interview with Gina Assaf about her patient-led research on "long haul" Covid, which refers to long term Covid-19 effects. Assaf is not a professional medical researcher; she was motivated to initiate this research due to her own covid experiences and frustration with the lack of information about her, and other sufferers', experience. We talk about the benefits and challenges of such "patient led" research, and interesting findings her team has made. One topic discussed is the similarity between long haul covid and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS, ME) symptoms.
63 minutes | Feb 5, 2021
Why hasn't crowdsourcing of medical/health data directly from public disrupted the industry?, with Jamie Heywood
An interview with Jamie Heywood, who got into the medical research field when his brother was diagnosed with ALS and Jamie wanted to do everything he could do to save him. Jamie started an ALS research institute, and later was co-founder and CEO of PatientsLikeMe, an organization for collecting real-world medical data directly from patients. He discusses the strengths and challenges in collecting real-world patient-reported data, why such tactics haven't been as disruptive and revolutionary as their potential suggests, and thoughts on the problems we face in medical research and healthcare solutions in general.
32 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Reading online dating profiles (part 2), with Scott
Second of two episodes about online dating. This is a conversation about online dating with Scott, a straight man in his 30s who lives in Portland, Oregon. We talk about the reads/indicators he gets from online dating profiles and pictures that let him know if someone might be a good potential match.
27 minutes | Jan 20, 2021
Reading online dating profiles (part 1), with Celia
First of two episodes about online dating. This is a conversation about online dating with Celia, a straight woman in her 30s who lives in Portland, Oregon. We talk about the reads/indicators she gets from online dating profiles and pictures that let her know if someone might be a good potential match.
54 minutes | Jan 9, 2021
How does a disbelief in free will affect one's life?, with Daniel Whiteson
The idea that humans don't have free will, that we don't have any control of our lives, can be a scary or depressing one for some people. This is a talk with Daniel Whiteson, physics professor of UC Irvine, about why he thinks free will is unlikely, and about the psychological and emotional impacts that can be associated with believing or not believing in free will. For more about this podcast, see www.readingpokertells.video/blog.
52 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
How does aphantasia (lack of mental imagery) impact one's life?, with Zach Elwood
An interview of host Zachary Elwood about his own aphantasia, which is defined as an inability to visualize images mentally. This is a rebroadcast of an interview from The Untypical Podcast, hosted by Visakan Pillai. Topics discuss include: aphantasia and what it's like, aphantasia effects on life and creativity, the nature of thought and memory, psychedelic drugs, visualizing in dreams, and more. For more about this podcast, see www.readingpokertells.video/blog.
31 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
How do insults and hurt feelings affect political conflicts?, with Karina Korostelina
An interview with Karina Korostelina, a social psychologist and the author of Political Insults: How Offenses Escalate Conflict. We discuss her work creating categories for insults, the role insults play in political conflict, why groups and group leaders use insults, and the role of the internet in amplifying opportunities for insults and insult perception. For more about this podcast, see www.readingpokertells.video/blog.
51 minutes | Nov 13, 2020
Why does democracy fall apart and authoritarianism rise?, with Thomas Carothers
An interview with Thomas Carothers, an expert on foreign policy, democracy, and political polarization. He is co-author/editor of the book Democracies Divided, a summary of the national situations of several extremely polarized countries, including the U.S., Turkey, India, Poland, Kenya, and Brazil. I ask Carothers about what he views as the root psychological and social causes of extreme polarization, the erosion of democracy, and the rise of authoritarian leaders. For more about this podcast, see www.readingpokertells.video/blog.
38 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
Questioning how much social media plays a role in political polarization, with Levi Boxell
A talk with Levi Boxell about his research showing that older Americans, who use social media less than younger Americans, have become more antagonistic towards the opposite political party than younger people. We also discuss his research studying how political polarization has changed over time in other countries. We discuss what factors may contribute to polarization, and whether it's still possible that social media could be a major factor. He also discusses his research on news outlet bias being present in the types of politician images are chosen.
45 minutes | Nov 6, 2020
Are some political party stances due to randomness and chance?, with Michael Macy
An interview with Dr. Michael Macy of Cornell University, who has done research on "opinion cascades," showing that some political party stances on specific issues may be rather arbitrary, the result of initial conditions and how early influencers staked out political positions. This means that some stances that are strongly associated with a certain political party could just as easily be associated more with the opposite political party.
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