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You Are Not So Smart
69 minutes | Jun 13, 2021
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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
83 minutes | May 30, 2021
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 episodeShow Notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
64 minutes | May 16, 2021
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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
115 minutes | May 3, 2021
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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
58 minutes | Apr 18, 2021
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."See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
76 minutes | Apr 4, 2021
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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
33 minutes | Mar 21, 2021
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/youarenotsosmartSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
87 minutes | Mar 7, 2021
201 - Good Dog
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.comSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
102 minutes | Feb 22, 2021
200 - Socks and Crocs (rebroadcast)
Priors are what neuroscientists and philosophers call the years of experience and regularity leading up to the present. All the ways a ball has bounced, all the ways a pancake has tasted, the way the dogs in your life have barks, or bitten, or hugged you when you were sad -- these all shape the brain, literally. They form and prune our neural networks, so in situations that are uncertain, unfamiliar or ambiguous, we depend on those priors to help us disambiguate the new information coming into the brain via our senses. But what happens when we don't share those priors? This episode is about the science behind The Dress, why some people see it as black and blue, and others see it as white and gold. But it’s also about how the scientific investigation of The Dress led to the scientific investigation of socks and Crocs, and how the scientific investigation of socks and Crocs may be, as one researcher told me, the nuclear bomb of cognitive neuroscience. - Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com - Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
62 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
199 - Math Without Numbers
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. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
59 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
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.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
91 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
197 - Conspiratorial Thinking
Over the last few years, this show has devoted many shows to the psychology behind what we saw in the Capitol in January 2021. So, in this episode, we re-listen to three interviews on conspiratorial thinking to gain some perspective.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
108 minutes | Dec 27, 2020
196 - Art (rebroadcast)
Moira Dillon studies how “the physical world in which we live shapes the abstract world in which we think,” and in this episode we travel to her Lab for the Developing Mind at NYU to sit down and ask her a zillion questions about how the brain creates the reality we interact with, and how we attempt to communicate that reality to others through language, art, geometry, and mathematics.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
86 minutes | Dec 14, 2020
195 - Clearer Thinking
In this episode we sit down with Spencer Greenberg to discuss how to be better critical thinkers using his FIRE method and other insights from his website, ClearerThinking.orgSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
108 minutes | Nov 29, 2020
194 - Because Internet
Our guest in this episode is Gretchen McCulloch, who is a linguist, but also, I’d say a MEME-ologist, evidenced by that the fact that in her New York Times Bestselling book, Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language, she spends a good portion of the book tracing the history of memes and how we have used them all the way up to right now, which is part of her her overall exploration of how language itself has changed since the advent of text messaging, SnapChat, TikTok, emojis, gifs, memes, and the internet as a whole. If you still put periods at the ends of your texts and refuse to change your ways, you will definitely enjoy this interview, and if you fancy yourself some kind of memelord, this is certainly the episode for you. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
79 minutes | Nov 15, 2020
193 - Gossip
In this episode we sit down with psychologist Robb Willer to discuss the psychology of gossip: how much we do it, why we do it, its major functions, and what life would be be like without it.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
64 minutes | Nov 1, 2020
192 - The Dunning-Kruger Effect (rebroadcast)
In this episode, we explore why we are unaware that we lack the skill to tell how unskilled and unaware we are. The evidence gathered so far by psychologists and neuroscientists seems to suggest that each one of us has a relationship with our own ignorance, a dishonest, complicated relationship, and that dishonesty keeps us sane, happy, and willing to get out of bed in the morning. Part of that ignorance is a blind spot we each possess that obscures both our competence and incompetence called the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It's a psychological phenomenon that arises sometimes in your life because you are generally very bad at self-assessment. If you have ever been confronted with the fact that you were in over your head, or that you had no idea what you were doing, or that you thought you were more skilled at something than you actually were – then you may have experienced this effect. It is very easy to be both unskilled and unaware of it, and in this episode we explore why that is with professor David Dunning, one of the researchers who coined the term and a scientist who continues to add to our understanding of the phenomenon.• Show Notes: youarenotsosmart.com• Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart• Donate Directly through PayPal: https://www.paypal.me/DavidMcRaneySee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
78 minutes | Oct 18, 2020
191 - Livewired
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 • The Great Courses: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/smart • BetterHelp -- Offer code: YANSS -- www.betterhelp.com/YANSS • 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 See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
45 minutes | Oct 4, 2020
190 - Learned Helplessness (rebroadcast)
Stuck in a bad situation, even when the prison doors are left wide open, we sometimes refuse to attempt escape. Why is that? In this episode learn all about the strange phenomenon of learned helplessness and how it keeps people in bad jobs, poor health, terrible relationships, and awful circumstances despite how easy it might be to escape any one of those scenarios with just one more effort. In the episode, you'll learn how to defeat this psychological trap with advice from psychologists Jennifer Welbourne, who studies attributional styles in the workplace, and Kym Bennett who studies the effects of pessimism on health.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
109 minutes | Sep 20, 2020
189 - The Vaccine
In this giant episode, experts on vaccines, epidemiology, psychology, and science communication explain how we created so much confusion about COVID-19, and how we can avoid doing it again when a vaccine is ready for widespread, public distribution. We also learn exactly what it will take to make that vaccine and when it will likely arrive. - Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com- Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmartSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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