The Psychology Podcast

By Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman


Welcome to The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, where we give you insights into the mind, brain, behavior and creativity. Each episode we’ll feature a guest who will stimulate your mind, and give you a greater understanding of your self, others, and the world we live in. Hopefully, we’ll also provide a glimpse into human possibility! Thanks for listening and enjoy the podcast.


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157: The Flexibility of Female Sexuality

“There can be no autonomy without the autonomy to choose, without coercion or constraint, or in spite of it, who our lovers will be.” — Wednesday Martin Today we have Wednesday Martin on the podcast. Dr. Martin has worked as a writer and social researcher in New York City for more than two decades. The author of Stepmonster and the instant New York Times bestseller Primates of Park Avenue, she writes for the online edition of Psychology Today and her work has appeared in The New York Times and Dr. Martin’s latest book is called “Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free.” In this episode we discuss: How Wednesday tries to make the sex research “delicious and fun” How female infidelity is mired in so much misunderstanding How Millenial women are more sexually adventurous compared to Millennial men What’s the consensual non-monogamy movement? How we evolved to be “cooperative breeders” What is “female flexuality”? Why we need to stop pathologizing those who embrace non-monogamy How women are driving the polyamory movement The good reasons why monogamy is hard and the other options that exist How your attachment style and sociosexuality are linked to consensual non-monogamy Disagreeable women and sociosexuality Rethinking sex differences in the drive for sexual novelty Pornography viewing differences between men and women Common triggers of violence in relationships Rethinking the motivations underlying sex differences in cheating How better science can help us all have hotter sex


146: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe

Today it’s an honor to have Dr. Sean Carroll on the podcast. Dr. Carroll is a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. Recently, Carroll has worked on the foundation of quantum mechanics, the arrow of time, and the emergence of complexity. He has been awarded prizes and fellowships by the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, among others. Dr. Carroll has given a TED talk on the multiverse that has more than 1.5 million views, and he has participated in a number of well-attended public debates concerning material in his latest book, which is entitled “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself.”   - The meaning of “post-existentialism”   - What is “poetic naturalism”?   - What is the fundamental nature of reality?   - Do “tables” and “chairs” really exist?   - The difference between rich ontology and sparse ontology   - The Bayesian probability of the existence of God   - How the universe evolved   - The analogy between psychological entropy and naturalistic entropy   - Can we think about the brain in useful terms entropically?   - In what sense do we have free will?   - How hard is the hard problem of consciousness?   - The importance of “existential gratitude”   - The link between quantum mechanics and consciousness   - Is there life (consciousness) after death?   - How can we create purpose, meaningfulness, mattering, morality, and ethics in a natural world?


143: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are

Today it’s a great honor to have Dr. Robert Plomin on the podcast. Dr. Plomin is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King's College London. He previously held positions at the University of Colorado Boulder and Pennsylvania State University. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the British Academy for his twin studies and his groundbreaking work in behavioral genetics. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including G is for Genes: The Impact of Genetics on Education and Achievement (with Kathryn Asbury), and most recently, BluePrint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are. In this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss the following topics: How Robert became interested in genetics The importance of going “with the grain” of your nature Robert’s twin studies methodology How genotypes become phenotypes How kids select their environments in ways that correlate with their genetic inclinations The genetic influence on television viewing How virtually everything is moderately heritable The effects of extreme trauma on the brain The developmental trajectory of heritability How the abnormal is normal How we could use polygenic information to inform educational interventions The potential for misuse of genetic information to select children for particular educational tracks Recent research on shared environmental influences on educational achievement The “nature of nurture” The variability of heritability across different cultures and levels of SES The role of education on intelligence How teachers can and cannot make a difference The genetics of social class mobility Free will and how we can change our destiny Further Reading Fifty years of twin studies: A meta-analysis of the heritability of human traits The nature of nurture: effects of parental genotypes Variation in the heritability of educational attainment: An international meta-analysis Genetic analysis of social-class mobility in five longitudinal studies Large cross-national differences in gene x socioeconomic status interaction on intelligence How much does education improve intelligence? A meta-analysis Are cognitive gand academic gone and the same g? A systematic review of personality trait change through intervention How scientists are learning to predict your future with your genes Using nature to understand nurture What makes us who we are?  Can 'genius' be detected in infancy? A brief history of everyone who ever lived The gardner and the carpenter: What the new science of child development tells us about the relationship between parents and children The effects of childhood maltreatment on brain structure, function and connectivity


142: The Science of Sexual Fantasies

Today we have Dr. Justin Lehmiller on the podcast. Dr. Lehmiller is a Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute and author of the book Tell Me What you Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life. Lehmiller is an award winning educator, having been honored three times with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence from Harvard University, where he taught for several years. He is also a prolific researcher and scholar who has published more than 40 pieces of academic writing to date, including a textbook entitled The Psychology of Human Sexuality. On this episode we cover a wide range of provocative and fascinating findings from the largest survey on sexual fantasies of all time. Topics include: The most common sexual fantasies among humans The most taboo sexual fantasy category Fantasy vs. desire Reducing shame for the content of one’s sexual fantasies The relationship between the fantasy-prone personality and sexual fantasies The importance of sexual self-actualization for well-being The benefits of open communication of our fantasies with our partners Sexual orientation vs. sexual flexibility The truth behind widely held stereotypes about BDSM Gender differences in sexual fantasies What your sexual fantasies say about you The sexiest superhero OCD and gender bending Does size really matter? Which fantasy is the least likely to work out when it’s actually acted out? How can more people turn their fantasies into reality in a healthy way? How can we break the barriers in society that prevent us from properly communicating our sexual desires?


141: Solving the Mysteries of Consciousness, Free Will, and God

Today we have Michael Shermer and Philip Goff on the podcast. Michael is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101. He is the author of New York Times bestsellers Why People Believe Weird Things, The Believing Brain, and Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality & Utopia. Goff is an associate professor in philosophy at Central European University in Budapest. His main research focus is trying to explain how the brain produces consciousness. His first book, which was published by Oxford University Press, is called Consciousness and Fundamental Reality. Goff is currently working on a book on consciousness aimed at a general audience. In this episode we cover the following topics: Is reasoning the ultimate route to truth? What if human rational faculties can’t comprehend the ultimates realities of existence? Will the hard problem of consciousness ever be solved? Panpsychism as a scientific alternative for explaining consciousness The latest neuroscience of consciousness and its implications for understanding the hard problem of consciousness The insights that can be gleaned through understanding subjective experience Will we ever discover if free will exists? To what extent can our understanding of cognitive neuroscience and genetics can elucidate the extent of our free will? The possibility for “free won’t” Can science ever solve the mystery of the existence of God? How can the science of consciousness, free-will, and God help alleviate fundamental existential concerns of humanity?


139: The Coddling of the American Mind

“There are two ideas about safe spaces. One is a very good idea, and one is a terrible idea. The idea of being physically safe on a campus, not being subjected to sexual harassment and physical abuse, or being targeted for something specifically for some sort of hate speech… I’m perfectly fine with that. But there’s another that is now ascendent, which I just think is a horrible view, which is ‘I need to be safe ideologically, I need to be safe emotionally, I just need to feel good all the time. And if someone says something that I don’t like, that is a problem for everyone else, including the administration.’ I think that is a terrible idea for the following reason: I don’t want you to be safe ideologically. I don’t want you to be safe emotionally. I want you to be strong. That’s different. I’m not going to pave the jungle for you. Put on some boots, and learn how to deal with adversity. I’m not going to take all the weights out of the gym. That’s the whole point of the gym. This is the gym.” — Anthony Van Jones Today we have Jonathan Haidt on the podcast. Dr. Haidt is a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business. Dr. Haidt’s research examines the intuitive foundations of morality, and how morality varies across cultures— including the cultures of American progressive, conservatives, and libertarians. Haidt is the author of The Happiness Hypothesis, and of The New York Times bestseller The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. His third book, co-authored with Greg Lukianoff, is called The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting up a Generation for Failure. In this episode we discuss:  “The tumultuous years” on college campuses from 2015-2017 Wisdom and its opposite The three great untruths The main aims of Heterodox Academy The importance of exposing students to opposing views on campus The detrimental effects of moral amplification How moral foundations theory helps explain political divides The common humanity of liberals and conservatives The psychological function of having a common enemy How social media amplifies tribalism The rise of antifragility The net effect of “callout culture” The importance of play in early childhood The importance of cognitive behavioral therapy and sharpening your intuitions The importance of both racial/ethnic minority diversity and viewpoint diversity How to help young people flourish in college Links Heterodox Academy Wisdom as a classical source of human strength: Conceptualization and empirical inquiry Moral amplification and the emotions that attach us to saints and demons Liberals and conservatives rely on common moral foundations when making moral judgments about influential people How to Win Friends and Influence People Tweetdelete


137: Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy

 "When you turn your back on reality you lose the ability to manipulate reality. One would think that is self-evident. I didn't go into this to not try to find the truth." -- James Flynn* Today it is an honor to have Dr. James Flynn on the podcast. Dr. Flynn is Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago and recipient of the University’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Career Research. In 2007, the International Society for Intelligence Research named him its Distinguished Contributor. His TED talk on cognitive and moral progress has received over 3.5 million visits. His long list of books include Are We Getting Smarter?, What is Intelligence?, Where Have All the Liberals Gone?, Fate and Philosophy, How to Improve Your Mind, and most recently, Does Your Family Make You Smarter?: Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy. In this episode we cover a wide range of topics relating to intelligence and its determinants, including: Flynn’s attempts to clarify intelligence and its causes The g factor, and what gives rise to it The validity of multiple intelligences theory Intergenerational trends (the “Flynn effect”) vs. Within-generation trends The “social multiplier” model of intergenerational trends in intelligence Individual multipliers vs. social multipliers The multiple causes of black-white differences in IQ Charley Murray and the meritocracy thesis Transcending the politics of intelligence research The dangers of suppressing ideas and research The 20% wiggle room of autonomy on IQ tests The difference between internal and external environment The impact of having a “family handicap” on SAT scores What we can learn from astronomy about human intelligence Toward a meta-theory of intelligence Toward a more humane society Links Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents [TED Talk] Reflection about intelligence over 40 years Heritability Estimates Versus Large Environmental Effects”: The IQ Paradox Resolved The g beyond Spearman’s g: Flynn’s paradoxes resolved using four exploratory meta-analyses  IQ Bashing, Breadkdancing, the Flynn Effect, and Genes Men, Women, and IQ: Setting the Record Straight  The Flynn Effect and IQ Disparities Among Races, Ethnicities, and Nations: Are There Common Links? The Role of Luck in Life Success Is Far Greater Than We Realized  Twitter Q & A with James Flynn 1. “Would a 100 IQ person today be a genius if transported to the year 1918? If not, why not.” Flynn: No,  they would just be better adapted in their ability to meet educational demands. 2. “Are you concerned with the growing misuse of genetic causal fallacies in heritability research, and what can be done to make sure that researchers do not assert implications that are not supported by the data? Is this a question of education?” Flynn: Whenever I catch them I am disturbed by both bad genetic hypotheses and bad environmental ones. 3. “What has caused the Flynn reversal in Nordic and some other rich countries? Markus Jokela suggested it could be health related.” Flynn: See this article in Intelligence by myself and Shayer on IQ decline. 4. “Prof. Flynn has written about the increase in non-verbal reasoning on IQ tests that is attributed to the exposure to analytical/sequential/logical reasoning through technology. What should we do, then, to increase the verbal side of our reasoning, or have we reached the peak?” Flynn: Read good literature and stand out against the trend to read less and less (see Flynn, The Torchlight List  and The New Torchlight List.  5. “Could the Flynn effect be based at least partially on a trade off, meaning that with change in culture promoting development of skills associated with higher IQ scores, this rise is at a cost of eg working memory?” Flynn: I don’t think there is a downward trend in working memory – see Does Your Family Make You Smarter? 6. “Do the intelligence gains the Flynn effect reveals show an in increase in the g factor?” Flynn: No – see “Reflection about intelligence over 40 years” just posted on the net. 7. “What do you make of American SAT/ACT trends, that is the Asian scores increases and the Native-American scores declines?” Flynn: Sorry I have only looked at black and white. 8. “Does you ever think there will come a time when rational, non-bigoted people can publicly discuss race and gender topics relating to his research?” Flynn: Well I hope so – but there is no trend in that direction. -- * Quote taken from a lecture Flynn gave at the University of Cambridge on July 20, 2012.


134: How to Live with Guts and Confidence

Today it’s great to have Amy Alkon on the podcast. Amy Alkon is a “transdisciplinary applied scientist”, who synthesizes research findings from various areas, translates the findings into understandable language, and then creates practical advice based on the latest science. Alkon writes The Science Advice Goddess, an award-winning, syndicated column that runs in newspapers across the United States and Canada. She is also the author of Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck and I See Rude People. She has been on Good Morning America, The Today Show, NPR, CNN, MTV, and does a weekly science podcast. She has written for Psychology Today, Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, the New York Daily News, among others, and has given a TED talk. She is the President of the Applied Evolutionary Psychology Society, and she lives in Venice, California. Amy’s latest book is Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living With Guts and Confidence.   In this episode you will learn:   The importance of action for overcoming your fears How people-pleasing backfires How you can use fear as a tool for change How to “impersonate your way to being the real you” Why authenticity is overrated How to have a secure self-esteem How to reduce shame How Amy asked for feedback while she was dating How to have the courage to say “no” Why it’s better to have systems than goals “The importance of “small wins” Why dating is a numbers game   How to feel more empowered in your life


133: Humanism, Enlightenment and Progress

Today it’s a great honor to have Steven Pinker on the podcast. Dr. Pinker is an experimental psychologist who conducts research in visual cognition, psycholinguistics, and social relations. He grew up in Montreal and earned his BA from McGill and his PhD from Harvard. Currently Johnstone Professor of Psychology at Harvard, Pinker has also taught at Stanford and MIT. He has won numerous prizes for his research, his teaching, and his ten books, including The Language Instinct, How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, and most recently, Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress. Pinker is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Humanist of the Year, a recipient of nine honorary doctorates, and one of Foreign Policy’s “World’s Top 100 Public Intellectuals” and Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World Today.” He is Chair of the Usage Panel of the American Heritage Dictionary, and writes frequently for The New York Times, The Guardian, and other publications.  In this episode we discuss the following topics: The main thread that runs through all of Pinker’s work Does reducing economic inequality increase happiness? Does increased autonomy lead to increased happiness? How humanism is compatible with spirituality Why we should not confuse evolutionary adaptation (in Darwin’s sense) with human worth The difference between the ultimate and proximal levels of analysis Why Evolutionary Psychology is often so misunderstood Why human nature isn’t necessarily conductive to human flourishing How the laws of the universe don’t care about you Why do intellectuals hate progress so much? What are some indicators of human progress? Why should people care about human progress over the course of history? The myth of the suicide and loneliness “epidemics” Why we enjoy and care more about food and children than oxygen Rates of sexual assault and mental health on campus The increasing divisiveness and irrationality of politics How the recent presidential election was a “carnival of irrationality” Humanistic ethics Can we have a good without a God? The possibility of the unification of knowledge across the arts, humanities, and sciences Toward a third culture


132: Open Wide and Say Awe

“How can we use these peak experiences to help people create community that is healthy and to be better human beings?” -- Katherine MacLean Katherine MacLean, PhD is a research scientist, teacher and meditator. In her academic research (2004-2013) at UC Davis and Johns Hopkins University, she studied how psychedelics and mindfulness meditation can promote beneficial, long-lasting changes in personality, well-being and brain function. In the fall of 2015, she co-founded and began directing the Psychedelic Education & Continuing Care Program in New York (, where she has facilitated monthly integration groups for psychedelic users and training workshops for both clinicians and the public. She currently lives on an organic farm and is preparing to be a study therapist on the upcoming Phase 3 trial of MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder. Learn more: In this wide-ranging discussion, we cover the following topics: - What happened after Katherine “died” in 2012 - Discovery oriented research vs. practical research on psychedelics - Effects of psychedelics on “existential distress” - Potential benefits of psychedelics on end-of-life care and terminal cancer patients - Potential benefits of MDMA for PTSD - The existence of “enlightened assholes” - Skepticism about brain research on psychedelics - The role of the default network in "ego dissolution" - Misrepresentation of the default network in the psychedelic and meditation literatures - Benefits of psychedelics and meditation in combination - Psychedelics and openness to experience - From anxiety attack to “beauty attack”  - The potential for healthy psychedelic integration and increased community Links "Open Wide and Saw Awe" | Katherine MacLean | TEDxOrcasIsland A Systematic Review of Personality Trait Change Through Intervention Psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experience in combination with meditation and other spiritual practices produces enduring positive changes in psychological functioning and in trait measures of prosocial attitudes and behaviors Psilocybin Mushrooms for Treating Depression Validation of the revised Mystical Experience Questionnaire in experimental sessions with psilocybin Mystical experiences occasioned by the hallucinogen psilocybin lead to increases in the personality domain of openness Cognitive aging and long-term maintenance of attentional improvements following meditation training Therapeutic effect of increased openness: Investigating mechanism of action in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy


129: Fuzzy Categories

“Nature doesn’t care about our desire to have these clean political categories for legal purposes.” — Alice Dreger Today I’m really excited to have Dr. Alice Dreger on the podcast. Dr. Dreger is a historian, bioethicist, author, and former professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. Dreger is widely known for her academic work and activism in support of people at the edge of anatomy, such as conjoined twins and those with atypical sex characteristics. In her observations, it’s often a fuzzy line between “male” and “female”, among other anatomical distinctions. A key question guiding a lot of Dr. Dreger’s work (and which was the topic of her TEDx talk) is “Why do we let our anatomy determine our fate?” Dr. Dreger is the author of multiple books, including “One of Us: Conjoined Twins and the Future of Normal” and “Galieleo’s Middle Finger Heretics, Activists, and the Search for Justice in Science.” In this episode, we discuss a wide range of topics, including: How Dr. Dreger got involved in the “Intersex Rights Movement” in the mid-90s The difference between anatomy and gender identity The relationship between our bodies and our personal and social identities and the role of science and medicine in determining this relationship Who gets to tell your body what it means How the mind isn’t the only place where identity exists, and how our identities also exist in the minds of others The future of gender pronouns How we should treat those who do not fit traditional notions of sex, such as the fascinating cases of “androgen sensitivity syndrome” and “congenital adrenal hyperplasia” How we can see more value in variation in anatomy The need for a more reality-based government Why the phrase “identity politics” is distracting and only part of a larger problem The benefits and disadvantages of the “Intellectual Dark Web” The increasing difficulty of being able to tell what is true and what is false in the media Why we spend so much of our energy on tribal politics and avoid the real humanitarian problems in the world Why tribal life is so compelling The need to balance male and female ways of being What an “Intellectual Light Web” might look like


125: The Jealousy Cure

It’s great to have Dr. Robert Leahy on the podcast today. Dr. Leahy completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School under the direction of Dr. Aaron Beck, the founder of cognitive therapy. Dr. Leahy is the past president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, past president of the International Association of Cognitive Psychotherapy, past president of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy, director of the American Institute for Cognitive Therapy (NYC), and a clinical professor of psychology in psychiatry at Weill-Cornell University Medical School. Dr. Leahy has received the Aaron T. Beck award for outstanding contributions in cognitive therapy, and he is author and editor of 25 books, including The Worry Cure, which received critical praise from the New York Times and has been selected by Self Magazine as one of the top eight self-help books of all time. His latest book is The Jealousy Cure: Learn to Trust, Overcome Possessiveness, and Save Your Relationship. Topics: Why Dr. Lahey wrote The Anxiety Cure The new science of jealousy How jealousy differs from envy Why jealousy evolved What is the downside of intense jealousy? Why we don’t want to get rid of jealousy Are men and women equally jealous? The relationship between attachment style and jealousy What if there really is a reason to be jealous? What are some practical techniques that people can use to cope with their jealousy? The importance of normalizing jealousy


123: Wonder, Creativity, and the Personality of Political Correctness

Today we have Dr. Jordan Peterson on the podcast. Dr. Peterson has taught mythology to lawyers, doctors and business people, consulted for the UN Secretary General, helped his clinical clients manage depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia, served as an adviser to senior partners of major Canadian law firms, and lectured extensively in North America and Europe. With his students and colleagues at Harvard and the University of Toronto, Dr. Peterson has published over a hundred scientific papers. Dr. Peterson is also author of two books: Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief and 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which is a #1 bestseller. In this wide-ranging conversation we discuss the following topics: – Why “learned irrelevance” is incredibly important – Why creativity requires keeping a childlike wonder – How hallucinogens clear the “doors of perception” – The “shared vulnerability” model of the creativity-mental illness connection – The neuroscience of openness to experience – The personality of personal correctness – The practical implications of gender differences – The function of the state in helping to make sure there is equality of individual expression – How agreeableness and conscientiousness orient us differently in the social world – The difference between pathological altruism and genuine compassion – The link between pathological altruism and vulnerable narcissism – The difference between responsibility and culpability – How to help people take responsibility and make their lives better   Links 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos Jordan Peterson- What the State is For Jordan Peterson- Future Authoring Program Decreased Latent Inhibition Is Associated With Increased Creative Achievement in High-Functioning Individuals Creativity and Psychopathology: A Shared Vulnerability Model Openness to Experience and Intellect Differentially Predict Creative Achievement in the Arts and Science Openness/Intellect: The Core of the Creative Personality The Evolutionary Genetics of the Creativity-Psychosis Connection Must One Risk Madness to Achieve Genius?  The Real Neuroscience of Creativity Personality and Complex Brain Networks: The Role of Openness to Experience in Default Network Efficiency The Personality of Political Correctness Default and Executive Network Coupling Supports Creative Idea Production Gender Differences in Personality Across the Ten Aspects of the Big Five Men and Things, Women and People: A Meta-Analysis of Sex Differences in Interests Is There Anything Good About Men? Evil: Inside Human Violence and Cruelty Pathological Altruism Vulnerable Narcissism Is (Mostly) a Disorder of Neuroticism


120: The Devastating Opioid Epidemic

Today I’m delighted to have actress Kathryn Prescott on the podcast! Kathryn is an actor and photographer, originally from London. Ms. Prescott got her first big break when she was 17 playing Emily, a young lesbian with a homophobic twin sister, in the cult UK TV show “Skins”. A few years later she moved to the US to play the lead role in the MTV teen drama “Finding Carter” and has since appeared in various other projects including ‘To The Bone’, ‘Reign’ and ’24: Legacy’. Ms. Prescott is currently shooting her second season of AMC’s ‘The Son’ and has a movie coming out on Netflix in April called “Dude”. After joining up with The Big Issue Foundation and Centrepoint in the UK for a photography exhibition to raise money for both organizations, she wanted to do something similar in the US, so she got in touch with Homeless Health Care Los Angeles but decided to do something a little different. Her film explores the cyclical nature of pain and isolation when it comes to addiction while highlighting the devastating effect that the opioid epidemic is having on America’s youth. Mrs. Prescott has been surrounded by addiction throughout her life and people’s reactions to it have always fascinated her. In addition to listening to this fascinating interview with Ms. Prescott, please watch and share her important video and see other links below:   Links The official website for “Dear You” “Dear You” on social media: Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook A great podcast explaining how one sentence helped set off the opioid epidemic Comedian Stuart McMillen explaining the “Rat Park” experiments Johann Hari’s TED talk on why everything you think you know about addiction is wrong Kathryn Prescott on twitter Homeless Health Care Los Angeles Podcast chat with Maia Szalavitz on rethinking addiction;=PY9DcIMGxMs


114: Existential-Humanistic Therapy

“Adventure and awe are key to the perpetuation of vibrant, evolving lives, and in combination with technological advances may bring marvels to our emerging repertoires.” — Kirk Schneider Kirk Schneider is a psychotherapist who has taken a leading role in the advancement of existential-humanistic therapy and existential-integrative therapy. He has authored or coauthored ten books, including The Paradoxical Self, Humanity’s Dark Side, Existential-Integrative Psychotherapy, The Psychology of Existence (with Rollo May), The Polarized Mind, The Handbook of Humanistic Psychology, and Awakening to Awe. Dr. Schneider is the 2004 recipient of the Rollo May award for “outstanding and independent pursuit of new frontiers in humanistic psychology” from the Humanistic Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association. In this episode, Kirk teaches us how we can connect with the mystery and discovery in our daily lives in a way that allows us to feel, sense, imagine, create, wonder, and to feel the dysphoric feelings as well, the poignancy of sadness of hurt or anger, and in essence, experience a larger sense of life and of creative work. Kirk's seminal work in existential-humanistic therapy has helped many people be more open to new possibilities and sensitivities to oneself as well as other people, other species, and have a more profound appreciation of our fleeting time in space. Among these topics, we also discuss the following: What is existential-humanistic therapy? Kirk’s kinship with Rollo May Kirk's debate with Ken Wilbur about "ultimate consciousness" Kirk's vision of an awe-based era in the age of roboticism Kirk's vision of "depth healers" How to preserve the core of humanity in this brave new world Links The Spirituality of Awe Existential-Humanistic Therapy (2nd edition) The Deified Self: A "Centaur" Response to Wilber and the Transpersonal Movement by Kirk Schneider Rollo May: Personal Reflections and Appreciation by James F.T. Bugental


113: Spending Smarter

“Money is incredible, but some of the things that make it incredible make it difficult to use.” — Dan Ariely Today I’m excited to welcome Dan Ariely to The Psychology Podcast. Dan is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. Through his research and his (often unorthodox) experiments, he questions the forces that influence human behavior and the irrational ways in which we often all behave. He is author of the bestsellers Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and several others, and his latest book is Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. In our conversation we cover: Why he decided to dedicate a whole book to money How the “pain of paying” affects how much we spend Why we tend to undervalue saving How fairness impacts our perception of value Why bad spending becomes a habit In this episode you’ll learn how to think about money and spend it in smarter ways. It was great getting to chat with Dan, and interesting to see the overlap between his research in Behavioral Economics and the research coming out of Positive Psychology. Enjoy! Links: Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter [Book] Follow Dan on Twitter For more resources and information on Dan and his research


112: America the Anxious

The process of being happy has become painfully comically neurotic" - Ruth Whippman This week I am delighted to welcome Ruth Whippman to The Psychology Podcast. Ruth is the author of America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks. The book has been covered by New York Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Washington Post, and VICE, among others. Today we bring to you spirited discussion topics such as: The cultural differences between America and Britain regarding attitudes about happiness (Ruth moved from London to California 6 years ago with her husband and 2 young sons). Dosage effects of positive interventions—Is it useful to try to feel good all the time? The standards to which we hold motivational speakers, popular science writers, and scientists themselves—Is it okay for standards to differ? The rampant promotion of  "pseudo-growth" among corporate flourishing initiatives. The parenting "happiness rat race". Enjoy, and if you have thoughts on the episode be sure to leave a comment below! Links: You can find Ruth's book America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks on Amazon: [Book] Follow Ruth on Twitter @ruthwhippman Bob Emmons on the Power of Gratitude: [Video] [Paper]


111: Not by Chance Alone

"Life is full of lessons, and 'playing the hand you're dealt as well as you can play it' is a good one." -- Elliot Aronson Today I'm incredibly excited to welcome the legendary Elliot Aronson to The Psychology Podcast. Aronson is an eminent social psychologist who is best known for his groundbreaking experiments on the theory of cognitive dissonance and for his invention of the Jigsaw Classroom, a highly effective cooperative teaching technique which facilitates learning while reducing interethnic hostility and prejudice. He is the only person in the 120-year history of the American Psychological Association to have won all three of its major awards: for writing, for teaching, and for research, and in 2007 he received the William James Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Association for Psychological Science, in which he was cited as the scientist who "fundamentally changed the way we look at everyday life.” Over the course of our in-depth and wide-ranging discussion, Aronson: Shares stories and key lessons from his famous mentors–Abraham Maslow and Leon Festinger–and how each of the two altered the course of his life, Illuminates with examples some of his most fascinating findings in the field of Social Psychology, Offers his take on the replication crisis and on what he calls the "TED-ification" of Psychology, Imparts on us wisdom he's gathered not just as a researcher and psychologist but also as a father and brother. It was a pleasure to have a legend in the field on the show for such a comprehensive conversation, filled with stories and lessons. Enjoy! Links: Elliot Aronson's memoir, Not By Chance Alone: My Life as a Social Psychologist, is available on Amazon [Book] To learn more about Aronson's highly effective Jigsaw Classroom (from outcomes to implementation) visit [Resource] The Social  Animal - Through vivid narrative, lively presentations of important research, and intriguing examples, Aronson's textbook offers a brief, compelling introduction to modern social psychology [Textbook] (Mentioned) Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts [Book]


110: The Mask of Masculinity

I look at a man as a symbol of inspiration. Someone who looks to be of service along his journey. Someone who experiences fears but has the courage to face them and move forward anyway. Someone who’s loving to all people and creatures in world, including himself. Someone who can take care of his basic needs and teach others how to live in abundance. Someone who doesn’t judge people but looks for ways to lift others up. Someone who leaves this place better than the way he found it. That, to me, is a man. — Lewis Howes Today it’s great to have Lewis Howes on The Psychology Podcast! Lewis is a lifestyle entrepreneur, high-performance business coach, author and keynote speaker. A former professional football player and 2-sport All American, Lewis hosts The School of Greatness Podcast, which has received millions of downloads since it was launched in 2013. Howes is also an advisory board member of Pencils of Promise. His latest book is The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives. Our conversation covers a few key themes such as: The power of vulnerability and the role it’s played in Lewis’ life The masks men wear to hide who they truly are and the benefits of taking off these masks The male role models Lewis personally looks to for inspiration, and what he admires about them Hope you enjoy my conversation with Lewis, and if you want to learn more about each of the masks mentioned, be sure to check out his new book The Mask of Masculinity: How Men Can Embrace Vulnerability, Create Strong Relationships, and Live Their Fullest Lives. Links: You can find The Mask of Masculinity on Amazon ( You can listen to The School of Greatness on iTunes, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts Follow Lewis on Twitter @LewisHowes


109: The Art of Charm

Today I’m excited to welcome Jordan Harbinger to The Psychology Podcast. Jordan is an entrepreneur, talk show host, and world-renowned social dynamics expert. As co-founder of The Art of Charm, he has helped develop one of the leading self-development programs in the world, with a special expertise in social capital, relationship-building, and authentic rapport. He is also the host of The Art of Charm Podcast, where he interviews leading entrepreneurs, celebrities, authors, and experts on psychology, human performance, behavioral economics, and success. In our wide-ranging discussion, Jordan and I talk about:   How The Art of Charm came to be (and how it evolved to be differ from the pick-up artist movement) What kinds of things go on at his intense, 6-day live programs Where his work at the Art of Charm draws from the world of Positive Psychology Why it’s important to seek expertise from the right places and set healthy expectations Why feeling comfortable in your skin is more of a subtractive process than an additive process, and how to go about achieving this Why we need to delegate nonverbal communication to the level of habit, and some actionable tips for doing so (such as his famous “doorway drill”) Why we should be more open to the idea of outgrowing friends, and signs it’s time to let a friend go How all of this relates to the delicate balance of being and becoming, and the risks inherent in not striving to be your most authentic self   This episode offers a lot of food for thought around self development and how we can use scientifically-proven techniques to lead happier and more fulfilling lives. Enjoy! Find Jordan at: Instagram Twitter Facebook YouTube Subscribe to The Art of Charm podcast in iTunes here


108: Making Good Decisions

Today I'm glad to welcome Cheryl Einhorn to The Psychology Podcast! Cheryl is the creator of the AREA Method, a decision making system for individuals and companies to solve complex problems. She is also the founder of CSE Consulting and the author of the book Problem Solved, a Powerful System for Making Complex Decisions with Confidence & Conviction. Cheryl teaches as an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School and has won several journalism awards for her investigative stories about international political, business and economic topics. In our conversation she takes us through the philosophy behind her unique perspective taking process for making better decisions as well as through each of the steps: The AREA Method gets its name from the perspectives that it addresses: Absolute, Relative, Exploration & Exploitation and Analysis: A, or Absolute, refers to the perspective of the research target. It is primary, uninfluenced information from the source itself. R, or Relative, refers to the perspective of outsiders around the target. It is secondary information, or information that has been filtered through sources connected to the target. E, or Exploration and Exploitation, are really about the human mind. Exploration is about listening to what other people think and believe. Exploitation is about listening to yourself and examining your own assumptions and judgment. The second A, or Analysis, synthesizes all of these perspectives, processing and interpreting the information you’ve collected. Cheryl also shares stories of the people she encountered along her journey of researching the book and explains a variety of applications of this method. We hope you enjoy this actionable episode, and if you're interested to applying this method to a decision you're struggling with right now, be sure to check out Cheryl's free resources! Links: Problem Solved: A Powerful System for Making Complex Decisions with Confidence and Conviction is available on Amazon What Kind of Problem Solver Are You [Quiz] Downloadable "Cheetah Sheets" [Download] More examples of the AREA method at work [Case Studies] Follow Cheryl on Twitter  

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157: The Flexibility of Fem...


“There can be no autonomy without the autonomy to choose, without coercion or constraint, or in spite of it, who our lovers will be.” — Wednesday Martin Today we have Wednesday Martin on the podcast. Dr. Martin has worked as ...