Cover image of Robin Dunbar

Robin Dunbar

15 Podcast Episodes

Latest 1 May 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

Episode artwork

Monocle Reads: Robin Dunbar

Monocle 24: Meet the Writers

Robin Dunbar is an anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist. Alongside his research he is a prolific author, publishing numerous books across academic and popular science. He speaks to Georgina Godwin about his latest book ‘Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships’.


15 Apr 2021

Episode artwork

Ep 1 - The science of relationships - Dr Robin Dunbar

The WarriorU Podcast

This week on the WarriorU Podcast Bram and Trent discuss Dunbar's Number. They explore the impact that our closest relationships have on our lives and how with some planning we can invest the right time on the right people for maximum personal growth. If you want meaningful change, more money, happiness and success then perhaps it's time to cut some people from your tribe. There's science to this.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

1hr 2mins

5 Apr 2021

Similar People

Episode artwork

Robin Dunbar makes the case for human connection

Eat Sleep Work Repeat

Sign up for the newsletter What a guest today. I've tried to speak to Professor Robin Dunbar for 4 or 5 years.Robin has a new book out called Friends which is the sort of book you can lose yourself in on a holiday (if anyone lets you have one). I enjoyed it for surprising me and going beyond what I already knew.So reliant are human beings on our social collaboration that it has been suggested that our bodies have evolved the feeling of loneliness, an alarm system that aggressively resists isolation. Many other animals don’t have anything close to this — some mammals and birds actively seek isolation, spending weeks and months alone aside from rituals of mating and raising their offspring - something that Robin Dunbar and others have demonstrated is a reflection of brain size. Robin Dunbar ‘spent the better part of twenty-five years studying the behaviour of wild animals’ - mainly monkeys, goats and antelopes. He wanted to understand social evolution - why species had the social systems that they have developed. He admits that ‘humans were, at best, only a very superficial interest’. He noticed that monkeys and apes were social in a way that other animals were not. They would spend hours grooming each other, hours upon hours entwined round each other cleaning each other’s fur. ‘I had been deeply impressed by the fact that they groomed far more than they ever needed to for purely hygienic purposes’. It seemed there was some mutual pleasure in this action. When he took the time to explore what was the causal factor for this grooming long haired monkeys spent no longer grooming than shorthaired monkeys, large monkeys spent no longer grooming than small monkeys. The complexity of the hair management task wasn’t the prompt. Rather it was the size of the brains of the primate that determined the amount of time spent. Dunbar proposed the Social Brain Hypothesis - that a species brain size constrains the size of its social group. ‘The problem with living in stable, permanent groups is that considerable diplomatic and social skills are needed to prevent the stresses and niggles of living in close proximity with others from overwhelming us,’ - we need big brains to help us manage the politics of a bigger tribe. See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


30 Mar 2021

Episode artwork

The Science of Friendship, with Robin Dunbar and Helen Czerski

Intelligence Squared

Robin Dunbar is the world-renowned psychologist and author who famously discovered Dunbar’s number: how our capacity for friendship is limited to around 150 people. In this week's episode he explains why friends matter to us – more than we think. The single most surprising fact to emerge out of the medical literature over the last decade or so has been that the number and quality of the friendships we have has a bigger influence on our happiness, health and even mortality risk than anything else except giving up smoking.To find out more about his new book Friends click here: https://amzn.to/3rPrcTQ Support this show http://supporter.acast.com/intelligencesquared.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


16 Mar 2021

Most Popular

Episode artwork

Friends with Robin Dunbar

Dave Fanning

Dave chats to world-renowned Psychologist and Author, Robin Dunbar about his new book, 'Friends', which explores our most important relationships and reveals the incredible effects that true friendships have on our wellbeing!


7 Mar 2021

Episode artwork

EP 248 Robin Dunbar on Friends: Understanding the Power of our Most Important Relationships

The Innovation Show

Friends matter to us, and they matter more than we think. The single most surprising fact to emerge out of the medical literature over the last decade or so has been that the number and quality of the friendships we have has a bigger influence on our happiness, health and even mortality risk than anything else except giving up smoking.Our guest is the world-renowned psychologist and author who famously discovered Dunbar's number: how our capacity for friendship is limited to around 150 people. In today’s book, he explores the way different types of friendship and family relationships intersect, and the complex of psychological and behavioural mechanisms that underpin friendships and make them possible - and just how complicated the business of making and keeping friends actually is.Working at the coalface of the subject at both research and personal levels, he has written the definitive book on how and why we are friends.We welcome evolutionary psychologist and former director of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology and the Department of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University. His acclaimed books include How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language and so many others.

1hr 13mins

19 Nov 2020

Episode artwork

Episode 100: Dr. Danilo Bzdok & Dr. Robin Dunbar

The Empowering Neurologist Podcast

One of the most pervasive recommendations these days centers on the benefits related to socially distancing ourselves from others. And while this may be a meaningful recommendation, an unfortunate consequence seems to be increasing social isolation. Social isolation begets loneliness, and loneliness is pervasive in modern society. Research reveals profound relationships between levels of loneliness and risk for various health conditions. Important for our current experience with COVID-19 is the relationship between social isolation and immune dysfunction. In today’s podcast, we interview Dr. Danilo Bzdok and Dr. Robin Dunbar, who authored a new review entitled The Neurobiology of Social Distance. It’s a fascinating exploration of the importance of our social integration and our maintenance of social capital. Here is the abstract from this publication: "Never before have we experienced social isolation on such a massive scale as we have in response to COVID-19. Yet we know that the social environment has a dramatic impact on our sense of life satisfaction and well-being. In times of distress, crisis, or disaster, human resilience depends on the richness and strength of social connections, as well as active engagement in groups and communities. Over recent years, evidence emerging from various disciplines has made it abundantly clear: loneliness may be the most potent threat to survival and longevity. Here, we highlight the benefits of social bonds, choreographies of bond creation and maintenance, as well as the neurocognitive basis of social isolation and its deep consequences for mental and physical health." This podcast is very special for us because this is the 100th episode of the The Empowering Neurologist, we are joined by Dr. Austin Perlmutter, and this is a fundamentally important topic that we get to explore with two of the most highly respected researchers in this field on the planet. Enjoy.


19 Jul 2020

Episode artwork

What makes us human? | Robin Dunbar (Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology | Magdalen College, Oxford University)

Ghost Lights from Thompson Harrison

What makes us human? — Being human in a digital context Robin Dunbar (Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology | Magdalen College, Oxford University) In this first episode, Tracey Camilleri talks to Prof Robin Dunbar of ‘Dunbar number’ *fame. He is Emeritus Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Magdalen College, Oxford University. Robin brings his years of research and discovery about what make us human and how these insights can help leaders make better ‘human-shaped’ decisions. The conversations ranges across topics from the importance of triggering the endorphin system – through mechanisms such as laughter - and its positive effect on productivity, to more pragmatic advice on how leaders can better facilitate virtual meetings and maintain the ‘musical flow’ of conversation to arrive at more satisfaction and connection for their teams. * Dunbar's number (150) is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships — relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person. Learn more about Robin Dunbar https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Dunbar Music : Dan Phillipson | Out in Front Visit the Thompson Harrison website https://www.thompsonharrison.com/ Connect with Tracey Camilleri on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/tracey-camilleri-20694ab/ Connect with Sam Rockey on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/samanthajrockey/ When you're ready to #BeHeard, contact the podcast specialists at SolidGold.co.za


30 Apr 2020

Episode artwork

Philematology (KISSING) with Robin Dunbar

Ologies with Alie Ward

Why do we kiss? What makes a good kiss or a bad kiss? How many microbes do we exchange? Is it good for us? One of the world’s most accomplished researchers on kissing, social behavior and relationships, Dr . Robin Dunar of Oxford University reluctantly agrees to be interviewed and explains how kissing may have evolved, how discos are research labs and friends are people you can invite yourself to have a beer with. Also: how to deal with the loneliness of isolation, autism and intimacy, why your cheerfulness may impact people you don’t even know and … Alie’s first kiss.  Dr. Dunbar’s books are available here A donation went to: www.alaseniorliving.org Sponsor links: TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/ologies; EMBRWave.com/ologies; betterhelp.com/ologies (code: ologies) More links at alieward.com/ologies/philematology Transcripts & bleeped episodes at: alieward.com/ologies-extras Become a patron of Ologies for as little as a buck a month: www.Patreon.com/ologies OlogiesMerch.com has hats, shirts, pins, totes and STIIIICKERS! Follow twitter.com/ologies or instagram.com/ologies Follow twitter.com/AlieWard or instagram.com/AlieWard Sound editing by Jarrett Sleeper of MindJam Media & Steven Ray Morris Theme song by Nick ThorburnSupport the show: http://Patreon.com/ologiesSee omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

1hr 6mins

7 Apr 2020

Episode artwork

ROBIN DUNBAR - How our Ancient Brains cope with Modern Society

Guild of Dads: Vision+Action=Meaning

My guest on today's episode is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Oxford University Robin DunbarWith the modern world having such an impact on our mental health and relationships, many are now asking whether human beings are in fact designed to thrive in the environment of large scale societies. Robin Dunbar has spent decades studying this and many other aspects of how primates and human beings have evolved and adapted.I find out from Robin the effect that large scale societies have had on individuals and the negative result of being anonymous, the different way that men and women interact, and the importance of developing close relationships within your own community for your own longevity.Get involved and find out moreTo get involved with the conversation on social media we are on Facebook, Instagram & TwitterIf you want to join the Guild of Dads you can do so via our Facebook GroupEpisode show notes can be found on our websiteIf you like what we are doing, leave a rating and review here

1hr 21mins

6 Apr 2020