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The Psychology Podcast

Welcome to The Psychology Podcast, 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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Sam Harris || Free Will (Part 1)

Today it’s great to have Sam Harris on the podcast. Sam is the author of five New York Times best sellers, including The End of Faith, Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, Free Will, Lying, and Waking Up. The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His writing and public lectures cover a wide range of topics—neuroscience, moral philosophy,religion, meditation practice, human violence, rationality—but generally focus on how a growing understanding of ourselves and the world is changing our sense of how we should live. He also hosts the Making Sense Podcast, which was selected by Apple as one of the “iTunes Best” and has won a Webby Award for best podcast in the Science & Education category. Topics [1:57] Sam’s reflections on his childhood [7:18] Sam’s interest in martial arts [8:04] Sam’s experience with MDMA [12:09] How Sam ended up on the Dalai Lama’s security detail [16:39] Sam’s experience with meditation teacher Sayadaw U Pandita [23:12] Dualistic vs Nondualistic mindfulness [24:34] Sam’s experience with Dzogchen meditation [28:27] Sam’s dream about Dilgo Khyentse [34:15] Sam’s experience with fiction writing [37:50] Scott questions Sam’s position on free will [41:33] Sam’s disagreement with Daniel Dennett [42:41] Sam’s take on free will and human interaction [46:38] Why Sam thinks we’re getting “free will” wrong Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


25 Feb 2021

Rank #1

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16: How to Be Understood and Reach Your Goals

Best selling author and social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson discusses motivational styles and how we can ensure people understand who we truly are. It’s a particularly actionable episode, where the listener can learn strategies aimed at effective communication, habit formation and making better motivational decisions. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


11 May 2015

Rank #2

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7: "What is it like to be a psychopath?"

“Cognitive neuroscientist Kent Kiehl discusses his research and personal experience working with “those without conscience.” Scott and Kent demystify the historically fascinating illness as it relates to criminal activity, genius, evil, flourishing, the brain, gender and treatment." Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support

1hr 5mins

18 Jan 2015

Rank #3

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3: Talking Mastery and Social Intelligence

Five time international bestselling author Robert Greene shares his thoughts on creativity, finding your calling, social intelligence and his latest book about what it means to be a ‘Master’ of your craft. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


16 Nov 2014

Rank #4

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61: Creativity, Courageous Vulnerability and Wholehearted Living

We are especially grateful (and giddy) to be sharing this episode with our listeners! Brene Brown's work really gels with our core interests here on The Psychology Podcast, and the resulting conversation contains some enthusiastic and empirically informed banter that is sure to inform and delight. We geek out over some counter-intuitive findings, like how incredibly compassionate people have a tendency to set the most boundaries and say "no." We discuss the power of being vulnerable and how the data suggests that it is one of the best predictors of courage. We chat about how trying to be cool is the enemy of truly being cool, how we can enrich future generation’s learning with wholehearted living, and how ignoring our creativity defies our essential nature. It’s ~45 minutes of two experts in the field sharing data, and themselves, and it’s one of our favorite episodes yet.  We’re making a real effort to improve the show for our listeners and would hugely appreciate 15 seconds of your time filling out this short survey: http://survey.libsyn.com/psychologypodcast (Email is not required). Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


23 Nov 2016

Rank #5

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Rex Jung || The Neuroscience (and Neuroplasticity) of Intelligence, Creativity, and Genius

Today it’s great to have Dr. Rex Jung on the podcast. Dr. Jung is an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico, and a clinical neuropsychologist in private practice in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A graduate of the University of New Mexico, he has practiced neuropsychology in Albuquerque since 2002. His clinical work now centers around intraoperative testing of patients undergoing awake craniotomy to remove tumors within eloquent brain tissue – work with particular relevance to the study of individual differences. He has contributed to over 100 research articles across a wide range of disciplines, involving both clinical and normal populations, designed to assess brain-behavior relationships. He is the Editor of the Cambridge Handbook of the Neuroscience of Creativity. His work has been featured on CNN, BBC, NOVA, The New York Times, The Atlantic, and National Geographic. In this episode we discuss: Rex’s earlier work on the neuroscience of intelligence The distributed brain model of intelligence Rex’s investigation of Scott’s brain How the brain can compensate for disability How our intelligence can change over time Limitations of IQ tests for measuring intellectual potential The limits of neuroplasticity The genetics of intelligence The creative brain How the neuroscience of creativity is sometimes the inverse of the neuroscience of intelligence The “default network” of mental simulation  The human capacity to “simulate or try out ideas before you buy them” The beautiful architecture of the brain The neuroscience of genius Rex’s work on awake craniometries (neurological testing while a patient is awake and a tumor is being removed) Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


21 Nov 2019

Rank #6

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Cory Muscara || Stop Missing Your Life

Today it’s great to have Cory Muscara on the podcast. Cory is an international speaker and teacher on the topics of presence and well-being. He believes that when people are deeply fulfilled, they are a better force in the world for other beings, the environment, and their communities. For several years he taught mindfulness-based leadership at Columbia University and currently serves as an assistant instructor of positive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012, Cory spent 6 months in silence living as a monk in Burma, meditating 14+ hours per day, and now aims to bring these teachings to people in a practical and usable way, presenting to schools, organizations and healthcare systems, as well as through workshops and retreats for the general public. Named by Dr. Oz as one of the nation’s leading experts on mindfulness, his meditations have now been heard more than 10 million times in over 100 countries. Cory is host of the popular daily podcast, Practicing Human, and the author of Stop Missing Your Life: How to Be Deeply Present in an Un-Present World. In this episode we discuss: Cory’s transformation from frat boy to monk Can monks be self-actualizing? The importance of not being enslaved by certain parts of you How to overcame pain through mindfulness The emotional body vs. the sensation body The process of detaching sensations from the labels we put on them Equanimity and allowing life to happen How equanimity is more about our internal experience than our external experience The “pain box” How to soften the “pain wall” Dispelling the myth of the “real you” Barriers to real connection What it means to be fully seen and accepted The importance of radical acceptance How the more parts of you that are brought in and accepted the more you feel as though the wholeness of you is accepted and seen The "scrollercoaster" meditation How we can take control of technology and take back our lives Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


2 Jan 2020

Rank #7

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Kati Morton || How to Care for Your Mental Health

Today I’m really excited to have Kati Morton on the podcast. Morton is as an entrepreneur, YouTube creator, and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist practicing in Santa Monica, CA. Morton has built a global mental health online community, and is author of the book “Are U OK?: A Guide to Caring for Your Mental Health.” In this episode we discuss: What’s the difference between mental health and mental illness? Breaking down the stigma of mental illness What should you look for when looking for a therapist? What are some warning signs of a terrible therapist? What’s the best way to deal with a toxic co-worker? What's the link between vulnerable narcissism and borderline personality disorder? How do you know if you need mental help? What are some of the most validated forms of therapy available today? How do you break up with friends that you’ve outgrown? The importance of healthy assertiveness How a very small no can equate to a very large yes How can you get more mental help when you need it? Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


27 Dec 2018

Rank #8

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Marc Brackett || Become an Emotion Scientist

“Emotion skills are the key to unlocking the potential inside each one of us. And in the process of developing those skills, we each, heart by heart, mind by mind, create a culture and society unlike anything we’ve experienced thus far— and very much like the one we might dare to imagine.”  -- Marc Brackett Today it's great to have Marc Brackett on the podcast. Dr. Brackett is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and professor in the Child Study Center, Yale School of Medicine at Yale University. His research focuses on the role of emotions and emotional intelligence in learning, decision making, creativity, relationships, health, and performance. Marc is the lead developer of RULER, an evidence-based, systemic approach to SEL that has been adopted by over 2,000 preschool to high schools across the United States and in other countries. He has published 125 scholarly articles and received numerous awards, including the Joseph E. Zins award for his research on social and emotional learning. He also is on the board of directors for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). Marc consults regularly with corporations like Facebook, Microsoft, and Google on integrating emotional intelligence principles into employee training and product design and is co-founder of Oji Life Lab, a digital emotional intelligence learning system for businesses. His research has been featured in popular media outlets such as the New York Times, USA Today, Good Morning America, and NPR. He is the author of Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help our Kids, Ourselves, and our Society Thrive, published by Celadon Books, a division of Macmillan, which has been translated into 15 languages. In this wide-ranging episode we discusSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


19 Dec 2019

Rank #9

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Suzann Pileggi Pawelski || Using Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts

Today I’m really excited to have James and Suzann Pileggi Pawelski on the podcast. James is Professor of Practice and Director of Education in the Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania where he cofounded the Master of Applied Positive Psychology Program with Martin Seligman. Suzie is a freelance writer, Psychology Today blogger, and well-being consultant specializing in the science of happiness and its effects on relationships and health. Together, James and Suzie are co-authors of the newly-released book “Happy Together: Using the Science of Positive Psychology to Build Love That Lasts”. They also give Romance and ResearchTM workshops together around the world. In this episode we discuss: What people get wrong about relationships What the "relationship gym" is How to cultivate "Aristotelian love" The specific ways positive psychology can help you be happy with a partner The role of gratitude in relationships How to sustain passion in a relationship Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


18 Jan 2018

Rank #10

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6: Dancing with the dark side of your personality

Psychologist Dr. Todd Kashdan shares some unconventional research on how we can harness “negative” psychological characteristics to live whole, successful and fulfilling lives. Topics include the dark triad, emotional experimentation, mindfulness, education, evolution and what it means to live well. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support

1hr 1min

4 Jan 2015

Rank #11

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30: Narcissism & Loving The People Who Love Themselves

The narcissists of the world will be happy to hear that they make for an extraordinarily interesting psychological discussion! On this episode we speak with an expert in the field, Dr. W. Keith Campbell, who has spent more than a decade studying narcissism and its effects on relationships. This interview is an in-depth look at the character trait as it relates to (takes a deep breath): dating, social media, reality TV, age, leadership, politics, diagnosis, grandiosity and more. We cover the different forms of narcissism, why narcissists have such a powerful affect on us, and how we can learn to spot the narcissists in our life. It’s a fun and fascinating topic – enjoy! Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


28 Nov 2015

Rank #12

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Ellen Hendriksen || How To Be Yourself

Today we have Dr. Ellen Hendriksen on the podcast. Dr. Hendriksen is a clinical psychologist who helps millions calm their anxiety and be there authentic selves through her award-winning Savvy Psychologist podcast, which has been downloaded over 5 million times, and at Boston University’s Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders. Her latest book is called “How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety.” What is your real self? What is social anxiety? What is the opposite of social anxiety? What’s the goal of therapy to treat social anxiety? How to be comfortable when you are “caught being yourself” The importance of self-compassion The difference between introversion and social anxiety Techniques to overcome social anxiety The Orchid-Dandelion Hypothesis The relationship between the highly sensitive person and openness to experience The importance of going out and living your life first, and letting your confidence catch up The importance of turning attention “inside out” How perfectionism holds us back The importance of “daring to be average” The myth of “hope in a bottle” Gender differences in the manifestation of social anxiety Thanks!! Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


7 Jun 2018

Rank #13

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33: The Highly Sensitive Person

Dr. Elaine Aron is one of the world’s foremost experts on the highly sensitive person. She ought to be – she was its first researcher! In this episode, we cover this fascinating concept as it relates to a broad swath of psychological concepts like self-esteem, gender, love, leadership, personality, genetics and more. Roughly 20% of the population can be classified as highly sensitive, so all of us likely know someone (or are someone) with this trait. Also, Scott performs a statistical analysis live on air – it’s a first and a lot of fun! Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


18 Jan 2016

Rank #14

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Alain de Botton || Love, Sex, Religion and Happiness

Modern day philosopher Alain de Botton has become world renown for his ability to provide compelling real world answers to some of life’s biggest questions. For this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we cover the philosophy and science of a range of topics, including what it means to have a “normal” relationship, the origins of the desire for religion, the pervasive lack of systematic thinking about happiness, how the illusion of perfection creates problems, existential crises and much more. We get a bit cheeky with a high brow discussion of the human condition. Fair warning that this episode does include some discussion of sex and pornography as they relate to well-being. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


8 Mar 2017

Rank #15

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Kennon Sheldon || How to Be an Optimal Human

“The happiest person is the person doing good stuff for good reasons.” — Kennon Sheldon Dr. Kennon Sheldon is a psychologist at the University of Missouri who studies motivation, goals, and well-being, from both a self-determination theory and a positive psychology perspective. He has authored or co-authored multiple books, including “Optimal human being: An integrated multi-level perspective”. Dr. Sheldon has been cited more than 30,000 times, and in 2010, he was named one of the 20 most cited social psychologists. In this wide-ranging episode we discuss: How Ken went from aspiring musician to leading research on goals Whether the pursuit of happiness is worth it Is happiness in your genes? The link between goals and happiness The what and why of motivated goal pursuit The basic needs of self-determination theory Deprivation vs. growth needs Self-concordance theory The link between values and happiness How much can we use science as a guide to values? Are there some ways of being more conducive to happiness than others? How to get in touch with your OVP (organismic valuing process) Marrying positive psychology and humanistic psychology The relationship between personal goals and personal projects How to know when to change your goals The good life: well-being or well-doing? Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support

1hr 2mins

26 Apr 2018

Rank #16

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Julia Shaw || Humanizing Evil

“I firmly believe there is no person, no group, no behavior, no thing that is objectively evil. Perhaps evil only really exists in our fears.” -- Julia Shaw Today it’s great to have Dr. Julia Shaw on the podcast. Dr. Shaw is a psychological scientist at UCL. She is best known for her work in the areas of memory and criminal psychology. In 2017 Dr. Shaw co-founded the memory science and artificial intelligence start-up Spot. Spot helps employees report workplace harassment and discrimination, and empowers organizations to build a more inclusive and respectful work environment. In 2016 she published her bestselling debut book "The Memory Illusion", which has appeared in 20 languages and in 2019 she published her second international bestseller "Evil: The Science Behind Humanity's Dark Side". Note: This episode goes down a lot of taboo alleys. The dark side of human nature  is a fascinating topic, but there may be some issues that you'd rather not hear about. Please review the list of topics before listening to this episode. In this episode we discuss: How Julia got into criminal psychology How we all do “reality crafting” The depths of human hypocrisy Why we don’t always act in accord with our own morality Julia Shaw’s criticism of the label “evil” The neuroscience of “evil” and Hitler’s brain Your brain on porn How kink is stigmatized in our society Can you be a feminist and engage in BDSM? The “deviant sexual interests” scale The prevalence of rape fantasies Pedophiles vs. ephebophiles Why “curiosity shaming” limits discussion and understanding The science of beastiality and what makes one animal sexier than another animal Why we shame vegans Rape culture and how systems fail and lead to harm What we can do to reduce sexual violence in society The bright side of your dark side How we can use the dark side to be a hero (the heroic imagination) Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support

1hr 13mins

5 Dec 2019

Rank #17

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Robert Leahy || 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? https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


12 Apr 2018

Rank #18

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Wednesday Martin || 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 Time.com. 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 Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support

1hr 15mins

14 Feb 2019

Rank #19

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36: Uncovering the Habits and Routines that Make People Live Better

James Clear studies successful people across a wide range of disciplines to uncover the habits and routines that make them the best at what they do. In this episode, we speak with James about his behavioral psychology background to uncover practical advice on how to flourish. The conversation is light and pleasant, while the content is deep and immediately useful for people looking to live better through science. Topics include habit formation, identity crafting, self-quantification and personal well-being. Enjoy and tell us what you think in the iTunes comments section! Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support


14 Feb 2016

Rank #20