Rank #1: 55: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
In this raw and uncut episode, Mark Manson imparts his wisdom on the art of not giving a fuck. According to Manson, the key to living a good life is “not giving a fuck about more; it’s giving a fuck about less, giving a fuck about only what is true and immediate and important”. In this interview, we learn about this unique art form, and all of the counterintuitive ways that giving less fucks in your life actually frees you up to get more of what you truly value. You’ll learn how the acceptance of one’s negative experience can itself be a positive experience, the benefits of suffering, the futility of searching for happiness, the ways that emotions are overrated, and how to distinguish between good values and unproductive values. You’ll also be inspired to learn that you are not as special as you think you are, and that you are wrong about everything. As if that wasn’t motivating enough, you’ll also learn to accept your mundane existence, and the inevitability of death. This was a fun, wise, and at times, rather profound, interview. Note: In the spirit of Mark’s message, this entire interview is uncensored and unedited, which means that Scott shows extreme vulnerability in a way that he hasn’t before in past episodes. Fuck it.
Sep 13 2016
Rank #2: 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.
May 11 2015
Rank #3: 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."
Jan 18 2015
Rank #4: [Rerun] The Highly Sensitive Person with Dr. Elaine Aron
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!
Oct 31 2019
Rank #5: 73: 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.
Mar 08 2017
Rank #6: 177: Liberate Your Mind
Today it’s great to have Dr. Steven Hayes on the podcast. Dr. Hayes is a professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. The author of forty-three books and more than six hundred scientific articles, he has served as president of the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and is one of the most cited psychologists in the world. Dr. Hayes initiated the development of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and of Relational Frame Theory (RFT), the approach to cognition on which ACT is based. His research has been cited widely by major media, including: Time magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Men’s Health, Self, The Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Salon.com.
In this episode we discuss:
- Steven Haye’s journey to studying the science of liberation
- The lessons you can learn from your own pain and suffering
- How you can apply psychology to human prosperity
- Some limitations of the CBT approach (“CBT gone bad”)
- How we all have a “dictator within”
- Scott and Steven roleplay an ACT session
- How to apply ACT principles to dieting
- How Steven defines values
- The definition and importance of “psychological flexibility”
- How to get out of the “anxiety trap”
- How to pivot to what you really want
- How consciousness connects us to the infinite
- The 6 things that get in the way of pivoting
- The social/environmental side of ACT
- “What does it gain us to give up on people?”
- ACT and social transformation
- What is love?
Nov 07 2019
Rank #7: 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.
Nov 16 2014
Rank #8: [Rerun] Why We Love, Lust, and Live with Helen Fisher
A leader in the psychology of human mating, and an expert on both the cultural and biological foundations of love, Helen Fisher shares science-backed information on attraction, mate selection, infidelity, the neuroscience of love and the effects of culture on our biology. There’s a wealth of interesting facts here and some surprising insight into humanity’s quest for romance. We LOVED this episode!
Oct 24 2019
Rank #9: 153: 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?
Dec 27 2018
Rank #10: 81: How to Captivate People
Vanessa Van Edwards is a self-described “recovering boring and awkward person,” whose latest book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, provides simple ways to decode people and level-up your relationships and networking abilities. It’s an especially practical episode, which features a handful of actionable strategies to be more effective in the social realm. We discuss research surrounding charisma, eye contact, hand gestures, relaxing one’s voice, and conquering social anxiety! To learn more about Vanessa, visit her website scienceofpeople.com.
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Apr 25 2017
Rank #11: 116: 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
Jan 18 2018
Rank #12: 5: Givers, takers, matchers and fakers
University of Pennsylvania Wharton School Professor and bestselling author Adam Grant presents some heartening research on how being a giver can lead to success. He and Scott chat about a plethora of topics, including the meaning of friendship, introversion, takers, and fakers, and the importance of challenging dogmatic science.
Dec 21 2014
Rank #13: 94: The Latest Science of Attachment
Today we have one of the world's most preeminent attachment scientists, Dr. R. Chris Fraley, on the podcast! Fraley is a Professor at the University of Illinois's Department of Psychology and received the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Award in 2007 for Early Career Contribution to Psychology in the area of Individual Differences. In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we take a deep dive into a few of Chris' many interesting research areas: attachment processes in close relationships, personality dynamics, and development.
Some of the questions we explore are: How are attachment styles measured? How does research on attachment styles differ between children and adults? What are the implications of individual differences in adult attachment styles? How does this relate to internal working models theory? How does all of that relate to one's own motivational account? What are the roles of nature vs. nurture in the development of attachment styles?Note to our listeners: You may have already gotten the sense that this conversation is a bit technical, mostly geared towards those who are interested in understanding the debate, and the various nuances on the table. Nevertheless, we hope you enjoy the show, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts in the discussion below!
Jul 05 2017
Rank #14: 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.
Jan 04 2015
Rank #15: 80: The Psychology of Creativity
For this episode of The Psychology Podcast, I chat with my brother from another mother, Dr. James C. Kaufman, as we take deep dive into one of humanity’s most coveted virtues - creativity. We profile creative genius, discuss different forms of creativity, and talk about the links between creativity, IQ and mental illness. This episode features some wonderful new ways to think about your creativity, including the possibility for creativity assessment to reduce racial and ethnic bias. To learn more about James, go to his website jamesckaufman.com. For a month of free access to over 8,000 awesome video lectures, check out thegreatcoursesplus.com/Psych.
Apr 20 2017
Rank #16: 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!
Feb 14 2016
Rank #17: 131: How To Be Yourself
Jun 07 2018
Rank #18: 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 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
Feb 14 2019
Rank #19: 127: 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?
Apr 26 2018
Rank #20: 165: Hope is Fucked
“Whether you think you’re better than everybody or worse than everybody, you’re still assuming that you are different than everybody.” — Mark Manson
Today it’s great to have Mark Manson on the podcast. His blog, markmanson.net, attracts more than two million readers per month. Mark is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (with over 6 million in sales in the US alone) and his latest book is called Everything is Fucked: A Book About Hope.
In this episode we discuss:
- Why we are a culture in need of hope
- The paradox of progress
- How self-control is an illusion
- How to learn to communicate to yourself effectively
- “Emo Newton’s” laws of emotion
- Mark’s definition of growth
- How to start your own religion
- The paradox of hope
- How hope can be incredibly destructive if we’re not careful
- Kant’s Formula of Humanity
- How to grow up
- Political extremism and maturity
- The difference between #fakefreedom and real freedom
- Why we are bad algorithms and why we shouldn’t fear artificial intelligence so much
- What Mark dares to hope for
May 16 2019