Rank #1: 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.
Rank #2: 1: The Science of Growing Smarter
Science writer Annie Murphy Paul's fresh perspectives on intelligence and personality prompt a heart-to-heart about learning, intelligence assessments, growth mindsets and rethinking intelligence
Rank #3: 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.
Rank #4: 175: How Good Are We, Really?
Today it’s great to have Christian Miller on the podcast. Dr. Miller is A.C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University and Director of the Character Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton World Charity Foundation. He is the author of over 75 papers as well as the author of MoralCharacter: An Empirical Theory, Character and Moral Psychology, and most recently, The Character Gap: How Good Are We?
In this episode we discuss:
- The main aims of the Character Project
- Christian’s attempt to integrate positive psychology research with philosophy
- Replication of the famous Milgram experiment
- Fairness norms among infants
- Can we draw boundaries around the notion of “moral character”?
- What factors predict whether people help?
- How we’re a mixed bag between the poles of compassion and callousness
- What Christian’s research has discovered about people’s tendency toward helping, hurting, lying and cheating
- Can we make humans better?
- How SBK and Aristotle are on the same page
Rank #5: 174: Implicit Bias and Open Science
Today with have Brian Nosek on the podcast. Nosek is co-Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Open Science (http://cos.io/) that operates the Open Science Framework (http://osf.io/). The Center for Open Science is enabling open and reproducible research practices worldwide. Brian is also a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 2002. He co-founded Project Implicit (http://projectimplicit.net/), a multi-university collaboration for research and education investigating implicit cognition–thoughts and feelings that occur outside of awareness or control. Brian investigates the gap between values and practices, such as when behavior is influenced by factors other than one’s intentions and goals. Research applications of this interest include implicit bias, decision-making, attitudes, ideology, morality, innovation, and barriers to change. Nosek applies this interest to improve the alignment between personal and organizational values and practices. In 2015, he was named one of Nature’s 10 and to the Chronicle for Higher Education Influence list.
In this episode we discuss:
- The genesis of Project Implicit
- The current state of the field of implicit bias
- Overuses of the Implicit Association Test (IAT)
- The common desire people have for simple solutions
- The potential for misuse of the IAT for real-world selection
- How hard it is to study human behavior
- What the IAT is really capturing
- How the degree to which the IAT is trait or state-like varies by the topic you are investigating
- Cultural influences on the IAT
- Brian’s criticism of implicit bias training
- The latest state of the science on implicit bias
- How our ideologies creep in even when we are trying to be unbiased
- The difference between implicit attitudes and conscious attitudes
- What would an equality of implicit associations look like?
- Why bias is not necessarily bad
- The genesis of The Reproducibility Project
- What are some classic psychological studies that haven’t replicated?
- The importance of having compassion for the scientist
- The importance of having the intellectual humility of uncertainty
- The importance of cultivating the desire to get it right (instead of the desire to be right)
- What is open science?
- What is #BroScience?
- How hostility on social media can cause us to lose the view of the majority
- The importance of balancing getting it right with being kind to others
Rank #6: 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.
Rank #7: 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."
Rank #8: 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!
Rank #9: 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
Rank #10: 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).
Rank #11: 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?
Rank #12: 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!
Rank #13: 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?
Rank #14: 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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Rank #15: 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!
Rank #16: 104: High Performance Habits
"What are the deliberate habits I can do consciously and consistently to keep getting better?" -- Brendon Burchard
This week I'm delighted to welcome Brendon Burchard to The Psychology Podcast! After suffering depression and surviving a car accident at the age of 19, Brendon faced what he felt were life’s last questions: “Did I live fully? Did I love openly? Did I make a difference?” His intention to be happy with the answers led to his own personal breakthroughs, and ultimately to his life’s purpose of helping others live, to love, and to matter. He spent his 20s researching psychology and leadership, and consulting at Accenture. By age 32, he went out on his own and became a #1 best-selling author, an in-demand high performance coach, a sought-after speaker, and an early pioneer in the online education space.
A #1 New York Times, #1 Wall Street Journal, #1 Amazon and #1 USA Today best-selling author, Brendon’s books include The Motivation Manifesto, The Charge, The Millionaire Messenger and Life’s Golden Ticket. His latest book is High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way.
In this episode we have an enthusiastic and empirically-informed conversation about:
- How Brendon's past lead him to become the personal growth expert and multi-media pioneer he is today
- How thinking about life in terms of these 3 types can help you identify when it's time to take action or level up:
- Caged life
- Comfortable life
- Charged life
- How these 6 high performance habits can help you achieve long-term success and vibrant well-being:
- Seek clarity
- Generate energy
- Raise necessity
- Increase productivity
- Develop influence
- Demonstrate courage
- How these 4 key characteristics set successful creatives apart:
- Social Duty
- How Brendon thinks about backing his illuminating frameworks with research
We cover several useful frameworks in this episode, so be sure to enjoy it with a pen in hand. If you're like us, you'll want to take a lot of notes!
[Book] How Good People Make Tough Choices by Rushworth M. Kidder (Brendon recommends complementing the reading of his book with this book)
Rank #17: 156: The Alter Ego Effect
Today we have Todd Herman on the podcast. Herman is a performance advisor to Olympians, pros, and business leaders, and he creates proven systems to help teams & achievers win with less stress. Herman’s latest book is “The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life.”
- How alter egos are part of the human psyche
- The difference between childish and childlike
- Why having an alter ego is about being the best version of yourself
- Multiple self theory and the importance of context
- The Core Self vs. The Trapped Self vs. The Heroic Self
- How to go from an ordinary world to an extraordinary world
- How to activate the person you truly want to become
- How to get into the “wow” mindset
- Todd’s traumatic backstory and how it has led to his superpower
- The hidden forces of the enemy
- How the creative imagination is like the backdoor to performance
Rank #18: 131: How To Be Yourself
Rank #19: 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.
Rank #20: 75: Identity, the Self, and the Meaning of Life
Dr. Roy Baumeister is widely considered to be one of the most influential and cited psychologists of our time. He's also a wonderful conversationalist, full of interesting research to share with our listeners! In this first half of our two part series with Roy, we learn about how he came to study the diverse array of fascinating topics that have characterized his career. We discuss how people determine their identity, the effects of self-esteem on behavior, and how people find a sense of meaning in life. There's a palpable sense of excitement in this episode as these two experts really "nerd out" about some of the biggest questions of the human condition. We hope you enjoy the episode as much as we enjoyed recording it! To learn more about Dr. Roy Baumeister, visit roybaumeister.com