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Should We Just Ignore Our Weaknesses? (NSQ Ep. 61)

Also: why do we like what we like? *      *      * Relevant Research & References Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode: SOURCES Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Chris Peterson (deceased), professor of psychology and organizational studies at the University...

Sendhil Mullainathan Thinks Messing Around is the Best Use of Your Time (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 37)

He’s a professor of computation and behavioral science at the University of Chicago, MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, and author. Steve and Sendhil laugh their way through a conversation about the importance of play, the benefits of change, and why we remember so little about the books we’ve read — and how Sendhil’s new app solves this problem. Listen...

Introducing “This Won’t Hurt a Bit”

How can a marathon be dangerous even if you don’t run the race? Does your doctor follow medical advice any better than you do? Just how dangerous was it to go to a birthday party at the height of the pandemic? These are the kinds of questions that intrigue Dr. Bapu Jena, a rare double threat — he’s both an M.D. and a Ph.D. economist at Harvard. Each...

The Pros and Cons of America’s (Extreme) Individualism (Ep. 470)

According to a decades-long research project, the U.S. is not only the most individualistic country on earth; we’re also high on indulgence, short-term thinking, and masculinity (but low on “uncertainty avoidance,” if that makes you feel better). We look at how these traits affect our daily lives and why we couldn’t change them even if we wanted to....

Why Do We Complain? (NSQ Ep. 60)

Also: what do you really mean when you say you “don’t have time”? *      *      * Relevant Research & References Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode: SOURCES Robin Kowalski, professor of psychology at Clemson University. Stanley Kowalski (fictional), Stella DuBois’s husband in the Pulitzer...

How Rahm Emanuel Would Run the World (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 36)

In this interview, first heard on Freakonomics Radio last year, Steve talks with the former top adviser to presidents Clinton and Obama, about his record — and his reputation. And Rahm explains that while he believes in the power of the federal government, as former mayor of Chicago, he says that cities are where problems really get solved. Listen...

The U.S. Is Just Different — So Let’s Stop Pretending We’re Not (Ep. 469)

We often look to other countries for smart policies on education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc. But can a smart policy be simply transplanted into a country as culturally unusual (and as supremely WEIRD) as America? Listen and subscribe to our podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or elsewhere. Below is a transcript of the episode, edited...

Do Dreams Actually Mean Anything? (NSQ Ep. 59)

Also: why is music so memorable? *      *      * Relevant Research & References Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode: SOURCES Sigmund Freud (deceased), psychologist and father of psychoanalysis. Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. Matthew Walker, professor...

David Epstein Knows Something About Almost Everything (People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 35)

He’s been an Arctic scientist, a sports journalist, and is now a best-selling author of science books. His latest, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, makes the argument that early specialization does not give you a head start in life. David and Steve talk about why frustration is a good sign, and why the 10,000-hour rule is definitely...

Nap Time for Everyone! (Ep. 468)

The benefits of sleep are by now well established, and yet many people don’t get enough. A new study suggests we should channel our inner toddler and get 30 minutes of shut-eye in the afternoon. But are we ready for a napping revolution? Listen and follow Freakonomics Radio at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. Below...

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