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YANSS 211 – How the psychology that leads people into QAnon can help us understand not only what leads people into a conspiracy community, but which community and why

Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Soundcloud – Omny – Spotify When we talk about conspiracy theories we tend to focus on what people believe instead of why, and, more importantly, why they believe those things and not other things. In this episode, we sit down with two psychologists working to change that, and in addition, change the term...

YANSS 210 – How a psychologist convinced 70 percent of subjects they were guilty of a crime they didn’t commit, and other stories about the fallibility of memory

Our guest on this episode is Dr. Julia Shaw, the author of The Memory Illusion. Julia is famous among psychologists because she was able to implant false memories into a group of subjects and convince 70 percent of them that they were guilty of a crime they did not commit, and she did so by using the sort of sloppy interrogation techniques that some...

YANSS 209 – Why the reason some people refuse to wear masks during a pandemic has little to do with the masks themselves

In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, we sit down with four experts on human behavior to try and understand how wearing masks, during the COVID-19 pandemic, became politicized. In the show, we take a take a deep dive into tribal psychology, which, in essence, says that humans are motivated reasoners who alter their thinking, feeling,...

YANSS 208 – How to escape brainbound thinking and take advantage of your extended mind

In this episode we sit down with Annie Murphy Paul, the acclaimed science writer, whose new book, The Extended Mind is all about how the brain is part of systems, and it is those systems that constitute the mind. In other words, our minds are not, as she puts it, brainbound, but they extend to our computers, our notebooks, our friends and neighbors...

YANSS 207 – How a slight change of plans often leads to a major change of mind

Maya Shankar and her team recently reached out, noting that their new show, A Slight Change of Plans, which explores how various, fascinating people have changed their minds, often after something unexpected, shared the same interests and goals as You Are Not So Smart. A Slight Change of Plans is hosted by Maya Shankar, a cognitive scientist...

YANSS 206 – How new research reveals narcissism isn’t excessive self-love but excessive self-loathing

In this episode we explore what narcissism is and what is most-definitely is not. According to new research, there is a form of narcissism which has been, up until now, confused with psychopathy. But a new paper, the result of years of experiments, suggests narcissists are not psychopaths, and psychopaths are not narcissists.In the psychological...

YANSS 205 – What we can learn about dialogue, persuasion, and change from those who have turned away from extremism

In this episode we sit down with Megan Phelps-Roper, the author of Unfollow, a memoir of her time in Westboro Baptist Church, and an exploration what it took to convince her to leave. I interviewed Megan for my upcoming book, How Minds Change, and in this interview you will learn all about assimilation and accommodation, cult deprogrammers, and the...

YANSS 204 – Why belief is not a conscious choice and certainty is feeling, not a conclusion

In this episode, we sit down with neurologist Robert Burton, author of On Being Certain, a book that fundamentally changed the way I think about what a belief actually is. That’s because the book posits that conclusions are not conscious choices and certainty is not even a thought process. Certainty and similar states of “knowing,” as he puts it, are...

YANSS 203 – How to build a sailboat of self-actualization to explore the sea of human potential

In this episode, we sit down with Scott Barry Kaufman, one of the most-influential and prolific psychologists working today, to discuss his new book, Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization. Business Insider magazine named Kaufman one of the “50 groundbreaking scientists who are changing the way we see the world,” and you would likely...

YANSS 202 – What wins when future desires and past beliefs refuse to agree?

Confirmation bias is our tendency to seek evidence that supports our beliefs and that confirms our assumptions — when we could just as well seek disconfirmation of those beliefs and assumptions instead. It feels like we are doing the hard work — doing the research required to build good beliefs — but since we can so easily find that confirmation, when...

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