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YANSS 233 – A.J. Jacobs explains why the most important rule for solving puzzles also applies to every other problem we face in life: never fall in love with your hypotheses

Did you know there’s a puzzle so difficult the CIA hasn’t been able to solve it, even after decades at hard work? Did you know there’s a puzzle that has a solution, but since it would take longer than the projected lifetime of the universe to solve it, it technically can’t be solved? Did you know medieval monks wrote lascivious riddles whose solutions...

YANSS 231 – Adam Grant’s advice for becoming better at thinking about your own thinking so you can harness the power of knowing what you don’t know

How to manage procrastination according to Margaret Atwood, how to work around your first-instinct fallacy, the upsides of imposter syndrome, the best way to avoid falling prey to the Dunning-Kruger effect, how to avoid thinking like a preacher, prosecutor, or politician so you can think like a scientist instead – and that’s just the beginning of the...

YANSS 231 – Why we often can’t choose what we believe thanks to the fact that certainty is a feeling and 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 230 – Britt Frank’s advice for escaping life loops, dealing with trauma, and building the psychological momentum required to get yourself unstuck

Feeling stuck? Can’t build momentum to escape all the loops keeping you from moving forward? Our guest in this episode is professor, author, therapist, and speaker Britt Frank, a trauma specialist who treats people with a unique and powerful set of techniques and approaches which, taken together, helps clients to get out of the feeling of being stuck....

YANSS 229 – Jacob Goldstein explores how solving a nested recursion of increasingly specific problems drives progress

In this episode, Jacob Goldstein, the longtime host of NPR’s Planet Money, talks about his new podcast, a show all about technology and business called What’s Your Problem? Goldstein spent more than a decade reporting stories that make economic journalism approachable. He’s also the author of the book Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing,...

YANSS 228 – Dan Pink on how to harness the power of regret and why the motto of “no regrets” is unsupported by psychology, neuroscience, and when you get down to it, history

Our guest in this episode is Daniel Pink, the five-time NYT Bestselling author of When and To Sell is Human and Drive and A Whole New Mind – and the host of a podcast called The Pinkcast – and he joins us to discuss his latest book, The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward, an exploration of the benefits of regret and how to harness...

YANSS 227 – How games can teach us how to see the future coming so we can feel ready for anything

Jane McGonigal’s new book, Imaginable, details how she creates alternate reality games in which people take part in virtual worlds, and, in so doing, gain a sensitively to the cues (and a familiarity with the conditions) that could lead to certain outcomes, making it possible to both prevent those outcomes and create the futures they’d rather live in...

YANSS 226 – The psychology behind the world’s greatest cons, from hacking Press Your Luck to stage hypnosis to Operation Mincemeat

In this episode, we sit down with famed stage magician, infamous instructor of the school of scams, Brian Brushwood, whose new podcast explores the world’s greatest con artists and con jobs from World War II to modern game shows.  Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Patreon – Soundcloud – Omny – Spotify Brian Brushwood...

YANSS 225 – How a better understanding of neuromarketing can make you a smarter consumer

In this episode, neuromarketing experts Prince Ghuman and Matt Johnson discuss the many strange examples from their book, Blindsight, in an effort to make us all smarter consumers, empowered to make better decisions after touring a showcase of all the less-obvious ways marketing, advertising, venues, restaurants, shopping malls, casinos, social media...

YANSS 223- If machines can learn how to argue with, debate, and persuade human beings, what does that say about the nature of opinion and belief?

This episode, featuring Andy Luttrell of the Opinion Science Podcast, is all about a machine, built by IBM, that can debate human beings on any issue. This machine raises a strange question. Is persuasion with language, using arguments (and the ability to alter another person’s attitudes, beliefs, values, opinions, and behavior) a uniquely human phenomenon,...

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