The Psychology Podcast

The Psychology Podcast

Australia

Welcome to The Psychology Podcast with Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, where we give you insights into the mind, brain, behavior and creativity. Each episode we’ll feature a guest who will stimulate your mind, and give you a greater understanding of your self, others, and the world we live in. Hopefully, we’ll also provide a glimpse into human possibility! Thanks for listening and enjoy the podcast.

Episodes

100: Why Buddhism is True  

This week we're excited to have Robert Wright on The Psychology Podcast. Robert is the New York Times best-selling author of Nonzero, The Moral Animal, The Evolution of God, and most recently Why Buddhism is True. He has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, Time, Slate, and The New Republic, and has taught at The University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, where he also created the online course Buddhism and Modern Psychology. Robert draws on his wide-ranging knowledge of science, religion, psychology, history and politics to figure out what makes humanity tick.

In this episode we cover:

How "taking the red pill" from The Matrix can be likened to the practice of mediation, How and why "our brains evolved to delude us", If and how Buddhism gets you more in touch with "reality", including the bottom-up processes of cognition, Whether or not one can take parts of the practice too far, How Buddhism can be beneficial for seeing beauty where you didn't before, Why our default state of consciousness isn’t necessarily good, How this book might infer that evolutionary psychology is not a complete explanation for many human tendencies, Why many feelings are illusions and how we know when they are, Why it's true that "the more we engage a 'module' the more power it has", Robert's interpretation of what the Buddha really meant by the "non-self", and how this does or does not conflict with one's sense of identity.

In our conversation, Robert offers Buddhism as a solution for finding and sustaining happiness, exploring the interplay between Buddhist practices and evolutionary psychology in an unprecedented way. You may also find this episode interesting if you're curious about whether it's possible to see the world "accurately" or whether that's even best for one's well being. Enjoy!

Note to Psychology Podcast listeners: This happens to be the 100th episode of The Psychology Podcast. Thank you for your support! It's been a fun journey so far, and we're looking forward to the next 100 episodes!

99: Growing Grit in Teens  

Dr. Caren Baruch-Feldman is a clinical psychologist, certified school psychologist, and author of The Grit Guide for Teens. She’s also authored numerous articles and workshops on topics such as cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, helping children and adults cope with stress and worry, helping people change, and developing grit and self-control. In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, Caren and I talk about how her work on grit was a natural outgrowth of her clinical practice, and how this led to writing a book specifically for teens. We also cover what she adds to Angela Duckworth’s definition of grit, and her thoughts on some of the controversies surrounding grit, such as the grit vs. conscientiousness debate and the circumstantial factors that affect grit that may be out of one’s control. We also discuss why parenting is different today and the importance of social support in cultivating grit. Lastly Caren sheds some light on things we can pay attention to in order to increase success in achieving our goals, such as the concept of the “two minds” she talks about in her book—the short-term and long-term minds—, effective vs. ineffective goals, why grit for the sake of grittiness isn’t the goal, and why it’s important to connect grit to our values.

Links

The Grit Guide For Teens is out now

All papers mentioned can be found here

http://drbaruchfeldman.com/blog/

https://twitter.com/carenfeldman

98: Real Love  

Sharon Salzberg is a NYT best-selling author and teacher of Buddhist meditation practices in the West. She also cofounded the Insight Meditation Society and is the author of 9 books, the most recent being Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection.

In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we get to learn about why Sharon has devoted her life to these ideas, how meditation has impacted her consciousness, what characterizes "real love", what differences exist between the modern-scientific notions of attachment and Buddhist notions of nonattachment, what Loving Kindness practice is, how you can love someone even if you don't like them (and why you should), how to extend compassion to people who are already self-satisfied, why an important component of self-love is accountability, empathy burnout, how stories play a role in love, why love isn't a state, why excitement vs. familiarity in romantic relationships is perhaps a false paradox, and how mindfulness can help you reframe even the most emotionally difficult situations.

Sharon also takes us through her RAIN model for mindfulness:

R -recognize

A - acknowledge

I - investigate

N - nonidentification

Enjoy!

Links:

Buy Sharon's new book Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection

Follow Sharon on Twitter

Find Sharon's meditations on:

The Insight Timer meditation app (iOS and Android) 

[Book] Eric Fromm's Art of Loving (mentioned)

97: Aging Meaningfully  

I’m really excited to have Christina Pierpaoli on the podcast. Christina is a graduate student in the Geropsychological doctoral program at the University of Alabama. Her research explores associations between chronic illness and psychological health in older adults, and she is by all accounts a rising star in the field of psychology.

For our listeners who may not be familiar with the literature, Geropsychology is the psychology of aging. As Christina puts it, this particular field of psychology can be described as “underrated, poorly understood, embryonic, and riddled with all sorts of stigma”. The world and the United States are aging precipitously, with the estimate that by 2030 1 in 5 Americans will be considered an older adult, but few people are talking about it.

In our conversation, Christina offers that “people are uncomfortable with talking about aging because talking about aging invites a conversation of mortality and finiteness” and speaks to the research showing that “the earlier and more often you think about your own mortality, the more gracefully you will live your life.”

Other things we talk about are the differences in language used to describe getting older when we are young vs. when we are older, unique issues older adults face that younger adults don’t, the idea of subjective age vs. chronological age vs. biological age, the role feeling useful plays in  life satisfaction as we age, the idea of loneliness as “the silent killer”, why Christina is so interested in older people, and why she writes a blog about this topic.

Christina brings a unique combination of young and old spirit to the field, a refreshing take on academia and how to get the ideas she finds important into the minds of the people who’d find them useful. No matter your age, you’re sure to get something out of this podcast. Enjoy!

Related Links

Christina’s blog for Psychology Today

Christina’s twitter @youngoldsoul 

96: Awakening Compassion in the Workplace  

Today I'm really excited to have Monica Worline and Jane Dutton on the podcast, co-authors of the new book Awakening Compassion at Work: the Quiet Power That Elevates People and Organizations.

Monica Worline, Ph.D., is founder and CEO of EnlivenWork. She is also a research scientist at Stanford University Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and executive director of Compassion Lab. Jane Dutton, Ph.D., is the Robert L Kahn distinguished University professor of business administration and psychology and cofounder of the Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. She's also a founding member of Compassion Lab.

A central thread in their work is that business has become dehumanized and impersonal. "One of the things that we're seeing as technology takes over more of our work spaces is there's an expectation that people are always available and always on, but that is driving out some of the human connection of work. " Increased busyness, workplace pressures and the distractions of technology increase our attentional load and handicap us from being able to notice the need for acts of compassion. The two define compassion in a way that is distinct from most psychologists.

That is, their definition is a 4-step process:

Noticing Interpreting (Making sense of human suffering) Feeling Acting (Responding to human suffering)

In our conversation we unpack what each of these stages entails as well as addressing male vs. female values in the workplace, the role of the "toxin handler" in the ecosystem, why goal-oriented people should consider working on the culture of compassion at work, how to tackle the short term vs. long term horizon challenges of business when building compassionate cultures, and how organizations have become obstacles to compassion at work.

We can only alleviate what we pay attention to.  The demanding culture of work organizations can drive out our capacity to notice the human state of other people. Through their book and speaking, Dutton and Worline hope to empower change agents in a host of settings.

We hope that you leave this episode with a newfound sense of the importance of compassion and with multiple languages to convince others in your organizations to enforce and devote resources to it. Jane and Monica also bring a variety of examples that really crystallize these ideas. It was an honor to speak with these two, and we hope you enjoy the podcast!

Related Links

Awakening Compassion at Work

Paper on the 8 different characteristics often referred to as "empathy" (mentioned)

[Resource] Work of Paul Gilbert on the compassionate mind (fear of compassion scale) (mentioned)

[Book] Toxic Emotions at Work Peter Frost (mentioned)

95: Strengths-Based Parenting  

Professor Lea Waters, PhD is an Australian academic, researcher, psychologist, author and speaker contributing to the field of Positive Psychology. Most people see improvements as eliminating what's wrong with us, but Lea's work in Positive Psychology expands what we mean by improvement and growth. Her latest book, The Strength Switch, offers parents resources to better build the strengths of young people.

In our conversation, we talk about how Lea has used her strengths in research and storytelling to help parents recognize what biases might be influencing how they parent, and offer techniques for making the switch to a strengths-based approach.

We also dive deeper into the benefits of a strengths-approach by exploring such questions as:

How do we identify our child's strengths? How can we tell when a strength is underused? How can we condition ourselves to stop focusing on weaknesses? What is the difference between strengths of talent and strengths of character, and how can each be used in a strengths-based approach to parenting? What is the importance of communication?

This episode is for the parents that listen to the podcast. We hope that this is a thought provoking episode, and that you walk away with both the desire to shift your attention towards building your child's strengths and the desire to use the tools to get there.

There’s a ton of strategies here and we had a lot of fun recording the episode.

Relevant Links:

More info on the book, to register for Lea's forthcoming Strength-Based Parenting Online course, and for other free resources.

[Free Resource] Glossary of Strengths

[Free resource] Strength-Based Quiz

Lea's website

Lea's twitter

Link to episode on communication with Alan Alda (mentioned)

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!
93: Getting Grit  

On today's episode of The Psychology Podcast, we speak with Caroline Adams Miller about how to to get more grit. Caroline is a certified professional coach, author, media personality, and keynote speaker & educator. In this episode, we discuss what it means to be a positive psychology coach, why she became interested in grit, why millennials may not be as gritty as previous generations, Caroline's definition of "authentic grit", the difference between "selfie" grit and authentic grit, when grit is "good" vs. when it could be harmful, current controversies surrounding grit, when to grit and when to quit, and some practical takeaways to increase your own grit. Wow, we might have just broken a record for the number of times we used the word "grit" in a single paragraph! :) Enjoy, and please contribute to the discussion below.

Relevant Links:

Webite - http://www.carolinemiller.com/

Getting Grit - https://www.amazon.com/Getting-Grit-Evidence-Based-Cultivating-Perseverance/dp/1622039203/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492520702&sr=8-1&keywords=getting+grit

Authenticity and Grit, Scientific American

Mindset (Fixed & Growth Mindset) Carol Dweck (mentioned) - https://www.amazon.com/Mindset-Psychology-Carol-S-Dweck-ebook/dp/B000FCKPHG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498310504&sr=8-1&keywords=carol+dweck

Jordan Peterson’s Maps of Meaning (mentioned) - https://www.amazon.com/Maps-Meaning-Architecture-Jordan-Peterson/dp/0415922224/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498310572&sr=8-1&keywords=maps+of+meaning

Grit Angela Duckworth - https://www.amazon.com/Grit-Passion-Perseverance-Angela-Duckworth-ebook/dp/B010MH9V3W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1498310605&sr=8-1&keywords=grit

92: How to Kick Ass  
“If you just laugh at yourself, there is nothing to be scared of anymore.”

Today we have executive, activist, and entrepreneur Sarah Robb O’Hagan on the podcast. O'Hagan is CEO of the fast growing indoor cycling company Flywheel Sports, where she is currently leading the transformation of the business through digital content and services. Prior to this role, Sarah was global president of Gatorade and Equinox, where she reinvented the offering through a significant technology transformation. In this episode, we discuss what it takes to become your extreme you. You will learn how to embrace failure, seize opportunities, and remain confident while igniting your magic drive, staying stubbornly humble, and changing the game! BONUS: Take the Extremer Quiz here.

91: Become 10% Happier with Dan Harris + BONUS Meditation  

Today we have ABC News Anchor Dan Harris on the podcast. Harris is perhaps the most unlikely meditation evangelist, ever. After a panic attack on Good Morning America, he wrote the New York Times bestselling memoir “10% Happier” about what led him to embrace a practice he’d long considered ridiculous. He then started the 10% Happier: Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics app with a handful of bona fide meditation teachers, including Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg, as well as the 10% Happier podcast. On today's episode of The Psychology Podcast, we discuss Dan's personal experience with self-help gurus Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra, as well as Western Buddhist psychotherapists, such as Dr. Mark Epstein. As a bonus, there is a 3 minute mindfulness meditation led by Dan himself. Enjoy, and please leave feedback below!

Relevant Links:

10% Happier: Mediation For Fidgety Skeptics App 10percenthappier.com 10% Happier book 10% Happier Podcast Dan's social accounts: Twitter: https://twitter.com/danbharris Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/danharris/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DanHarrisABC/
90: Get Out Of Your Mind and Live a Vital Life with Steven Hayes  

It is an honor to have Dr. Steven Hayes, the father of "Acceptance and Commitment Therapy" (ACT), on the podcast this week. In this wide ranging episode, we learn about the "third wave" of cognitive behavioral therapies, and how to have greater psychological flexibility-- the ability to contact the present moment more fully as a conscious human being, and to change or persist in behavior when doing so serves valued ends. We will learn the 6 core ACT processes, and how they can help you stop fighting the battles within your own head and live a more vital life. The message from today's podcast is that you can choose to live a vital life. This episode will teach you how! Enjoy, and please join in the discussion below.

89: Alan Alda on the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating  

Today we have Alan Alda on the podcast. Alan has earned international recognition as an actor, writer, and director. He has won seven Emmy Awards, has received three Tony nominations, and is an inductee of the Television Hall of Fame. Many people know of his groundbreaking role as Hawkeye Pierce on the classic television series M*A*S*H, but what many people may not realize is that Alda is also ravenously curious about science, and is a wonderful science communicator! In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we discuss how Alda got into science communication, why people are dying because of bad communication, the importance of empathy, theory of mind, and eye contact, the importance of spontaneous communication, the dark side of empathy, and how to improve communication in the bedroom. Enjoy, and please join in the discussion below!

Check out Alan Alda’s new book: If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

88: Eric Turkheimer on Intelligence, Genes, Race, and Poverty  

In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, Dr. Eric Turkheimer and I take a deep dive into some of the most complex and controversial topics in all of psychology. What is intelligence? How is intelligence measured? Is intelligence meaningful? Is IQ modifiable? Is IQ heritable? What does heritability really mean? Is heritability of IQ the same across social classes? Are there race differences in IQ? If so, what are the potential causes of race differences in IQ? Why does any of this matter? Note to our listeners: This is a very technical discussion, mostly geared towards those who are interested in understanding the debate, and the various nuances on the table. For those who would like to join in the discussion, you can do so below. Enjoy!

87: Upgrade Your Consciousness with Daniel Schmachtenberger  

Today’s guest on The Psychology Podcast is the polymath Daniel Schmachtenberger, a social engineer, evolutionary philosopher, and strategist. This episode discusses a wide range of consciousness-raising issues, including the biology of dysfunction, the philosophy and scientific implications of creating systemic cultural and personal changes, the difference between nootropics and smart drugs, the future of cognitive assessments and the quantified self, the future of customized medical and wellness protocols, aspects of human nature that impede compassion and kindness, how changing the genome will change our entire conception of human nature, what we can do to predispose humans toward perspective taking, emotional resilience, and greater empathy, and how to make a scientifically commensurate ethics and existentialism. As you can see, this episode covers quite the gamut. Enjoy, and please leave comments below!

86: Functional and Integrative Medicine  

On today’s episode of The Psychology Podcast, friend of the show Dr. Heather Moday shares her unique medical expertise to help us live healthier, happier and more productive lives. Dr. Moday is a board-certified physician who is passionate about changing the way medicine is practiced in this country. In this episode, Dr. Moday suggests some tips for optimizing gut health to improve mood and cognition, discusses the importance of sleep and how to achieve a better nights rest, and offers a practical model for people looking to detoxify their systems. Dr. Moday also shares her personal vision to change the way medicine is practiced in this country. It’s an especially practical episode, featuring advice from a functional and integrative medicine pioneer on how to live a better life. Enjoy the show!

For more information on Dr. Moday, visit her website at modaycenter.com.

85: How to Be Awesome at Life  
Eric Barker is the author of the widely popular blog, "Barking Up The Wrong Tree", and he has a new book out with the same title. Barker is known for his science-informed articles on how to be awesome at life. For today’s episode, we focus on a range of topics relating to being awesome in life, including when to grit and when to quit, whether nice guys really finish last, the perils of self-esteem, how it's who you know instead of what you know that really matters, and how people can achieve success while striking a work-life balance. It's a fun and playful episode that contains a high-level discussion of many of the most researched constructs in psychology today, such as introversion/extroversion, giving/taking, deliberate practice/grit, and much more!   To learn more about Eric, check out his blog at bakadesuyo.com

For a month of free access to over 8,000 awesome video lectures, check out thegreatcoursesplus.com/Psych.

84: Increase Your Emotional Agility  

Susan David is one of the world’s leading experts on emotional agility, an important psychological skill that can help us live a fuller life. In this episode, I speak with Dr. David about how to cultivate emotional agility, the paradox of happiness, job crafting, authenticity, and living a life aligned with one’s personal values. I’m especially pleased to present this episode to listeners; it contains pragmatic information to help people get unstuck, embrace change, and thrive!

For more information about Susan David, visit her website susandavid.com.

For a month of free access to over 8,000 awesome video lectures, check out thegreatcoursesplus.com/Psych.

83: Thriving in College (And In Life)  

Friend of the show Dan Lerner stops by to share the latest research on how to thrive in college (and in life). Our conversation covers a wide array of topics related to well-being in the college population, including some of the pitfalls of perfectionism, how to determine your passion and keep it healthy, using character strengths to excel, and how to avoid unproductive social pressures. We also hear about Dan’s experiences working with renown musicians and how achieving great success needn’t come at the cost of your own personal happiness. It’s a fun and enthusiastic episode. We hope you enjoy! Learn more about Dan Lerner at positiveex.com

Sign up with our sponsors at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/psych to receive a FREE MONTH access to over 8,000 lectures from award winning experts!

82: The Neuroscience of Leadership  

On today’s episode of The Psychology Podcast, we speak with a neuroscientist who specializes in optimizing workplaces for greater productivity and well-being. Our conversation covers a vast array of useful topics, such as habit formation, public speaking, emotional regulation and proper decision making. We talk about how some of these activities show up in brain scans and discuss how individual’s neurochemistry affects their roles at work. There’s a ton of strategies here and we had a lot of fun recording the episode. Learn more about Friederike’s latest book by visiting theleadingbrain.com.

For some really cool socks, go to Bombas.com/tpp and get 20% off your first order!
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.

Check out the #1 one recipe and fresh ingredient delivery service Blue Apron – get your first three meals free, with free shipping by signing up through blueapron.com/tpp

0:00/0:00
Video player is in betaClose