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

Alain de Botton on 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.

Mindfulness and Self-Authorship w/ Cory Muscara  

Mindfulness has become a hot topic recently, gracing the covers of magazines like Time and Scientific American. Yet despite its rising popularity, many people remain confused about what exactly mindfulness is or how to start their own practice! On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, mindfulness expert Cory Mascara speaks with our executive producer Taylor Kreiss, sharing science-backed advice and best practices for how to become more mindful. It's a fun and practical episode for anyone looking to dive into mindfulness meditation!

Your Brain on Enlightenment with Dr. Andrew Newberg  

Dr. Andrew Newberg is widely regarded as a leading authority in the neuroscientific study of religious, spiritual and mystical experiences. For this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we engage in philosophically scientific meditations on the sublime and the sacred. Topics include: The 5 major components of an enlightenment experience, what occurs in the brain during a transcendent mental state, the role of psychedelics in connecting with reality, some perplexing findings about “higher consciousness” and it’s correlates in the brain, how to increase your chances of reaching enlightenment… and much more! This is a fun and interesting conversation about some of humanity’s most mysterious and enigmatic subjective experiences. Enjoy the show!

On Ecstasis and Extraordinary States of Consciousness with Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal  
Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal, authors of the new book Stealing Fire, come on the show to discuss the life changing power of ecstatic altered states of mind. The authors have worked with extreme sports athletes, Silicon Valley innovators, and maverick scientists to understand how high performing people are using peak experiences (such as flow) to unlock human potential. We talk about the “altered states economy” and how people spend trillions of dollars a year seeking altered states of consciousness, the transformative experiences we get from festivals like Coachella, what we see in the brain when individuals are using substances like LSD, and the “Hyperspace Lexicon.” It’s a high-level discussion of extraordinary states of consciousness, made fun and interesting by three experts in the field. Enjoy!  

EASTER EGG: Listen to the very end of the podcast, after the music and outro, to hear a special interview between Steve and Jamie, which occurred while Scott was away!

Boost Your Focus, Drive, and Micro-Resilience with Bonnie St. John  

Bonnie St. John is a celebrated author, Olympian, leadership consultant, and Rhodes scholar who has overcome some tremendous odds to become “one of the five most inspiring women in America.” Needless to say, she’s a fascinating individual with some wonderful stories and advice to convey to listeners. On today’s episode we focus on her latest book, which is full of science backed/immediately effective strategies to help you bring your ‘A game’ no matter what life throws at you. We discuss “micro-resilience” tactics like cultivating optimism, optimizing your metabolism, and using holiday spices and breathing exercises to neutralize stress. Enjoy the show!

Dr. Dan Siegel on the Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human  

What a pleasure it was to interview Dr. Dan Siegel, who has a wonderful ability to make complicated scientific concepts understandable and exciting. In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we discuss topics surrounding the human mind - What is it? How does it interact with the environment and with other minds? Are we essentially our thoughts or is there some self that exists beyond cognitions?  We cover mindfulness and awe, elucidating how they can help us to integrate our lives and our mind to become more loving and compassionate citizens of the world. We address a host of other topics as well like Terror Management Theory, ADHD, the “sea of potential” and more! We hope you enjoy the show, and please feel free to leave an iTunes review if you’d like to help us refine our craft!

Choose Yourself with James Altucher  

Best-selling author James Altucher comes on the show to impart some practical wisdom for how to bounce back from failure. James talks about his own experiences going from multimillionaire to being broke, bankrupt and divorced. We provide a message of common humanity and discuss how we can rise up and succeed despite the failures that inevitably impede our progress. We talk about some of James’ best anxiety relief techniques, how he only owns 15 items and does not rent or own a home, and the rise of the lifestyle entrepreneur. Come join us as Scott and James share some of their own anxieties and how they deal with life’s stressors.

Philosopher David Chalmers Thinks We Might Be Living in a Simulated Reality  

Are we living in a simulated reality? Are our smartphones essentially an extension of our minds? Could we achieve immortality via being uploaded to the internet? These are just a few of the philosophically fascinating questions we cover on this episode of The Psychology Podcast! David Chalmers is a friend of the show and we are psyched to feature his expert opinions on the philosophy of mind. We cover how technology might affect the evolution of the human species, the future of artificial intelligence, and the future existence of “super-intelligence.” We’re talking about some of the most well thought out perspectives on the future of our species and technology – and it is entirely too much fun. Enjoy the show!

Jared Kleinert on How Millennials are Changing the World  
Today on The Psychology Podcast, we discuss how the millennial generation is redefining success, breaking down barriers, and changing the world. Our Executive Producer Taylor Kreiss chats with Jared Kleinert, whose latest book features 75 vignettes from extraordinary millennials looking to impart practical wisdom on how to have a greater impact. We examine how these high performing individuals found their purpose, utilized their character strengths and leveraged exponential technologies to change the world for the better. It's a fun and interesting episode for listeners looking to optimize their lives!​​

 

The Power of Meaning with Emily Esfahani Smith  

On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, friend of the show Emily Esfahani Smith sheds light on how we can craft a life that truly matters. Finding meaning in life is a crtitical existential good, and with today’s discussion we take a science backed look at how we can achieve this vital purpose. Topics include Sufism, mystical experiences, authenticity, finding purpose, magic mushrooms, mortality, life narratives, transcendence and more. If you would like to hear about how to experience more meaning on a daily basis, give this episode a listen!

Emily Esfahani Smith writes about culture, psychology, and relationships. Her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She is also a columnist for The New Criterion and an editor at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, where she manages the Ben Franklin Circles project, a collaboration with the 92nd Street Y and Citizen University to build community and purpose across the country. She studied philosophy at Dartmouth College and has a master’s in positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives with her husband in Washington, DC. Blurb taken from amazon.com

Michael Gervais on Finding Mastery  

What a great pleasure it was to chat with high performance psychologist, and fellow podcaster, Dr. Michael Gervais! Listen in as we deconstruct excellence as it manifests in sports, creativity, well-being and other domains. Topics include passion, grit, mindfulness, imagination, growth, and becoming comfortable with the unknown. This is a high level discussion about what it takes to flourish in the sports world and in life, how to silence one's inner critic, and how nature & nurture factor into world class success. A huge thank you to Michael Gervais and we look forward to hearing what you think of the episode!  

Dr. Dacher Keltner on Love, Power, Morality, and Awe  

Dr. Dachner Keltner is the founding director of the Greater Good Science center, as well as a professor of psychology at the University of California Berkeley, so he’s in a special place to discuss some incredibly interesting positive psychological topics like love, awe, teasing, compassion, empathy, gratitude and much more! It’s a fun and fascinating episode where we take a deep look into the science of the good life. Enjoy the show!

Brené Brown on 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).

 

Exercise, Mental Stamina, and High Performance with Brad Stulberg  

With this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we take a deep look into how exercise benefits us far beyond the time we spend in the gym. We adapt a quick fire style of questioning and cover a wide range of topics like how Olympic athletes set goals – to the importance of becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable. Brad is an expert in the subject and shares practical information about how to recover from stress, how to motivate high performance and how physical fitness improves “life fitness.” 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).

Unlocking the Pathway from Imagination to Implementation, with Tina Seelig  

It’s a special episode of The Psychology Podcast, as Stanford professor, international bestselling author, and leading creativity expert Tina Seelig stops by to discuss some of our favorite topics: Imagination, creativity, innovation & entrepreneurship. We parse out some of the differences between imagination and creativity, discuss what it means to really see something, and offer practical advice on how to find one’s calling! This episode was especially fun to record! 

 

“Dr. Tina Seelig is Professor of the Practice in the department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University School of Engineering, and the executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. She teaches courses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship at the d.school at Stanford University.” Blurb taken from amazon.com

How to Live a Good Life with Jonathan Fields  

In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we get pragmatic about how to live your version of the good life. We feature action strategies, based on the latest science from positive psychology, to maximize vitality, happiness, meaning, and positive relationships. Topics include mindfulness meditation, the power of saying no, the false dichotomy of mind and body, finding purpose, and how to make exercise better than sex! We thank those listeners who take a moment to leave an honest iTunes review – it helps us hone our craft!

Yes, And... The Psychology of Improv Comedy  

Today we welcome Anne Libera and Kelly Leonard on the show for an especially fun and playful look at the world of improv comedy! Anne and Kelly are world class improv instructors and ambassadors who have a long history at The Second City, the world’s first ever on-going improvisational theatre troupe. The Second City has turned out notable performers like Tina fey, Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers. Topics revolve around improv as it relates to mindfulness, creativity, cognitive reframing, authenticity and more. We also learned a lot from this interview about how improv can be used in everyday life, and we still get a kick out of the story we improvised involving the destruction of Purple Popsicle Man! We thank those listeners who take a moment to leave an honest iTunes review – it helps us hone our craft!

The New Narcissism with Kristin Dombek  

In everyday conversation, we use the word “narcissist” to describe our ex-lovers and the jerks we encounter on the subway, but what does it really mean? On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, Scott has a fascinating discussion with Kristin Dombek about the "new narcissism”, in which everyone is a selfish narcissist-- except ourselves. In this episode, we take a close look at how the label narcissism is used in psychology and popular culture, and how its increasing use may be a product of our modern times. We also discuss the guilt and fear associated with being labeled a narcissist, we talk about the differences between narcissism and psychopathy, and we cover an assortment of other topics including science journalism, how often we act out of character in a day, and the possibility of a “selfie apocalypse!”

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck with Mark Manson  

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.

Minds and Morality with Dr. Kurt Gray  

Why are humanoid robots creepy? Why do ghosts always have unfinished business? Do all animals have a mind? Does our consciousness persist beyond our physical bodies? Might cryonics help us live forever?! These are some of the great mysteries of the human condition we address with Dr. Kurt Gray. It's a fun and interesting philosophical episode, where we consider a range of topics related to having a mind and moral responsibility. Fair warning - this episode contains some adult content as we engage in some quirky and interesting moral considerations. 

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