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

82: The Neuroscience of Leadership with Friederike Fabritius  

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.

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81: How to Captivate People with Vanessa Van Edwards  

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.

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80: The Psychology of Creativity with Dr. James C. Kaufman  

For this episode of The Psychology Podcast, I chat with my brother from another mother, Dr. James C. Kaufman, as we take deep dive into one of humanity’s most coveted virtues - creativity. We profile creative genius, discuss different forms of creativity, and talk about the links between creativity, IQ and mental illness. This episode features some wonderful new ways to think about your creativity, including the possibility for creativity assessment to reduce racial and ethnic bias. To learn more about James, go to his website jamesckaufman.com. For a month of free access to over 8,000 awesome video lectures, check out thegreatcoursesplus.com/Psych.

79: The Gifts of Disability with Gail Saltz  

Over 50% of people will meet the criteria for a mental illness in their lifetime. On this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we want to do our part to encourage people to seek assistance, while celebrating some of the unique strengths of people with brain differences. I speak with expert Gail Saltz about some fascinating gifts that can come with with diagnoses such as ADHD, dyslexia, autism, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and more. We discuss achieving a balance between receiving proper treatment and cultivating strengths to optimize productivity and well-being. To learn more about Dr. Gail Saltz, visit her website drgailsaltz.com. For some really cool socks, go toBombas.com/tpp to get 20% of your first order.

78: Boosting Student Resilience with Dr. Diana Brecher  

Dr. Brecher is a clinical psychologist who uses cognitive behavioral strategies to buffer students against the pervasive depression and anxiety present in higher education. We talk about her science-informed recommendations, which include positive psychological activities designed to increase mindfulness, character strengths, self-efficacy, optimism, gratitude, and more. We discuss the mechanisms through which these interventions work, some of the many benefits they promote, how they can be implemented in schools, and some changes in academic culture that can  improve student well-being. Enjoy the episode and sign up for a free trial of The Great Courses Plus at thegreatcoursesplus.com/Psych. To find out more about Dr. Brecher, see here.

77: How to be a Happy Lawyer w/ Dan Bowling III  

On today’s episode of The Psychology Podcast, our executive producer Taylor Kreiss conducts a guest interview about lawyer well-being. His guest, Dan Bowling III, is a Duke law professor and a positive psychology expert using science to help lawyers become healthier and happier human beings. We address some of the disconcerting mental health statistics, discuss why lawyers suffer from such mental maladies, and share practical strategies that lawyers (and everyone) can use to become more satisfied with life. There’s a great deal of warmth, levity, and humor here as we take on a hugely important topic and provide some actionable advice for how lawyers can flourish!

Enjoy the show and head to blueapron.com/TPP for 3 free meals with free shipping!

To learn more about Dan Bowling, visit his Facebook here.

To learn more about Taylor Kreiss, visit his brand new website here.

76: Social Psychologist Roy Baumeister on Willpower, Violence, and Free Will  

Roy Baumeister brings the methods of social psychology to bear on some of life’s deepest philosophical problems. In the second part of this two part series (see Part I), we cover the psychology of self-control, evil, sex differences, and free will. In addition to Roy responding to the critics of his “ego-depletion” model of self-control, he also offers some practical strategies to improve willpower for goal attainment, looking at how successful people set up habits that deplete less energy. We also speak to him about the four root causes of violence, looking at research on why perpetrators commit atrocities, and we discuss his controversial research on sex differences and some of the ways that society uses men and women differently. Lastly, we discuss whether humans are special in a way that makes us exempt from the natural laws of causality. We’re appreciative of having had the opportunity to speak with Roy and regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his views (we encourage diverse perspectives on the show), we hope these two episodes (this week’s and last week’s) offer a great deal of value to our listeners. Enjoy the show and visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/psych to get your free trial and access to over 8,000 free online lectures.

75: Social Psychologist Roy Baumeister on Identity, the Self, and the Meaning of Life  

Dr. Roy Baumeister is widely considered to be one of the most influential and cited psychologists of our time. He's also a wonderful conversationalist, full of interesting research to share with our listeners! In this first half of our two part series with Roy, we learn about how he came to study the diverse array of fascinating topics that have characterized his career. We discuss how people determine their identity, the effects of self-esteem on behavior, and how people find a sense of meaning in life. There's a palpable sense of excitement in this episode as these two experts really "nerd out" about some of the biggest questions of the human condition. We hope you enjoy the episode as much as we enjoyed recording it! To learn more about Dr. Roy Baumeister, visit roybaumeister.com

74: Wait But Why? Unravelling Life's Biggest Mysteries with Blogger Tim Urban  

We are huge fans of Tim Urban’s Wait But Why blog, so it was a great joy to speak with him for today's show. In this episode of The Psychology Podcast, we experience Tim’s patented wry wit and deep philosophical insight as we chat across a wide range of topics, including Tim’s journey to becoming one of the internet’s most popular bloggers, his creative process and self-regulation strategies, his views on our immediate governmental future, the relative importance of personality traits, the connection between the brain and consciousness, the viability of cryogenics, and much more. Tim has some wonderfully clear and entertaining mind experiments that spur some high-level discussions of some of the most fascinating psychological and philosophical mysteries of existence.

Check out Tim's bio here

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!  

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