• Today we welcome Debra Soh, Marco Del Giudice, and Buck Angel.

    Dr. Debra Soh is a neuroscientist who specializes in gender, sex, and sexual orientation. She holds a PhD in neuroscience with scientific expertise in paraphilias, hypersexuality, and child sexual abuse prevention. As a journalist, her writing has appeared in several publications like the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, and many more. In 2020, she published her first book called “The End of Gender”.

    Dr. Marco Del Giudice is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. He received his bachelors in psychology and doctorate in cognitive science from the University of Turin in Italy. He has over a hundred scientific publications on personality, motivation, attachment styles, psychopathology, sex differences, and other topics. In 2016 he was granted the Early Career Award of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (HBES).

    Buck Angel is an adult-film producer, performer and motivational speaker who also works as an advocate, educator, lecturer and writer. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance from 2010 to 2016. Born as a biological female, Buck conquered a lifetime of adversity to undergo his transformation to become the healthy, happy, self-confident man that he is today. Buck created the first FTM adult website in 2003, and became the first FTM adult entertainer and film producer. In 2007, Buck made history again as the first transexual man to ever win the AVN transexual performer of the year award.

    In this episode, I talk to Debra, Marco, and Buck about the scientific realities of biological sex. There is considerable opposition against the idea that sex is binary. But denying science because it doesn’t seem to fit our gender beliefs can be dangerous. As ironic as it seems, when we acknowledge biology, we can accommodate more variation better than our preconceived, rigid social norms.

    Website: drdebrasoh.com , marcodg.net , buckangel.com

    Twitter: @DrDebraSoh & @BuckAngel


    04:08 Dr. Marco’s background and expertise

    06:41 Dr. Debra’s background and expertise

    07:48 Buck’s background and expertise

    10:02 Shift from ‘transexual’ to ‘transgender’

    12:35 The separation of sex and gender

    21:33 Why feminists reject biology

    27:27 “It is transphobic to deny biology”

    30:51 Extreme trans activism

    40:00 Transgenders vs TERFs

    43:07 Being gender fluid is trendy

    44:18 Losing the nuances in gender

    47:49 The evolutionary perspective of traits

    55:05 Dismantling the definition of woman

    58:46 De-transitioning and safe healthcare

    1:07:03 The construction of gender identity

    1:14:25 Social transitioning through pronouns

    1:22:32 Non-binary and non-specific labels

    1:28:42 Prioritizing truth over feelings

  • Today we welcome Dr. Carole Hooven. For the past six years, she served as a lecturer and co-director of undergraduate studies at Harvard’s department of Human Evolutionary Biology. She has received numerous teaching awards, and her popular Hormones and Behavior class was named one of the Harvard Crimson’s “top ten tried and true.” Currently, Dr. Hooven has moved to the Psychology department where she works as an associate at Steven Pinker’s lab. Her latest book is called T: The Story of Testosterone, the Hormone that Dominates and Divides Us.

    In this episode, I talked to Dr. Carole Hooven about the science of testosterone. Why do males have higher rates of physical violence, take on more risk, and desire more sexual partners? Dr. Hooven’s research points to testosterone as the answer. Although sex differences may stem from biology, variations in behavior may be better explained by genetics interacting with culture. We also touch on the topics of evolutionary biology, gender dysphoria, gender-affirming care, and academic freedom.

    Website: carolehooven.com

    Twitter: @hoovlet


    02:49 Dr. Carole’s background and expertise

    09:26 Sex differences in mental rotation

    21:38 How hormones work

    24:47 The uses and effects of testosterone

    28:00 Testosterone, risk, and violence

    31:23 Genetic and cultural differences

    35:33 Trans women’s athletic advantages

    38:51 Let scientists conduct research

    44:22 Side effects of puberty blockers

    49:31 Evidence-informed view of transitioning

    56:30 There is no trans phenotype

    59:22 The TERFs vs trans debates

    1:03:28 Suppression of academic freedom

    1:06:48 Untangle science from politics

    1:09:15 Can we modify our chromosomes?

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  • Today we welcome Aaron Rabinowitz and Callie Wright.

    Aaron is a lecturer in philosophy at Rutgers University. He hosts the Embrace The Void and Philosophers in Space podcast. He specializes in ethics, metaethics, and problems surrounding AI and personhood. He earned his M.A. in Philosophy from Colorado State University.

    Callie is a freelance audio producer and the host of the Queersplaining podcast. They are non-binary trans person.

    In this episode, I talk to Aaron and Callie about gender and trans issues. When it comes to transgendered folk, we tend to focus on extreme examples that are far removed from reality. Some people think being transgender is a social contagion, while others reject the reality of gender altogether. Callie shares how transitioning has allowed them to become their most authentic self. Aaron sheds light on the issues of consent, autonomy, identity, and medical ethics. Both Callie and Aaron recognize that specific topics can negatively skew public opinion, which is why addressing misconceptions and highlighting the lived experiences of trans men, women, and non-binary individuals are crucial to the conversation.

    Website: voidpod.com & queersplaining.com

    Twitter: @ETVPod & @calliegetsit


    03:15 Introducing Callie

    05:14 Introducing Aaron

    08:27 Callie coming out as trans

    17:06 Ideology over science

    23:32 Transphobia is real

    25:28 Social contagion and moral panic

    33:29 Pushing the anti-trans agenda

    35:56 “Have a trans child or a dead child”

    41:13 Extreme trans activists

    47:13 The gender critical movement

    44:47 The world operates on gender, not sex

    51:29 What does it feel like to be a trans woman?

    55:50 Subjectivity of gender and identity

    1:02:06 Why we gatekeep identities

    1:06:30 Trans people in sports

    1:23:58 Sex and gender differences

    1:32:47 Gender-affirming care

    1:39:44 Puberty blockers and transitioning

    1:42:38 Medical ethics and barriers to access

    1:49:21 Parental consent vs child autonomy

    1:52:17 There is harm in waiting and seeing

    2:07:55 Irreversible changes in puberty

    2:11:43 Teaching gender in school

    2:15:26 Wokeness is misappropriated

    2:17:42 Final thoughts

  • Today we welcome Steven Kotler, the Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective. He is an award-winning journalist and one of the world’s leading experts on human performance. Steven is the author of eleven bestsellers including The Art of Impossible, The Rise of Superman, Bold, and Abundance. His work has been nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes, translated into over 50 languages, and has appeared in over 100 publications. His latest book is called Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad.

    Our moderator for this live discussion was Dr. Torrie Higgins, the Head Coach of the Flow Research Collective. Dr. Higgins is a deeply passionate, empathetic peak performance coach, consultant and educator whose coaching philosophy is rooted in the deep-seated belief that everyone has the potential to achieve success and growth. In her private practice, she has had the opportunity to coach a diverse range of clientele, from mountaineers preparing to summit Mount Everest and K2 to business leaders of Fortune 500 companies.

    In this live discussion, I talked to Steven Kotler about creativity, skill-mastery, and aging. Our society views aging as a process of decline, with our physical and mental capabilities worsening over time. Steve Kotler invites us to challenge our preconceived notions about aging by engaging in “impossible” activities that cultivate mastery and creativity. When we are able to incrementally push past our limits, we change our mindset about growing old which ultimately prolongs our longevity. We also touch on the topics of exploration, play, social connection, flow, neuroscience, wisdom, and embodied cognition.

    Website: stevenkotler.com

    Twitter: @steven_kotler


    04:55 Gnar Country: Growing Old, Staying Rad

    10:46 Challenging our limiting beliefs

    16:12 Narcissism vs mastery

    19:40 Curiosity and exploration as motivators

    22:24 Approach fear incrementally

    27:18 Why we need “replacement friends”

    38:44 Finding a training partner

    42:54 Creativity and Aging: What We Can Make With What We Have Left

    49:38 Intelligence, expertise, giftedness

    52:31 “The pursuit of wisdom thrives on joy”

    1:02:13 Dynamic deliberate play

    1:11:25 Learning through embodied cognition

    1:17:06 Flow and peak experiences

    1:23:45 Creativity as a way of being

  • Today we welcome Eli Finkel. He is a professor at Northwestern University, where he has appointments in the psychology department and the Kellogg School of Management. In his role as director of Northwestern’s Relationships and Motivation Lab (RAMLAB), he has published more than 160 scientific papers and is a guest essayist for The New York Times. The Economist declared him “one of the leading lights in the realm of relationship psychology.” His latest book is called The All-Or-Nothing Marriage.

    In this episode, I talked to Eli Finkel about how the best marriages work. The institution of marriage has evolved throughout the decades. People used to tie the knot for socioeconomic purposes, but nowadays we seek to fulfill our higher need for self-actualization in relationships. According to Eli, higher expectations are not necessarily bad for marriages if people can use them strategically. Eli also shares love hacks we can implement to improve our relationships with our partners.

    Website: elifinkel.com

    Twitter: @EliJFinkel


    02:54 Pleasure vs meaning in romance

    05:49 There’s no rule for marriages

    08:15 The pre-industrial mindset of marriage

    10:39 Vertical integration of needs in a relationship

    13:55 Expectations, goals, & fulfillment

    17:53 The evolution of marriage

    22:30 The All or Nothing Theory of Marriage

    25:21 Mate evaluation theory and other studies

    34:48 The value of love hacks

    38:21 Positive attribution bias

    39:36 Third-party reappraisal on conflict

  • In this live recording from The Comedy Cellar, Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman has a discussion with Jonathan Haidt, Greg Lukianoff, and Rikki Schlott about why so much in America seems to be so messed up: Things like Gen Z, universities, social media, American democracy, and our sense of humor, grace, and decency. How can we lighten up, toughen up, and get less stupid?

  • Welcome to The Human Potential Lab! In this special series of The Psychology Podcast, I will be doing solo episodes answering your burning questions about the mind, brain, human behavior, and human potential.

    In the first episode of this series, I will be tackling a question I’ve been obsessed with virtually my entire life: What is Intelligence?

    Ever since I was a kid, I’ve wondered what it means to be smart. Does it simply mean high IQ? Are there other ways of being intelligent? Do multiple intelligences exist? What does it mean to be generally intelligent? As a kid I was placed into special education due to an auditory learning disability which I eventually outgrew. I would look around and see greater potential among all my friends in special ed than other people gave them credit for.

    This ignited my passion for understanding intelligence, which carried me through to college where I started to scientifically study this fascinating topic, and I have been studying this topic ever since. I understand that the science of intelligence can be a controversial topic, but in today’s episode I’m just going to focus on the facts and the science, and attempt to show you why this topic is so fascinating and so important to study for a broader understanding of how to unlock the potential of all people.

    Website: scottbarrykaufman.com

    Twitter: @psychpodcast & @sbkaufman


    01:28 What is intelligence?

    02:43 History of IQ tests

    05:06 The g factor

    11:40 IQ and academic achievement

    15:21 Theory of Multiple Intelligences

    27:17 Theory of Successful Intelligence

    30:06 Talent or intelligence?

    32:46 Emotional intelligence

    39:26 External factors affecting achievement

    40:31 Gifted education

    41:29 Theory of Personal Intelligence

    45:45 There are infinite intelligences

  • Today we welcome the Shadow Expert, Dr. Connie Zweig. She is a retired therapist, writer, Climate Reality Leader, and Citizens Climate Lobbyist. She is the co-author of Meeting the Shadow and Romancing the Shadow and the author of Meeting the Shadow of Spirituality. Her latest book is called The Inner Work of Age: Shifting from Role to Soul, which has won both the 2021 American Book Fest Award and the 2021 Best Indie Book Award for best inspirational non-fiction.

    In this episode, I talked to Dr. Connie Zweig about embracing the shadow. We often associate the shadow with negativity, but it’s not necessarily bad or sinister. The shadow is composed of repressed feelings and messages in our unconscious, which can erupt out of control. According to Dr. Zweig, we must develop a conscious relationship with our shadow by doing inner work - especially as we age. As we near the end of our lives, it’s crucial that we conduct a life review to help us repair emotionally and spiritually.

    Website: conniezweig.com

    Twitter: @innerworkofage


    02:33 Dr. Connie’s interest and expertise

    06:17 What is “the shadow”?

    12:54 How to confront the shadow

    14:22 The inner ageist

    18:44 Letting go of “doing”

    24:01 Elder is a stage, not an age

    28:00 The purpose of a life review

    32:09 Emotional repair

    34:37 Depth psychology

    39:50 Spiritual repair

    47:12 From role to soul

  • Today we welcome Gabriella Kellerman, the chief innovation officer at BetterUp and the head of BetterUp Labs. She is also a Harvard-trained physician with expertise in behavioral and organizational change, digital health, well-being, and AI. As a thought leader, Gabriella has been published in The Atlantic, Scientific American Mind, JAMA, and the Harvard Business Review. Her first book is Tomorrowmind, which she co-authored with Professor Martin Seligman.

    In this episode, I talked to Gabriella Kellerman about prospection and future-proofing the workplace in the 21st century. According to Gabriella, the world is always changing. She argues that we can plan for uncertainty by cultivating creative leadership, building rapid rapport, and learning resilience. We also touch on the topics of imagination, kindness, and positive behavioral science.

    Website: gabriellarosenkellerman.com

    Twitter: @grkellerman


    01:44 Collaborating with Martin Seligman

    03:54 What is prospection?

    08:00 Creativity: ways of being divergent

    10:36 Creativity hygiene

    14:05 Creative strength spotting

    16:42 The safety to matter and to innovate

    23:59 Positive behavioral science

    27:21 Key drivers of resilience

    30:48 Instill resilience in the workplace

    34:38 Gabriella’s background and expertise

    38:37 Building rapid rapport

    43:05 Positivity resonance

    46:24 Accepting and coping with change

  • Today we welcome Perry Zurn and Dani Bassett.

    Dr. Perry Zurn is Associate Professor of Philosophy at American University. He is the author or coauthor of more than 75 publications in philosophy, political theory, trans studies, and network science and has given hundreds of talks at local, national, and international venues. His work has been generously funded by organizations like the American Philosophical Association, the Center for Curiosity, the Lee Somers Fund and more.

    Dr. Dani S. Bassett is the J. Peter Skirkanich Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, with appointments in the Departments of Bioengineering, Electrical & Systems Engineering, Physics & Astronomy, Neurology, and Psychiatry. They authored more than 390 peer-reviewed publications, which have garnered over 38,000 citations. Dr. Bassett has received multiple prestigious awards from the American Psychological Association, Sloan Foundation, and MacArthur Foundation among others.

    They often collaborate on research about neuroscience, curiosity, and the humanities. Recently, they co-wrote Curious Minds: The Power of Connection.

    In this episode, I talk to Perry Zurn and Dani Bassett about curiosity. For them, curiosity is not just about gaining knowledge, it’s about connecting to the world and to each other. Each individual has their own style of connecting - they can be busybodies, hunters, or dancers at any given time. Perry and Dani also weigh in on how social media affects curiosity and how their network model of curiosity can improve education.

    Website: perryzurn.com & danisbassett.com

    Twitter: @perryzurn & @danisbassett


    02:27 Perry and Dani’s interest in curiosity

    06:26 Curiosity is connection

    12:45 Network science

    15:18 Archetypes of curiosity

    20:22 Deprivation vs interest-based curiosity

    23:56 Social curiosity

    29:47 Cycling through the different styles of curiosity

    37:25 Is social media making us more curious?

    40:51 Consciously practicing curiosity

    42:32 Curiosity and learning

  • Today we welcome David Epstein, the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the bestseller The Sports Gene, both of which have been translated in more than 20 languages. His TED Talks on performance science have been viewed more than 11 million times. He has master's degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated.

    In this episode, I talked to David Epstein about greatness. If there's one thing we know for sure about greatness, it's that there is no linear path to it. David and I discuss the complex relationship of talent and hard work in specific domains. Although there is no formula, we can both agree that persistent effort and fierce determination are necessary ingredients—but so is talent. We have a nuanced discussion of the dance between nature and nurture on the path to talent. It’s a very delicate dance. We also touch on the topics of self-actualization, creativity, fulfillment and moral greatness.

    Website: davidepstein.com

    Twitter: @DavidEpstein


    02:13 Talent: Is it nature or nurture?

    05:16 Does the 10,000 hour rule apply to creativity?

    10:14 Genetics and the rage to master

    16:46 Immediate feedback for growth

    22:04 Progress is not linear

    26:50 Self-actualization is where you “fit”

    39:06 The equal odds rule 41:11 Restriction of range

    47:55 Creativity and mental illness

    56:27 Incentivizing good vs great scientists

    1:00:13 Moral greatness

    1:06:10 The constraints of creativity

    1:12:25 The criteria of genius

  • Today we welcome Roland Griffiths and David Yaden.

    Dr. Roland Griffiths is a professor of neuroscience, psychiatry, and behavioral science, and director of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has authored over 400 scientific publications and has trained more than 60 postdoctoral research fellows. His initial 2006 publication on psilocybin is often attributed as the catalyst for the re-initiation of psychedelic research after decades of halted drug research.

    Dr. David Yaden is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine working in The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. His research focus is on transformative experiences that can result in long-term changes and how they temporarily alter consciousness and self. His work has been covered by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, and NPR.

    In this episode, I talk to Roland Griffiths and David Yaden about the latest research on psychedelics. They answer some of my burning questions such as: What are the common characteristics of a mystical experience? Are hallucinations necessary for a transformative experience? How do psychedelics affect our brain? We also touch on the topics of mindfulness, religion, mental illness, and creativity as they share about the latest developments in the field.

    Website: griffithsfund.org

    Twitter: @ExistWell


    02:36 Roland’s background in psychopharmacology

    09:44 Roland’s meditation practice

    13:57 David’s mystical experience

    18:35 Roland’s mystical experience

    22:02 Common characteristics of mystical experiences

    27:48 Transformative experience or mental illness?

    39:15 Was Timothy Leary right about psychedelics?

    46:05 The future of psychedelic research

    48:39 The neuroscience of psychedelics

    53:14 Creativity and therapeutic use of psychedelics

    56:33 Are hallucinations needed for transformation?

    1:02:50 Roland’s cancer diagnosis

    1:13:41 The Griffiths Professorship Fund

  • Today we welcome Ali Smith, Andrés González, and Atman Smith. Brothers Ali and Atman met Andrés at the University of Maryland College Park. During their last semester, the trio spent a lot of time reading books on spirituality, philosophy, history, politics, and other related topics. At the same time, they began their yoga practice and developed it under the guidance of Ali and Atman’s godfather. Months of hard work and planning ensued before they finally co-founded the Holistic Life Foundation. Together, they tell their story of how yoga and mindfulness have transformed countless communities in Let Your Light Shine.

    In this episode, I talk to Ali Smith, Andrés González, and Atman Smith about mindfulness in education. For 20 years, they have been teaching yoga and wellness to underserved kids, resulting in a decrease in suspensions and fights and an increase in attendance and grades. But it’s not just about the numbers. For Ali, Andrés, and Atman, what matters even more is changing the school’s culture to become a loving and empathetic space for all by teaching stillness and introspection.

    Website: letyourlightshinebook.com

    Twitter: @HLFINC


    2:31 Introducing Ali Smith

    4:24 Introducing Atman Smith

    7:31 Introducing Andrés González

    12:45 Hope through mindfulness

    17:05 Creating an oasis in schools

    20:39 The impact of the Mindful Moment Program

    26:16 Reciprocal teaching model

    28:00 Involution: tapping into our universal centers

    33:37 Sharon Salzberg’s and Rhonda Magee’s work

    36:52 Bringing fun and humor to learning

    38:11 Making yoga and mindfulness accessible

    45:46 Love and empathy need to be consistent and reliable

  • Today we welcome Neil Pasricha who is an author, entrepreneur, podcaster, and public speaker characterized by his advocacy of positivity and simple pleasures. He is best known for his The Book of Awesome series, and "The Happiness Equation" which are international bestsellers. His first TED talk “The 3 A’s of Awesome” is ranked one of the 10 Most Inspiring of all time. Neil hosts an Apple “Best of” award-winning podcast called 3 Books. His most recent book is called Our Book of Awesome.

    In this episode, I talk to Neil Pasricha about how to live an awesome life. The levels of depression and anxiety are its highest today. Now, more than ever, is when we need hope and positivity. According to Neil, the key to living a happier life is appreciating the little things. Awe and gratitude should not be reserved for big moments, but they should be cultivated in the everyday. We also touch on the topics of social media, motivation, confidence, and authenticity.

    Website: www.neil.blog

    Twitter: @NeilPasricha


    [02:51] Neil’s life and background

    [06:49] The Book of Awesome

    [11:42] Noticing tiny pleasures

    [17:23] The infinite scroll

    [22:14] The confidence matrix

    [24:57] The Nature of the Fun

    [27:44] The Happiness Equation

    [32:22] Never retire

    [35:59] Overvalue you

    [37:16] Create space

    [42:24] Have everything

    [45:03] Don’t take advice

    [50:35] Our Book of Awesome

    [55:44] Savoring and healthy selfishness

  • We’re re-releasing one of our favorite episodes from the past year with Lisa Feldman Barrett.

    Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett is among the top one percent most cited scientists in the world for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience. She is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University. She also holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is Chief Science Officer for the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior.

    Her books include Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain and How Emotions are Made. She has published over 240 peer-reviewed, scientific papers appearing in Science, Nature Neuroscience, and other top journals. Dr. Barrett has been called “the most important affective scientist of our time”.

    In this episode, I talk to renowned neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett about emotions and the brain. She reveals what the true function of the brain is⎯and it’s not for thinking. We also discuss the impact of past experiences on our cognition and what we can do to overcome our own detrimental patterns. Further into our discussion, Dr. Lisa challenges the traditionally held view that emotions are universal. In her own theory of constructed emotion, she argues that variability in emotional expression exists due to socialization and language differences. We also touch on the topics of hallucinogens, culture, education, relationships, and authoritarianism.

    Website: lisafeldmanbarrett.com

    Twitter: @LFeldmanBarrett


    00:01:42 Lisa’s interest in clinical psychology

    00:03:53 A biological approach to emotions

    00:06:29 Why do we have a neocortex?

    00:14:49 The default mode network

    00:21:47 The brain is not for thinking

    00:25:06 Authoritarianism during economic hardship

    00:32:04 Psychological entropy

    00:35:33 The brain weather forecast

    00:44:16 The mind-brain problem

    00:47:37 Relationships are reflexive

    00:51:46 Emotional expression isn’t universal

    00:58:35 Why you shouldn’t trust psychology textbooks / 6 universal emotions?

    01:03:03 Reaching out to Paul Ekman

    01:10:42 The theory of constructed emotion

    01:16:49 The role of socialization and language in emotions

    01:23:43 The never-ending domain-general vs domain-specific debate in cognitive science

  • Today we welcome David McRaney. He is a science journalist fascinated with brains, minds, and culture. In 2012, he created the podcast You Are Not So Smart based on his 2009 internationally bestselling book of the same name and its follow-up, You Are Now Less Dumb. David is also an editor, photographer, voiceover artist, television host, journalism teacher, lecturer, and tornado survivor. His most recent book is called How Minds Change.

    In this episode, I talk to David McRaney about the science of belief and persuasion. In this day and age of online tribes and echo chambers, changing people’s opinions seems like an impossible task. Instead of arguing over facts, David encourages us to use empathy to understand why we disagree. He explains Piaget's framework behind knowledge building and shares the use of technique rebuttal for sincere conversations.

    Website: www.davidmcraney.com

    Twitter: @davidmcraney


    02:12 David’s interest in how minds change

    08:41 Piaget's Genetic Epistemology

    13:49 Focus on motivations, not conclusions

    16:35 Why do people see the viral 2015 dress differently?

    23:44 How we produce and evaluate arguments

    28:36 We’re living in a post trust world

    32:32 How to change minds in large groups

    44:33 Cults and conspiratorial communities

    52:57 Technique rebuttal

  • Today we welcome Neal Brennan. He is a director, writer, actor, and comedian most known for co-creating and co-writing the Comedy Central series Chappelle's Show with Dave Chappelle and cult movie classic Half Baked.

    Neal received three Emmy nominations for Chappelle’s Show; one for directing, and the other two for writing and producing. He has also performed stand-up on Last Call with Carson Daly, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Lopez Tonight, and Conan. Recently, his comedy special called Blocks was released on Netflix.

    In this episode, I talk to Neal Brennan about his comedy and upbringing. As early as 8 years old, Neal has been interested in comedy for its “fairness”. He reveals who his early influences were and what it was like working with Dave Chappelle. In this episode I gave Neal some impromptu psychological tests to help us both understand more about his unique mind. We also touch on the topics of relationships, mindfulness, cognitive distortions, and neurodiversity.

    Website: www.nealbrennan.com

    Twitter: @nealbrennan


    02:31 Neal’s family background

    09:44 When Neal discovered comedy

    15:48 Meeting Dave Chappelle

    18:00 The aftermath of Half Baked

    21:26 The highs and lows of Chappelle’s Show

    26:06 “We contain multitudes”

    28:20 Neal’s relationships and reality dysmorphia

    36:04 Vulnerable narcissism test

    44:46 How vulnerable narcissism develops

    48:16 Cognitive distortions

    55:46 Mindfulness, drugs, and therapy

  • Today we welcome Dr. Becky Kennedy. She is a clinical psychologist and mom of three, recently named “The Millennial Parenting Whisperer” by TIME Magazine. She specializes in parenting and child development, with an emphasis on anxiety and resilience. Dr. Becky received her BA in Psychology and Human Development from Duke University and her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Columbia University. Her latest book is called Good Inside: A Guide to Becoming the Parent You Want to Be.

    In this episode, I talk to Becky Kennedy about good parenting. Raising children is no easy task. As a mom herself, Dr. Becky knows what that’s like. Her parenting philosophy revolves around seeing the good inside every child and seeing the sturdy leader in every parent. She shares actionable advice on how to repair emotional connection after conflict, how to reduce shame, and how we can break unhealthy generational patterns. We also touch on the topics of genetics, resilience, attachment, and self-care.

    Website: www.goodinside.com

    Instagram: @drbeckyatgoodinside


    02:20 Dr. Becky’s interest in parenting

    06:00 The Good Inside Approach

    10:22 Maximizing for attachment safety

    17:32 Raising children with empathy

    23:18 The most generous interpretation

    28:49 “Two things are true” mode

    33:34 How to make up with our kids after a fight

    38:21 Dr. Becky’s recommended resources

    39:27 Prioritize resilience over happiness

    43:49 How to detect and reduce shame

    48:04 Self-care for exhausted parents

    50:25 Tips for cycle breakers

  • Today we welcome Whitney Johnson, CEO and co-founder of the tech-enabled talent development company Disruption Advisors. Whitney is a globally recognized thought leader, keynote speaker, executive coach, and consultant. She is a frequent lecturer at Harvard Business Publishing’s Corporate Learning division. She is also the bestselling author of Disrupt Yourself and Build an A Team. Her latest book is called Smart Growth: How to Grow Your People to Grow Your Company.

    In this episode, I talk to Whitney Johnson about business growth. According to Whitney, the development of the individual comes first before the company’s. Growth can be better understood using the S Curve of Learning which has three phases: the Launch Point, the Sweet Spot, and Mastery. By comprehending the cycle of growth, we can find ways to move forward when we feel stuck in both our professional and personal lives. We also touch on the topics of flow, creativity, transcendence, success, and leadership.

    Website: www.whitneyjohnson.com

    Twitter: @johnsonwhitney


    01:35 Disruption Advisors

    07:55 The S Curve of Learning

    11:13 Optimize your team for growth

    14:23 Mastery and transcendence

    16:18 Peak experience and peak performance

    21:26 The S Curve as a retention tool

    25:00 Excavating your shadow values

    28:13 Grow your people to grow your company

    33:53 Create the conditions for growth

    37:19 The S Curve is a dopamine management exercise

    40:20 When to quit and change careers

    42:51 Changing the metrics of success

    47:16 Disrupt yourself a little bit everyday

  • Today we welcome Dan Tomasulo who is a counseling psychologist, professor, and the Academic Director at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI), Teachers College, Columbia University. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology, an MFA in writing, and a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Dan is also the author of several books, including American Snake Pit and Confessions of a Former Child: A Therapist's Memoir. His latest book is called Learned Hopefulness.

    In this episode, I talk to Dan Tomasulo about psychodrama and learned hopefulness. Interventions have always focused on helping people recover from trauma but Dan believes we can do more than that through psychodrama. When we re-enact difficult experiences, we can process and integrate trauma in a way that facilitates growth. It also teaches us to perceive obstacles differently, which is integral to learning hopefulness.

    Website: www.dantomasulo.com

    Twitter: @drdantomasulo


    01:27 Dan as a stand-up comedian

    04:58 Meeting Andy Kaufman

    08:33 Dan’s interest in psychology

    14:36 American Snake Pit

    21:35 Interactive Behavioral Therapy (IBT)

    27:10 What is psychodrama?

    34:15 Learned Hopefulness

    41:00 Hope activating exercises

    45:49 Spiritual psychology

    51:55 Hope, optimism, faith