Welcome to The Psychology Podcast with 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.
Katy Milkman is an award-winning behavioral scientist and the James G. Dinan Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She hosts Charles Schwab’s popular behavioral economics podcast Choiceology, and is the co-founder and co-director of The Behavior Change for Good Initiative. She has worked with or advised dozens of organizations on how to spur positive change, including Google, the U.S. Department of Defense, the American Red Cross, 24 Hour Fitness, Walmart and Morningstar. Her research is regularly featured in major media outlets such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR.
[1:33] What it means to align one’s actions with their goals and dreams
[2:41] Why change is difficult
[6:51] Katy’s thoughts on the barrier of conformity
[8:37] Katy discusses laziness
[12:20] The power of elastic habits
[21:09] How to avoid flaking out
[29:01] How to create a fresh start
[39:21] Why a fresh start can be a setback to some
[45:06] What “temptation-bundling” is
[48:33] Katy’s thoughts on self-control
[51:14] How the power of social forces can boost self-control
[54:15] Can positive behavioral interventions create meaningful change?
[56:12] Does age have an impact on the ability to change?
[58:46] When should we seek change vs. self-acceptance?
[1:02:26] What behavioral changes make a better academic?
Today it’s great to chat with Ed Catmull. Ed is the co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios and former president of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation. He has been honored with five Academy Awards, including the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for lifetime achievement in the field of computer graphics. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Utah and is the author of Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and children.
[1:04] Ed’s childhood growing up in Utah in the 50s
[3:57] Ed’s entry point into the field of animation
[7:30] The evolution of computer graphics
[12:20] How Ed broke barriers in his field
[15:21] Ed’s encounters with Silicon Valley and emerging technologies
[20:29] Ed’s interactions with Steve Jobs
[34:36] How to create a sustainable creative culture
[43:22] Ed describes his leadership style
[46:01] How to protect the creative process and handle internal conflict
[56:33] What it means to take risks at Pixar
[1:03:32] The core principles that make Pixar so creative
[1:10:17] How to lead an effective team
[1:13:13] The appeal of anthropomorphic characters in animation
[1:16:20] The impact of the pandemic on Pixar
[1:24:40] Ed’s opinion on cancel culture
[1:26:30] Ed’s thoughts on the future of animation
[1:33:00] Diversifying Pixar
[1:37:32] Ed’s complete inability to visualize (aphantasia)
[1:40:38] Ed’s thoughts on the field of education
Today it’s great to chat with Dave Asprey, Founder & Chairman of Bulletproof. Dave is a three-time New York Times bestselling science author, host of the Webby award-winning podcast Bulletproof Radio, and has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, The New York Times, Dr. Oz, and more. His latest book is called Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Mean to Be.
[2:13] Dave shares his vision quest experience
[9:50] Why Dave started Bulletproof
[15:12] Dave explains the science behind MCT
[18:10] Dave’s rules for fasting
[21:09] Working fast vs. spiritual fast
[23:01] Cravings vs. hunger
[27:51] The science of the keto diet
[32:30] The science and mentality behind cravings
[36:16] How to develop sustainable food habits
[40:39] Dave shares the impact of fasting on his body and mind
[44:25] Why Dave thinks he can live to 180
[51:32] Dave explains the “16:8 Fast”
[56:42] Dave discusses the dangers of over-fasting
Today it’s great to chat with Julie Lythcott-Haims on the show. Julie believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. She is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean. She serves on the board of Common Sense Media, and on the advisory board of LeanIn.Org, and she is a former board member at Foundation for a College Education, Global Citizen Year, The Writers Grotto, and Challenge Success. Julie is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American. Her third book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, will be out in April 2021.
[1:32] How Julie defines “adulting”
[3:07] How the way we define adulthood has changed over time
[5:59] What is the “adult mindset”?
[8:00] Why Julie challenges the “right track” concept of adulthood
[15:07] Julie’s advice to those who want to take an unconventional path
[18:57] Julie’s advice to those struggling with questions of identity
[20:46] Julie’s encounters with racism and “othering”
[26:21] Julie’s promise of inclusivity and how she overcame her struggles
[29:40] Julie’s thoughts on self-acceptance and self-love
[33:22] How Julie collected inspiring stories from people for her book
[37:15] Julie’s advice to people who struggle to embrace outsiders
[40:17] How Julie ended up interviewing her Lyft driver for her book
[42:54] Julie’s reflections on intuition and her observational capacity
[45:43] “Life’s beautiful F-words”
Today it’s great to chat with Daniel Kahneman, one of the most influential psychologists of all time. Kahneman is known for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making as well as behavioral economics, for which he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. He is author of the bestselling book Thinking, Fast and Slow and co-author of the recent book Noise: A Flaw in Judgment. In 2013, Kahneman received the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama.
[1:11] Daniel’s early childhood
[4:11] Daniel’s experiences in Nazi-occupied France [6:38] Daniel’s escape from Nazi-occupied France
[10:59] Daniel’s recollection of the birth of Israel
[14:39] How Daniel’s work in the army influenced his work
[20:50] Daniel’s work at UC Berkeley
[23:02] Daniel’s shift in focus from perception & attention to judgment & decision-making
[28:18] The importance of "adversarial collaboration"
[34:52] The development of Daniel’s ambitions in psychology
[37:23] The difference between System 1 and System 2 in psychology
[47:29] Daniel’s thoughts on the free will debate
[50:34] Daniel’s thoughts on individual differences in System 1
[53:54] Daniel’s thoughts on Seymour Epstein’s dual-process model
[57:15] Scott and Daniel discuss individual differences in System 1
[1:02:48] How Daniel moved into investigating hedonic psychology
[1:08:44] Daniel’s response to the current research on well-being
[1:16:00] Hope vs hopefulness as a psychological intervention
[1:19:55] The distinction between the science of well-being vs. the application of the science of well-being
[1:27:00] The link between wealth and happiness
[1:31:15] The difference between bias and noise
[1:36:38] The issue of noise across various disciplines
[1:31:39] What is decision hygiene?
[1:42:47] How Daniel has grown over time as a person
[1:45:38] Daniel’s reflections on winning the Nobel Prize
[1:48:09] What Daniel would study today and where he sees behavioral economics going
[1:50:46] What Daniel wants his greatest legacy to be
[1:53:12] Daniel’s advice to young psychologists
Jesse Singal is a contributing writer at New York and the former editor of the magazine’s Science of Us online vertical, as well as the cohost of the podcast Blocked and Reported. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Slate, The Boston Globe, The Daily Beast, and other publications. He was a Bosch Fellow in Berlin and holds a master’s degree from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. His book The Quick Fix: Why Fad Psychology Can't Cure Our Social Ills will be published in April.
[1:45] How Jesse caught on to the issue of junk science
[5:18] What is "fad psychology"?
[10:30] Jesse’s critique of mindset interventions
[19:03] The challenges that scientists face
[20:10] Why do we hold scientists to a higher standard than self-help gurus?
[24:46] How valid is the Implicit Association Test (IAT)?
[29:00] Jesse’s thoughts on implicit bias
[31:39] Jesse and Scott discuss Angela Duckworth’s research on grit
[40:34] What does it mean to be living in the “age of fracture”?
[42:05] How Jesse responds to those who claim to benefit from non-scientifically validated self-help interventions
[45:16] Jesse’s thoughts on the science of self-esteem
[50:00] Jesse and Scott discuss monocausal vs multicausal accounts of human behavior
Links and Resources
Jesse Singal's book
Today it’s great to have Ayaan Hirsi Ali on the podcast. Ayaan is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and founder of the AHA Foundation. She has written several books including Infidel (2007), Nomad: from Islam to America, a Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations (2010), Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now (2015) and The Challenge of Dawa (2017). Her latest book Prey was published by Harper Collins in 2020. In 2005, Ayaan was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world
[1:58] Ayaan’s early childhood experiences
[4:47] Ayaan’s personal experience with female genital mutilation
[7:39] Which values are moving humanity in a better or worse direction?
[14:02] Ayaan’s relationship with Islam and why she left
[18:41] Ayaan’s current feelings about religion in general
[20:29] Ayaan’s response to critics who doubt her story
[22:19] Ayaan’s conceptualization of Islam and the classifications of Muslims
[28:43] Ayaan’s thoughts on Islam and Western values
[32:39] Ayaan’s response to individuals who call her an "Islamaphobe"
[38:35] Ayaan’s first impressions of the Netherlands
[40:38] Ayaan’s thoughts on modern American feminism
[44:15] Ayaan discusses her own views of feminism
[45:44] Why Ayaan focuses on Muslim migrants in her book
[49:01] How to sidestep vilification of two vulnerable populations
Today it’s great to have Michael Murphy on the podcast. Michael is co-founder of Esalen Institute, a pioneer of the Human Potential Movement, and author of many influential books on extraordinary human potential.
[1:38] Michael’s early life
[4:09] Michael’s connection with religion
[8:00] How Michael and Dick Price met and founded the Esalen Institute
[14:34] Michael’s connection to Abraham Maslow
[19:07] Michael’s guest list for Esalen
[27:12] How Michael built Esalen
[33:00] Michael’s thoughts on black-white encounter groups
[40:53] How Esalen Institute's geography informs its practices
[43:59] Integral Transformative Practice (ITP)
[47:40] How Michael defines heart & soul
[53:48] What is our deepest birthright?
[56:28] Where Michael sees humanity going
[1:06:14] How to carry on the Human Potential Movement
Today it’s great to chat with Nedra Glover Tawwab. Nedra is a licensed therapist and sought-after relationship expert. She has practiced relationship therapy for 13 years and is the founder and owner of the group therapy practice, Kaleidoscope Counseling. Nedra has been featured recently in The New York Times, The Guardian, Psychology Today, Self, and Vice, and has appeared on numerous podcasts. She runs a popular Instagram account where she shares practices, tools, and reflections for mental health and hosts weekly Q&As.
[2:20] Why Nedra wrote a book on boundaries
[3:24] What is a boundary?
[4:22] What is “enmeshment”?
[5:55] Signs you need to set boundaries
[8:52] Why we’re afraid of setting boundaries
[11:16] Is there hope for chronic people-pleasers?
[12:07] Nedra’s personal journey with boundaries
[21:23] How to set professional boundaries
[27:34] Nedra’s experiences with setting professional boundaries
[34:43] The benefits of having healthy boundaries
[36:36] How mental health impacts your physical health
[40:31] How to help people without burning out
[43:40] The importance of boundaries in achieving a work/life balance
[46:57] The 6 types of boundaries
[50:17] Nedra’s experience with writing her book
[51:57] Nedra’s thoughts on growing her Instagram account
[55:26] Porous vs rigid boundaries
[57:09] How boundaries shift depending on the person
[58:13] How to enforce a boundary
[1:00:39] How to deal with depersonalization
Today the tables are turned on The Psychology Podcast as Andrew Yang interviews Scott Barry Kaufman! This is a really meaningful episode for Scott, as he was a big supporter of Andrew's presidential campaign, and is