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You Are Not So Smart


You Are Not So Smart is a show about psychology t…

You Are Not So Smart is a show about psychology t…


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You Are Not So Smart is a show about psychology t…




189 - The Vaccine

In this giant episode, experts on vaccines, epidemiology, psychology, and science communication explain how we created so much confusion about COVID-19, and how we can avoid doing it again when a vaccine is ready for widespread, public distribution. We also learn exactly what it will take to make that vaccine and when it will likely arrive. - Show notes at: - Become a patron at: See for privacy...


188 - The Happiness Lab (rebroadcast)

In this episode, we welcome Yale psychologist Laurie Santos who discusses her new podcast, The Happiness Lab which explores how wrong and misguided we can be when we pursue the things we think will make us happy or avoid the things that we think will make us sad. Based on the psychology course she teaches at Yale - the most popular class in the university’s 300-year history - The Happiness Lab is a tour of the latest scientific research into what does and does not make us happy. - Show notes...


187 - Bad Habits (rebroadcast)

In this episode, Dr. Jud Brewer, a neuroscientist and addiction psychiatrist, discusses bad habits and how to change them. He is the author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love -- Why We Get Hooked and how We Can Break Bad Habits -- and his TED Talk on how to change a bad habit has more than 12 million views. But...we talk about so many other things in this episode. It's a free association smorgasbord of brain stuff that will rattle your head. ::: Show Notes at...


186 - Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (rebroadcast)

In Lori Gottlieb's new book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, she opens with a quote from James Baldwin that reads, "Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch." In this episode, we talk about therapy, how it works, the misconceptions around it, and how people go from resisting change to embracing the behaviors required to alter their own thoughts and feelings when stuck in destructive, unhealthy loops....


185 - Masks

In this episode we explore the psychology behind why some people don't want to wear masks, why they get angry at the idea, and why they sometimes take to the streets and city council meetings to voice that anger. Four guests help us to understand how masks, during a the COVID-19 pandemic, became politicized and what we can learn from this going forward to help prevent a similar reaction when it comes time to convince to public they should get vaccinated. See


184 - The Blind Spots Between Us

Our guest in this episode is Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, a disaster-avoidance expert who has spent more than 20 years training businesses how to de-bias themselves. He is the author for Never Trust Your Gut and he is here to talk about his new book The Blind Spots Between Us. See for privacy information.


183 - Black Lives Matter

In this episode, members of the Association of Black Psychologists gather in a roundtable discussion to explore Black Lives Matter and the social movement taking place right now in The United States. See for privacy information.


182 - The A/B Effect (rebroadcast)

So, you might think that, in general, as an idea, as a practice, the A/B test would be beloved, supported, and encouraged as a way to test out policies and practices and drugs and treatments, but new research shows that a significant portion of the public does not feel this way, enough to cause doctors and lawmakers and educators to avoid A/B testing altogether. -- Show Notes at: -- -- Become a patron at: -- SPONSORS • The Great Courses...


181 - Pluralistic Ignorance (rebroadcast)

There are several ways to define pluralistic ignorance, and that’s because it’s kind of a brain twister when you try to put it into words. On certain issues, the majority of the people believe that the majority of the people in a group believe what, in truth, the minority of the members believe. Or put another way, it is the erroneous belief that the majority is acting in a way that matches its internal philosophies, and that you are one of a small number of people who feel differently, when...


180 - Meltdown

In this episode we sit down with Chris Clearfield, author of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail and What We Can Do About It See for privacy information.


179 - The Memory Illusion

Our guest on this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is Dr. Julia Shaw, the author of The Memory Illusion, Julia is famous among psychologists because she was able to implant false memories into a group of subjects and convince 70 percent of them that they were guilty of a crime they did not commit, and she did so by using the sort of sloppy interrogation techniques that some police departments have been truly been guilty of using in the past. - Show notes at:...


178 - Behind the Curve (rebroadcast)

In this episode, we sit down with the director and producers of the documentary film, Behind the Curve, an exploration of motivated reasoning and conspiratorial thinking told through the lives of people who have formed a community around the belief that the Earth is flat. - Show notes at: - Become a patron at: SPONSORS • The Great Courses: • BetterHelp -- Offer code: YANSS --


177 - COVID - 19

Flatten the curve. That idea has spread through the population faster than COVID-19 ever could. That’s the power of culture, of human psychology, of brains interacting with brains. Of course, culture and human psychology and brains interacting with brains are also how the virus spread to begin to with, and that is what this show is about — the psychology behind the spread, and the prevention of the spread, of COVID-19. When I asked followers on Twitter what kind of show they would want if I...


176 - Socks and Crocs - Part Two

Priors are what neuroscientists and philosophers call the years of experience and regularity leading up to the present. All the ways a ball has bounced, all the ways a pancake has tasted, the way the dogs in your life have barks, or bitten, or hugged you when you were sad -- these all shape the brain, literally. They form and prune our neural networks, so in situations that are uncertain, unfamiliar or ambiguous, we depend on those priors to help us disambiguate the new information coming...


175 - Socks And Crocs - Part One

Back in 2015, before Brexit, before Clinton vs. Trump, before weaponized Macedonian internet trolls, one NPR affiliate called The Dress, “The debate that broke the internet,” and The Washington Post referred to it as “The drama that divided the planet.” This episode isn’t just about the science behind The Dress. it’s about how the scientific investigation of The Dress lead to the scientific investigation of socks and crocs, and how the scientific investigation of socks and crocs may be, as...


174 - Bad Advice (rebroadcast)

In this episode, we sit down with vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit to discuss his new book, Bad Advice or Why Celebrities, Politicians, and Activists Aren't Your Best Source of Health Information. Offit has been fighting for years to promote vaccines, educate the public, and oppose the efforts of anti-vaxxers, and in his new book he offers advice for science consumers and communicators on how to deal with what he calls the opaque window of modern media which gives equal time to non-experts when...


173 - Rule Makers, Rule Breakers

In this episode, we sit down with psychologist Michele Gelfand and discuss her new book: Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. In the book, Gelfand presents her research into norms, and a fascinating new idea. It isn’t norms themselves that predict how cultures will react, evolve, innovate, and clash -- but how different cultures value those and sanction people who violate them. She categorizes all human cultures into two -- kinds, tight and loose -- and...


172 - Team Human (rebroadcast)

In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast we sit down with one of the original cyberpunks, the famed journalist, documentarian, media theorist, all-around technology superstar and weirdo, Douglas Rushkoff. MIT considers Rushkoff one of the "world's ten most influential thinkers," and in the episode we talk about his latest (and 20th) book, Team Human. The book is a bit of a manifesto in which he imagines a new counterculture that would revolt against the algorithms that are slowly...


171 - Partisan Brains

Jay Van Bavel studies “from neurons to social collective concerns -- group identities, moral values, and political beliefs -- shape the mind and brain,” and in this episode we travel to his office at NYU to sit down and ask him a zillion questions about how the brain uses motivated reasoning to create the separate realities we argue over on a daily basis. See for privacy information.


170 - Mark Sargent

In October of 2019 I sat down with prominent Flat Earther Mark Sargent in Stockholm, Sweden at the Gather Festival to try and understand the reasoning behind his beliefs, and non-beliefs, that run counter to the scientific consensus that the Earth is a globe. See for privacy information.