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You Are Not So Smart

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You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self delusion that explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies. David McRaney interviews scientists about their research into how the mind works, and then he eats a cookie.

You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self delusion that explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies. David McRaney interviews scientists about their research into how the mind works, and then he eats a cookie.
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Location:

United States

Description:

You Are Not So Smart is a celebration of self delusion that explores topics related to cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies. David McRaney interviews scientists about their research into how the mind works, and then he eats a cookie.

Language:

English


Episodes

140 - Machine Bias (rebroadcast)

11/4/2018
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We've transferred our biases to artificial intelligence, and now those machine minds are creating the futures they predict. But there's a way to stop it. In this episode we explore how machine learning is biased, sexist, racist, and prejudiced all around, and we meet the people who can explain why, and are going to try and fix it. --- • Show Notes: www.youarenotsosmart.com -- • The Great Courses: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/smart -- • Squarespace: www.squarespace.com CODE: SOSMART -- •...

Duration:00:53:19

139 - The Friendship Cure

10/20/2018
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On this episode, we welcome journalist Kate Leaver to talk about her new book The Friendship Cure in which she explores the crippling, damaging, life-threatening impact of loneliness and the severe mental health impacts of living a life disconnected from a support network of close contacts. But...there is a cure...learning how to connect with others and curate better friendships. In the interview we talk about loneliness, how to make friends, the difference between male and female...

Duration:01:20:29

138 - Evil

10/8/2018
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In this episode, we sit down with psychologist Julia Shaw, an expert in memory and criminal psychology, to discuss her new book - Evil. In the book, she makes a case for something she calls "evil empathy," seeing people who do heinous things as fellow human beings instead of as monsters. According to Shaw, othering criminals by categorizing them as a separate kind of human allows us to put them out of our minds and disappear them to institutions or prisons. The result is we become less-able...

Duration:00:53:49

137 - Narrative Persuasion (rebroadcast)

9/23/2018
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One of the most effective ways to change people’s minds is to put your argument into a narrative format, a story, but not just any story. The most persuasive narratives are those that transport us. Once departed from normal reality into the imagined world of the story we become highly susceptible to belief and attitude change. In this episode, you’ll learn from psychologist Melanie C. Greene the four secrets to creating the most persuasive narratives possible. - Show notes at:...

Duration:00:38:34

136 - Prevalence Induced Concept Change

9/10/2018
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In this episode we explore prevalence induced concept change. In a nutshell, when we set out to change the world by reducing examples of something we have deemed problematic, and we succeed, a host of psychological phenomena can mask our progress and make those problems seem intractable -- as if we are only treading water when, in fact, we’ve created the change we set out to make. Sponsors: -- • The Great Courses: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/smart -- • Squarespace: www.squarespace.com CODE:...

Duration:00:32:20

130 - The Half LIfe of Facts (rebroadcast)

6/18/2018
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In medical school they tell you half of what you are about to learn won't be true when you graduate - they just don't know which half. In every field of knowledge, half of what is true today will overturned, replaced, or refined at some point, and it turns out that we actually know when that will be for many things. In this episode, listen as author and scientist Sam Arbesman explains how understanding the half life of facts can lead to better lives, institutions, and, of course, better...

Duration:00:30:39

129 - Desirability Bias (rebroadcast)

6/4/2018
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Confirmation bias is our tendency to seek evidence that supports our beliefs and confirms our assumptions when we could just as well seek disconfirmation of those beliefs and assumptions instead. This is such a prevalent feature of human cognition, that until recently a second bias has been hidden in plain sight. Our past beliefs and future desires usually match up. Desirability is often twisted into confirmation like a single psychological braid - but recent research suggests that something...

Duration:00:33:10

128 - Happy Brain

5/21/2018
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What makes you happy? As in, what generates happiness inside the squishy bits that reside inside your skull? That's what author and neuroscientist Dean Burnett set out to answer in his new book, Happy Brain, which explores both the environmental and situational factors that lead to and away from happiness, and the neurological underpinnings of joy, bliss, comfort, love, and connection. In the episode you'll hear all that and more as we talk about what we know so far about the biological...

Duration:01:28:17

127 - Selfie

5/7/2018
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In this episode, we sit down with author Will Storr to talk about his new book -- Selfie: How We Became so Self-Obsessed, and What it is Doing to Us. The book explores what he calls “the age of perfectionism” -- our modern struggle to meet newly emerging ideals and standards that tell us we are falling short of the person we ought to be. As he says in the book, "Perfectionism is the idea that kills," and you’ll hear him explain what he means by that in the interview.

Duration:01:23:35

126 - Separate Spheres (rebroadcast)

4/22/2018
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Despite their relative invisibility, a norm, even a dying one, can sometimes be harnessed and wielded like a weapon by conjuring up old fears from a bygone era. It’s a great way to slow down social change if you fear that change. When a social change threatens your ideology, fear is the simplest, easiest way to keep more minds from changing. In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, we explore how the separate spheres ideology is still affecting us today, and how some people are...

Duration:00:35:04

125 - Status Quo Rationalization

4/9/2018
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When faced with an inescapable and unwanted situation, we often rationalize our predicament so as to make it seem less awful and more bearable, but what if that situation is a new law or a new administration? The latest research suggests that groups, nations, and cultures sometimes rationalize the new normal in much the same way, altering public opinion on a large scale.

Duration:00:45:10

124 - Belief Change Blindness

3/26/2018
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When was the last time you changed your mind? Are you sure? In this episode we explore new research that suggests for the majority of the mind change we experience, after we update our priors, we delete what we used to believe and then simply forget that we ever thought otherwise. In the show, psychologists Michael Wolfe and Todd Williams, take us though their new research which suggests that because brains so value consistency, and are so determined to avoid the threat of decoherence, we...

Duration:00:40:15

123 - Active Information Avoidance (rebroadcast)

3/11/2018
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Little did the champions of the Enlightenment know that once we had access to all the facts…well, reason and rationality wouldn’t just immediately wash across the land in a giant wave of enlightenment thinking. While that may be happening in some ways, the new media ecosystem has also unshackled some of our deepest psychological tendencies, things that enlightenment thinkers didn’t know about, weren’t worried about, or couldn’t have predicted. Many of which we’ve discussed in previous...

Duration:00:28:18

122 - Tribal Psychology

2/26/2018
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The evidence is clear that humans value being good members of their tribes much more than they value being correct. We will choose to be wrong if it keeps us in good standing with our peers. In this episode, we explore how that affects politics and science communication, and how it is driving our growing partisan divide.

Duration:01:08:27

121 - Progress (rebroadcast)

2/11/2018
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Do we have the power to change the outcome of history? Is progress inevitable? Is it natural? Are we headed somewhere definite, or is change just chaos that seems organized in hindsight? In this episode we explore these questions with University of Chicago historian Ada Palmer. - Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com - Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart SPONSORS • Squarespace: www.squarespace.com - offer code SOSMART • The Great Courses: www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/smart

Duration:01:00:27

120 - The Backfire Effect - Part Four

1/28/2018
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Last year on this show, we did three episodes about the backfire effect, and by far, those episodes were the most popular we’ve ever done. In fact, the famous web comic The Oatmeal turned them into a sort of special feature, and that comic of those episodes was shared on Facebook a gazillion times, which lead to a stories about the comic in popular media, and then more people listened to the shows, on and on it went. You can go see it at The Oatmeal right now at the top of their page. It’s...

Duration:01:15:29

119 - The Unpersuadables

1/15/2018
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Our guest for this episode, Will Storr, wrote a book called The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science. In that book, Storr spends time with Holocaust deniers, young Earth creationists, people who believe they’ve lived past lives as famous figures, people who believe they’ve been abducted by aliens, people who stake their lives on the power of homeopathy, and many more – people who believe things that most of us do not. Storr explains in the book that after spending so much...

Duration:00:43:54

118 - Connections (rebroadcast)

12/31/2017
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In this episode of the YANSS Podcast, we sit down with legendary science historian James Burke. For much of his career, Burke has been creating documentaries and writing books aimed at helping us to make better sense of the enormous amount of information that he predicted would one day be at our fingertips. In Connections, he offered an “alternate view of history” in which great insights took place because of anomalies and mistakes, because people were pursuing one thing, but it lead...

Duration:00:57:34

117 - Idiot Brain (rebroadcast)

12/17/2017
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In this episode we interview Dean Burnett, author of "Idiot Brain: What Your Brain is Really Up To." Burnett's book is a guide to the neuroscience behind the things that our amazing brains do poorly. In the interview we discuss motion sickness, the pain of breakups, why criticisms are more powerful than compliments, the imposter syndrome, anti-intellectualism, irrational fears, and more. Burnett also explains how the brain is kinda sorta like a computer, but a really bad one that messes with...

Duration:00:47:58

116 - Reality (rebroadcast)

12/3/2017
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Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality? For our guest in this episode, cognitive psychologist Donald Hoffman, that's his day job. Hoffman has developed a new theory of consciousness that, should it prove true, may rearrange our understanding of reality itself. - Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com - Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart SPONSORS • The Great Courses: Free month at www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/smart • Squarespace: Use the offer code SOSMART at...

Duration:01:00:49