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Episode 29: Sacred Values

Yoel and Mickey discuss sacred values. How are sacred valued different from other values? What are the hallmarks of values that have become sacrilized? Why does it seem crass, or even offensive, to suggest trading off a sacred value (such as diversity value) against other, more mundane considerations? What does it mean that sacred values are dose insensitive and evidence insensitive? Bonus: Do scientists who attended conferences sponsored by the late Jeffrey Epstein need to morally cleanse?


Episode 28: Better Advice (with Alexa Tullett)

Yoel and Mickey welcome Associate Professor of Psychology, Alexa Tullett from the University of Alabama to the podcast. Co-host of The Black Goat podcast and board member of the Society for the Improvement of Psychological Science (SIPS), Alexa talks about being a Canadian early career researcher working in the US. What research is Alexa most excited about these days? How did she become interested in meta science? What advice would she give to non-Americans thinking of working in academia in...


Episode 27: Against Mindfulness

Playing devil's advocate, Yoel and Mickey mount a criticism against the scientific study of mindfulness. What is mindfulness? Can we measure it? Is mindfulness-based therapy effective? Can mindfulness improve the quality of attention beyond the meditation cushion? Are effects of mindfulness mostly placebo effects produced by motivated practitioners and adherents? Should we be impressed by mindfulness meditation’s supposed effects on conceptions of the self? Is mindfulness, in all its...


Episode 26: Terrible Advice (with Paul Bloom)

Yoel and Mickey welcome Paul Bloom to the podcast, who is not only a returning guest but also the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. We first give terrible advice on parenting. Does parenting affect happiness, relationship satisfaction, and meaning? Does parenting screw with prospective decision making because it leaves the decision maker utterly transformed? We next discuss perversity. Why do we enjoy doing transgressive things? Who is likely to be...


Episode 25: Truth and Political Bias in Psychology (with John Jost)

Yoel and Mickey welcome Professor of Psychology and Politics John Jost from New York University to the podcast. Author of the most influential political psychology paper of the last two decades, John talks about the role of psychology in politics and the role of politics in psychology. Is it fair to characterize conservatives as dogmatic, rigid, and close-minded? Given replication failures, are conservatives indeed more attuned to negative stimuli in their environments? Does the description...


Episode 24: Heuristics and Biases in the Democratic Primary

Yoel and Mickey take a deep dive into the Democratic Primary field, asking what the field of judgment and decision making can teach us about the large and diverse field of Democratic candidates. Why is Biden leading in the polls? Is Elizabeth Warren being helped by Kamala Harris? Why isn’t Biden hurt by progressives’ deep dislike of him? What should we make of one-issue voters? Bonus: Yoel makes a fearless and consequential prediction. Who will make him stick to his word?


Episode 23: Slow-Form Journalism (with Daniel Engber)

Yoel and Mickey welcome Slate columnist Daniel Engber to the podcast. Dan talks about the state of science journalism, including what he sees as more skeptical, less credulous reporting. He also talks about the replication crisis in psychology, imposter syndrome in academics, concussion in sport, and the value of blue-ribbon panels opining on the state of science. Dan also delights with his contrarian takes on marathon running, the windchill factor, and a computer’s progress bar. Bonus: Yoel...


Episode 22: Blend of Darkness (with Brent Roberts)

Yoel and Mickey welcome Professor of Psychology Brent Roberts from the University of Illinois to the podcast. One of the most influential personality psychologists of our day, Brent unleashes his thoughts on broad range of topics: candidate gene studies, personality, conscientiousness, coddling of the American mind, screen-time, senior colleagues, and the replication crisis in psychology. What is personality and how does it change? Why do people love the Myers-Briggs personality test? How...


Episode 21: Perils of Privilege

Yoel and Mickey discuss the concept of privilege, the unearned, sometimes invisible conditions of a person’s life that give them advantages that others might not have. What are the benefits of acknowledging one’s privilege and calling it out in others? Are there drawbacks to focusing on the immutable characteristics of a person that might normally proffer advantages? If all our characteristics are unearned, that is products of biology and environment that we have zero control over, should...


Episode 20: Apostasy and Dissent (with Sarah Haider)

Yoel and Mickey talk with Sarah Haider, the co-founder and Executive Director of Ex-Muslims of North America, an organization that advocates for the acceptance of religious dissent and supports those who leave Islam. Sarah talks about her own experience of growing up Muslim and leaving her faith; the unique predicament of and risks for Muslim dissenters; and how US partisan politics make her work more difficult. Bonus: Sarah gives Mickey pointers on how to avoid using Twitter as an outrage...


Episode 19: Two Normies Four Beers

Yoel and Mickey discuss Kill All Normies, a book written by Angela Nagle about the online culture wars, the rise of transgressive politics, and the disappearance of moderates. But, first they discuss a new journal article titled The Paradox of Viral Outrage suggesting that online pile-ons tend to backfire Bonus: What does Mickey really think about Christina Hoff Sommers?


Need to create downtime in our lives

On popular request, a short clip from episode 18 ( with Ted Slingerland on why we need to set aside downtime in our lives; and how to do it. Special Guest: Edward (Ted) Slingerland.


A Schedule Update (Shomer F*cking Sabbatical)

We are going to be on a one-episode-a-month schedule till May. Why? Because Mickey is on sabbatical from his cough incredibly demanding job: ✈️🌴🏖🍹😎


Episode 18: What Science and the Humanities Offer Each Other (with Edward Slingerland)

Yoel and Mickey welcome Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies, Edward (Ted) Slingerland from the University of British Columbia to the podcast. Ted discusses what the sciences can offer the humanities, but also how the humanities can enrich science. Ted then discusses his popular book, "Trying Not To Try", where he describes the Chinese concept of Wu-Wei, which can be defined as effortless action or spontaneity and proposes that the ever-striving West could use a lot more of it. Finally,...


Episode 17: Why Trump Won

Yoel and Mickey discuss Identity Crisis, a new book about the 2016 US presidential election written by the political scientists John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck. But first, they talk about the recent controversy over Patreon's ban of a provocative internet personality and what, if any, implications this has for free speech. Bonus: who is Mickey's favorite Sex and the City character?


Episode 16: How Polarized Are We? (with Anne Wilson)

Yoel and Mickey sit down with Anne Wilson of Wilfrid Laurier University to discuss free speech, the Lindsay Shepherd case, political polarization, #MeToo, and more. Bonus: how many tattoos does Mickey have, and is that why he's less trustworthy? Special Guest: Anne Wilson.


Episode 15: Just When You Think You're Out

Yoel and Mickey discuss two mini-controversies recently in the news: 1) Should equity, diversity, and inclusion statements be required from academic job candidates? Do they signal the liberal values of academia, and if so, is that a bad thing? 2) Are psychologists disproportionately likely to argue that free speech is in crisis on campus? If so, why? Bonus: Mickey describes an intimate product that he definitely does not own.


Episode 14: Vices (with Elizabeth Page-Gould)

Yoel and Mickey have their first repeat guest as Liz Page-Gould joins them to talk vices. Weed, booze and porn are all on the table (well, not literally) as we take on some popular vices. Why do you get paranoid when you smoke? Was alcohol really the impetus for agriculture? Is watching porn bad for your relationship? Bonus: learn who's watched porn in the last week. Special Guest: Elizabeth Page-Gould.


Episode 13: What's Wrong with the IAT? (with Jesse Singal)

Journalist Jesse Singal joins Yoel and Mickey to talk about the state of science journalism, what he thinks is wrong with how people interpret the Implicit Association Test (IAT), and the pros and cons of moral outrage. Why do so many science journalists simply repeat talking points from university press releases? Is it ethical to administer the IAT as a teaching tool? What is social media like for a journalist? Bonus: Yoel, Mickey, & Jesse discuss a new paper arguing there are upsides to...


Episode 12: Everybody Hates Social Media

Mickey and Yoel take on social media. What are the upsides and downsides of being on social media, particularly Twitter? Why does Mickey ban himself from social media for most of the day? What led Yoel to abandon Twitter entirely for two weeks, and what drew him back in? Would the open science movement have happened without social media? Bonus: when is it a good idea to give voice to the voiceless?