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Two Psychologists Four Beers

Science Podcasts

Two psychologists endeavor to drink four beers while discussing news and controversies in science, academia, and beyond.

Two psychologists endeavor to drink four beers while discussing news and controversies in science, academia, and beyond.




Two psychologists endeavor to drink four beers while discussing news and controversies in science, academia, and beyond.




Episode 62: Actually Against Academia (with Lee Jussim)

Lee Jussim joins the show to argue that we have been too soft on academia. We discuss problems in psychology and the social sciences including ideological bias, politically-motivated retractions, and more. Have things gotten better or worse over the past 10 years? Plus: is Lee bad at Twitter? Special Guest: Lee Jussim.


Episode 61: Bullshit, Misinformation, and What to Do About It (with Gord Pennycook)

Psychologist Gordon Pennycook joins the show to talk bullshit and misinformation. What is bullshit, and why do some people fall for it more than others? Why does misinformation spread so readily, and what can be done to stop it? Plus: Yoel asks some perfectly reasonable questions about COVID's origins, and Mickey indulges in some Canadian content. Special Guest: Gordon Pennycook.


Episode 60: 2020 Silver Linings

Mickey and Yoel follow up on two recent episodes ("Against Academia?" and "Racism and Sexism on Campus"). Then they review some of the less-bad aspects of 2020 and recommend some things that got them through a challenging year. Plus: what 80s band was Mickey the #1 fan of?


Episode 59: Talking about Talking (with Katie Kinzler)

Psychologist Katie Kinzler joins the show to talk language. How do children and adults make judgments about people based on how they talk? Is there a "bilingual advantage"? And does Mickey sound Canadian? Bonus: When deciding whether to go to grad school, should you not do what Katie did? Special Guest: Katherine (Katie) Kinzler.


Episode 58: Sexism and Racism on Campus (with Anne Wilson)

Repeat guest Anne Wilson joins the show to talk about two recent papers about bias in psychology and on campus. Is gender and racial bias pervasive? Or are things better than many of us might think? We also discuss the recent "female mentorship" paper that's been causing quite the hubbub. Special Guest: Anne Wilson.


Episode 57: Against Academia?

Mickey and Yoel tackle the pros and cons of academia. As an academic, is it taboo to say you love your job? How hard do we work anyway? If we ran the world, how would we change academic hiring? Also: why do reporters call us and ask us for our opinion?


Episode 56: The Kindness of Strangers (with Michael McCullough)

Psychologist Michael McCullough joins the show to talk forgiveness, punishment, and how we came to care about the welfare of people we don't know. Also: a listener calls out our dubious math. Special Guest: Michael McCullough.


Episode 55: All In (with Maria Konnikova)

Psychologist and author Maria Konnikova joins the show to talk poker, life, and what one teaches you about the other. She talks with us about working with Walter Mischel as a graduate student, her decision to leave the academic track to become an author, and her latest book, The Biggest Bluff, in which she describes how she became a tournament-winning professional poker player. Bonus: who will win our round of Lodden Thinks? Special Guest: Maria Konnikova.


Episode 54: Being WEIRD (with Joe Henrich)

Yoel and Mickey interview one of the most influential social scientists of our generation, Harvard University's Joe Henrich. Why are people from the West so peculiar, so different from other people the world over? What led the West to be particularly prosperous? If not intelligence, what marks humans as so special? What are the various approaches to the evolutionary study of human behaviour? Does psychology suffer from a theory crisis? Has religion been a net plus to the survival of human...


Episode 53: The COVID debate (with Robb Willer and Simine Vazire)

Robb Willer and Simine Vazire join the podcast to debate whether social science, in its current form, can usefully contribute to our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Is psychology ready to give trustworthy advice to policy-makers? Plus: Yoel shirks his beer-drinking, yet again. Special Guests: Robb Willer and Simine Vazire.


Episode 52: Cold Takes (with Neil Lewis, Jr.)

Yoel and Mickey welcome Neil Lewis, Jr. of Cornell University to the podcast. Is psychology ready to be applied to help the response to the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the opportunity costs of applying a psychological intervention? How does Neil navigate Twitter so effectively? What will Neil be doing over at FiveThirtyEight? What can meta-analyses and registered reports tell us about stereotype threat? Bonus: How is Mickey like Jesus? Special Guest: Neil Lewis, Jr..


Episode 51: Against Orthodoxy

After over a year of (mostly) avoiding controversial topics, Yoel and Mickey dive in to talk about orthodoxy, dissent, and "cancel culture." Does the narrowing of acceptable views make us dumber or does it represent a drawing of new moral boundaries that make us more kind? How does the silencing of dissent lead to self-censoring? Why does it appear like some people are given more permission to dissent than others? Is cancel culture leading to a right-wing backlash? Bonus: Why was the podcast...


Episode 50: The Upside of Feeling Bad (with Claudia Haase)

For their 50th episode, Yoel and Mickey welcome Northwestern University psychologist Claudia Haase to the podcast to discuss relationships and mistakes. What was life like in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin wall? How can Yoel and Mickey iron out their relationship problems? How is life as a working academic and mother during a global pandemic? Why are people so scared to admit to their mistakes? How can we learn from failure? Bonus: Should you delete Twitter? Special Guest:...


Episode 49: Why Buddhism is Wrong (with Evan Thompson)

Yoel and Mickey have a far ranging conversation with University of British Columbia professor of philosophy, Evan Thompson. Despite growing up with a daily meditation practice and contributing to the cognitive science of mindfulness, why does Evan not consider himself a Buddhist? Is Buddhism a religion that is truly different from other religions? Is the self an illusion, as is popularily portrayed by Buddhist modernists such as Sam Harris? What do failures to replicate social psychology...


Episode 48: Clocks and Garbage Cans (with Rachel Ruttan)

Yoel and Mickey host Rachel Ruttan, who is an assisant professor of organizational behavior and human resources at the Rotman School of Management. What is organizational behavior and how is it different from psychology? What makes for a good research idea? How is figure skating like academia? When big corporations espouse social values, does it cheapen people's commitment to these values? Bonus: What is the best way to suss out if a new friend smokes weed? Special Guest: Rachel Ruttan.


Episode 47: Talking about Racism (with Keith Maddox)

Yoel and Mickey welcome back returning guest Keith Maddox from Tufts University to talk about his research on racism. What is shadeism? Can anything be done to make it easier to talk about race and racism? What happens to poeple who confront racism? Has social psychology overplayed the impact of implicit prejudice? Has psychology overplayed the role of the individual racist, and not focused enough on structural racism? Special Guest: Keith Maddox.


Episode 46: Very Good Men (with Very Bad Wizards)

Yoel and Mickey try to settle their feud with the boys from Very Bad Wizards, Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro. They discuss what psychology, philosophy, and art can and can't do. Does psychology get more respect than it deserves? How has philosophy contributed to supporting the COVID-19 pandemic response? In principle, is it possible to measure authoritarianism or love or neuroticism? How has VBW not become an icon of the IDW? Bonus: Who loves Tamler's step-mother the most? Special Guest:...


Episode 45: Being Human (with Scott Barry Kaufman)

Yoel and Mickey welcome humanistic psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman to the show. Scott talks about his academic path from intelligence researcher to positive psychologist. What is humanistic psychology? Can one study humananistic concepts like self-actualization, flourishing, and meaning scientifically? What does evolutionary psychology get wrong about basic human needs? Bonus: SBK sings! Special Guest: Scott Barry Kaufman.


Episode 44: Psychology in the Time of COVID-19

Yoel and Mickey spend the first half of the episode discussing how thier lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. How has the pademic affected those with and without children? How has the pandemic impacted our various relationships? For the second half of the episode, they discuss what to make of the rush of psychology research on COVID-19. Given psychology's noted problems with replication, generalizability, and standards of evidence, should psychologists be trying to shape public...


Episode 43: Penumbral Fuzz (with Nina Strohminger)

Yoel and Mickey welcome Nina Strohminger, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics at the Wharton School of Business, to the show. Nina delivers entertaining takes on digust and morality, the true self, adventures in academia, and writing heroic book reviews. Do incidental emotions reliably impact decision making? What aspect of mind is at the core of one's identity? Which neurodegenerative diseases are the most difficult for caregivers to cope with? What does Nina really think...