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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 74: Pleasurable Suffering (with Paul Bloom)

Paul Bloom joins us to talk about why we want to suffer. Sometimes it's a means to an end, but sometimes we desire it for its own sake. Among other things, we talk about mountain-climbing, whether you'd want to run just the end of the marathon, experience machines, BDSM, and parenting. Plus, a very special extra guest host, kidney donation, pronouns, and trigger warnings. Special Guest: Paul Bloom.


Episode 73: We Need to Talk About Fraud (with Joe Simmons)

Yoel and Alexa are joined by Joe Simmons to talk about fraud. We go in-depth on a recent high-profile fraud case, but we also talk about scientific fraud more generally: how common is it, how do you detect it, and what can we do to prevent it? Special Guest: Joe Simmons.


Episode 72: The Climate Survey (with Danielle McDuffie)

Danielle McDuffie is a graduate student in psychology at the University of Alabama. This is the story of how she ran a graduate student climate survey, the explosive results, and the very contentious year that ensued. Special Guest: Danielle McDuffie.


Episode 71: The Good Life

Alexa and Yoel discuss a new paper (Oishi & Westgate, 2021) arguing that psychological richness is an overlooked aspect of the good life. In the process, they compare psychologically-rich-life scores, plan hypothetical vacations, and compare major regrets. Also, Alexa reviews an (accidentally-purchased) alcohol-free beer.


Episode 70: Older

Alexa and Yoel tackle the most dreaded subject: getting older. Have they become better researchers and people over the years? Are they happier and more connected? Or are they just more forgetful and less good at stats? Plus: some listener feedback about self-care raises conceptual questions about suffering.


Episode 69: How to Self-Care

Alexa and Yoel go deep on self-care. What is it, how do you do it, and why does the term raise Yoel's hackles? How hard do we actually work, and should we be trying to work less? Also, Alexa shares an amazingly successful culinary experiment.


Episode 68: How (Not) to be a Hater

Alexa and Yoel discuss "The Anticreativity Letters," a satirical article by Richard Nisbett that advises young psychology researchers to (among other things) avoid being overly critical. How does the article's advice hold up today? How does one combine appropriate skepticism with enthusiasm for research? Or are the two in conflict at all? Plus: Alexa gets salty about salty drinks, and Yoel returns to the gym.


Episode 67: Getting Drunk (with Ted Slingerland)

Mickey and Yoel welcome repeat guest Ted Slingerland to talk about his new book "Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization," in which he makes the case for alcohol. Also, why are Yoel's guns out, and what was Mickey's worst trip? Special Guest: Edward (Ted) Slingerland.


Episode 66: How is Open Science Doing?

Yoel and Alexa discuss progress in open science over the past 10 years. Is the scientific reform glass half-full or half-empty? Where have we made progress, and what still needs work? We use two papers describing "Scientific Utopia" by Nosek and colleagues (written nearly 10 years ago!) in order to evaluate our progress. Also, the true story of how Ashley Madison got its name.


Episode 65: Our Social Media Prisms

Mickey, Alexa, and Yoel break down "Breaking the Social Media Prism," a new book arguing that social media reinforces our pre-existing political beliefs and polarizes us against the other side. Plus, HUGE NEWS about who's hosting the show. Also, Yoel gets a French lesson.


Episode 64: Quick Fixes (with Jesse Singal)

Journalist and podcaster Jesse Singal joins the show to talk about the enduring popularity of social-psychological quick fixes and how they go wrong. Plus: what is wrong with how the media covers science? Special Guest: Jesse Singal.


Episode 63: Legalize It (with Carl Hart)

Neuroscientist and addiction researcher Carl Hart joins the show to talk drug legalization. Why does he think all drugs should be legal? What are some common myths about drug use and addiction? And how has his personal experience as a regular drug user influenced his views? Bonus: What drugs should we try next? Special Guest: Carl Hart.


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.