You Are Not So Smart-logo

You Are Not So Smart

1.5K Favorites

More Information

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

110 - Sleep Deprivation and Bias

9/10/2017
More
If you could compare the person you were before you became sleep deprived to the person after, you’d find you’ve definitely become...lesser than. When it comes to sleep deprivation, you can’t trust yourself to know just how much it is affecting you. You feel fine, maybe a bit drowsy, but your body is stressed in ways that diminish your health and slow your mind. In this episode, we sit down with two researchers whose latest work suggests sleep deprivation also affects how you see other...

Duration: 00:32:39


109 - The Search Effect (rebroadcast)

8/27/2017
More
What effect does Google have on your brain? Here's an even weirder question: what effect does knowing that you have access to Google have on your brain? In this episode we explore what happens when a human mind becomes aware that it can instantly, on-command, at any time, search for the answer to any question, and then, most of time, find it. According to researcher Matthew Fisher, one of the strange side effects is an inflated sense of internal knowledge. In other words, as we use search...

Duration: 00:50:37


108 - Pandora's Lab

8/14/2017
More
The facts don't speak for themselves. Someone always speaks for them. From the opioid crisis to the widespread use of lobotomies to quiet problem patients, celebrity scientists and charismatic doctors have made tremendous mistakes, but thanks to their fame, they escaped the corrective mechanisms of science itself. Science always corrects the problem, but before it does, many people can be harmed, and society can suffer. In this episode, we sit down with Dr. Paul Offit to discuss how we can...

Duration: 00:55:11


107 - Debate

7/30/2017
More
In late 2014 and early 2015, the city of Starkville, Mississippi, passed an anti-discrimination measure that lead to a series of public debates about an issue that people there had never discussed openly. In this episode, we spend time in Starkville exploring the value of argumentation and debate in the process of change, progress, and understanding our basic humanity. - Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com - Become a patron at: www.patreon.com/youarenotsosmart SPONSORS • The Great...

Duration: 00:56:41


106 - The Climate Paradox (rebroadcast)

7/16/2017
More
In this episode, psychologist Per Espen Stoknes discusses his book: What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming. Stoknes has developed a strategy for science communicators who find themselves confronted with climate change deniers who aren’t swayed by facts and charts. His book presents a series of psychology-based steps designed to painlessly change people’s minds and avoid the common mistakes scientists tend to make when explaining climate change to laypeople....

Duration: 00:57:08


105 - Optimism Bias

7/11/2017
More
In this episode, Tali Sharot, a cognitive neuroscientist and psychologist at University College London, explains our' innate optimism bias. When the brain estimates the outcome of future events, it tends to reduce the probability of negative outcomes for itself, but not so much for other people. In other words, if you are a smoker, everyone else is going to get cancer. The odds of success for a new restaurant change depending on who starts that venture, you or someone else. Sharot explains...

Duration: 00:42:35


104 - Labels (rebroadcast)

6/19/2017
More
We are each born labeled. In moments of ambiguity, those labels can change the way people make decisions about us. As a cognitive process, it is invisible, involuntary, and unconscious – and that’s why psychology is working so hard to understand it. Our guest for this episode is Adam Alter, a psychologist who studies marketing and communication, and his New York Times bestselling book is titled Drunk Tank Pink after the color used to paint the walls of police holding cells after research...

Duration: 00:43:36


103 - Desirability Bias

6/5/2017
More
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...

Duration: 00:34:33


102 - WEIRD Science (rebroadcast)

5/21/2017
More
Is psychology too WEIRD? That's what this episode's guest, psychologist Steven J. Heine suggested when he and his colleagues published a paper suggesting that psychology wasn't the study of the human mind, but the study of one kind of human mind, the sort generated by the kinds of brains that happen to be conveniently located near the places where research is usually conducted - North American college undergraduates. They called them the WEIRDest people in the world, short for Western,...

Duration: 00:30:42


100 - The Replication Crisis

4/19/2017
More
"Science is wrong about everything, but you can trust it more than anything." That's the assertion of psychologist Brian Nosek, director of the Center for Open Science, who is working to correct what he sees as the temporarily wayward path of psychology. Currently, psychology is facing what some are calling a replication crisis. Much of the most headline-producing research in the last 20 years isn't standing up to attempts to reproduce its findings. Nosek wants to clean up the processes...

Duration: 00:49:51


099 - The Half Life of Facts

4/9/2017
More
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: 00:30:04


097 - Scams (rebroadcast)

3/11/2017
More
Before we had names for them or a science to study them, the people who could claim the most expertise on biases, fallacies, heuristics and all the other quirks of human reasoning and perception were scam artists, con artists, and magicians. On this episode, magician and scam expert Brian Brushwood explains why people fall for scams of all sizes, how to avoid them, and why most magicians can spot a fraudster a mile away. Show notes at: www.youarenotsosmart.com - Become a patron at:...

Duration: 01:01:56


096 - Progress

2/24/2017
More
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 • Playing with Science: www.startalkradio.net/show/welcome-playing-science • The Great Courses:...

Duration: 01:05:54


095 - The Backfire Effect - Part Three

2/11/2017
More
If dumping evidence into people’s laps often just makes their beliefs stronger, would we just be better off trying some other tactic, or does the truth ever win? Do people ever come around, or are we causing more harm than good by leaning on facts instead of some other technique? In this episode we learn from two scientists how to combat the backfire effect. One used an ingenious research method to identify the breaking point at which people stop resisting and begin accepting the fact that...

Duration: 01:05:48


091 - Learned Helplessness (rebroadcast)

12/14/2016
More
Even when the prison doors are left wide open, we sometimes refuse to attempt escape. Why is that? In this rebroadcast of one of our most popular episodes we learn all about the strange phenomenon of learned helplessness and how it keeps people in bad jobs, poor health, terrible relationships, and awful circumstances despite how easy it might be to escape any one of those scenarios with just one more effort. You'll learn how to defeat this psychological trap with advice from psychologists...

Duration: 00:47:02


089 - Connections - James Burke

11/16/2016
More
Legendary science historian James Burke returns to explain his newest project, a Connections app that will allow anyone to "think connectively" about the webs of knowledge available on Wikipedia. Burke predicted back in 1978 that we’d one day need better tools than just search alone if we were to avoid the pitfalls of siloed information and confirmation bias, and this month he launched a Kickstarter campaign to help create just such a tool - an app that searches connectivity and produces...

Duration: 01:10:44


081 - The Climate Paradox

7/28/2016
More
In this episode, psychologist Per Espen Stoknes discusses his book: What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming. Stoknes has developed a strategy for science communicators who find themselves confronted with climate change deniers who aren't swayed by facts and charts. His book presents a series of psychology-based steps designed to painlessly change people’s minds and avoid the common mistakes scientists tend to make when explaining climate change to laypeople.

Duration: 00:57:16


080 - Deep Canvassing

7/13/2016
More
Oddly enough, we don’t actually know very much about how to change people’s minds, not scientifically, that's why the work of the a group of LGBT activists in Los Angeles is offering something valuable to psychology and political science - uncharted scientific territory. The Leadership Lab has been developing a technique for the last eight years that can change a person’s mind about a contentious social issue after a 20-minute conversation. This episode is about that group's redemption...

Duration: 01:03:17


079 - Separate Spheres

6/29/2016
More
Common sense used to dictate that men and women should only come together for breakfast and dinner. According to Victorian historian Kaythrn Hughes, people in the early 19th Century thought the outside world was dangerous and unclean and morally dubious and thus no place for a virtuous, fragile woman. The home was a paradise, while men went out into the world and got their hands dirty. By the mid 1800s, women were leaving home to work in factories and much more, and if you believed in...

Duration: 00:42:03


076 - The Genetic Fallacy

5/19/2016
More
If you traced back the ad hominem attack and the argument from authority to their shared source, you would find the genetic fallacy, a fallacy that appears when people trace things back to their sources. We often overstate and overestimate just how much we can learn about a claim based on where that claim originated, and that's the crux of the genetic fallacy. In this episode listen as three experts in logic and reasoning explain when we should and when we should not take the source of a...

Duration: 00:39:11

See More