• In this episode, I talk to Forward Party’s founder Andrew Yang about the future of American democracy. Andrew shares the insights he’s learned from his presidential and mayoral campaigns. His major realization is that America’s two-party system is designed for polarization and dysfunction. With the media and the internet further inciting division, polarization may eventually escalate into violence. In order to shift towards a human-centered economy, Andrew believes we need to change our political dynamics and incentives. We also touch on the topics of tribalism, rationality, automation, education, leadership, and governance.


    Andrew Yang is an entrepreneur, attorney, and political candidate. He was a candidate in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries and the 2021 New York City Democratic mayoral primary. His signature policy was a universal basic income of $1,000 a month as a response to job displacement by automation. After his campaigns ended, he left the Democratic Party and founded Forward Party, a political action committee that seeks to alleviate political polarization and reform the U.S. political and economic systems.

    Andrew is also an author and has published several books including Smart People Should Build Things, The War on Normal People, and most recently, Forward: Notes on the Future of Our Democracy.

    Website: www.andrewyang.com

    Twitter: @AndrewYang


    01:34 Andrew’s childhood and early ventures

    09:04 Andrew’s desire to humanize the economy

    11:28 The presidential and mayoral candidacy experience

    19:51 Society’s current incentive structures

    22:57 “The duopoly is designed for polarization”

    29:49 How do we reward grace and tolerance in politics?

    33:18 Fact-based governance and a shared objective reality

    39:59 New measures for well-being

    46:26 Politics is tribal

    51:44 United by universal human values

    55:28 Fulfilling the need to matter

    1:00:36 Human-centered education

  • In this episode, I talk to award-winning psychologist Ayelet Fishbach about the science of motivation. How do we motivate ourselves to do anything? From her extensive research, Ayelet shares with us four crucial strategies for successful behavior change: identify the right goals, avoid the “middle”, resist temptations, and seek social support. And equally important, she gives tips on how to sustain motivation for longer periods of time. We also touch on the topics of reinforcement, flow, deliberate practice, self-control, and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.


    Dr. Ayelet Fishbach is the Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and the past president of the Society for the Study of Motivation and the International Social Cognition Network (ISCON). She is an expert on motivation and decision making and the author of Get it Done: Surprising Lessons from the Science of Motivation. Dr. Ayelet’s groundbreaking research on human motivation has won her several international awards, including the Society of Experimental Social Psychology’s Best Dissertation Award and Career Trajectory Award, and the Fulbright Educational Foundation Award.

    Website: www.ayeletfishbach.com

    Twitter: @ayeletfishbach


    01:28 What is motivation science?

    03:15 Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as motivation

    07:07 Choosing the right goals

    12:42 Goals aren't chores

    14:42 Quantify the goal-setting process

    17:40 The effect of incentives on motivation

    20:41 Ayelet’s view on SMART Goals

    22:53 Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

    27:26 Flow, deliberate practice, and discomfort

    30:58 Sustain motivation with feedback

    34:21 Overcome the “middle problem”

    38:00 Learn to balance multiple goals

    43:17 Identify and resist temptation

    48:39 The glass half-empty mindset

    51:50 How to learn from negative feedback

    56:54 Do relationships affect our pursuit of goals?

  • Missing episodes?

    Click here to refresh the feed.

  • In this episode, I talk to bestselling author Oliver Burkeman about his latest book Four Thousand Weeks. On the surface, it’s easy to mistake it for another self-help book on time management. But instead of enthusing about productivity hacks, Oliver challenges his readers to confront the finite nature of humanity. By doing so, he argues we can live fuller lives—without having to always carry the fear of missing out. We also touch on the topics of procrastination, positive psychology, flow, realism, deep time, and patience.


    Oliver Burkeman is a journalist for The Guardian. From 2006 to 2020, he wrote the popular weekly column on psychology called “This Column Will Change Your Life”. He is the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking and Help! How to Become Slightly Happier and Get a Bit More Done. In 2015, he won the Foreign Press Association’s Young Journalist of the Year award, and has been short-listed for the Orwell Prize. His most recent book is Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals.

    Website: www.oliverburkeman.com

    Twitter: @oliverburkeman


    00:02:03 The efficiency trap

    00:05:34 Accepting human limitations

    00:08:35 Why we handicap ourselves

    00:13:07 How to be a better procrastinator

    00:18:32 Each activity is paid for with your life

    00:20:55 The joy of missing out

    00:23:55 Harness more deep time

    00:27:57 The common theme of Oliver’s books

    00:32:02 Realism and doing the impossible

    00:37:29 Productivity and self-worth

    00:40:53 Embracing boredom instead of acceleration

    00:46:14 Developing a taste for problems

    00:50:21 Radical incrementalism

    00:57:30 “Originality lies on the far side of unoriginality”

    01:01:06 How time management distracts us from wonder

    01:03:50 Oliver’s approach to new year resolutions

  • In this episode, I talk to bestselling author Ryan Holiday about his newest book Courage is Calling. We discuss his unique definition of courage, and how people can practice it in their daily lives. Upon a closer examination of history, Ryan and I question whether the stories of American heroism are as honorable as we’ve been led to believe. We also touch on the topics of social justice, hope, stoicism, resilience, and virtues.


    Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying; The Obstacle Is the Way; Ego Is the Enemy; Conspiracy and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into over 30 languages and has appeared everywhere from the New York Times to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as multi-platinum musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.

    Website: ryanholiday.net

    Twitter: @RyanHoliday


    06:21 Ryan’s definition of courage

    10:06 Speaking truth to power

    14:02 History’s competing narratives

    17:50 Taking down Confederate monuments

    20:12 Social justice, politics, and virtues

    25:35 Staying true to the ethical frameworks of philosophy

    32:57 Stoicism and Ryan’s values

    38:08 Heroism vs courage

    42:47 Silence is violence

    46:58 Fearlessness can inspire

    50:28 No hero is perfect

    52:22 Hope is the most courageous thing

    53:10 How to practice courage

  • In this episode, I talk to international bestselling author Robert Greene about strategy, seduction, and the sublime. Robert implores us to get comfortable with the dark side of human nature and society. He argues that by acknowledging the reality of human interactions, we can use certain strategies to help us effectively navigate the workplace, our relationships, and daily life. We also touch on the topics of empathy, imagination, charisma, power, and his upcoming book on transcendence and the sublime.

    Chatting with Robert is always such a delight as we have many mutual areas of interest. I have been a long-time admirer of his books, and remember reading them in college and thinking that he seems to just get it. I hope you enjoyed this high-level discussion as much as I did.


    Robert Greene is an author and speaker known for his books on strategy, power and seduction. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley and the University of Wisconsin at Madison with a degree in classical studies. He has written six international bestsellers: The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law, Mastery, and The Laws of Human Nature. Recently, he published The Daily Laws: 366 Meditations on Power, Seduction, Mastery. Greene’s books are hailed by everyone from war historians to the biggest musicians in the industry including Jay-Z, Drake, and 50 Cent.

    Website: powerseductionandwar.com

    Twitter: @RobertGreene


    02:12 Robert’s health

    03:43 The Daily Laws

    04:58 What is a radical realist?

    10:10 Empathy is like a telepathic connection

    14:59 The human desire for fantasy

    18:50 Etiquette is deception

    22:17 How to live with the harsh truths of reality

    28:03 Poeticize your presence

    31:16 Channel pain into charisma

    35:36 Stop being so nice all the time

    39:08 Mix harshness and kindness

    42:36 The primary law of human nature

    46:08 Embrace your dark side

    50:33 Schadenfreude vs mitfreude

    53:46 The Pygmalion Effect

    56:17 The integration of the shadow

    01:02:05 The Law of the Sublime

    01:08:14 The “post-mortem life”

    01:10:03 The sublime is in the everyday

  • In this episode, I talk to Joy Lawson Davis and Deb Douglas about gifted education. Specifically, we identify the underrepresented population of gifted students and the unique cultural barriers they face. Joy and Deb share their definition of what self-advocacy is and why it’s a skill everyone should have. They give helpful tips and resources for educators, parents, and advocates on how to find and nurture gifted potential. We also touch on the topics of equity, test preparation, IQ, special education, and intersectionality.


    Dr. Joy Lawson Davis is a career educator with over 40 years of experience as a practitioner, scholar, and consultant in gifted education.She holds both master’s and doctorate degrees in gifted education. Dr. Davis has conducted workshops, been a long-term program consultant, and served as a keynote speaker and distinguished guest lecturer in several countries. In 2019 she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted organization (SENG). She is also the author of numerous articles, technical reports, book chapters, and the award-winning book: Bright, Talented & Black.

    Deb Douglas has spent her professional career as an educator, first as a high school English teacher, then K-12 gifted resource teacher, director of gifted programming, and International Baccalaureate coordinator. She holds master’s degrees in professional development and curriculum and instruction for gifted learners. She served as president of the Wisconsin Association for Talented and Gifted and member of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Parent Advisory Board. Deb is a contributor to the quarterly magazine Parenting for High Potential, and is a frequent presenter at state, national, and international conferences.

    Together, Joy and Deb co-authored Empowering Underrepresented Gifted Students: Perspectives from the Field.

    Website: drjoylawsondavis.com & www.gtcarpediem.com

    Twitter: @davis_joy


    01:15 The underrepresented gifted population

    04:43 Equity and excellence can co-exist

    07:20 How Deb and Joy met

    09:00 Test preparation and IQ

    12:42 Expanding the definition of giftedness

    17:10 Is it possible to become gifted?

    20:45 Identifying potential in underrepresented communities

    25:33 Education often prioritizes limitations over ability

    27:45 What is self-advocacy?

    30:34 Normalize giftedness in all communities

    41:12 Cultural barriers to self-advocacy

    43:22 How to be advocates for gifted students

    46:47 Scott’s experience of self-advocacy

    48:56 Everyone needs to be a part of the process

  • In this episode, I talk to Kelly Carlin about the human path to wholeness. We delve into Kelly's childhood and what it was like growing up with the influential comedian George Carlin. Recently, she started her own coaching program called Women on The Verge. With a master's degree in Jungian psychology and a coaching certification, Kelly helps women step out of their expected societal roles by empowering them to reclaim their true selves. She finds great joy in seeing others live fuller, authentic lives. We also touch on the topics of parenting, depth psychology, social justice, interconnectivity, and comedy.


    Kelly Carlin is an actress, producer, screenwriter, podcast host, and the only daughter of the late comedian George Carlin. Her fascinations range from discovering how to live a true and deep life, to freedom of expression, to the evolution of consciousness and the American psyche. She’s a practitioner of Zen Buddhism, has a master's in Jungian psychology, and comes from a family steeped in comedy, big ideas, and warm hearts. She is also the founder of Women on The Verge, a coaching practice that encourages women to make deep, long-lasting changes within so that they can finally be valued, paid, and recognized.

    Website: thekellycarlinsite.com

    Twitter: @kelly_carlin


    00:01:19 Kelly’s childhood and upbringing

    00:10:13 The family of comedy

    00:15:50 Kelly’s interest in Jungian depth psychology

    00:19:05 Unlearning childhood experiences

    00:22:22 Women on the Verge

    00:27:01 Embodying new identities

    00:31:23 Dismantling the “tyrannical shoulds”

    00:35:07 Authenticity is congruence

    00:38:48 Social justice and the evolution of consciousness

    00:41:41 The need to matter

    00:48:40 The emerging recognition of interdependence

    00:52:08 Kelly’s future projects

    00:58:17 What would irk George Carlin the most about current society?

  • Welcome to The Psychology Podcast! In this episode, I talk to Amanda Knox about her wrongful conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Her experience revealed dark truths about the media’s inclination to over sensationalize stories about young women and the glaring human errors in the criminal justice system. We also touch on the topics of trauma, cancel culture, cognitive biases, law, and forensic science. Throughout this episode, I try my best to show the audience the real Amanda Knox, not the version of her that the media has depicted. Along those lines, I give her some of my psychological tests to take, including my test on self-actualization as well as my psychopath test! You won't want to miss this episode.


    Amanda Knox is a journalist, public speaker, and podcaster. From 2007 to 2015, she spent nearly four years in an Italian prison and eight years on trial for a murder she didn’t commit. The controversy over Amanda’s case made international headlines for nearly a decade and thrust her into the spotlight, where she was vilified and shamed, a story told in the 2016 Emmy-nominated Netflix documentary and her New York Times best-selling memoir, Waiting to Be Heard. She now works to shed light on the issues of wrongful conviction, criminal justice reform, truth-seeking, and public shaming, and to inspire people towards empathy and perspective.

    Website: www.amandaknox.com

    Twitter: @amandaknox


    00:00:37 Amanda’s pregnancy and privacy

    00:02:14 Stories don’t equate to reality

    00:06:05 Self-talk as a coping strategy

    00:08:51 The true origin of the “Foxy Knoxy” nickname

    00:11:05 The intrigue and aversion towards female sexuality

    00:18:45 The arrest of Rudy Guede

    00:20:50 Amanda before the tragedy

    00:23:37 The infamous kiss between Amanda and Raffaele

    00:26:42 Why do people love scandals?

    00:30:26 The misrepresentation of BDSM

    00:33:05 Amanda’s sources of self-actualization

    00:42:30 Amanda’s Light Triad Score

    00:45:38 Moral Luck

    00:49:05 Amanda’s Dark Triad Score

    00:51:55 Vulnerable narcissism, imposter syndrome, and healing

    00:58:42 The “single victim fallacy”

    01:01:29 Innocence puts innocents at risk

    01:04:45 The psychology of prosecutor Giuliano Mignini

    01:08:56 Itiel Dror’s critique of forensic science

    01:15:24 Amanda’s post-traumatic growth

  • In this episode, I talk to world-renowned biologist David Sinclair about aging and longevity. David rejects the notion that the deterioration of health is a natural part of growing old and asserts that aging is a disease itself that we need to reverse. But how will a reset of our biological clocks affect our interactions, responses to adversity, morality, and how we live our lives? We discuss the ethical implications of limitless lifespans and also touch on the topics of death, evolution, genetics, medicine, and data tracking.


    Dr. David Sinclair is a professor in the department of genetics and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of the scientific journal Aging. He is best known for his work on understanding why we age and how to slow its effects. In addition to being a co-founder of several biotechnology companies, he's the author of the book Lifespan: Why We Age – and Why We Don't Have To. Dr. Sinclair was listed by TIME magazine as one of the “100 most influential people in the world”.

    Website: sinclair.hms.harvard.edu

    Twitter: @davidasinclair


    00:02:26 David’s “sticky beak” personality

    00:05:08 David’s childhood and upbringing

    00:10:21 The torment of inevitable death

    00:15:13 David’s life purpose

    00:22:06 Intergenerational interactions

    00:28:59 Aging is a disease we can reverse

    00:32:20 Accelerating human evolution

    00:36:24 The SIR2 gene and the NMN+ pill

    00:40:04 Reverse brain aging and Alzheimer’s

    00:42:50 Gene therapy in pills

    00:48:45 Will we be happier with longer lifespans?

    00:52:49 Inside Tracker

    00:55:31 The future of data tracking and medicine

    01:00:47 The Information Theory of Aging

    01:09:08 Is there a biological limit to our lifespans?

    01:14:21 Mental states can produce epigenetic changes

    01:20:39 David’s future projects

  • In this episode, I talk to renowned neuroscientist Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett about emotions and the brain. She reveals what the true function of the brain is⎯and it’s not for thinking. We also discuss the impact of past experiences on our cognition and what we can do to overcome our own detrimental patterns. Further into our discussion, Dr. Lisa challenges the traditionally held view that emotions are universal. In her own theory of constructed emotion, she argues that variability in emotional expression exists due to socialization and language differences. We also touch on the topics of hallucinogens, culture, education, relationships, and authoritarianism.

    Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett is among the top one percent most-cited scientists in the world for her revolutionary research in psychology and neuroscience. She is a University Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University. She also holds appointments at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where she is Chief Science Officer for the Center for Law, Brain & Behavior.

    Her books include Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain and How Emotions are Made. She has published over 240 peer-reviewed, scientific papers appearing in Science, Nature Neuroscience, and other top journals. Dr. Barrett has been called “the most important affective scientist of our time”.

    Website: lisafeldmanbarrett.com
    Twitter: @LFeldmanBarrett

    00:00:27 Lisa’s interest in clinical psychology

    00:03:14 A biological approach to emotions

    00:05:32 Why do we have a neocortex?

    00:14:01 The default mode network

    00:19:27 The brain is not for thinking

    00:22:48 The rise of authoritarianism during chaos

    00:29:52 Psychological entropy

    00:33:26 Predictions are based from past experiences

    00:42:23 The mind-brain problem

    00:44:36 Relationships are reflexive

    00:50:02 Emotional expression isn’t universal

    00:56:53 Why you shouldn’t trust psychology textbooks

    01:01:20 Reaching out to Paul Ekman

    01:08:53 The theory of constructed emotion

    01:15:43 The role of socialization and language in emotions

    01:20:13 The never-ending domain-general vs domain-specific debate in cognitive science

  • In this episode, I talk to renowned developmental psychologist Paul Bloom about the pleasures of suffering. We start by discussing the value of suffering in pursuit of meaning and make the distinction between unforeseen tragedy and chosen suffering. Paul also elaborates on BDSM and horror as examples of benign masochism⎯activities that people find comfort and enjoyment in despite the experience of fear. We also touch on the topics of meditation, Buddhism, attachment, parenting, and empathy.

    Paul Bloom is professor of psychology at the University of Toronto and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen professor emeritus of psychology at Yale University. His research explores the psychology of morality, identity, and pleasure. Dr. Bloom is the recipient of multiple awards and honors including most recently the million-dollar Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize. He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science and for the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Atlantic Monthly. He’s the author or editor of eight books including Just Babies, How Pleasure Works, Descartes’ Baby, Against Empathy, and most recently, The Sweet Spot.

    Website: paulbloom.net/
    Twitter: @paulbloomatyale

    00:01:57 The Sweet Spot

    00:03:57 Suffering is necessary to pursue purpose

    00:05:31 Why we choose to suffer

    00:08:43 The post-traumatic growth debate

    00:18:48 Using religion to cope with suffering

    00:24:05 Heredity, morals, and responsibility in parenting

    00:28:51 The multiplicity of human motivation

    00:33:26 Benign masochism in BDSM

    00:38:49 The calculus of pain and pleasure

    00:48:40 Do relationships demand bias?

    00:53:18 Is every bias zero sum?

    00:57:28 The value of suffering, pain, and horror in imagination

  • In this episode, I talk to renowned psychotherapist and author Esther Perel about love and relationships. We tackle the true essence of the word “eros” and “freedom” in the context of romantic relationships. Esther offers her perspective on marriage and affairs, getting to the root cause of why people cheat. With the redefinition of fidelity and sexuality, our current society is still learning how to navigate new patterns of relationships. We also touch on the topics of soulmates, masculinity, how to keep passion alive during a global pandemic, and Esther’s practice as a cross-cultural therapist.


    Esther Perel is a psychotherapist and a New York Times bestselling author, recognized as one of today’s most insightful and original voices on modern relationships. Fluent in nine languages, she hones a therapy practice in New York City and serves as an organizational consultant for Fortune 500 companies around the world. Her celebrated TED Talks have garnered more than 30 million views and her best-selling books Mating in Captivity and The State of Affairs are global phenomena translated into nearly 30 languages. Esther is also an executive producer and host of the popular podcast Where Should We Begin? And How’s Work? Her latest project is Where Should we Begin − A Game of Stories with Esther Perel.

    Website: www.estherperel.com/

    Instagram: @estherperelofficial


    00:02:14 Adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic

    00:05:04 Social connection during the pandemic

    00:10:41 “The erotic is an antidote to death”

    00:16:02 True freedom in relationships

    00:21:05 Soulmates don’t exist

    00:25:38 Why people in happy marriages cheat

    00:33:54 Where Should We Begin?

    00:38:00 Redefining marriage, fidelity, and sexuality

    00:45:30 Esther’s cross-cultural approach to therapy

    00:48:35 Esther’s interest in cultural transitions, identity, and relationships

    00:54:01 The masculine obsession with power

    00:59:13 The Great Adaptation

  • In this episode, I talk to Richard Tedeschi about post-traumatic growth (PTG). We dive into how Richard became interested in PTG and the findings from his many years of research. As a clinical psychologist, Richard emphasizes the lived experiences of individuals⎯acknowledging that trauma and transformative change are very context-specific. We also touch on the topics of cultural differences, personality, and Boulder Institute’s post-traumatic growth program.


    Dr. Richard Tedeschi is professor emeritus of psychology at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He’s a licensed psychologist specializing in bereavement and trauma, and has led support groups for bereaved parents for over 20 years. With his colleague Lawrence Calhoun, he published books on post-traumatic growth, an area of research that they have developed that examines personal transformations in the aftermath of traumatic life events. Their books include Trauma and Transformation, Posttraumatic Growth, Facilitating Posttraumatic Growth, Helping Bereaved Parents: A Clinician’s Guide, and the Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth.

    Website: https://pages.charlotte.edu/richtedeschi/


    00:00:54 Richard’s interest in post-traumatic growth

    00:04:05 Definition of post-traumatic growth (PTG)

    00:06:01 Domains of PTG

    00:10:02 Perceived change VS actual change

    00:16:27 PTG as positive personality changes

    00:20:42 Boulder Crest Institute’s post-traumatic growth program

    00:26:01 Trauma as a disruption in the psyche

    00:29:16 Richard’s roots in humanistic therapy

    00:31:08 The subjective experience and response to trauma

    00:36:43 Cultural differences in posttraumatic growth

    00:40:24 Can posttraumatic growth and PTSD co-exist?

    00:38:42 Post-ecstatic growth

    00:44:50Catastrophe theory

    00:46:07 The pandemic as a potential catalyst for growth

    00:48:28 How to facilitate post-traumatic growth

  • Hi everyone, today is a very special episode of The Psychology Podcast. A few nights ago, the legendary psychiatrist Dr. Aaron Temkin Beck passed away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 100. Tim, as his friends and family affectionally called him, lived an exemplary, full life well lived. Personally, he was a dear mentor and friend of mine. I used to live in the building next door to him in Philadelphia and we'd have tuna sandwiches together on Sundays at his place and discuss humanistic psychology and how to treat patients as humans first. He was always so encouraging of my work, and I enjoyed our discussions about his life and work immensely. I will miss his bow tie, fist bumps, and a sharp mind, which lasted all the way until the end. In my last in-person meeting with him just before the pandemic hit, I handed him a microphone and asked if he would talk about what research he was most excited about these days and whether he could give any advice to young psychologists. That recording is what you will hear today on the podcast.

    Remarkably, Tim worked all the way up until his death. To many, he is most known for his work in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which is a time-sensitive, structured, present-oriented psychotherapy that has been scientifically tested and found to be effective in more than 2,000 studies for the treatment of many different health and mental health conditions. When implemented correctly, CBT can help individuals get better and stay better.

    However, not many people know this, but Tim’s work was much more than the seminal work he did pioneering CBT. Tim was recently working on a new form of psychotherapy with his colleagues Ellen Inverso and Paul Grant called "Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy”, which deeply humanizes psychiatric patients.

    Guided by Tim’s cognitive model, Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy (CT-R) is an evidence-based practice that provides concrete, actionable steps to promote recovery and resiliency. Originally developed to empower individuals given a diagnosis of schizophrenia, Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy applies broadly to individuals experiencing extensive behavioral, social, and physical health challenges. It is a highly collaborative, person-centered, and strengths-based approach, as it is focused on developing and strengthening positive beliefs of purpose, hope, efficacy, empowerment and belonging. The approach is specially formulated and effective for individuals (i) who have a history of feeling disconnected and distrustful of service providers, (ii) who are not help-seeking, or (iii) who experience challenges that impede action towards aspirations. The reach of Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy extends to mental health professionals across all disciplines, families and loved ones, and peers with lived experience.

    One other thing I’d like to mention before we get to today’s episode is the Beck Institute. In 1994, Tim and his daughter, Dr. Judith S. Beck, founded Beck Institute as a 501(c)3 nonprofit with the mission of improving lives worldwide through excellence and innovation in Cognitive Behavior Therapy training, practice, and research. In 2019, Beck Institute opened the Beck Institute Center for Recovery-Oriented Cognitive Therapy to train professionals and staff who work with individuals given a diagnosis of a serious mental health condition, such as schizophrenia.

    Beck Institute honors the legacy of Dr. Aaron Beck by providing training and resources in both CBT and CT-R to people around the world. In the nonprofit’s 27-year history, over 28,000 health and mental health professionals have received training in CBT or CT-R through a variety of programs.

    You can help honor Dr. Aaron Beck’s legacy by making a gift to the Aaron T. Beck Fund at Beck Institute. This enables the organization to continue Dr. Beck’s latest work with the Center for CT-R at Beck Institute, develop programs, fund scholarships for trainees, and everything in between. The Beck Institute website can be found at beckinstitute.org.

    OK, now without further ado, I bring you our guest today, Dr. Aaron Beck.

    RIP, Tim.

  • In this episode, I talk to Isaac Prilleltensky about well-being and happiness. We start our discussion by highlighting the environment and community’s role in well-being instead of conceptualizing it as a purely individualistic construct. Isaac further elaborates on the dangers of mattering “too much” and why we need to balance personal and collective wellness. We also touch on the topics of fairness, social justice, humanistic psychology, and Isaac’s works as a humor writer.


    Isaac Prilleltensky holds the inaugural Erwin and Barbara Mautner Chair in Community Well-Being at the University of Miami. He’s published 12 books and over 140 articles and chapters. His interests are in the promotion of well-being in individuals, organizations, and communities; and in the integration of wellness and fairness. His most recent book is How People Matter: Why It Affects Health, Happiness, Love, Work, and Society, co-authored with his wife, Dr. Ora Prilleltensky.

    Website: www.professorisaac.com/


    00:01:10 Isaac’s definition of well-being

    00:04:55 Predictors of well-being and happiness

    00:06:58 The need to matter

    00:09:48 Corrective justice to achieve equality

    00:19:31 Me vs. We Culture

    00:25:44 Fairness is a prerequisite for mattering

    00:28:18 Risks of glorifying grit and resilience

    00:32:16 Balancing liberty, fraternity, and equality for a self-actualized society

    00:39:27 Democratize happiness

    00:43:29 The right and responsibility to matter

    00:51:27 Psychology and the status quo

    00:53:44 Isaac as a humor writer: smarter through laughter

    00:56:21 Fun for Wellness

  • In this episode, I talk to George Bonanno about trauma and resiliency. We start off by discussing what people get wrong about trauma and how this led to the invention of the PTSD diagnosis. George defines what resilience is, how it’s different from growth, and its paradoxical correlation to individual differences. Finally, he elaborates on how the flexibility mindset and sequence help us get through personal traumatic events or global tragedies like 9/11 or the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Dr. George Bonanno is a professor of psychology, chair of the department of counseling in clinical psychology, and director of the Loss, Trauma, and Emotion Lab at Teachers College Columbia University. He’s the author of The Other Side of Sadness and The End of Trauma.

    Website: www.tc.columbia.edu/LTElab/

    Twitter: @giorgiobee


    00:01:41 Jerome L. Singer’s influence on George

    00:05:42 Society’s skewed view of trauma

    00:08:15 Explaining the PTSD diagnosis

    00:10:38 People are more resilient than you think

    00:14:23 Resilience VS growth

    00:19:50 The resilience paradox

    00:24:44 The flexibility mindset

    00:29:58 The flexibility sequence

    00:34:50 How to be more flexible

    00:38:11 Goal-directed self-talk

    00:47:50 The resilience blind spot

    00:50:06 What 9/11 teaches us about resilience

    00:53:10 We’ll overcome the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Today it’s great to have Steven Pinker on the podcast. Dr. Pinker is the Johnstone professor of psychology at Harvard University. A two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and the winner of many awards for his research, teaching, and books. He’s been elected to the National Academy of Science, and named as one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People”, and one of Foreign Policy’s “100 Leading Global Thinkers”. His books include How the Mind Works, The Blank State, The Stuff of Thought, The Better Angels of Our Nature, The Sense of Style, Enlightenment Now, and most recently, Rationality: What It Is, Why It Seems Scarce, Why It Matters. In this episode, I talk to Steven about the definition of rationality, how it relates to truth, and how it’s different from logic. We also discuss the trade-offs in decision making, the limited usefulness of strategic irrationality, the boundaries of socially acceptable fiction, and why people have weird beliefs among other things.

    Website: stevenpinker.com
    Twitter: @sapinker


    01:02 Must we always follow reason?

    03:34 Steven’s definition of rationality

    05:24 Tension between conflicting goals

    08:31 What is truth?

    13:12 When to apply logic or rationality

    23:14 There can be no trade-off between rationality and justice

    25:35 Politicizing knowledge and research

    29:24 Strategic irrationality has limits

    36:13 Taboo trade-offs, heretical counterfactuals, and forbidden base rates

    42:04 The changing norms of acceptable fiction

    45:56 Why rationality is cool

    49:39 The costs of decision making

    55:54 Progress came from utilitarian reasoning

    57:52 "The pandemic of poppycock"

    01:01:23 Expressive rationality: morally empowering beliefs

    01:05:26 Bayesian reasoning

  • Today it’s great to have Annie Murphy Paul on the podcast. Annie writes about how the findings of cognitive science and psychology could help us to think and act more intelligently. Annie contributes to the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review, Slate, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She’s also the author of a number of books including The Cult of Personality, Origins, and most recently, The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain.

    In this episode, I talk to Annie about the research and concepts in her new book The Extended Mind. We debunk the notion that intelligence is only in the brain by discussing how our bodies, spaces, and relationships all contribute to thought processes. Finally, we also touch on how to build knowledge and expertise through productive cognitive loops, cognitive unloading, and imitation.


    01:05 Thinking outside the brain

    03:54 Individual differences in interception

    09:51 Annie’s definition of intelligence

    13:30 Cognitive loops enhance intelligence

    15:31 Is the mind always extended?

    17:10 The brain’s dynamic role in thinking

    21:14 COVID-19 has turned us into “brains in front of screens”

    24:57 Information overload

    28:11 Using intuition to think rationally

    30:22 Expertise is not brain bound

    31:37 The best relationship hack: eat spicy food together

    33:50 The research behind The Extended Mind

    38:32 Cognitive unloading

    40:51 Mastery through imitation

    43:00 Scott’s theories about shared expertise

    45:39 Reminiscing about Annie’s first episode on The Psychology Podcast

    46:22 Embracing the extended heart

    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/the-psychology-podcast/support

  • Today it’s great to have Paige Harden on the podcast. Dr. Harden is a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, where is the director of the Developmental Behavior Genetics lab and co-director of the Texas Twin Project. Her new book is called The Genetic Lottery: Why DNA Matters for Social Equality.


    · Heritability does not imply determinism

    · What is the value of the heritability coefficient?

    · Nature and nurture are always intertwined

    · Genes, giftedness, and responsibility

    · Separating individual differences from hierarchy

    · Genetics as a tool for social policy

    · Can we systematically improve general intelligence?

    · Prioritizing self-actualization in education

    · Group differences data, racism, inequality

    · Anti-eugenics and the great synthesis

    · Polygenic scores: evaluations, correlations, and applications

  • Today it’s great to have Nick Gillespie on the podcast. Nick is a libertarian journalist who is currently an editor at large at Reason. A two-time finalist for digital National Magazine Awards, Gillespie’s work has appeared in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, Slate, Salon, Time.com, Marketplace, and basically any other publication that you’re ever going to read. The Daily Beast named Nick one of “The Right’s Top 25 Journalists”, calling him “clear headed, brainy…among the foremost libertarians in America.”


    · Reason: “free minds and free markets”

    · What does being a libertarian mean?

    · A critique of American’s intervention in Afghanistan

    · Nick’s childhood and upbringing

    · The values of libertarianism

    · Parallels between Maslow and libertarianism

    · Nick’s pseudonym Mr. Myxzptlk

    · Child-proofing the world

    · How parenting styles and expectations shape children

    · The millennial experience of pressure and self-actualization

    · The paradox of marginalization and acceptance in current society

    · The purpose of cancel culture

    · Canceling people in positions of power