How to Become Great at Just About Anything (Rebroadcast)

What if the thing we call “talent” is grotesquely overrated? And what if deliberate practice is the secret to excellence? Those are the claims of the research psychologist Anders Ericsson, who has been studying the science of expertise for decades. He tells us everything he’s learned.

How to Be More Productive (Rebroadcast)

In this busy time of year, we could all use some tips on how to get more done in less time. First, however, a warning: there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive.

How to Get More Grit in Your Life

Season 6, Episode 13 This week on Freakonomics Radio: the psychologist Angela Duckworth argues that a person’s level of stick-to-itiveness is directly related to their level of success. No big surprise there. But grit, she says, isn’t something you’re born with — it can be learned.  Plus, a man whose entire life and career are […]

Time to Take Back the Toilet (Rebroadcast)

Season 6, Episode 12 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio, first: we’re not asking that using a public restroom be a pleasant experience, but are there ways to make it less miserable? And then: how did the belt, an organ-squeezing belly tourniquet, become part of our everyday wardrobe — and what other sub-optimal solutions do we […]

How to Become Great at Just About Anything

Season 6, Episode 11 This week on Freakonomics Radio: What if the thing we call “talent” is grotesquely overrated? And what if deliberate practice is the secret to excellence? Those are the claims of the research psychologist Anders Ericsson, who has been studying the science of expertise for decades. One idea you may have heard […]

Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?

Season 6, Episode 10 When you take a sip of Cabernet, what are you tasting? The grape? The tannins? The oak barrel? Or the price? Believe it or not, the most dominant flavor may be the dollars. Thanks to the work of some intrepid and wine-obsessed economists (yes, there is an American Association of Wine […]

Think Like A Child (Rebroadcast)

Season 6, Episode 7 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: Why would anyone want to think like a child? Aren’t kids just sloppy, inchoate versions of us? Hardly. As Stephen Dubner and Steve Levitt describe in their book Think Like a Freak, it can be very fruitful to think like a child. And then, how can we […]

Are You Ready for a Glorious Sunset? (Rebroadcast)

The gist: we spend billions on end-of-life healthcare that doesn’t do much good. So what if a patient could forego the standard treatment and get a cash rebate instead?

Is It Okay for Restaurants to Racially Profile Their Employees? (Rebroadcast)

We seem to have decided that ethnic food tastes better when it’s served by people of that ethnicity (or at least something close). Does this make sense — and is it legal?

How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare? (Rebroadcast)

 Season 5, Episode 40 This week we look at healthcare. First, Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt discusses the randomized control trial, or RCT, which he calls “the very best way to learn about the world around us.” Then Amy Finkelstein, a professor of economics at MIT, talks about using RCTs to explore healthcare delivery — and the […]