How to Make Your Own Luck (Ep. 424)

Before she decided to become a poker pro, Maria Konnikova didn’t know how many cards are in a deck. But she did have a Ph.D. in psychology, a brilliant coach, and a burning desire to know whether life is driven more by skill or chance. She found some answers in poker — and in her new book The Biggest Bluff, she’s willing to tell us everything she learned.

Season 9, Episode 30

There are a lot of upsides to urban density — but viral contagion is not one of them. Also: past experiments with a universal basic income. And: a nationwide lockdown will show if familiarity really breeds contempt. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “The Side Effects of […]

What Does Covid-19 Mean for Cities (and Marriages)? (Ep. 410)

There are a lot of upsides to urban density — but viral contagion is not one of them. Also: a nationwide lockdown will show if familiarity really breeds contempt. And: how to help your neighbor.

5 Psychology Terms You’re Probably Misusing (Ep. 334 Rebroadcast)

We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.” Most of the time, they don’t actually mean what we think they mean. But don’t worry — the experts are getting it wrong, too.

Season 8, Episode 49

Conventional programs tend to be expensive, onerous, and ineffective. Could something as simple (and cheap) as cognitive behavioral therapy do the trick? Also, can a Queen song, played backwards, improve your mind-reading skills? To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “‘It’s Fun to Smoke Marijuana’” and “Preventing Crime for Pennies […]

Season 8, Episode 48

There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. Politicians who flip-flop get mocked; family and friends who cross tribal borders are shunned. But shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their minds? And how can we get better at it ourselves? Also: a psychology professor argues that the brain’s greatest […]

Season 8, Episode 42

We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.” Most of the time, they don’t actually mean what we think they mean. But don’t worry — the experts are getting it wrong, too. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this […]

Spite Happens (Rebroadcast)

Season 7, Episode 51 This week, we look at whether spite pays — if it even exists — and how peer pressure (or good, old-fashioned shame) can push people to do the right thing. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “What Do Medieval Nuns and Bo Jackson […]

The Truth Is Out There…Isn’t It? (Rebroadcast)

Season 7, Episode 49 Clever ways to not waste our waste, and there’s a nasty secret about hot-button topics like global warming: knowledge is not always power. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Weird Recycling” and “The Truth Is Out There…Isn’t It?”

5 Psychology Terms You’re Probably Misusing

Season 7, Episode 43 We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.” Most of the time, they don’t actually mean what we think they mean. But don’t worry — the experts are getting it wrong, too. To find out more, check out the […]