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DUBNER: Everybody’s got a big “but.” 

*      *      *

DUCKWORTH: I’m Angela Duckworth.

DUBNER: I’m Stephen Dubner.

DUCKWORTH + DUBNER: And you’re listening to No Stupid Questions.

Today on the show: When is it time to put down the task list and just chill for a while? 

DUCKWORTH: I quickly discovered that I could do yoga with one device and with another check and reply to my emails. 

Also: Is it wrong to feel numb to the gravity of the pandemic? 

DUBNER: You compassionless cretin! 

*      *      *

Stephen J. DUBNER: So, Angela, I see a new study here published by researchers at the University of Zurich and Radboud University in the Netherlands, which argues that hedonism, or pleasure-seeking, leads to happiness as effectively as self-control leads to happiness. 

Angela DUCKWORTH: Provocative.

DUBNER: So, this seems to argue directly against the Angela Duckworth school of “achievement leads to happiness,” which, by the way, I subscribe to as well. But now I’m starting to think, what the heck? Are we all just wasting our time trying to achieve things when we’d be happier just lying in the hammock all day? 

DUCKWORTH: For the record, Stephen, it’s probably relationships, actually. There’s lots of research showing that our friendships and our family make us happy much more than our achievements. But, this paper, it brings up a pretty interesting and provocative counter-view to the idea that self-control is great and that we should all have more of it, and if we do, we’ll all be better off. And I should point out that in this research, it’s not that self-control comes out as the villain. So, it’s not that this idea of wanting to pursue hedonic, pleasurable goals is against self-control. In fact, they’re positively correlated in the studies. So, people who are more self-controlled are slightly more likely to pursue hedonic goals, as they define them. 

DUBNER: So, let’s define hedonism, or hedonic pursuits, because I think what social scientists talk about as hedonism is not what the average person— It’s not orgies, in other words, right?

DUCKWORTH: Yes, the mental image of hedonism may vary among us, and academics have pretty sanitized versions. Let’s begin with the questionnaire that these researchers developed for this study. They call it the Trait Hedonic Capacity Scale, which has items like, “I am good at pursuing my desires.” “I can follow my desires in the here and now.” “I often do what I feel like doing.” “In my spare time, I can relax well.” That’s a pretty PG — actually, G. 

DUBNER: Should we, however, make anything of the fact that Trait Hedonic Capacity is T.H.C.?

DUCKWORTH: Yes. Well, that may or may not have been intentional. To me, actually, I thought of this almost as like a mindfulness questionnaire. Can you be present and not have your mind racing forward to the future or past into rumination? This isn’t really hedonism the way I think most people think about hedonism. Psychologists and social scientists in general are famously guilty of defining things just the way they want to. And so there can be this confusion of one scientist says that hedonism is X and another person says that hedonism is Y. 

I know that some scientists actually define hedonism more in terms of pleasures, like getting to eat dessert first or make a lot of money, which is different from this scale. So, for example, there is a life-orientation test that asks about three kinds of ways to orient yourself towards happiness in life. One is hedonism. The other is what they call engagement — basically being absorbed in what you’re doing, like being in flow. And the third is purpose and meaning. And if you read that scale, the hedonism, or the pleasure items, are much more about creature comforts and having a lot of entertainment in your life, etc. And I think that is different. 

DUBNER: Yeah. So let me ask you this. In that life-orientation test, are hedonism and engagement and purpose — is it a zero-sum game? Is there a pie that you can only fill up with so many of each? 

DUCKWORTH: Well, no. These scales are not negatively correlated with each other. In other words, you can, on this scale, measure high in two or even three of these approaches. And so they’re not mutually exclusive, at least from the questionnaire data. But you can appreciate that life is short. There’s 168 hours in every week, and therefore there is some rank ordering here. Either pleasure is more important to you than purpose, or the converse. So, I would just say that this study, which I think is really interesting and important, is making a point that if you are feeling conflicted all the time, if while you are eating an ice cream cone, you’re thinking, “Oh, I probably shouldn’t be eating this ice cream cone. Think of the saturated fat. Maybe I should have had a salad. Maybe I shouldn’t have had anything.” 

But look, if you can order your ice cream, have your ice cream, not angst about whether you should have had an ice cream, that’s a good point. And in a way, the whole idea of delaying gratification— And that term, “delaying gratification,” comes from Freud. Freud believed that we always are walking around with these conflicting impulses. Freud, of course, thought these were deeply unconscious. By the way, if Freud had to make a hedonism scale, I’m pretty sure it would have been a lot sexier than this one, because Freud was like, “You want to have sex with your mother, you want to kill your brother.” 

So Freud thought that we have to, in life, learn to delay the gratification of certain impulses, either temporarily, or in some cases forever, in order to live successfully. And I think that one of the discoveries that’s maybe at least as important as this paper about the nature of self-control — and how people do do what Freud said we need to do — is paradoxically that they find ways to make the “good for you” behavior immediately gratifying. There are people who like to exercise. They wake up and they look forward to putting their sneakers on and taking a run. There are people who say, “Gosh, I really would love a salad for lunch with quinoa.” But anyway, being able to gratify your desires in an unconflicted and present way is actually what we’re all after. 

DUBNER: This study, like many studies in psychology, is based on surveys — asking people questions about things they do, things they believe, things they feel. I don’t love survey data, especially for economic matters, because there tends to be a large gap between declared preferences and revealed preferences. That said, in psychology, I understand we can’t yet tap into someone’s thought waves and transcribe them. So, tell me whether you think there are any significant limitations on this study by dint of the fact that it’s based on survey data. 

DUCKWORTH: I know that economists distrust surveys, and they’re always reminding me of revealed preference — like, you can only trust behavior. So, if somebody says, “I really want to buy a car,” but they don’t buy a car, the economist would say, “Oh, they obviously didn’t want to buy a car.” And I would say, back to the economist and back to you, “That may well be the case in certain circumstances, but there are times where somebody wants something, or feels something, and it doesn’t come out in their behavior.” 

I think there are millions of American adults who want to lose weight and don’t lose weight. You can’t say to someone, “Oh, look, they ate a cheeseburger. They must not want to lose weight.” People are much more complicated than that. Part of them did want to lose weight. Part of them wanted the cheeseburger. So it’s not always that we can only rely on behavior. And furthermore, in this study, the question was: “What are you feeling and thinking?” And I don’t know of a better way at present to get at what somebody is feeling and thinking other than to have them more or less answer a survey. 

DUBNER: Sure. So what are the mechanisms by which you could see that hedonism — even just relaxing or taking a walk versus working on goal accomplishment — what are the mechanisms by which you could see that leading to happiness? 

DUCKWORTH: Well, for one thing, the things that you are doing that are your, as they say in the survey, “desires” in the here and now — well, when you [are] gratifying those desires, or you’re doing what you feel like doing, you are doing things that make you happy. So the question is, in a way, how does that not come at a cost? So, what about the test that you didn’t study for? What about the cholesterol that incrementally went up when you had the ice cream cone? I think the real puzzle is, how does that not get you in the long run? 

DUBNER: I guess it has to do with what your form of hedonism is. Let’s say that I’ve got a piece of reading I need to do that’s going to take an hour. But you know what? I’m going to instead spend the next 20 minutes just going to sit outside in the sunshine. Now, I could imagine that by one calculation, that’s a “waste of time.” I could imagine, however, by a different calculation that those 20 minutes, while I am having to subtract them from the 60 minutes of pure productivity, actually result in a different kind of productivity or accomplishment. In other words, that will lead to payoffs in the thing that you care most about. And I have to just say, I guess the reason I noticed this study is because it resonated with me. It made a lot of sense to me that a lot of people who are goal-oriented — and I would put you and I pretty much in that category. 

DUCKWORTH: Squarely in that category. 

DUBNER: But you’re more. 

DUCKWORTH: No, I’m not. 

DUBNER: I think I’m happier goofing off than you are. 

DUCKWORTH: Well, that might be. You do play golf, after all. 

DUBNER: That is the opposite of goofing off. That is the epitome of goal orientation. But I do believe that one of the reasons that I take such pleasure in the things that I do for pleasure is because I do feel that they reward me on more than one dimension. It’s not just about experiencing pleasure in that moment. It’s feeling like a different kind of person. It’s about, where will my mind go that I couldn’t have perhaps planned and which might actually be beneficial, fruitful? And let’s not forget, it might make us a slightly more rounded person, which might make us slightly more pleasant to be around for other people. 

DUCKWORTH: Yeah. Look, this study and even just the items in the questionnaire, they actually resonated with me too. And I actually agree with the conclusion that it is good to be able to be doing something and to not feel guilt-ridden while you’re doing it. It’s also very often hard for people who are goal-oriented to do exactly that. To kind of just relax, for goodness sake, for 15 minutes. 

DUBNER: Do you have a hard time doing what’s discussed in this paper? 

DUCKWORTH: Well, when I’m doing yoga, I used to do it in person because it’s what we did. Now, of course, I’m doing it on Zoom video. And I quickly discovered that I could do yoga with one device and with another check and reply to my emails. And also order things off of Amazon. 

DUBNER: Yeah. You’re not a goal-oriented person at all. 

DUCKWORTH: I’m pretty sure that’s not what my yoga teacher wants. I hope they’re not listening. So, yeah, I guess I probably do fall into the category of people who have a hard time really being present and just switching off. 

DUBNER: So, what drives you to do all these things — multitask during yoga? Is it a feeling of guilt that you’re not accomplishing more? Or something else? 

DUCKWORTH: I don’t think it’s guilt. I’m just remembering this one night where I was not only doing yoga and buying things off of Amazon and answering the occasional email, but I believe I had a friend on speakerphone that I was also catching up with. Yeah. I don’t feel like it’s guilt. I think it’s just that I, in the moment, feel like I can both do Warrior II as a pose and also click this button to buy my paper towels for next week and talk to Sue. I feel like, in that moment, I am pursuing my multiple desires.

DUBNER: Now, I know nothing about yoga, but isn’t mental intention a part of the enterprise? 

DUCKWORTH: I believe that yogis would say that having your attention divided among so many things is not the spirit of yoga. But maybe with a good lawyer, we could argue that case. 

DUBNER: So, I’ve been playing backgammon online this whole time that we’ve been talking. Is that a bad idea? Or it sounds like you’d approve. 

DUCKWORTH: Depends on whether you’re winning. But I think the real issue is this: What do you want, and what do you want to want? As the great philosopher Harry Frankfurt said, “The heart of free will is to line up your wants — you want an ice cream cone — and your want to wants. If you want the ice cream cone and you want to want the ice cream cone, eat the goddamn ice cream cone. If you want the ice cream cone and you don’t want to want the ice cream cone, that’s a different story.” So I guess the question is, when you’re playing golf, or sitting out in the sun for 20 minutes, or even, Stephen, if I’m doing Warrior II and also ordering paper towels, if that is what I want, and if that is what I want to want, I think it’s okay. 

DUBNER: If you weren’t doing so much yoga, you probably wouldn’t need so many paper towels, for starters. 

DUCKWORTH: You’ve solved my problem. 

DUBNER: You’re welcome. Second of all, I am curious whether having read this paper and having thought it through, do you think that it makes sense for someone like you to maybe consciously plan a little bit more downtime or hedonic pursuit? 

DUCKWORTH: Well, I can’t say that I was motivated to do that after reading this paper. The number one item on the scale is: I am good at pursuing my desires. And my desires just so happen to be, Stephen, my work, my longer-term ambitions. It’s true. So those are my desires. 

DUBNER: So, whether it’s rum raisin ice cream or writing another research paper, I hope that everyone feels empowered to pursue the goal that they feel is most germane to them and feel good about it. 

DUCKWORTH: I could not agree more. Pursue your own desires, whatever they may be, unless they were the kind that Freud was writing about.

Still to come on No Stupid Questions: Stephen and Anglea discuss what we can do to prepare for the coming months of the pandemic. 

DUBNER: Be the squirrel that actually saves the nuts, because we’re all going to be a little bit nutty this winter. 

*      *      *

DUCKWORTH: Stephen, I have been thinking about my thinking. 

DUBNER: That sounds so exhausting. 

DUCKWORTH: So deep! Well, I’ve been thinking about how I’ve been thinking about the pandemic. I used to think, “Oh, what day is it? It’s day twelve.” Then, of course, you started naturally thinking in weeks, right? You’re like, “Oh, it’s week four.” Then months. And now, I don’t even know if I’m tracking where we are, because I think I’ve become numb to this surreal reality. And I just have been wondering whether you’ve experienced the same thing — that as things get more serious, in some strange way, we become more oblivious to what’s going on. 

DUBNER: So, I can’t imagine that anybody hearing you ask that good question hasn’t felt that way, to some degree at least. Because it is the nature of how we think about events, generally.

DUCKWORTH: We get inured to them. 

DUBNER: Yeah. I mean, we gravitate toward novelty, whether it’s negative or positive things, although probably more with negative. 

DUCKWORTH: It’s the “bad is stronger than good” effect. 

DUBNER: Right. And then there’s also the well-documented phenomenon of compassion fatigue. 

DUCKWORTH: Like, for doctors. 

DUBNER: Well, that’s bad. Yeah. But I think there are diminishing returns on this kind of thing too, legitimately, because your efforts in the beginning matter more, often, than they do down the road. So, Danny Kahneman and Amos Tversky years ago wrote about this notion called value function — when something changes at a low level, it matters a lot more than when it changes when the value is higher. So, this explains loss aversion to some degree and why most people are more sensitive to a loss than they are excited by a commensurate gain. One example: imagine you’re a hunter-gatherer hundreds of thousands of years ago, and on one route that you have been accustomed to, there are two fruit trees. And you know that you can stock up there. And then the next time you come by, one of those trees has been struck by lightning and gone. That’s a big deal. If, however, you had access to 30 trees and one was struck by lightning, not so big a deal. So I think we’re naturally conditioned to adjust in that way. As with most human behaviors, including ones that we think aren’t that sharp or good, there’s got to be some evolutionary reason behind it. Why do you think we do become so inured to things that are disturbing?

DUCKWORTH: When it comes to evolution, you can only speculate. 

DUBNER: No. I was there.

DUCKWORTH: You were there. Two millennia ago, this was nothing like today! Speculatively, some have argued that in the course of human evolution, of course, there was no information about plagues and wars that were going on in a land far away. There was no Internet. There were no newspapers. There was no transmission of information that way. So we evolved to pay attention to the things that were directly in front of us. Now, of course, things are different, because, first of all, we are a more global society. And when there is a wet market in Wuhan and something’s going on there, it actually does, in a material way, influence our daily lives. So, it might be that we have inherited some cognitive machinery that dampened our awareness or our ability to care about things that were in far-flung areas. 

DUBNER: So, while your question suggests that that is a problem in a case like this, I’m not so sure it’s a problem. I mean, no offense. I don’t mean to diminish your concern about your own concern, but who cares how much you care? It’s your actions that matter. So, I guess if you could say, “I stopped caring, and therefore I’ve started to engage in a bunch of reckless behavior.”

DUCKWORTH: Right, like I’ve stopped wearing face masks. 

DUBNER: Yeah, I’m gonna run around without a mask and I’m going to cough and sneeze wherever I want to, damn it. 

DUCKWORTH: I’m gonna lick you.

DUBNER: So, that’s a different issue than me caring about how much you actually care. Because as we’ve talked about here in the past, a lot of “caring” is really virtue signaling that produces no concrete effect. And I like concrete effect. So I don’t think that you should feel bad about having become inured to, or habituated to, the reality of the pandemic, because that’s a natural consequence of the way we process information. There’s maybe a first cousin of what you’re discussing, which is the danger of becoming habituated to bad behavior or bad events that you can do something about. So, I think of many cases of, for instance, domestic abuse or child abuse that someone knew something — and maybe it’s a family member, maybe it’s someone else — that if small things are let go, it gives permission for large things to happen. And so that to me is, like I said, a cousin or a corollary that I think is worth caring more about. 

DUCKWORTH: Well, thank you for exonerating me for my not thinking about the pandemic in as tragic terms as it really is. 

DUBNER: You compassionless cretin! That’s what you expected me to say. Yeah? 

DUCKWORTH: Yeah. I guess I’ve gotten compassion exhaustion, if there’s such a thing as compassion fatigue. But you’re also saying, “Are you wearing a face mask?” And I say, “Yes.” “Are you being careful?” “Yeah.” So, you’re saying my behavior matters more than my feeling. 

DUBNER: And even your intentions. I would rather have a bag full of three actions than a bag full of 100 intentions.

DUCKWORTH: Oh, that sounds kind of like it comes from the Talmud

DUBNER: No, I made that one up. 

DUCKWORTH: Faux Talmud. Yes. Okay. I’ll take behavior over intentions. 

DUBNER: Yes, but. Give me the “but.” Everybody’s got a big “but.” 

DUCKWORTH: What if I just say “and.” You notice that people who do that thing where they say “and,” but really they’re just saying “but,” they’re thinking that they’re, like, playing a semantic trick on you? “And,” Stephen, in contradiction to everything you just said, I think intentions do influence our actions. It’s not like intentions are just fairy dust. They matter. And I think when people lose a feeling of, “Wow, we’re in the middle of a catastrophe,” they are going to maybe change their behavior. They may take more chances than they ought to. They might not distance themselves six or eight feet away from the person they’re talking to. And I find myself getting a little bit rough around the edges of my pandemic hygiene. And I feel like that is in part because I’ve gotten a little inured. What if I woke up everyday and I thought, “Oh my God, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. This is a catastrophe of unprecedented proportion.” Do you not think that would be potentially in some ways better? 

DUBNER: I don’t think it’s not better, but I think that you work that into your baseline understanding without even thinking about it. So, I don’t think it’s something, like I said, to beat yourself up about. If you want to beat yourself up about something, I could suggest something else. And I don’t think that you actually are going to have this problem. But one thing that I do think about is, the pandemic has been really bad on many, many, many dimensions for most people. And, at least in a place like New York where I am, or Philadelphia, where you are, or many places that experience cold winters, but every place that has winter, winters are dark, it does feel like there is a kind of long, cold winter coming, because the pandemic will still exist. People will be spending a lot more time inside, not able to access those escape valves that we’ve had during the warmer weather. And I think that’s going to be really hard. And I’ve been thinking about that and how it’s really going to test our resilience. And I’ve been thinking about what I and everybody I know can do to build up their resilience and really to build up their reserves. 

I have a doctor who I really admire. She happens to be our family doctor, but she’s also just a good thinker and researcher and an intellect. And she just casually mentioned something one time that to her meant nothing, but to me was an interesting way to think about things. She was talking about why she does exercise. She was saying that when you exercise, it’s not so much about creating a better physical condition at that moment necessarily. She said one of the things that exercise does is it literally breaks your blood vessels. It creates new little blood vessels, little capillaries, whatever. 

DUCKWORTH: Also muscle fibers. 

DUBNER: And she said the reason that that’s really important is because if you’re going to have a heart attack and the blood is blocked up somewhere, there’s a stoppage and it has nowhere to go, well, you’re in big trouble. If, however, you have all these ancillary routes for the blood to be distributed, that’s the mechanism by which exercise pays off in the long run. It’s essentially creating resiliency. I think the same thing about mindfulness and meditation. I’m not necessarily doing it for the mental payoff in that moment. I’m doing it so that when my mind is later under stress, that there is some resilience, there’s some reserve, there’s some capacity. It’s the same thing about knowledge acquisition. I learn a lot of things not because I need them in the moment, but because I may need them down the road somehow. I may learn some skills that help me get through. And so I think that this long, hard winter that may be coming, with the pandemic continuing, at least for the foreseeable future, I am just thinking about — and would suggest other people — rather than worrying too much about how much they care, that they would consider building up as much resilience as possible so that you can help yourself and your loved ones deal with it, because it’s not going to be easy.

DUCKWORTH: By the way, every time you say “winter is coming,” I think of Game of Thrones

DUBNER: I’ve never actually seen it, but even I know… 

DUCKWORTH: What? Okay. We can’t have another conversation until you binge watch the entire series. 

DUBNER: Yeah. I’ve never watched it. It looks too combination scary, sci-fi, noisy, time-consuming, cold. 

DUCKWORTH: It is all of those things. And you should just start. 

DUBNER: So, how can you be this alleged goal-oriented person who’s always thinking about accomplishment and achievement for the sake of helping the kids, but you’re also spending hours and hours and hours watching Game of Thrones

DUCKWORTH: Hedonic pleasures in the moment. 

DUBNER: Maybe you should be worried about that. What pandemic? Game of Thrones is your problem. 

DUCKWORTH: All right, look, I’ll come back to Game of Thrones after you’ve been enlightened. My point was, Stephen, that if I wanted to take your advice and prepare for the winter that is coming, what would I do? Am I supposed to take cold baths to steel myself? 

DUBNER: Look, I leave everything here to personal preference. But if you’re the kind of person who really likes eating out and you know you’re not going to be doing that a lot for the next few months, read a cookbook. Take some time to learn five things to cook that will be really, really exciting for your family. If you’re worried about spending all your time cooped up with people that you don’t like that much, find something to do in common. Maybe you learn a new board game that your friend or family likes. I’m just saying, plan for the future. Be the squirrel that actually saves the nuts, because we’re all going to be a little bit nutty this winter. 

DUCKWORTH: Do you know, Stephen, that if you were going to be a therapist and if I had to peg you as either a cognitive therapist who just worked on the way people think about things versus a behavioral therapist, who’s like, “All right, this is what you’re going to do. You’re going to buy a pair of running shoes.” 

DUBNER: You don’t have to run! Just put them on. Put them on. Just see what happens.

DUCKWORTH: I’m going to peg you as a behavioral therapist, because I think that you are really interested in what people do. And a little bit less interested in all the cogitation that might incline them. Do I have that right? 

DUBNER: You are totally not wrong. That said, I don’t not appreciate the cognitive side. I truly do. I just think that there’s a pretty significant heterogeneity among us humans. And I know where I fall. I think part of life is trying to figure out what your instrument is — your mind, your body, how they work — and then optimize them. It’s like, I know you love golf metaphors, because you love golf so much. 

But there’s a famous saying from Arnold Palmer, who was one of the great[est] golfers ever and a very relatable person. His thing was, “swing your swing.” It’s like, no two bodies in physical motion are exactly alike. So why are you trying to tuck your elbow just like that person who’s three inches taller than you and weighs 20 pounds less? That makes no sense. So I think we should all swing our swings — within reason, as long as you’re not hitting someone in the forehead with your golf club. 

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No Stupid Questions is part of the Freakonomics Radio Network, which also includes Freakonomics Radio and People I (Mostly) Admire, a new podcast hosted by Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt. This episode was produced by me, Rebecca Lee Douglas. And now here is a fact-check of today’s conversations.

In the first half of the episode, Stephen suggests that Angela’s insistence on multitasking during yoga is contrary to the spirit of the practice. And yet, there are quite a few less-traditional approaches to the exercise for students may who need a bit more stimulation than usual. For example, author and yogi Jennifer Pastiloff is famous for the “karaoke yoga” classes she held with the assistance of a live D.J. in Los Angeles. Yoga teacher Hemalayaa Behl gained a following through “tantrum yoga” — a fusion of yoga, screaming and stomping which supposedly encourages participants to release stress. And if you’re over 21, you might appreciate beer yoga, a growing trend in breweries across the country where classes are paired with 16 ounces of craft beer. Beer yogi Beth Cosi, owner of Bendy Brewski Yoga in Charleston, South Carolina, sees it as a balance of “detox and retox” for people who want to celebrate both living well and drinking well.

During the conversation about preparing for winter with the pandemic, Stephen describes the season as “dark” and “cold,” but acknowledges that winter isn’t cold everywhere. This is obviously true. But winter isn’t dark for everyone either. While folks in places like Philadelphia and New York only get about nine hours of daylight during the winter solstice, in Yuma, Arizona, you get almost 11! And if you live in Punta Cana, you get nearly 12! So, “winter is coming” for Arizonians and Dominicans alike, but with balmy weather and longer days, they’ll likely be able to enjoy some nice outdoor time — unlike the rest of us who may be stuck indoors cooking, playing board games and “counting the nuts” we have squirreled away. That’s it for the fact check.

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No Stupid Questions is produced by Freakonomics Radio and Stitcher; our staff includes Alison Craiglow, Greg Rippin, James Foster and Corinne Wallace. Our intern is Emma Tyrell. Our theme song is “And She Was” by Talking Heads — special thanks to David Byrne and Warner Chappell Music. If you’d like to listen to the show ad-free, subscribe to Stitcher Premium. You can also follow us on Twitter @NSQ_Show. If you have a question for a future episode, please email it to And if you heard Stephen or Angela drop a reference to something you’d like to learn more about, you can check out, where we link to all of the studies, books and experts that you heard about here today. Thanks for listening! 

DUBNER: Now, if it’s your job to care, if you’re an epidemiologist, then I want you to keep paying attention. But you’re not, as far as I know. 

DUCKWORTH: Okay. First, I need to confess —

DUBNER: You are an epidemiologist? 

DUCKWORTH: Yes. Secretly, I’ve been doing epidemiology this whole time, Stephen. 

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