“It’s Fun to Smoke Marijuana” (Ep. 159)
Our latest podcast is called “It’s Fun to Smoke Marijuana.” (You can subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) In it, a psychology professor argues that the brain’s greatest attribute is knowing what other people are thinking. And that a Queen song, played backwards, can improve your mind-reading skills.
In the episode, Stephen Dubner talks to Nicholas Epley. Here’s how Epley introduces himself:
EPLEY: I’m a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago. I’m in the Booth School of Business, and I study mind-reading.
What’s a B-school professor doing studying mind-reading? Well, as he says:
EPLEY: If you can’t understand what other people think [and] how you’re being seen by other people, it’s very hard to lead or manage them effectively.
Epley has written a book on research in the field of mind-reading, including some of his own studies. It’s called Mindwise: How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want. A few things you’ll learn in the episode that you never thought you wanted to know, but do:
- A Barry Manilow t-shirt can teach us a lesson about the spotlight effect.
- Stephen Dubner is a “fanilow” (sort of).
- “Another One Bites the Dust” — when played backward — contains a secret message that, in the end, may help people communicate better.
Just another run-of-the-mill Freakonomics Radio episode, people. Enjoy.