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Episode No.
Date
Length
No. 199

What Makes a Good Gathering?

Why do so many book clubs fall apart? Do the best parties have rules? And does Angela’s husband want to date you?

6/8/24
42:42
No. 198

What Does It Mean to Be “Cool”?

What’s the difference between being popular and being cool? How has social media changed the trend cycle? And what do Taylor Swift and Walmart have in common?

6/1/24
46:17
No. 197

Is It Wrong to Lie to Children?

Why do we tell kids that a fairy will give them cash in exchange for their teeth? How should we talk to them about scary things in the world? And is Mike one of the greatest operatic tenors of all time?

5/25/24
42:49
No. 196

What’s Wrong With Being a Little Neurotic?

Is there any upside to negative emotions? What can comedians teach us about dealing with pain? And why did Angela eat off of a stranger’s plate at a sushi bar?

5/18/24
42:43
No. 195

Can You Be Too Nice?

Where is the line between a good guy and a doormat? Do people with sharp elbows make more money? And why did Angela’s mother give away her birthday present?

Take the Big Five inventory: freakonomics.com/bigfive

5/11/24
42:15
No. 194

Is It Okay to Be an Introvert?

What’s the difference between being introverted and being shy? What are extroverts so cheerful about? And does Angela’s social battery ever run out?

Take the Big Five inventory: freakonomics.com/bigfive

5/4/24
40:03
No. 193

Are You as Conscientious as You Think You Are?

Is it really that important to make your bed? What’s the benefit of hiring a lazy person? And how many cups of spinach can Mike fit in a red Solo cup?

Take the Big Five inventory: freakonomics.com/bigfive

4/27/24
43:53
No. 192

Should You Get Out of Your Comfort Zone?

What do the most creative people have in common?  How open-minded are you, really? And what’s wrong with ordering eggs Benedict? 

Take the Big Five inventory: freakonomics.com/bigfive

4/20/24
45:25
No. 191

Can You Change Your Personality?

Are you the same person you were a decade ago? Do we get better as we age? And is your sixth-grade class clown still funny?

4/13/24
44:31
No. 190

What’s the Point of Nostalgia?

Is it dangerous to live in the past? Why is Disney remaking all of its classic movies? And why does Angela get sentimental over a cup of soup and a free roll?

4/6/24
39:29
No. 189

When Should You Trust Your Gut?

Does instinct trump expertise? Can playing poker improve your intuition? And why did Angela jump off of a moving trolley car?

3/30/24
43:23
No. 188

Why Do Kids Today Get So Many A’s?

Is grade inflation on the rise? How much does your G.P.A. matter in the long run? And when did M.I.T., of all places, become “the cool university”?

3/23/24
44:27
No. 187

Is Fear Running Your Life?

How can you summon courage when you’re terrified? Is hiking more dangerous than skiing? And what is the stupidest thing that Mike has ever done?

3/16/24
42:26
No. 186

Do You Need a Routine?

Would you be more adventurous if you had more structure? Do you multitask while brushing your teeth? And what would Mike’s perfect brother Peter do?

3/9/24
40:30
No. 185

Do You Need Closure?

What’s the best way to carry out random acts of kindness? What’s wrong with making an “Irish exit”? And why is Mike secretly buying lottery tickets?

3/2/24
41:37
No. 184

Are You Doing Too Much?

How can you strive for excellence without overworking yourself? Why is perfectionism on the rise? And is Angela part of the problem?

2/24/24
45:15
No. 183

Does Free Will Exist, and Does It Matter?

Does anyone have any real agency? What do McDonald’s and Oxford University have in common? And why did Angela give up on philosophy?

2/17/24
45:49
No. 182

Is It Good or Bad to Keep Secrets?

Should you shout your sins from the rooftops? How many skeletons are in the average person’s closet? And what has Angela been hiding?

2/10/24
44:38
No. 181

What’s So Great About Meritocracy?

Do you really deserve the credit for your accomplishments? Should college admissions be determined by lottery? And how did Mike’s contribution to a charity auction change his life?

2/3/24
39:12
No. 180

What Makes Some Objects Feel Special?

Where does sentimental value come from? Why did Angela throw out her childhood journals? And would Mike wear Hitler’s sweater?

1/27/24
41:38
No. 179

Can You Really “Manifest” Success Through Positive Visualization?

Is there any scientific basis for the law of attraction? Are people who believe in “cosmic collaboration” more successful? And what happens when you write yourself a check for $10 million?

1/21/24
41:45
No. 178

Do Kids Need More Independence?

Are modern parents too protective? Why do we worry so much about things that almost never happen? And how did Mike learn about bus stops?

1/14/24
42:00
No. 177

What Does Success Look Like?

What matters more: meeting our own ambitions, or winning fame and glory? What’s it like to earn a gold medal at the Olympics? And why didn’t Mike’s grandfather get a watch?

1/7/24
39:34
No. 63

How Contagious Is Behavior? With Laurie Santos of “The Happiness Lab.” (Replay)

Why do we mirror other people’s accents? Does DJ Khaled get tired of winning? And also: life is good — so why aren’t you happy?

12/31/23
41:57
No. 176

Why Is It So Hard to Make Decisions?

Why do we get overwhelmed when we have too many choices? Should we make our own decisions or copy other people’s? And how can Angela manage her sock inventory?

12/24/23
43:52
No. 175

Why Is Astrology So Popular?

Why does your horoscope seem so accurate? Is it possible to believe and not believe in something at the same time? And is Mike a classic Gemini?

12/17/23
42:04
No. 174

What’s the Point of I.Q. Testing?

Are gifted and talented programs discriminatory? Why do so many adults still remember their SAT scores? And how did Angela transform from a party girl to an Ivy League psychologist?

12/10/23
40:41
No. 173

How Important Is Your Choice of Words?

What happens when three psychologists walk into a magic show? What’s Angela’s problem with the word “talent”? And why does LeBron James refer to himself in the third person?

12/3/23
40:41
No. 149

Is It Harder to Make Friends as an Adult? (Replay)

How do friendships change as we get older? Should you join a bowling league? And also: how does a cook become a chef?

11/26/23
56:35
No. 172

Is Marriage Worth It?

Can long-term relationships do more harm than good? Where is the line between intimacy and codependence? And should we all try to be more like Mike’s parents?

11/19/23
41:57
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