Search the Site

Episode No.
Date
Length
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
No. 171

Where Is the Line Between Exaggeration and Lying?

Why do we use “literally” figuratively? Does conveying an “emotional truth” justify making things up? And are Angela’s kids really starving or just hungry?

11/12/23
39:47
No. 170

Are We Getting Lonelier?

How can you be lonely when so many people showed up at your birthday party? Can you fight loneliness by managing expectations? And where can you find company while enjoying the best garlic cheeseburger in the greater Salt Lake City metro area?

11/5/23
36:13
No. 169

Can We Disagree Better?

Do you suffer from the sin of certainty? How did Angela react when a grad student challenged her research? And can a Heineken commercial strengthen our democracy?

10/29/23
43:44
No. 168

Would You Be Happier if You Were More Creative?

Should you become an artist or an accountant? Did Sylvia Plath have to be depressed to write The Bell Jar? And what can Napoleon Dynamite teach us about the creative life?

10/22/23
37:07
No. 167

Is GPS Changing Your Brain?

Is it better to be an egocentric navigator or an allocentric navigator? Was the New York City Department of Education wrong to ban ChatGPT? And did Mike get ripped off by Michael Jackson’s cousin?

10/15/23
42:28
No. 166

Are You Suffering From Burnout?

What’s the difference between being busy and being productive? Would you be better at your job if you cared a little less? And can somebody get Mike a cup of coffee?

10/8/23
43:14
No. 165

Do “Generations” Mean Anything?

Do you get grittier as you age? What’s worse for mental health: video games or social media? And do baby boomers make the best D.J.s?

10/1/23
41:54
No. 164

Do You Have Impostor Syndrome?

Does anyone really know what they’re doing? How do we reward the competent and not the confident? And what’s wrong with using TikTok for research?

9/24/23
44:05
Show Full Archive

The Freakonomics Radio Network

Freakonomics Radio Follow this show 772 Episodes
No Stupid Questions Follow this show 205 Episodes
People I (Mostly) Admire Follow this show 139 Episodes
The Economics of Everyday Things Follow this show 48 Episodes
The Freakonomics Radio Book Club Follow this show 21 Episodes

How to Listen

You want to listen to Freakonomics Radio? That’s great! Most people use a podcast app on their smartphone. It’s free (with the purchase of a phone, of course). Looking for more guidance? We’ve got you covered.

Learn more about how to listen

Freakonomics Radio Network Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on all our shows. We promise no spam.