You Are Not So Smart

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February 2015
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Scientists are using rubber hands and virtual reality to transfer people's minds into avatars designed to look like members of groups and subcultures to which the subjects do not belong, and the results have been - well, trippy. Can changing your body, even just for a few minutes, change your mind. Can a psychological body transfer melt away long-held opinions and unconscious prejudices? Learn what cognitive neuroscientist Lara Maister has discovered in her unconventional experiments.

Direct download: 042_-_Bodily_Resonance_-_Lara_Maister.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 6:54 PM

In this episode, two stories, one about a football game that split reality in two for the people who witnessed it, and another about what happened when a naked man literally appeared out of thin air inside a couple's apartment while they were getting ready for work.

Direct download: 041_-_Inbetweenisode_-_The_GameCeiling_Crasher.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 1:22 AM

How far back can we trace our irrational behaviors and cognitive biases? Evolutionarily speaking, why do we even do these things? Can we blame our faulty logic on our cultures and institutions, or should we blame it on our biology and our genetic inheritance? Our guest on this episode is psychologist Laurie Santos who has created a novel approach to solving these questions - a marketplace where monkeys learn how to use money just like humans, and where they also tend to make the same kind of mistakes we do.

Direct download: 040_-_Monkey_Marketplace_-_Laurie_Santos.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 1:44 AM

Is it possible to for different parts of your mind to learn how the world works at different rates? Is it possible that the unconscious part of you can know something long before the conscious you realizes it? Learn more about the weirdness of the unconscious mind as we interview Ryan Scott, a cognitive psychologist who has discovered a new phenomenon that suggests you can have unconscious knowledge about something and fail to realize it until it is too late - something he calls blind insight.

Direct download: 039_-_Blind_Insight_-_Ryan_Scott.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 6:55 PM

One salient trait can cause you to misjudge every other trait when evaluating a new hire, a love interest, a colleague, or even a potential purchase. Learn more about the power of the halo effect in this episode, and as a bonus, hear all the previous excerpts from You Are Now Less Dumb in this special extended episode lasting 2 hours and 43 minutes!

Direct download: 038_-_Inbetweenisode_-_The_Halo_Effect.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 7:06 PM

What motivates you to keep going, to reach for your dreams, to persist and endure? Psychology has, over the last 40 years, learned a great deal about human motivation and drive. In this episode we ask Daniel Pink, author of Drive, how we can better put that knowledge to use in our lives and in our workplaces and institutions.

Direct download: 037_-_Motivation_-_Daniel_Pink.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 7:04 PM

Have you ever been confronted with the fact that you were in over your head, or that you had no idea what you were doing, or that you thought you were more skilled at something than you actually were? At its most extreme, this is called the Dunning-Kruger effect - the fact that it is very easy to be both unskilled and unaware, and in this episode we explore how it works and where you might expect to see it your own life.

Direct download: 036_-_The_Dunning-Kruger_Effect.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 7:24 AM

Are you throwing good money after bad? Are you stuck in a job, a relationship, a degree, or some other situation that you know you should abandon but fear you'll have wasted years of time and effort? Are you in pain because of your fear of having done something in vain? This episode, learn all about the sunk cost fallacy and how you sometimes get stuck in a wasteful loop of behavior because of your fear of loss.

Direct download: 035_-_The_Sunk_Cost_Fallacy.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 11:03 PM

Do you believe in magical amulets? Apparently, in 2011, enough people did to allow one company to earn $34 million making and selling them to professional athletes, celebrities, and even a former president...all thanks to the post hoc fallacy. In this episode you'll learn more about how this fallacy led to the rise and fall of the Power Balance bracelet, and whether or not you might believe in a little magic yourself.

Direct download: 034_-_The_Post_Hoc_Fallacy.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 2:31 PM

Do you think that everything you believe is true? If not, then what are you wrong about? It is a difficult question to answer, and it leads to many others. Where do our beliefs come from, and how do we know where we should place our doubt? Why don't facts seem to work on people? In this episode we explore the psychology of belief through interviews with Margaret Maitland, an Egyptologist, Jim Alcock, a psychologist who studies belief, and Will Storr, a journalist who wrote about his adventures with people who believe in things most people don't in his book, The Unpersuadables.

Direct download: 033_-_Belief_v2.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 4:12 AM