You Are Not So Smart

In this episode we learn about the placebo effect and how research continues to unravel the mysteries behind it and how it affects our behaviors.

Our guest is Kristi Erdal whose latest research discovered a new psychological phenomeon now known as placebo sleep.

After the interview, I eat a white chocolate Oreo cookie and discuss a new study into how the eccentricity of artists affects our perceptions of their art.

Direct download: 019_-_The_Placebo_Effect_-_Kristi_Erdal.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 8:13pm EDT

Benjamin Franklin knew how to deal with haters, and in this episode we learn how he turned his haters into fans with what is now called The Benjamin Franklin Effect.

Listen as David McRaney reads and excerpt from his book, "You Are Now Less Dumb," explaining how the act of spreading harm forms the attitude of hate, and the act of spreading kindness generates the attitude of camaraderie.

Direct download: 018_-_Inbetweenisode_-_The_Benjamin_Franklin_Effect.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 10:46pm EDT

Where is the line between medicine and alternative medicine? Are Eastern medicine and Western medicine truly at odds, and if so, who is right and who is wrong? What harm is there in using complementary or integrative treatments in an effort to improve wellness?

In this episode we discuss alternative medicine with Tim Farley, creator and curator of What's The Harm, a website that tracks the harmful effects that result from seeking out alternative treatments and cures before, or instead of, seeking out science-based medicine. Tim is a software engineer and research fellow at the James Randi Foundation. He also created the website Skeptical Software Tools, and he tweets at @krelnik.

Direct download: 017_-_Alternative_Medicine_-_Tim_Farley.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 11:53pm EDT

Who is pulling the strings? Who is behind the coverup? Who holds the real power, and what do they want? How deep does the conspiracy to control your mind go?

In this episode we discuss the history, social impact, neuroscience, and psychology behind conspiracy theories and paranoid thinking.

Our guests are Steven Novella and Jesse Walker. Steven is a leader in the skeptic community, host of The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, and a neurologist at Yale University's School of Medicine. Walker is the book editor for Reason Magazine and author of the new book, The United States of Paranoia, a Conspiracy Theory. 

Listen as they explain why we love conspiracy theories, how they flourish, how they harm, and what they say about a culture.

Direct download: 016_-_Conspiracy_Theories_-_Steven_Novella_and_Jesse_Walker.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 6:24pm EDT

In this inbetweenisode I read an excerpt from my book, You Are Now Less Dumb, about a strange experiment in Michigan that tested the bounds of the self by throwing three very unusual men into a situation that won't likely be repeated ever again by science.

Direct download: 015_-_Inbetweenisode_-_Narrative_Bias.mp3
Category:psychology -- posted at: 9:19pm EDT