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Best Episodes Of

Best Episodes of You Are Not So Smart Podcast

By September 6, 2023December 14th, 2023No Comments

With over 260 episodes and counting, it’s hard to know where to start with the You Are Not So Smart podcast. Well, certain episodes definitely stand out and have stood the test of podcast time to shine above the rest. Here are the best episodes of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast

103: Desirability Bias

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Sometimes, we can become so focused on finding evidence that supports our beliefs and assumptions that we forget to consider evidence that may disconfirm them. We might think that we’re being diligent in our research, but in reality, we’re simply seeking out confirmation that reinforces our worldview. This can lead us down a dangerous path where we become more and more entrenched in our beliefs, even as they become increasingly inaccurate.

Interestingly, there’s another bias that’s just as common as confirmation bias but which has largely gone unnoticed until recently. It’s called desirability bias, and it’s the tendency to interpret evidence in a way that supports our desires and aspirations. 

052: Learned Helplessness

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During the late 1960s, a graduate student named Martin Seligman was studying a relatively uncharted territory within the field of behaviourism. It was once hypothesized by Seligman that animals could be conditioned to learn something before actually experiencing the learning process. The theory was that by doing so, the animal would learn faster than if it had not been prepared beforehand. 

To test this, Seligman and his team conducted a Pavlovian experiment where they played a tone and then shocked dogs with electricity to associate the tone with the experience. The idea was that the dogs would be conditioned more easily in the future than dogs that had never been taught to fear electric shocks after hearing a sound. 

037: Motivation – Daniel Pink

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Daniel Pink, author of the popular book Drive and the host of National Geographic’s “Crowd Control” show, joins the show to discuss how businesses and institutions can motivate their employees to be creative and productive. Pink explains that many workplaces rely on myths rather than science when it comes to incentivizing their employees. 

He argues that the key incentives are not just a decent wage but also autonomy, mastery, and purpose. These intrinsic rewards can be easily offered if employers choose to change the way they motivate their workers. 

124: Belief Change Blindness

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During this episode, the show delves into the latest research that proposes a fascinating theory on how our minds undergo change. According to psychologists Michael Wolfe and Todd Williams, when we update our prior beliefs, our brains have a tendency to delete our previous convictions, making us forget that we ever thought differently. 

Why does this happen? Well, our brains love consistency and detest any threat of inconsistency, which is why we try to conceal any evidence of our belief change. 

115: Machine Bias

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In this episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast, a panel of three AI experts delve into the topic of how our own biases and prejudices have unknowingly seeped into the programming of our developing artificial intelligence. Along the way, they also explore the complex question of who ultimately holds the power to determine what is right and wrong as we work to rectify these issues. 

Additionally, the podcast features several intriguing examples of how our initial machine learning systems can influence the future they predict through their own observations and predictions – a feedback loop that can have significant consequences for us all.

164: Meetings – Steven Rogelberg

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It’s understandable that many individuals despise meetings – after all, they can be quite unpleasant, useless, and boring. However, psychologist and organizational scientist Steven Rogelberg argues that this negative perception is inaccurate. In fact, he believes that meetings can be quite valuable if we approach them correctly. 

As such, he has written a book titled The Surprising Science of Meetings, wherein he shares his findings and provides tips for improving the quality of meetings within organizations. Ultimately, Rogelberg’s work highlights the importance of embracing meetings as a necessary aspect of maintaining cohesion within any institution.

062: Naive Realism – Lee Ross

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The guest in this episode is the esteemed psychologist Lee Ross, who has shed light on what is known in psychology as naive realism. This refers to the belief that one sees the world exactly as it is, free from any biases or limitations imposed by our senses. Naive realism also leads people to believe that their opinions, whether political or otherwise, result from careful and rational analysis based on unmediated thoughts and perceptions. 

Essentially, this mindset assumes that one has been consuming pure reality for years and that their conclusions are a natural result of their intense study of the bare facts, much like Gandalf poring over ancient texts.

157: Pluralistic Ignorance

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Pluralistic ignorance can be difficult to define since there are multiple interpretations of the concept. According to Deborah Prentice, a psychologist, it’s a phenomenon where you believe you’re unique compared to everyone else, but in reality, you’re just like everyone else. This creates a false sense of deviance, where you feel like you’re not part of the majority even though everyone else feels the same way.

030: Practice – David Epstein

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According to author David Epstein, it is through consistent practice that our intuition is strengthened, rather than our reaction times. This is particularly true for chess players; practice helps to build a cognitive database that unconsciously influences our decisions and reactions. 

When we have a well-trained unconscious mind, experience and mastery become evident, as we are able to sense even the smallest cues in our environment and prepare actions that will synchronize with reality, similar to how we piece together sounds and sights.

242: Survival of the Richest – Douglas Rushkoff

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In this episode, special guest Douglas Rushkoff, who is a renowned media scholar, journalist, and professor of digital economics, has recently published a fascinating book called Survival of the Richest, which sheds light on the fascinating escape fantasies of tech billionaires. 

This book is based on his experience of consulting a group of the world’s wealthiest individuals who are preparing to face an apocalypse that they predict will happen in their lifetimes. Rushkoff’s insights into this fascinating phenomenon are truly eye-opening.