In every field of knowledge, half of what is true today will be overturned, replaced, or refined at some point, and it turns out that we actually know when that will be for many things. In this episode, listen as author and scientist Sam Arbesman explains how understanding the half-life of facts can lead to better lives, institutions, and, of course, better science.
In this episode, David McRaney sits down with psychologist Michele Gelfand and discuss her new book: Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire Our World. In the book, Gelfand presents her research into norms and a fascinating new idea. It isn’t norms themselves that predict how cultures will react, evolve, innovate, and clash -- but how different cultures value those and sanction people who violate them. She categorizes all human cultures into two kinds -- tight and loose -- and argues that all human behavior depends on whether a person lives in a tight culture or a loose one.
In this episode, we learn all about the strange phenomenon of learned helplessness and how it keeps people in bad jobs, poor health, terrible relationships, and awful circumstances despite how easy it might be to escape any one of those scenarios with just one more effort. You will learn how to defeat this psychological trap with advice from psychologists Jennifer Welbourne, who studies attributional styles in the workplace, and Kym Bennett who studies the effects of pessimism on health.
In psychology, they call it naive realism, the tendency to believe that the other side is wrong because they are misinformed, that if they knew what you knew, they would change their minds to match yours. What we don't think, however, is maybe WE are the ones who are wrong. We never go into the debate hoping to be enlightened, only to crush our opponents. Listen in this episode as legendary psychologist Lee Ross explains how to identify, avoid, and combat this most pernicious of cognitive mistakes.