DiscoverThe Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman
The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman

The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman

Author: Scott Barry Kaufman

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Welcome to The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman, where we give you insights into the mind, brain, behavior and creativity. Each episode we’ll feature a guest who will stimulate your mind, and give you a greater understanding of your self, others, and the world we live in. Hopefully, we’ll also provide a glimpse into human possibility! Thanks for listening and enjoy the podcast.
222 Episodes
Today it is great to have Caroline Webb on the podcast. Webb is an executive coach, author and speaker who specializes in showing people how to use insights from behavioral science to improve their professional lives. Her book on that topic, How To Have A Good Day, has been published in 14 languages and more than 60 countries. She is also a Senior Advisor to McKinsey, where she was previously a partner. Time Stamps [01:30] How To Have A Good Day during a pandemic [03:37] The power of practicing mindfulness [08:44] Emotional contagion and deliberate focus [09:56] The state of affairs and focusing on what we can control [13:55] Caroline’s philosophy of “realistic optimism” [17:07] Realistic optimism vs aggressive positivity [20:55] How mental contrasting can help you have a good day [24:07] Changing your environment to change your behaviour [24:48] Does positive thinking work? [30:20] How coaching can help you [32:00] Caroline’s coaching sessions [37:00] Caroline’s scenic route to the field of psychology [40:09] How coaching is not always grounded in science [42:49] The universal need for coaching [46:24] Listening as a basic coaching skill [49:32] Helping people engage with their own creativity [52:22] Burning Man and living a good life
Today it is great to have Ryan Holiday on the podcast. Holiday is one of the world’s foremost thinkers and writers on ancient philosophy and its place in everyday life. He is a sought-after speaker, strategist and the author of many bestselling books including The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph, Ego Is the Enemy, The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living , and the number one New York Times bestseller Stillness is the Key. His books have been translated into over thirty languages, and been read by over two million people. He lives outside Austin, Texas with his family, and his most recent book is Lives of the Stoics: The Art of Living from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius. Time Stamps [00:01:10] Stoicism and "works over words" [00:04:04] Modern day Stoicism [00:05:16] Knowledge for knowledge’s sake vs. practical purposes of philosophy [00:06:58] The four virtues of Stoicism [00:07:59] Living well versus living the good life [00:10:04] The founding fathers and Stoicism [00:11:18] Ryan’s writing vs. academic writing [00:17:43] The deeply personal Meditations by Marcus Aurelius [00:19:21] Zeno the Prophet and the founding of Stoicism [00:20:41] Living in harmony with nature [00:22:16] How COVID-19 has given Ryan perspective on being zoomed into life [00:25:33] Eastern and Western conceptions of stillness [00:29:30] The relationship between Stoicism and humor [00:30:11] Aristo the Challenger and the influence of cynicism on Stoicism [00:31:01] Zeno the Maintainer and the repetition of names in Roman times [00:33:38] Antipater the Ethicist and transcending individual selfishness [00:37:56] Panaetius the connector and Stoicism beyond virtue [00:39:36] Women in Stoicism and Portia Cato [00:40:58] “Cancelling” Stoicism and the tearing down of Confederate statues [00:44:48] Posidonius the Genius and the battle between our lower urges and higher nature [00:46:26] The omission of frivolity in Stoic writing [00:48:16] Cato: Roman among the Romans [00:51:58] Epictetus and the nature of freedom [00:54:27] How Marcus Aurelius became the emperor of Rome [00:57:13] How Ryan has grown since his earliest engagements with and writings on Stoic philosophy
Today it is great to have Greg Lukianoff on the podcast. Greg is an attorney, New York Times bestselling author, and the present CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). He is the author of Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate, Freedom from Speech, and FIRE’s Guide to Free Speech on Campus. Most recently, he co-authored The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure Check out Greg and Jonathan’s video on why they dislike the use of the word "coddling" in the title of their book. Time Stamps [00:02:39] Why Greg advocates free speech [00:06:00] The story behind why the former executive director of the ACLU, Ira Glasser, began his fight for civil liberties [00:07:54] The Bedrock Principle and why you cannot ban something simply because it is offensive [00:09:42] The limits of free speech and exceptions to the First Amendment [00:11:19] How Greg’s argument for free speech differs from the traditional argument for free speech [00:14:38] Addressing the criticism that free speech could incite violence against vulnerable people [00:16:03] Why we should listen to the arguments of people with whom we strongly disagree [00:20:13] How to balance arguments for free speech with empathy [00:22:37] Humor as a coping mechanism for depression [00:23:14] Greg’s suicide attempt and struggle with depression [00:27:29] How Greg enjoys helping people who struggle with mental health issues [00:28:50] How Greg’s thriving after depression can give people hope [00:29:37] Addressing the stereotype that Greg’s work is always about political correctness, when it is actually often transpartisan [00:30:08] How hyper-bureaucratized universities can exacerbate mental health problems [00:33:10] How cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) influenced The Coddling of the American Mind [00:34:57] The importance of discipline and consistency in the practice of CBT [00:36:14] The pre-2013 repression of free speech by the administration [00:38:02] The post-2013 spike of repression of free speech by students [00:40:23] How anti-free speech administrations taught students habits of anxiety and depression by repressing free speech [00:43:07] The scary anti-Trump riots after his election in 2016 [00:44:35] Arguments over the title of the book The Coddling of the American Mind [00:51:07] The six reasons for the sudden spike in anti-free speech activism [00:55:59] Criticisms against allowing our gender or race identities to define us [00:57:03] Common enemy identity politics versus common humanity identity politics [00:59:16] Why compassion is essential [00:59:57] Naive statism and why we should be cautious when designing laws which repress civil liberties [01:05:04] Components of Greg’s background which led to his powerful advocacy of free speech on campus [01:11:26] Greg and his family’s health after a year of injuries, health problems, and bereavement [01:17:24] Hope that Greg has had since publishing The Coddling of the American Mind
Today it is great to have Spencer Greenberg on the podcast. Spencer is an entrepreneur and mathematician and founder of Spark Wave — a software foundry which creates novel software products from scratch, designed to help solve problems in the world using social science. For example, scalable care for depression and anxiety and technology for accelerating and improving social science research. He also founded, which offers free tools and training programs used by over 250, 000 people which are designed to help you improve decision making and increase positive behaviors. Spencer has a PhD in Applied Math from NYU with a specialty in Machine Learning. Spencer’s work has been featured by numerous major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Independent, Lifehacker, Fast Companyand the Financial Times. Check out where you can apply the results of scientific studies to your habit development, from making a decision to cultivate a habit, to taking action, and finally, continuing that habit. Time Stamps [00:01:40] How the Effective Altruism movement works [00:02:55] The role of emotions in Effective Altruism [00:04:03] How Spencer applies Effective Altruism in his work and companies [00:06:27] How cultivating automatic if-then rules can improve your life [00:10:42] How to handle depression using behavioral activation [00:12:05] Introversion and the hierarchical nature of personality [00:14:58] Personality traits that are not captured by the Big Five model [00:18:04] How it is easier to present a scientific finding compared to explaining that finding [00:20:20] The “psychological immune system” and the five categories of behaviors for dealing with difficult situations [00:20:55] Facing reality and clarifying distortions of thinking [00:21:27] Feeling-based and emotion-based strategies for dealing with difficulty [00:22:10] Action-based strategies for dealing with difficulty [00:23:27] Refocusing techniques for dealing with difficulty [00:23:42] Reframing and finding the silver lining [00:29:47] Whether or not the Big Five personality traits are inherently valenced (i.e. positive or negative) [00:31:03] Personality as a distribution of traits [00:33:22] Finding optimal levels of different personality traits [00:33:59] Tips for forming new habits [00:38:22] How to determine why behavioral change is not happening [00:42:07] Tips and heuristics for sparking structured and unstructured creativity
Erika Lust || Ethical Porn

Erika Lust || Ethical Porn


Today it's great to have Erika Lust on the podcast. Lust is an acclaimed adult filmmaker who creates sex-positive, indie adult cinema that portrays sexually intelligent narratives, relatable characters and realistic hot sex. Her XConfessionsproject turns the public’s anonymous fantasies into explicit and artistic short films. Whilst her recently re-launched LustCinema is a US based studio with original series and feature length films for lovers of cinema and sex. In 2015, Erika gave her essential TEDx talk It’s Time for Porn to Change. Her story was also featured in the first episode of the Netflix documentary series Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On (“Women on Top”), directed by Rashida Jones. This year Erika was named as one of the BBC 100 Women’s most influential women of 2019. Free 7 day subscription of Check out the first episode of Erika Lust's new miniseries for free now - 'Safe Word'is a full immersion in the BDSM healthy, sexy culture of communication and awareness in sex. The series follows the ruthless and demanding theatre director Christie in her initiation to BDSM. link: Time Stamps [00:01:51] The changes that Erika wants to see in porn [00:03:13] What is wrong with standard porn [00:05:34] What people can expect to see in films produced by Erika [00:08:33] How the sex can stay dirty, but the values must stay clean [00:11:51] How to deal with derogation and humiliation in ethical porn [00:14:08] Why porn, especially taboo porn, is so popular [00:15:32] Common misconceptions about porn as an industry [00:22:19] Exploitation in porn [00:28:05] How to determine if the porn you watch is ethically produced [00:30:00] Erika’s journey from a dissatisfied porn consumer to becoming a producer and an activist [00:35:56] A study on the many reasons people have sex [00:36:38] Objectification in standard porn versus ethical porn [00:43:32] Research on the positive effects of having sex with a sense of care [00:44:43] The objectification and stereotyping of men in porn [00:47:00] The equality of sexual enjoyment [00:48:07] The meaning of feminist porn [00:49:58] Whether ethical porn is constrained by evolved human nature [00:59:10] How to participate in XConfessions [01:00:51] [01:01:55] LustCinema [01:03:03] The Porn Conversation
Today we have Bret Weinstein on the podcast. Bret has spent two decades advancing the field of evolutionary biology, earning his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan before teaching at the Evergreen State College for fourteen years. He has developed a new Darwinian framework based on design tradeoffs and made important discoveries regarding the evolution of cancer, senescence, and the adaptive significance of moral self-sacrifice. He is currently working to uncover the evolutionary meaning of large-scale patterns in human history and seeking a game theoretically stable path forward for humanity. With his wife Heather Heying, he is co-writing A Hunter Gatherer’s Guide to the Twenty-First Century and is the host of Bret Weinstein’s Dark Horse Podcast. Time Stamps [00:00:00] Introducing Bret Weinstein [00:00:43] The meaning of “evolutionary theoretical biology” [00:01:37] Critiques of evolutionary psychology [00:03:08] Critiques of epigenetics [00:03:59] The unfortunate competition between theory and empiricism in academia [00:05:19] Protests against Bret at Evergreen State College [00:07:35] The role of fear in collective protests [00:08:47] Sources of racial tensions in the US: deindividuation on the left & a lack of interracial compassion on the right [00:12:37] Defining the deindividuation problem [00:15:08] Unity2020and the fight to return policymaking to the average American [00:17:15] The meaning of "wokeness": then and now [00:21:51] Encouraging Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporters to join Unity2020 [00:27:33] Considering Andrew Yang as a center-left candidate for Unity2020 [00:28:45] Considering Admiral William McRaven as a center-right candidate for Unity 2020 [00:29:53] Influencing Trump supporters to join Unity2020 [00:32:07] Analogies between religion and political polarization [00:35:04] "Dichotomy-transcendence" [00:43:25] Scott’s Twitter run in with the Intellectual Dark Web [00:45:13] Defining principles of the Intellectual Dark Web [00:50:26] Possible criticisms of the Intellectual Dark Web [00:55:05] Bret’s experience growing up with a learning disability [01:00:57] Assessing IQ as a measure of intelligence [01:02:07] The danger of studying the correlations between genetics and intelligence [01:07:00] How we are a long way from understanding how the mind works [01:12:10] Answering Twitter questions for Bret
Today it is great to have Chloé Valdary on the podcast. After spending a year as a Bartley Fellow at the Wall Street Journal, Chloe developed the Theory of Enchantment, an innovative framework for socioemotional learning, character development and interpersonal growth that uses pop culture as an educational tool in the classroom and beyond. Chloé has trained around the world including in South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany and Israel. Her clients have included high school and college students, government agencies, business teams and many more. She has also lectured in universities across America including Harvard and Georgetown. Her work has been covered in Psychology Today magazine and her writings have appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. 
Today it’s great to have Robert Sutton on the podcast. Sutton is Professor of Management Science and Engineering and Professor of Organizational Behavior by courtesy at Stanford. He co-founded the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design which everyone calls the Sutton received his PhD in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and has served on the Stanford faculty since 1983.
Today it's great to have Chip Conley on the podcast. Chip is a New York Times best-selling author who helped Airbnb's founders turn their fast-growing tech start-up into a global hospitality brand. In his book Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder, he shares his unexpected journey at midlife, from CEO to intern, learning about technology as Airbnb's Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, while also mentoring CEO Brian Chesky.
Today it’s great to have Dr. Michael Gervais on the podcast. Dr. Gervais is a world-renowned high-performance psychologist and industry visionary. Over the course of 20 years, working with world leading performers, Dr. Gervais has developed a psychological framework that allows people to thrive in pressure packed environments.
Today it’s great to have Katie Herzog and Jesse Singal on the podcast. Together, Herzog and Signal co-host the Blocked and Reported Podcast. NOTE: This is a Patreon exclusive episode, which means that only the first half is available for public consumption. The rest of the episode is only available to Patreon subscribers. Together, Herzog and Signal co-host the Blocked and Reported Podcast.
I’m really excited to have Ayishat Akanbi on the podcast today. Ayishat is a writer and fashion stylist based in London. Personal reflection has guided her approach of reminding us of our commonalities instead of our differences. Not just for social awareness but also self-awareness, Ayishat resists the black and white thinking that can lead to divisive socio-political discourse and is comfortable “in the grey”.
Today it’s great to have Dr. Richard Haier on the podcast. Dr. Haier is Professor Emeritus in the School of Medicine at the University of California, Irvine. His research investigates structural and functional neuroanatomy of intelligence using neuroimaging.
Today it’s great to have the political psychologist Lilianna Mason on the podcast. Dr. Mason is associate professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity.
In this episode, I talk with Geoffrey Miller, an American evolutionary psychologist, researcher, and author about elements of evolutionary psychology such as virtue signaling, altruism, sexual selection, and their role in the evolution of human nature.
Today it’s great to have Dr. Martin Seligman on the podcast. Dr. Seligman is a leading authority in the fields of positive psychology, resilience, learned helplessness, depression, optimism, and pessimism.
In this episode I discuss habits with social psychologist Wendy Wood-- how to break the bad ones, create good habits, and how to make them actually stick.
In this episode of The Psychology Podcast I chat with Coach Pete Carroll about how to win with meaning, purpose, and love.
Today it’s great to have the cultural psychologist Michele Gelfand on the podcast. Dr. Gelfand is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Gelfand uses field, experimental, computational, and neuroscience methods to understand the evolution of culture– as well as its multilevel consequences for human groups. In addition to publishing numerous articles in many prestigious scientific outlets, she is the author of Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire the World. In this episode we discuss: What are social norms? The difference between tight and loose cultures The advantages vs. disadvantages of tight vs. loose cultures Why did tight vs. loose cultures evolve in the first place? How chronic threat produces a tight culture Real vs. perceived (imagined) threats How cross-cultural psychology is expanding  The interdisciplinary expansion of the study of social norms How organizations can be tight vs. loose Why the ambidexterity of an organizational culture matters Why people welcomed ISIS in some contexts How to anticipate radical shifts in culture around the world in ways that can be predictable How people differ in terms of what is perceived a threat The potential for meaningful conversation across the political divide The importance of persevering in science How understanding differing cultural codes can help us navigate and negotiate them How can modifying a nation’s norms address protracted social problems? Why Michele is so excited to be in the field now more than ever How these contexts can breed negative behaviors Why we need to exert more control to achieve the Goldilocks principle Why we need to be mindful of social norms Why Michele is hopeful that we can recalibrate social norms that facilitate greater cooperation among cultures
“A little self-care goes a long way. Honoring your sensitivities is an act of self-love.” Today it’s so great to have Dr. Judith Orloff on the podcast. Dr. Orloff is the New York Times best-selling author of The Empath’s Survival Guide: Life Strategies for Sensitive People. Her new book Thriving as an Empath, along with its companion The Empath’s Empowerment Journal, offers daily self-care tools for sensitive people  Dr. Orloff is a psychiatrist, an empath, and is on the UCLA Psychiatric Clinical Faculty. She synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. Dr. Orloff also specializes in treating empaths and highly sensitive people in her private practice. Dr. Orloff’s work has been featured on The Today Show, CNN, Oprah Magazine, the New York Times and USA Today. Dr. Orloff has also spoken at Google-LA and has a TEDX talk. The gift of being different How empaths are “emotional sponges” How empaths can be misdiagnosed The importance of being aware of the “phases of nature” and the “cycles of light” Treasure your sensitivity Identify the signs of being overwhelmed with stimulation You are allowed to have peace The new paradigm of being a man The sacredness of commitment Why the past doesn’t control you The importance of setting boundaries The joy of not overthinking How to hold space for someone without having to fix them Getting in touch with the “magical part of your being” Being willing to feel loss in order to move on Go where the light is How to shield yourself from toxic people How to stop caring about other people’s opinions of us
Comments (72)

hadi mimdal

time stamps are very helpful. tnx

Oct 22nd


wow this episode made me more conscious of performer n their feelings n just that zex is suppose to be about ppl who love eachother not lust each other as its displayed nowdays

Aug 31st


wow chloe!...what an inspiring n articulate dude.. only 26 year old n fixing our society to end division n promote civility...just what nation needs?( to build characters) learn to tolerate n love one another despite differences. excellent guest thx

Aug 26th


😭😭😭🙏🙏🙏 pls have subtitles ~

Aug 19th

vikrant kalra

Beautiful interview! thank you both!

Jul 27th


my 1st episode n im wowd! dense intelligent bunch look fwd for more....key items FOPO definately.. be in the u once u discover urself no one can take it away from u...self discovery self realization need to be pursued.

Jul 23rd

Sharon Gilgenast

I really loved this episode!! I was trying to find more information actually explaining what behaviors are signaling and how to identify them in humans.

Jun 24th
Reply (1)


She’s probably INFJ

May 6th


Excellent overview of CBT. Loved the discussion on the Think Act Be acronym.

Apr 25th

Nichole Bascombe

Love the discussions. You are funny! Your guests are very interesting. I'm studying psychology in it's most basic form and new to it as well, so it would be lovely if some of language is simplified for the more simple-minded of us. Don't do it too much though, I like being curious. it excites me and stimulates my mind!

Apr 21st

Dan Elliott

Like like like like like like like like like like like like. Great message not so great delivery.

Feb 28th

Tim Strange

11:32 to 13:40 very helpful

Feb 18th


I am looking for a transcript of this conversation with Cory. It’s brilliant ! Can you advise

Feb 5th

Marya Dawn

great episode. thank you

Feb 4th

Anna Kochetkova

Why Sex is still making podcast host blush? This is so weird. And this is one of the reasons I now host Changing Conversations in Sydney, bringing difficult topics to the dinner table and talking about it. We all do it (sex). Why is it still uncomfortable?

Jan 10th

Anna Kochetkova

Is there any research exploring porn viewing and aaffects? I'm also impressed that you think that women watching porn is only 20%. I was sure it's equal to men if not more. Women find a lot more things arousing than men so it makes all the sense in the world that women watch more porn. It makes sense if men watch porn more frequently but I don't think there are less women who watch porn vs men, to be honest. However, women aren't "allowed" to watch porn, enjoy pleasure or be sexual in most societies in the world thus many women won't admit they enjoy porn. Interesting topic! I'm fascinated by it.

Jan 10th

Ankur Motwani

I like the content but it keeps getting interrupted by ads. Wayyy too many ads/useless breaks.

Jan 9th

Daniel Taylor

ok, so what I think is being said is that generalizing people as evil is not a good thing, but behaviors can be perceived as pro social or not pro social. which is fine, except some people as a matter o ffg course or balance do less pro social behavior than others. And, because people make up or create accepted moral norms, society can decide to act upon there animal nature, call it good, and the world, reality or people's generally accepted view of right and wrong will become so wide that even more anxiety will be its product within the general population. I think its possible that anything that does not produce a realistic or hopeful ability for a person to achieve mastery, socially, causes anxiety and low self worth. There has to be perceived wrongs and rights in order to have an objective to obtain social mastery.

Dec 13th

Nicole Meckley

I had never heard of Sofer prior to this podcast, but post podcast, I cannot wait to read more from him and about him. During the show, he stated that he was a little self-conscious about talking so much, but I just smiled and thought to myself, "I could listen to you all day". He is so articulate, informative, relatable. I believe myself to be a good communicator, but he had me reflecting upon recent conversations that could have been better navigated had I been more intentional and less impulsive with my responses. Thank you for having him on your podcast, and thank you, Sofer for all you do and for who you seem to be!

Nov 2nd

Ankur Motwani

Great episode. the guest is very informed and fun to listen to. Really good podcast

Oct 26th
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