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More of a Comment Than a Question

Author: Paul Connor

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A podcast about psychology, academia, culture, and politics, hosted by UC Berkeley graduate student Paul Connor.
25 Episodes
In this episode I talk with my friend Alex Kogan (formerly Alex Spectre), the former professor of psychology from Cambridge University who was embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2018. If you want to know what really happened with Cambridge Analytica, or if you've ever wondered how a happy-go-lucky pro-sociality researcher could end up crashing Facebook's market value by $100 billion dollars, this is the episode for you.
Journalist, author, and podcaster Jesse Singal joins the pod to discuss his new book 'The Quick Fix: Why Fad Psychology Can't Cure Our Social Ills.' We also discuss some of the controversy around his work on youth gender dysphoria. Order the book online here. You can also find Jesse on the 'Blocked and Reported' podcast, the 'Singal Minded' substack, and on twitter.
This week, we chat with fellow podcaster and social psychologist Mickey Inzlicht, Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and co-host of Two Psychologists Four Beer (with Yoel Inbar). We talk about the advisor-graduate student dynamic, the past and future of social psychology, the replication crisis, and discuss some of the recent Psych Academic Twitter controversies. Two Psychologists Four Beers: and Racism on Campus (with Anne Wilson): COVID debate (with Robb Willer and Simine Vazire):'s tweet: out Hoegaarden is Belgian:
This week, we talk to Christopher Ferguson, a professor of psychology at Stetson University. We talk about his new book, How Madness Shaped History, American politics, cancel culture, and political polarization. Ferguson, C. J. (2020). How madness shaped history: An eccentric array of maniacal rulers, raving narcissists, and psychotic visionaries. United States: Prometheus Books. Ryan Long: When Wokes and Racists Actually Agree on Everything:
This week, we chat with Don Moore, a professor in the Management of Organization group at the Haas School of Business, and author of Perfectly Confident. We talk about confidence, overconfidence, perseverance, the tall poppy syndrome, and share our favorite dad jokes. Don's book, Perfectly Confident:
In our first episode of the new year,  we're joined by Rachel Ernstoff, a social psychology graduate student at UNC Chapel Hill studying intergroup relations and political polarization. In this episode, Rachel shares her fascinating background with us, after which we discuss political polarization and the research around it, the recent attack the Capitol, and Trump's Twitter ban. Rachel's posts on The Pipettepen:'s blog: News, 24 Hours: Assault on the Capitol (available on Hulu):'s post on the suspension of @realDonaldTrump:
This week, we had to cut our conversation short with a fellow social psychologist-philosopher, Barry Schwartz, professor emeritus of psychology at Swarthmore College, and a visiting professor at Haas School of Business. We discuss Barry's recent paper Science, scholarship, and intellectual virtues. Schwartz, B. (2020). Science, scholarship, and intellectual virtues: A guide to what higher education should be like. Journal of Moral Education, 1-12. relevant TED talks by Barry:Using Your Practical Wisdom: Loss of Wisdom: and Happiness comic about science:
This week, we talk to Rob Chavez, an assistant professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Oregon. We discuss what social neuroscience is, how social psychology can inform neuroscience, and whether our understanding of the brain can have broader impacts on society. This is your Brain on Psychology – This is your Psychology on Brain (a guest post by Rob Chavez):, Yael. (2020, October 22). The primacy of behavioral research for understanding the brain. is Not a Computation (Roger Penrose) | AI Podcast Clips In additional to being a mathematician, Sir Roger Penrose is also a physicist and philosopher of science. He received the Nobel prize in Physics this year The structure that make up the mitotic spindles are microtubules:
This week, we have an in-depth conversation with Kat (Kathryn) McCabe, a social ecologist and antiracism educator, about the modern antiracist movement and its potential impact on race relations.The Change Agency: https://www.thechangeagency.ieShort story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut:



This week, we discuss the recent controversy surrounding a Nature Communications paper that looks at informal mentorship,  the gender of mentee/mentors, and subsequent scientific impact of the mentees. There has a been a call from the Twitter science community for the retraction of the paper. Edit: Smriti mentions that someone had tweeted and asked people to email the first author, but it was actually the EIC of Nature Comm: AlShebli, B., Makovi, K. & Rahwan, T.  (2020). The association between early career informal mentorship in academic collaborations and junior author performance. Nat Commun 11, 5855. Comments: relevant twitter threads: Open letter to Nature Comm editor-in-chief: G (Borat) at Cambridge University:



This week, we talk about the different responses to the election from the left, and what can be done to heal the growing political divide in this country. Greater Good Science Center, "Bridging Differences Playbook": Thompson, "The Most Important Divide in American Politics Isn’t Race": Yglesias, "Trump’s gains with Hispanic voters should prompt some progressive rethinking": Blow, "Exit Polls Point to the Power of White Patriarchy": writer Tim Stone banned from Rock Paper Shotgun, Lindsey's tweet criticizing Jonny Sun's tweet criticizing empathy,
This week, we talk to our friend Manuel (Manny) Galvan, a graduate student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, about the election, political polarization in America, the excesses of the left, cancel culture, BLM/Defund the Police, and Manny's vision of a way forward. You can find Manny on Twitter @MGalvanPsych; his blog, The Science of Social Problems:; and The Pipettepen: culture  Cancel culture is a significant issue for conservatives: some extent the morel panic over Cancel culture is a billionaire-funded operation: evidence of a cancel culture “crisis” on college campuses: overrepresentation on social media: Berkeley police biasCPE (Center for Policing Equity) report: students call for the defunding of the UCPD:
Last week, we spoke to our very own faculty advisor, Serena Chen! Serena's the first Asian-American chair of UC Berkeley's Department of Psychology, and one of the most refreshingly candid academics out there. We discuss the recent paper on the future of women in psychological science, on which Serena is a co-author, along with many other female faculty at Berkeley Psych. We also talk about open science, social psych literature, and the future of academia. Gruber et al. (2020). The Future of Women in Psychological Science: years of Women in Psychology at Berkeley:
This week, we talk to Anne Scheel, a doctoral candidate at the Eindhoven University of Technology, about her upcoming paper Why Hypothesis Testers Should Spend Less Time Testing Hypotheses.Scheel, A.M., Tiokhin L., Isager, P.M., & Lakens, D. (in press). Why hypothesis testers should spend less time testing hypotheses. Perspectives on Psychological Science. Muta (a Sanskrit word!)Open-access versions of all papers (including the book chapter) on the website: kamamutalab.orgAnne's recommendation for a good place to start:Fiske, A. P., Seibt, B., & Schubert, T. (2019). The Sudden Devotion Emotion: Kama Muta and the Cultural Practices Whose Function Is to Evoke It. Emotion Review, 11(1), 74–86., A. P., Schubert, T., & Seibt, B. (2017). ‘Kama muta’ or ‘being moved by love’: A bootstrapping approach to the ontology and epistemology of an emotion. In J. L. Cassaniti & U. Menon (Eds.), Universalism Without Uniformity: Explorations in Mind and Culture (pp. 79–100). University of Chicago Press.



This week, we talk about the controversy over a blog by an anonymous person on Twitter, AlvaroDeMenard, about participating in "Replication Markets, a part of DARPA's SCORE program, whose goal is to evaluate the reliability of social science research."The thread about this on Twitter elicited a response from an editor at Science, Tage Rai, and consequently, multiple responses to that from the Open Science community. Original thread by @AlvaroDeMenard Blog: Rai's Response notable responses to TageBrian Nosek: Fidler: Vazire: Meehl's lecture (starts at 46:13):



This week, we talk about the recent self-exposé of a (now former) African history professor at George Washington University, Jessica Krug, which revealed that she had been pretending to be Black/African-American/Afro-Latinx.Jessica Krug's medium post: post outing CV Vitolo-Haddad, grad student at UW Madison: et al. (2013) Their Pain is Not Our Pain: Brain and Autonomic Correlates of Empathic Resonance With the Pain of Same and Different Race Individuals:
This week, we're joined by Alex Koch, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Science at Chicago Booth. We talk about Alex's ABC model of stereotype content, adversarial collaborations, and the utility of social cognition research. Ellemers et al. (2020). Adversarial alignment enables competing models to engage in cooperative theory building toward cumulative science: ABC of Stereotypes About Groups:
In this episode, we talk to Leif Nelson, professor at Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. We talk about open science, the False Positive Psychology paper and its aftermath, current Data Colada replication efforts, and Paul's undying fascination with Leif. False Positive Psychology: Colada (blog by Leif, Uri Simonsohn, and Joe Simmons): Predicted: 



In this episode, we discuss the recent decision by University of California to get rid of the SAT test as part of the undergraduate admissions process. We talk about the Psychology Today articles that recently touched on this, the recommendations from the UC Academic Senate's Standardized Testing Task Force (STTF), and the recent lawsuits against universities for discriminating against Asian and Asian-American students.We also realized that we're no professors at University of Toronto and should probably not drink while podcasting. Psychology Today articles by Andrew ConwayPart 1: The Decision 2: The Reason of the UC Academic Council's Standardized Testing Task Force:
On our first guest episode, we talk to our first (and only) fan, Daniël Lakens, an experimental psychologist at Eindhoven University of Technology. We talk about power analyses, sample size justification, SESOI, statistical 'heuristics,' and the broader culture in psychological science. Inspired by a twitter post by Josh Grubbs:ël Lakens's blog, The 20% Statistician:
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