63 episodes

A podcast about understanding human behavior, hosted by Zachary Elwood (twitter: @apokerplayer). Interviews with people from a wide range of fields about how understanding people aids them in their endeavors, with an occasional focus on the psychology of political polarization.

People Who Read People: A Behavior and Psychology Podcast Zachary Elwood

    • Science

A podcast about understanding human behavior, hosted by Zachary Elwood (twitter: @apokerplayer). Interviews with people from a wide range of fields about how understanding people aids them in their endeavors, with an occasional focus on the psychology of political polarization.

    Conversation analysis and persuasive language, with Elizabeth Stokoe

    Conversation analysis and persuasive language, with Elizabeth Stokoe

    A talk with Liz Stokoe, a conversation analysis (CA) researcher and the author of "Talk: The Science of Conversation." This is my second episode focused on CA. Topics discussed include: What are some of the most useful learnings from CA, in Liz's view? Does the common perception that men and women talk differently have much scientific support? How do the "turns we take" help define us in others' eyes? Why is the "most communication is non-verbal" concept wrong and yet so popular? What do people get wrong with their focus on "rapport"?  What can CA teach us about political polarization dynamics and how to persuade others or avoid angering others?  

    • 53 min
    How many Trump supporters really believe the election was rigged?, with Tom Pepinsky

    How many Trump supporters really believe the election was rigged?, with Tom Pepinsky

    A talk with political scientist Thomas Pepinsky, who wrote a piece entitled "Life in authoritarian states is mostly boring and tolerable," which examined what the end of democracy might look like in America. Topics discussed include: What can we deduce from U.S. surveys that show high distrust in elections? How much do people really believe that elections were rigged? If Trump had succeeded in overturning the 2020 election, what would life in the U.S. be like? 

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Inherent aspects of social media that amplify divides and bad thinking

    Inherent aspects of social media that amplify divides and bad thinking

    This is a piece that I, Zach Elwood, wrote about the ways in which social media (and internet communication more broadly) may be amplifying us-versus-them polarization and extreme thinking.  Much of the mainstream coverage of how social media may be amplifying divides and making people unhappy is on product-specific features and algorithms. But what if there are inherent aspects of internet communication that amplify animosity and bad thinking, no matter the format or structure of the tool? What if "the medium is the message" in some way? This piece examines the psychological processes by which social media may be deranging us and talks about strategies for reducing unhelpful group-versus-group animosity. 

    • 39 min
    Artificial intelligence and the nature of consciousness, with Hod Lipson

    Artificial intelligence and the nature of consciousness, with Hod Lipson

    A talk with roboticist and artificial intelligence researcher Hod Lipson. Topics include: how close we are to self-aware machines; research strategies that will likely yield self-aware machines; what it takes for something to be self-aware; the risks of AI; how such research can help us better understand human minds and behavior.  

    • 49 min
    Does video surveillance decrease crime?, with Eric Piza

    Does video surveillance decrease crime?, with Eric Piza

    A talk with criminologist Eric Piza about how video has affected crime rates. Topics discussed include: what the research shows about video surveillance and crime reduction; what factors make camera presence more likely to be effective; the effectiveness of police body cams; some practical ideas for how one might discourage crime at one's property; and the role of America's huge number of guns on violence by police. 

    • 51 min
    Rittenhouse verdict reactions and political polarization

    Rittenhouse verdict reactions and political polarization

    Host Zachary Elwood examines liberal reactions about the Rittenhouse verdict and how some of the more extreme and pessimistic reactions may be seen as being caused by political us-vs-them polarization. 

    • 53 min

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