54 episodes

A podcast about understanding and predicting human behavior, hosted by Zachary Elwood (twitter: @apokerplayer). Interviews with people from a wide range of fields. An occasional focus on political polarization.

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

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 4 Ratings

A podcast about understanding and predicting human behavior, hosted by Zachary Elwood (twitter: @apokerplayer). Interviews with people from a wide range of fields. An occasional focus on political polarization.

    Why are we drawn to the past?, with Jannine Lasaleta

    Why are we drawn to the past?, with Jannine Lasaleta

    A talk with Jannine Lasaleta, who has researched the psychological effects of nostalgia, including how nostalgic feelings make people more loose and uncaring with money.  We talk about the connection between our desire for nostalgia and our desire to engage in old-fashioned or ancient or "authentic" activities . We talk about how our attraction for these things might be connected to our search for meaning, our desire to have a consistent and stable sense of self, and our attempt to fend off existential anxieties related to meaninglessness and isolation. 

    • 56 min
    Is paying so much attention to politics hurting us?, with Chris Freiman

    Is paying so much attention to politics hurting us?, with Chris Freiman

    If you're someone who pays a lot of attention to politics, but feels that doing so makes you miserable, this may be an important listen. What if someone were to tell you that paying attention to politics is not a morally correct way to spend your time and energy? Political philosopher Chris Freiman is the author of Why It's OK to Ignore Politics. He makes a case that paying a lot of attention to politics is often a waste of time, and may even be immoral compared to other ways you could be spending your time and energy. We talk about how our collective focus on and anger about politics may be contributing to society's us-versus-them animosity and polarization (which may be the root cause of our dysfunction). 

    • 1 hr 11 min
    How has polarization affected beliefs about election security?, with Jennifer Cohn

    How has polarization affected beliefs about election security?, with Jennifer Cohn

    Jennifer Cohn is an attorney and election integrity advocate. Since 2016 she has been drawing attention to problems with U.S. election security and was frustrated during the Trump admin years to see the GOP block efforts to improve security. Now that GOP has become the party of "the election is illegitimate", things have swung the other way and it is Democrats who seem unwilling to acknowledge flaws that many on that side were willing to talk about up until recently. We talk about how politics and polarization can impact attempts to solve election security problems, and she gives insights on the problems she sees with elections. 

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Does blaming "media" help us avoid personal responsibility?, with Elizaveta Friesem

    Does blaming "media" help us avoid personal responsibility?, with Elizaveta Friesem

    Elizaveta Friesem thinks and writes about media and how we relate to it. Her recent book is called "Media Is Us" and it examines the idea that media is not something "out there" but more something that is part of us, something that happens internally, similar to any other human communication. And perhaps this means that acting as if "media" of various sorts is to blame for various problems is a simplistic way to view the world. We talk about the need for personal responsibility for how we consume media, power dynamics in society, the power of empathy and understanding others, and more. 

    • 41 min
    Reading poker tells, with Dara O'Kearney

    Reading poker tells, with Dara O'Kearney

    An interview with professional poker player Dara O'Kearney about poker tells (behavioral patterns in poker). We talk about how useful tells are compared to strategy, what are some of the tells he's used, how his opinion about tells has changed over time. We also discuss poker more generally, including its complexity, game theory optimal topics, how running long distance may have helped him with poker, and more. 

    • 1 hr 4 min
    What are the factors in American police violence? (pt 2), with police captain James Mitchell

    What are the factors in American police violence? (pt 2), with police captain James Mitchell

    The second of two interviews with James Mitchell, a recently retired police captain who worked in Prince George's County, Maryland. We attempt to understand the factors behind the problem of American cops having a high rate of shootings and other forms of excessive force. Factors discussed include: the role of guns, racism, the fact that juries seldom convict cops, police unions, and cops living in the communities they police.  (In the first interview, other factors, like mental health and approach/de-escalation strategies, were discussed.)

    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Saul Albert ,

Great podcast

Thoughtful, well researched, excellent presentation and guests. No nonsense - really enjoy this one. Would love to see an interview on ethnomethodology/conversation analysis.

andyhuk ,

Informing, intelligent and entertaining.

If you have an interest in human behaviour and psychology then this podcast is a must. Every episode has been really interesting and informative with diverse guests, all with an interesting slant on the subject. Just binged on the available episodes and cannot wait for the next. Easily 5 stars

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