Hi, Dax Shepard here. I’m fascinated by smart people with a unique point of view. On this show, I leverage people’s vague awareness of me as an actor to talk with a bunch of bona fide experts. It’s a soothing mix of brain candy and defensive humor (my response to feeling intellectually outclassed). Join me on a layman’s journey through the Land of Specialists!
Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace is an ethologist and advocate for the environment, animals, and the natural world. Jane joins the Armchair Expert to discuss her journey to studying chimpanzees, how her approach of empathy allowed her to learn how human chimps are and that they have a culture of their own. Jane explains how similar the gender roles are between chimps and humans, her trajectory of going deep into the jungle and coming out a world icon, and how the Jane Goodall Institute has grown to 24 institutes in 24 separate countries. Dax admits that if he met Jane, he would try to groom her.
Erin Meyer (The Culture Map, No Rules Rules) is an author and professor at the INSEAD Business School, based in Paris. Erin joins the Armchair Expert to discuss how feedback is interpreted differently in various cultures, who the most direct and confrontational culture is, and how to move beyond stereotypes to understand the more complex issues we are unaware are affecting us. Erin teaches us how we need to build empathy and develop strategies when interacting with people from other cultures, the direct to indirect negative feedback scale, and why Americans are seen as superficial and hypocritical in most European cultures. Erin explains how we express disagreement differently in many parts of the world, how every culture is deferring to authority less than their parents did, and that you need to understand the differences in cultures in order to make the right adjustments.
Emily Morse is a sex therapist, author and host of the podcast Sex with Emily. Emily joins the Armchair Expert to discuss Dax’s favorite subject: sex. Emily explains her theory on why sex is still the most taboo topic in America, how little has changed in sex education, and the effect pornography is having on young people. Emily stresses how important communication is for a thriving sex life, how much there is to discover about yourself if you’re curious, and that you’re responsible for your own orgasm, not your partner. The two discuss shame around self-pleasure, the impact sexual wellness has on your overall wellness, and Emily’s vision of lube on every nightstand.
Adam Grant Returns
Adam Grant returns to discuss his new book Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know. Adam is an organizational psychologist, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and TED speaker. Adam discusses how to open people’s minds, the psychology of maximizing and satisficing, and the advantages of imposter syndrome. Adam weighs in on a disagreement between Dax & Monica, explains the dangers of desirability bias, and the different modes of thinking: preacher, prosecutor, and politician. Adam pitches building a competence and character political party while Dax shares one of his self-fulfilling prophecies.
Robert Livingston is a social psychologist at the Harvard Kennedy School, he studies the science underlying implicit bias and racism. Robert joins the Armchair Expert to discuss the science behind racism, how to synthesize and assemble it into something people can digest, and the ways to make profound and sustainable change around it. Robert explains his P.R.E.S.S. model, how empathy is the most important part of it, and the difference between equality and equity.
Jethro Bovingdon & Rob Corddry
Jethro Bovingdon and Rob Corddry join the Armchair Expert to discuss all things Top Gear America. The group explains the prestige of the Top Gear brand, how high the bar was going into the new iteration, and Jethro explains how his job is mostly stopping Dax & Rob from doing weird bits. They discuss the competitiveness between Jethro & Dax, Rob’s personal arc over the last year on the show, and Jethro answers questions from the group about English people.