221 episodes

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.

The Psychology Podcast with Scott Barry Kaufman Scott Barry Kaufman

    • Social Sciences
    • 4.5 • 1.1K Ratings

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.

    Ryan Holiday || Lives of the Stoics

    Ryan Holiday || Lives of the Stoics

    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

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Greg Lukianoff || Free Speech

    Greg Lukianoff || Free Speech

    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

    • 1 hr 28 min
    Spencer Greenberg || Effective Altruism, Mental Health, & Habit Change

    Spencer Greenberg || Effective Altruism, Mental Health, & Habit Change

    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 clearerthinking.org, 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 sparkwave.tech/conditions-for-change 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

    • 48 min
    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 lustcinema.com

    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: https://lustcinema.com/lp/free-episode-soft?utm_medium=web&utm_source=thepsychologypodcast&utm_campaign=safeword

    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] eroticfilms.com

    [01:01:55] LustCinema

    [01:03:03] The Porn Conversation

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Bret Weinstein || Uniting America

    Bret Weinstein || Uniting America

    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

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Chloé Valdary || Love & Race

    Chloé Valdary || Love & Race

    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. 

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
1.1K Ratings

1.1K Ratings

NightTriker ,


I find the topics/guests very interesting, and he does a good job of not wasting my time with talk that is way off topic.

MVajda ,

Engaging Conversations for a Complex World

Each episode is full of its own intriguing information that keeps you hooked. I highly recommend for anyone interested in expanding their own thinking and learning about various topics surrounding psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics and the like.

Abcdefghijkhmnopqrstuvwxyz ,

A great listen!

I first heard Kaufman on another podcast with Michael Gervais. After listening to that I picked up his book, Transcend, and started diving into that. Then I decided to start at episode one of his podcast, and I’m hooked. I listen to one episode everyday while out on my daily run. The topics are great for anyone interested in learning how to stretch themselves and lead a life towards becoming fully human!

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