48 episodes

Hosted by social psychologist Michael Sargent, this podcast has become a place for conversation about policy and politics, where Sargent talks with people who nerd out on the topics, bringing extensive knowledge, including knowledge of the limits of their knowledge. These nerds don't have the pocket protectors and social awkwardness of nerd stereotypes. They have wit, a love of fun, and most importantly, an understanding gained from the tattered pages of journals, books, and printouts of statistical analyses, or they've been tattered by experience. As host, Sargent isn't above asking dumb questions, because he knows we all learn from the answers.
If you're looking for overconfident, ill-informed (or misinformed) bloviation, this isn't the place for you. (But maybe Fox & Friends is.) If that's the opposite of what you want, then stick around.

Tatter Michael Sargent

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Hosted by social psychologist Michael Sargent, this podcast has become a place for conversation about policy and politics, where Sargent talks with people who nerd out on the topics, bringing extensive knowledge, including knowledge of the limits of their knowledge. These nerds don't have the pocket protectors and social awkwardness of nerd stereotypes. They have wit, a love of fun, and most importantly, an understanding gained from the tattered pages of journals, books, and printouts of statistical analyses, or they've been tattered by experience. As host, Sargent isn't above asking dumb questions, because he knows we all learn from the answers.
If you're looking for overconfident, ill-informed (or misinformed) bloviation, this isn't the place for you. (But maybe Fox & Friends is.) If that's the opposite of what you want, then stick around.

    Episode 48: The Episodic Man (Discussing Donald Trump w/ Dan McAdams)

    Episode 48: The Episodic Man (Discussing Donald Trump w/ Dan McAdams)

    ABOUT THIS EPISODE
    Dan McAdams is The Henry Wade Rogers Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, as well as Director of the Foley Center for the Study of Lives. McAdams's areas of interest and expertise include personality and personal narrative. He's also written about the personality and narrative of Donald Trump, going back to when Trump was merely a candidate for President. Trump is now U.S. President (and will remain so, at least for the time being, since he was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial). McAdams has written a new book about the temperament and personal narrative of Trump. With its release about a month away, I spoke to McAdams, and feature that conversation in this episode.


    LINKS
    --Dan McAdams's profile at Northwestern University
    --Foley Center for the Study of Lives, at Northwestern
    --The Strange Case of Donald J. Trump: A Psychological Reckoning (The Oxford University Press page for McAdams forthcoming book)
    --"The Mind of Donald Trump" (June 2016 Atlatic essay by McAdams)
    Special Guest: Dan McAdams.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    Episode 47: Above and Beyond (Respectability Politics, w/ David Crockett)

    Episode 47: Above and Beyond (Respectability Politics, w/ David Crockett)

    ABOUT THIS EPISODE
    Within Black communities, "respectability politics" is a term often used to describe efforts at racial uplift that involve efforts at self-regulation in the service of disproving negative racial stereotypes. It includes ensuring that one's conduct is beyond reproach, and that one's standards of dress meet certain high standards (often those of upper-middle class White society). The term also refers to demands that Black Americans engage in such self-regulation. Black figures such as Charles Barkley and Bill Cosby have famously (and infamously) made such demands.


    One's consumption choices--ranging from clothing to housing--can constitute a domain in which respectability politics plays out. And University of South Carolina marketing professor David Crockett has studied exactly that topic. We discuss respectability politics, consumption, and more in this episode.


    LINKS
    --David Crockett's University of South Carolina webpage
    --Crockett, D. (2017). Paths to respectability: Consumption and stigma management in the contemporary Black middle class. Journal of Consumer Research
    --Detroit Urban League brochure photo (HS6701) , from Detroit Urban League records; Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan (used with permission)
    --Coates, T. (2014, October). Charles Barkley and the plague of "unintelligent Blacks." The Atlantic.
    --Coates, T. (2017, Jan/Feb). My President was Black. The Atlantic.
    --Starkey, B. S. (2016, December). No, President Obama does not practice respectability politics. The Undefeated
    --Charles Barkley 7/12/16 appearance on the Dan Le Batard show
    --Higginbotham, E. B. (1994) Righteous discontent: The women's movement in the Black Baptist church, 1880-1920. Harvard University Press.
    Special Guest: David Crockett.

    • 57 min
    Episode 46: Measure for Measure (Wil Cunningham & Uli Schimmack Discuss the Implicit Association Test)

    Episode 46: Measure for Measure (Wil Cunningham & Uli Schimmack Discuss the Implicit Association Test)

    ABOUT THIS EPISODE
    Since Tony Greenwald, Debbie McGhee, and Jordan Schwartz introduced the Implicit Association Test to the published literature in 1998, the IAT has taken social psychology by storm, and the notion that implicit bias is prevalent and impactful has taken the world by storm. But to what extent are popular beliefs, and popularizing claims, about implicit bias and the IAT well-supported by the science? What improvements are needed in the science of implicit bias? Does that research qualify as good science? Is it useful? And what does "implicit" even mean in this context? Psychologists Wil Cunningham and Ulrich Schimmack engage with each other and with me in a lively discussion of such issues, including conversation about Uli's 2019 paper, "The Implicit Association Test: A Method in Search of a Construct."


    LINKS
    --Wil Cunningham's profile at the University of Toronto
    --Uli Schimmack's profile at the University of Toronto
    --Project Implicit website
    --Schimmack (2019), The Implicit Association Test: A method in search of a construct, Perspectives on Psychological Science
    --link to a free version of the paper, housed at Schimmack's site
    --Cunningham, Preacher, & Banaji (2001). Implicit attitude measures: Consistency, stability, and convergent validity. Psychological Science
    Special Guests: Uli Schimmack and Wil Cunningham.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Episode 45: Correctional Training (w/ J. Pfaff & M. Rocque)

    Episode 45: Correctional Training (w/ J. Pfaff & M. Rocque)

    ABOUT THIS EPISODE
    John Pfaff is Professor of Law at Fordham University, and has areas of expertise that include prisons, criminal law, and sentencing law. Michael Rocque is Associate Professor of Sociology at Bates College, and his areas of expertise include criminological theory, racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and desistance from crime. He has also worked as Senior Research Advisor with the Maine Department of Corrections. In this episode, we use the recent death of Jeffrey Epstein as well as ongoing mass shootings as jumping off points for a wide-ranging conversation about jail and prison conditions, mental illness and mass public shootings, criminal justice reform, and more, including discussion of at least one U.S. presidential candidate.


    LINKS
    --John Pfaff's Fordham profile
    --Mike Rocque's Bates profile
    --Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve Real Reform (by John Pfaff)
    --"Actually, there is a clear link between mass shootings and mental illness," (by Grant Duwe and Michael Rocque, for the Los Angeles Times)
    --Stephanie Kelley-Romano's Bates profile
    --"What we know about the conditions at the prison where Jeffrey Epstein died," (from National Public Radio)
    --Wiki entry on the Prison Litigation Reform Act
    --"America's most interesting sheriff" (Economist article on Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart)
    --Rocque's Scholars Strategy Network profile
    --"Megan Rapinoe did not stomp on the flag. Here's why people got outraged regardless," (by Rocque, for Newsweek)
    --"Justice and safety for all," (Bernie Sanders's criminal justice reform plan)
    Special Guests: John Pfaff and Mike Rocque.

    • 59 min
    Episode 44: Interim Ad Infinitum (On The Use and Abuse of Presidential Appointment Power)

    Episode 44: Interim Ad Infinitum (On The Use and Abuse of Presidential Appointment Power)

    ABOUT THIS EPISODE
    Steve Vladeck is the A. Dalton Cross Professor in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. He's also a prolific writer and CNN's Supreme Court analyst, and he's argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. He joined me to discuss the President's power to appoint individuals in an acting capacity in senior positions. This is a power that can be abused--and some would argue has been abused by President Trump. We discuss the power, and possible reforms that could limit abuse.


    LINKS
    Steve Vladeck's UT-Austin profile
    "Trump is abusing his authority to name 'acting secretaries': Here's how Congress can stop him." (by Vladeck, for Slate)
    "Trump relies on acting Cabinet officials more than most presidents. It's not an accident." (by Phillip Bump, for the Washington Post)
    "How America got to 'zero tolerance' on immigration: The inside story," (by Jason Zengerle, for the New York Times)
    "Supreme Court rules against Apple, as Kavanaugh sides with liberal Justices." (by Bill Chappell, for National Public Radio)
    The Federal Vacancies Reform Act
    Special Guest: Stephen Vladeck.

    • 30 min
    Episode 43: Trash Talk (w/ Jeffrey M. Berry)

    Episode 43: Trash Talk (w/ Jeffrey M. Berry)

    ABOUT THIS EPISODE
    Political scientist Jeffrey M. Berry and sociologist Sarah Sobieraj co-authored the book The Outrage Industry, which examines media efforts to provoke outrage in audiences (including efforts that play fast and loose with the facts), as well as the conditions that have encouraged and rewarded such efforts. Berry joined me for a conversation about incivility, outrage rhetoric, and more.


    LINKS
    --Tufts University profile for Jeffrey Berry
    --Tufts University profile for Sarah Sobieraj
    --The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility, by Berry and Sobieraj (Amazon)
    --"Anger is a business" (by Berry and Sobieraj, for Vox's Mischiefs of Faction)
    --"New Republic: Rush Limbaugh's morality lesson" (by Jonathan Cohn, for National Public Radio)
    --Forbes: The world's highest-paid celebrites
    --"The caning of Charles Sumner" (from the United States Senate website)
    --"Clear Channel renames itself iHeartMedia in nod to digital" (by Ben Sisario, for the New York Times)
    --"Congress is more bipartisan than you think" (by Laurel Harbridge-Yong, for the Washington Post's Monkey Cage)
    Special Guest: Jeffrey M. Berry.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

Byrd Nick ,

Refreshingly concise, dispassionate perspective

This podcast is outstandingly respectful of the listener by not dedicating gratuitous amounts of time or emotional energy to a topic. It gets to the point quickly, finds the relevant facts and/or experts and/history, and then begins the analysis. And the purpose of its analysis is clearly to clarify and educate; we are not distracted by attempts to entertain us or provoke us or confirm our biases. I love it.

How much? Well, if this were a TV show, it’d be the reason I consider buying a cable package for the first time in 10 years. Hell, I’d buy other people cable if they’d tune in to this kind of analysis.

Favorite episodes so far:
- The US prison episode
- The AR-15 episode

MaineAle ,

A very different political podcast

I love the somewhat abstract presentation produced by Michael Sargent here. He uses brilliant audio storytelling techniques for an engaging and thoughtful exploration of the topics which are mere talking points on far too many other outlets.

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