7 episodes

Immersive science

Qualia Bishop Sand

    • Natural Sciences
    • 4.9 • 7 Ratings

Immersive science

    Reason

    Reason

    In this IMMERSIVE episode, “Reason,” our goal is to immerse you in a soundscape that triggers cognitive biases which limit your reasoning capabilities. Then later we evoke a more constructive reasoning mindset and leave you with some ways to avoid these cognitive biases through a consequential and depersonalized approach.

    To preserve this immersive experience, we stripped out a lot of the reporting we did on the science of reason.



    To find out more...

    - LISTEN to these full interviews we conducted with cognitive neuroscientists on our website:

    Hugo Mercier

    Philip Fernbach



    - READ these books from the authors above:

    The Enigma of Reason

    The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone



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    • 36 min
    A Cure For Hate?

    A Cure For Hate?

    In this BONUS to our immersive episode, "Empathy," we explore an intervention shown to reduce your hate toward another group of people. Prof. Emile Bruneau has found that this intervention has long term behavioral consequences for people who go through it: they feel less hate because it works on your subconscious cognitive biases. So we'll try it out on you...





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    Check out Prof. Emile Bruneau's work here.





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    Twitter: @qualiapod

    • 16 min
    Empathy

    Empathy

    In this IMMERSIVE episode, “Empathy,” our goal is to immerse you in a soundscape that evokes empathy and persuade you to block empathy through rationalization. Later, we evoke empathic distress and give you ways to reduce this distress by cultivating something called empathic care.

    To preserve this immersive experience, we stripped out a lot of the reporting we did on the science of empathy. Here, you can find out more about the science. We’ll walk you through the episode, and point out materials – interviews we did with researchers, journal articles we dug up, books we read – that let you dig deeper into the research.



    SCENE: Harold Mitchell, a homeless man and you’re imagining what he’s thinking and feeling.

    WHAT THIS DOES: This experimental procedure was adapted for the show. It uses text from Daniel Batson’s research and has been shown to induce empathy in those who read the text. We elaborated on it by including audio of a Chicago homeless man (Ronald Davis) so that you could feel empathy before we define it.

    FIND OUT MORE: Read Batson’s The Neural Substrate of Human Empathy: Effects of Perspective-taking and Cognitive Appraisal

    Watch the full interview with Ronald Davis



    SCENE: The guests’ opinions of the homeless during a dinner party.

    WHAT THIS DOES: Gives you rationalizations that will help you block empathy. It also argues against rationalizations (but not intensely)

    The dinner party characters were given extensive interweaving backstories and core ideas to bring up during this improvised discussion. Many lines of research went into this construction.

    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our full interview with Dan Batson and Jamil Zaki

    Read Behave by Robert Sapolsky

    Read Against Empathy by Paul Bloom

    See our full list of key ideas during dinner party (cited)




    NARRATION: You see, when someone’s in need, you can think of them as a signal that triggers your empathy. And like any signal, you can BLOCK IT… and NOT feel empathy. And we often do it in one of THREE WAYS.


    By number 1,RATIONALIZING, which means coming up with reasons not to feel empathy. This is exactly what most of the people in the dinner party were doing.

    Number 2, You can escape… the situation. You can cross the street and that physically stops you from encountering the signal.

    Number 3… you can suppress this signal by helping… that would fulfill a person’s need and stop the person from making you feeling empathy.
    SCENE: You’re very close to skiing down the mountain. You feel the powder under your skis. The wind pushes on your cheeks.


    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our full interview with Jamil Zaki and Tor Wager.






    NARRATION: And here’s the thing: YOU CAN DEVELOP YOUR EMPATHIC CARE… It’s a skill to overcome your distress.

    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our interview with Tor Wager (starting at 26:00)








    IN EXPLANATION: (Roshi Joan Halifax) You can reallocate your attention to a neutral place. For example, like the pressure of your feet on the floor.

    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our interview where Roshi Joan Halifax shares stories of reallocating her attention just before fainting (starting at 13:00)

    Read Roshi Joan Halifax’s book






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    • 29 min
    Bonus | The Knowledge Illusion

    Bonus | The Knowledge Illusion

    In this second BONUS to our Immersive episode, “Risk,” we hear a story from a cognitive scientist, Philip Fernbach, who did not make a good decision in Malawi. We learn why he and you are vulnerable to an illusion of knowledge. And whether it’s ok to live in this illusion. Clearly there are times when we should have knowledge of things, right?

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    Buy and read Prof. Philip Fernbach’s Book, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone :https://www.amazon.com/Knowledge-Illusion-Never-Think-Alone/dp/039918435X

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    • 15 min
    Bonus | Balancing Denial

    Bonus | Balancing Denial

    In this BONUS to our Immersive episode, “Risk,” we explore denial and how most of our lives involve a careful balance of denial to cope with risk. Cindy Gagnon shares her avalanche story to illustrate how denial can be very unexpected. And we hear from several scientists to explain our cognitive coping mechanisms. Are you balancing your denial correctly?


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    Buy and read Prof. Philip Fernbach’s Book, The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone

    • 16 min
    Risk

    Risk

    In this IMMERSIVE episode, “Risk,” our goal is to immerse you in a soundscape that pulled and pushed you to alternatively feel risk-seeking and risk-averse.

    To preserve this immersive experience, we stripped out a lot of the reporting we did on the science of risk. Here, you can find out more about the science of risk perception. We’ll walk you through the episode, and point out materials – interviews we did with researchers, journal articles we dug up, books we read – that let you dig deeper into the research.



    SCENE: You finally make it to the top after a long climb (after a strenuous skinning up).

    WHAT THIS ILLUSTRATES: This should make you feel like you’ve invested a lot of resources and effort into an activity. Later, when you make a decision, this investment of resources can color your choice even though it shouldn’t if you’re objectively evaluating a risk.

    FIND OUT MORE: Read Heuristic Traps in Recreational Avalanche Accidents.




    NARRATION: You’re imagining this environment because it is the perfect environment because it’s the perfect setting to explore your feelings towards risk.

    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our interview with Leaf VanBoven (starting at 03:40).



    SCENE: You’re very close to skiing down the mountain. You feel the powder under your skis. The wind pushes on your cheeks.

    WHAT THIS ILLUSTRATES: Proximity to something (especially something you find somewhat addictive) makes you perceive it as more rewarding than if you would be considering it from a distance.

    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our interview with Fernbach (starting at 39:00).




    SCENE: WE ARE INVINCIBLE!

    WHAT THIS ILLUSTRATES: When you are overconfident, you disregard evidence that contradicts your confidence.

    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our interview with McKell Carter and Kim Farrelly (starting at 57:00)




    SCENE: CINDY’S AVALANCHE STORY

    WHAT THIS ILLUSTRATES: Hearing a distastrous result from an expert, which occurs from a similar situation to your own will decreases your confidence in taking the risk and makes you more risk averse. Of course, this is assumming you are not brimming with overconfidence.

    FIND OUT MORE: By reading SEVERAL(most) of the articles here.




    SCENE: My intuition is telling me something’s off. Come on, Jake, what are you afraid of?

    WHAT THIS ILLUSTRATES: Groups heavily influence decision making during risky situations. Males are particularly good at evoking risky decisions. However, there is a lot of nuance in this dynamic.

    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our interview with VanBoven (starting at 13:00 and 30:00)




    SCENE: You’re normally cautious, so if you think it’s fine then I’m sure it’ll be OK.

    WHAT THIS ILLUSTRATES: Contagious understanding. You can get a house of cards effect, where your knowledge in something rests on the belief that someone else in the community has done the intellectual heavy-lifting and have a solid knowledge of something. However, this is not always the case and many people can believe they have knowledge of something even though nobody does.

    FIND OUT MORE: Listen to our interview with Fernbach (starting at 48:20)




    SCENE: Question! Why is one type of snow better for avalanches? How do you know? You just guessing?

    WHAT THIS ILLUSTRATES: In our lives, we often do not notice complexity because it’s cumbersome and doesn’t actually change our decisions. We have an illustion of knowledge. But in risky situations, complexity really matters and one way to poke holes in our normal knowledge illusion is by asking very simple questions, which will (hopefully) give you more pause and consider more factors.

    FIND OUT MORE: Read Phillip Fernbach’s book “The Knowledge Illusion”. Listen to our interview with Fernbach (starting at 9:30).



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    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
7 Ratings

7 Ratings

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