33 episodes

Each episode we focus on one topic that can help you become a better leader and learner. We do our best to keep it short, useful, and engaging. Whenever possible we bring in the experts to share their research and work.

The Learner Lab Trevor Ragan - The Learner Lab

    • Education
    • 4.9 • 300 Ratings

Each episode we focus on one topic that can help you become a better leader and learner. We do our best to keep it short, useful, and engaging. Whenever possible we bring in the experts to share their research and work.

    The Surprising Power of Reflection with Giada Di Stefano

    The Surprising Power of Reflection with Giada Di Stefano

    A little bit of reflection can lead to a lot of benefits for learning and performance.

    Giada Di Stefano joins to discuss the her work on the surprising benefits of reflection.
    Her work shows how valuable it can be to the learning process and that in some situations it’s more beneficial than additional practice.

    We work through her paper that outlines:

    – the best strategies for reflection
    – when reflection is most effective
    – how we can use these strategies as individuals and leaders

    This is a great episode for both learners and leaders.

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    Giada Di Stefano
    Learning by Thinking: Giada’s huge paper

    Giada Di Stefano is an Associate Professor of Strategy at Bocconi University.
    Her general research interests lie in the broad area of strategy and innovation. More specifically, she studies the factors that foster or inhibit the creation and transfer of knowledge, within and across organizations. From a methodological standpoint, her research is prevalently mixed-method, with a focus on experiments and field work more broadly. To this end, she has partnered with a number of organizations to conduct experiments “in the wild.” Her work is often conducted in the context of creative industries, broadly defined – from gourmet cuisine to science, from computer programming to academia.
    Her papers have been published in top academic journals including the Academy of Management Journal, Management Science, Organization Science, and Strategic Management Journal. Her research has also been featured on the Financial Times.

    • 17 min
    How to Change with Katy Milkman

    How to Change with Katy Milkman

    We can all change. But we usually don't. The good news: we can fix this

    Katy Milkman is one of the world's leading experts on change and human behavior. She shares specific tools to overcome:

    – Laziness
    – Forgetfulness
    – Procrastination
    – Getting Started
    – Impulsivity
    – Conformity
    – Confidence

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    Katy Milkman
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    The Learner Lab

    Katy Milkman is the James G. Dinan Professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a secondary appointment at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her research explores ways that insights from economics and psychology can be harnessed to change consequential behaviors for good, such as savings, exercise, student achievement, vaccination and discrimination. To that end, she co-founded and co-directs the Behavior Change for Good Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania.
    In 2021 Katy was named one of the world’s top 50 management thinkers and the world’s top strategy thinker by Thinkers50. The New York Times also named her bestselling book How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be one of the eight best books for healthy living in 2021.

    • 25 min
    The New Era of Growth Mindset with David Yeager

    The New Era of Growth Mindset with David Yeager

    There's been some exciting advancements in the world of growth mindset. David Yeager joins to share some of his latest research.

    – A quick growth mindset overview
    – Addressing growth mindset controversies
    – The new era of growth mindset
    – David Yeager: A Synergistic Mindset Intervention
    – Tips for building a growth mindset

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    David Yeager
    The Learner Lab
    Full Show Notes
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    Stress Mindset Episode

    Dr. Yeager is an Associate Professor at The University of Texas. He is interested in understanding the processes shaping adolescent development, especially how social cognitive factors interact with structural and physiological factors to create positive or negative trajectories for youth.  He is also interested in learning how to influence these psychological processes, so as to improve developmental and educational outcomes for youth. 

    • 29 min
    Rethinking Stress: Why Stress Mindsets Matter with Kelly McGonigal

    Rethinking Stress: Why Stress Mindsets Matter with Kelly McGonigal

    The way we think about stress can change the way it affects us. Understanding the way our mindsets impact stress is essential for better learning and leadership.

    Kelly McGonigal explains how it all works.

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    Kelly McGonigal
    The Upside of Stress
    The Learner Lab Podcast

    Jeremy Jamieson GRE Study
    Alia Crum 2013
    Alia Crum 2023

    Kelly McGonigal is a health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University who specializes in understanding the mind-body connection. As a pioneer in the field of "science-help," her mission is to translate insights from psychology and neuroscience into practical strategies that support personal well-being and strengthen communities.

    She is the best-selling author of The Willpower Instinct and The Upside of Stress. You might also know her from her TED talk, "How to Make Stress Your Friend," which is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time, with over 20 million views.

    Through the Stanford Center for Compassion and Altruism, she helped create Stanford Compassion Cultivation Training, a program now taught around the world that helps individuals strengthen their empathy, compassion, and self-compassion. 

    In January 2020, Oprah Magazine honored her ability to “transform scientific data into wisdom” by naming McGonigal the first ever O! Visionary, people whose groundbreaking way of seeing the world mean a better future for us all.

    • 26 min
    Rethinking Generational Labels with David Costanza and Cort Rudolph

    Rethinking Generational Labels with David Costanza and Cort Rudolph

    Boomer, Gen X, Millennial - we use these labels all the time, but there's two problems:

    1. There's no scientific support for real generational differences
    2. Using the labels actually causes a bunch of problems, especially for learning & development

    Two experts in the field, David Costanza & Cort Rudolph join us to to discuss:

    - the limits of traditional generational research
    - the problems that the perceived generational differences/ labels cause
    - a better way to think about group differences

    Quick Links:
    David Costanza
    Cort Rudolph
    Learner Lab Podcast

    NASEM Report
    Generations, We Hardly Knew Ye: An Obituary
    Generations and Generational Differences: Debunking Myths
    Generationally Based Differences: Is There a There There

    • 23 min
    A Deep Dive into Hardiness with Paul Bartone

    A Deep Dive into Hardiness with Paul Bartone

    Hardiness is a strong predictor of our ability to deal with challenges and change. Decades of research shows it plays an important role in both learning and resilience. Yet, it doesn’t get enough attention – it’s time to change that.

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    Hardiness by Paul Bartone
    The Learner Lab

    One of the world’s leading experts in hardiness, Paul Bartone joins to talk about his research. We focus on why hardiness is an important topic for learning, and different strategies to build it.
    Paul Bartone is a Visiting Research Fellow at the National Defense University, and Adjunct Faculty in Psychiatry, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Research interests focus on understanding individual differences in stress responding, and clarifying the role of personality hardiness and related factors in facilitating healthy adaptations to stressful conditions, as well as organizational and personal strategies for increasing hardiness.
    This is a great episode for both individual learning & leadership.

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
300 Ratings

300 Ratings

IsaMcLean ,

Well worth the time

I’ve been following Trevor’s work for quite a few year now, after I attended his talk about growth mindset. I wanted to be more like a jungle tiger and less like a zoo tiger.
This podcast, like his prior work, is clear and useful and can be applied relatively easily (it’s not complicated to implement, but like anything else, it takes time and effort to make it a natural thing) to many aspects of life. This has helped me become a better learner, but also a better tutor, mentor and supervisor. I like the way Trevor makes his points, using examples, research, humor, interviewing experts.
Trevor, looking forward to what you have in store for us!

Shelbyvau ,


This podcast is amazing. I never would have thought it that way.

Bsbtx ,

Not Your Typical Bumper Sticker Fare

Really well done, Trevor. We just finished our “Learner” book club with a U14 girls’ soccer team I coach.

This was accessible for them, but with enough depth for them to really understand the “why” behind the concepts. Sparked some fantastic conversations.

Can’t wait to see what Learner Lab does next.

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