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When we want something very badly, it can be hard to see warning signs that might be obvious to other people. This week, we revisit a favorite episode from 2021, bringing you two stories about how easy it can be to believe in a false reality — even when the facts don’t back us up. If you missed it, make sure to listen to last week's episode on how …
 
Think back to the last time someone convinced you to do something you didn't want to do, or to spend money you didn't want to spend. What techniques did that person use to persuade you? This week, we continue our look at the science of influence with psychologist Robert Cialdini, and explore how these techniques can be used for both good and evil. …
 
We all exert pressure on each other in ways small and profound. We recommend movies or books to a friend. We convince a colleague to take a different tactic at work. We lobby a neighbor to vote for our favored political candidate. This week, we launch the first of a two-part mini-series on the science of influence, and talk with psychologist Robert…
 
If you think about the people in your life, it's likely that they share a lot in common with you. Maybe they like the same kinds of food, or enjoy the same hobbies. But, if you dig a little deeper, you may find that they share much more: they might make the same amount of money as you, or share the same race. This week, we talk with economists Luig…
 
We all have to make certain choices in life, such as where to live and how to earn a living. Parents and peers influence our major life choices. But they can also steer us in directions that leave us deeply unsatisfied. Psychologist Ken Sheldon studies the science of figuring out what you want. He says there are things we can do to make sure our ch…
 
It's the time of year when many of us make resolutions for the year ahead. We pledge to quit smoking, eat better, or get more exercise. Then a few weeks go by, and we abandon our best-laid plans. That’s because change is hard. This week, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with behavioral scientist Katy Milkman, who shares how we can structure …
 
We often look down on people who complain a lot. Yet when something goes wrong in our own lives, many of us go straight to griping, grumbling and kvetching. This week. we talk with psychologist Robin Kowalski about how we can complain more effectively. We'll also hear from psychologist Mike Baer, who offers ways we can give better feedback to a fri…
 
People in every country and culture mark important milestones, such as births, marriages and deaths, with intricately choreographed scripts. We even appeal to supernatural forces to give our favorite sports teams an extra advantage. This week on the show, anthropologist Dimitris Xygalatas explains the psychological power behind the sacred and secul…
 
With the holidays upon us, many of us are hunting for that special something for the special someones in our lives. It's how we show we care about them. So why is it so hard to find the right gift? This week, we talk with researcher Jeff Galak about why the presents we give for holidays and birthdays often miss their mark, and how to become a bette…
 
Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated. In the final episode of our Relationships 2.0 series, we revisit a conversation with psychologist Harry Reis, who says there’s another ingredient to successful relationships that’s every bit as important as love. If you missed any of the episodes in our Relationships 2.0 series, you can find them all in t…
 
No one will deny that marriage is hard. In fact, there's evidence it's getting even harder. This week on the show, we revisit a favorite episode from 2018 about the history of marriage and how it has evolved over time. We'll talk with historian Stephanie Coontz and psychologist Eli Finkel, and explore ways we can improve our love lives — including …
 
When you go to a medical appointment, your doctor may ask you several questions. Do you smoke? Have you been getting exercise? Are you sleeping? But rarely do they ask: are you lonely? U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy believes we are suffering from an epidemic of loneliness. This week, we revisit our 2020 conversation with Murthy about the importa…
 
As you're going about your day, you likely interact with family, friends and coworkers. These relationships can help you feel cared for and connected. But what if there's a whole category of people in your life whose impact is overlooked? In the second episode of our "Relationships 2.0" series, psychologist Gillian Sandstrom reveals some simple way…
 
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