Boing Boing 

David McRaney

David McRaney is a journalist and self-described psychology nerd. He's the author of the books You Are Not So Smart and You Are Now Less Dumb. He has written for several publications, including The Atlantic and Psychology Today. He lives in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

What magicians, con-artists, and scammers can teach us about humility and humanity

Before we had names for them or a science to study their impact, the people who could claim the most expertise on biases, fallacies, heuristics and all the other recently popularized quirks of human reasoning were scam artists, con artists, and magicians.Read the rest

Psychology’s unhealthy obsession with the WEIRDest people in the world

Psychology studies are almost always about WEIRD people: Western, Educated, Industrial, Rich, and Democratic – the kind of people who make up less than 15 percent of the world's population.Read the rest

Curing kids of the notion that they suck at science

Can a new computer-assisted teaching program rid us of the cognitive errors that lead to students believing they suck at math or just aren’t cut out to study science? According to Ulrik Christensen, senior fellow of digital learning at McGraw-Hill Education, yes it can.Read the rest

How we learn to be helpless—and unlearn it

Learned helplessness keeps people in bad jobs, poor health, terrible relationships, and awful circumstances despite how easy it may be to escape. Learn how to defeat this psychological trap, thanks to the work of Martin Seligman.Read the rest

How Google uses behavioral science to make work suck less

From Dilbert to Fight Club to Joe Versus the Volcano, the world of white-collar drones and managerial ineptitude has long been a goldmine for parody.Read the rest

LISTEN: Overcoming our irrational and sometimes crippling fear of rejection with Jia Jiang

What if you could give yourself a superpower – not Hulk-level strength, not telekinesis, but something realistic, something that added a superhuman ability by taking away a normal human limitation?

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How to change a person’s mind on a divisive social issue in 22 minutes

The power of disclosure can reduce prejudice, shift attitudes, and change minds foreverRead the rest

Our newfound power to ruin the lives of strangers with tweets

Author Jon Ronson looks at what happens when we obliterate people for unpopular opinions, off-color jokes, offensive language, and professional faux pas.Read the rest

Unlearning, laser eyes, and reptilian false flags

In this episode of the You Are Not so Smart Podcast you will hear an excerpt from a lecture I gave at DragonCon2014 all about unlearning, superseded scientific theories, post-hoc rationalization, just-so stories, laser eyes, goose trees, spanking and more.

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How "compassion fatigue" affect doctors' decisions

An interview with Danielle Ofri, physician and author of “What Doctors Feel” – a book about the emotional lives of doctors.Read the rest

James Burke on the coming age of scarce scarcity and abundant abundance

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James Burke is a legendary science historian who created the landmark BBC series Connections which provided an alternative view of history and change by replacing the traditional “Great Man” timeline with an interconnected web in which all people influence one another to blindly direct the flow of progress. Burke is currently writing a new book about the coming age of abundance, and he continues to work on his Knowledge Web project. In the interview, James Burke says we must soon learn how to deal with a world in which scarcity is scarce, we are more connected to our online communities than our local governments, and home manufacturing can produce just about anything you desire.

We also sit down with Matt Novak, creator and curator of Paleofuture, a blog that explores retro futurism, sifting through the many ways people in the past predicted how the future would turn out, sometimes correctly, mostly not.

This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses. Order Your Deceptive Mind or another course in this special offer and get 80% off the original price.

Thanks to your support on Patreon, you can now read a transcript of my interview with James Burke from that episode. More transcripts are on the way. I hope to add about four a month.

The science behind Brian Williams' misremembering

The last 40 years of memory research strongly suggests the kind of misremembering Williams claims to have suffered is easy to reproduce in our own lives. Read the rest

Avatars, rubber hands, virtual reality, and racism

Can changing your body, even just for a few minutes, change your mind? Can a psychological body transfer melt away your long-held opinions and unconscious prejudices? Maybe so.Read the rest

The ceiling that birthed a naked man

What happened when a naked man literally appeared out of thin air inside a couple’s apartment while they were getting ready for work?Read the rest

Monkeys, money, and the primate origins of human irrationality

Psychologist Laurie Santos trains monkeys how to use money, and has learned that they attempt to solve the same sort of financial problems humans have attempted.Read the rest

The odd phenomenon of "blind insight"

A growing body of evidence is revealing that our guesses and our confidence in those guesses don’t come from the same place in our minds.Read the rest

How the Halo Effect turns uncertainty into false certainty

When faced with complex information, why do we turn the volume down on what's hard to quantify ?Read the rest