The Psychology Podcast

In each episode, Scott Barry Kaufman talks with inspiring scientists, thinkers, and other self-actualized individuals who will give you a greater understanding of yourself, others, and the world we live in. Scott Barry Kaufman explores the depths of human potential and tries to get a glimpse into human possibility in every episode.

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1 hr 15 min
Expand Your Self | Dan Siegel

Dan Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute. He’s authored numerous articles, chapters, and books including the New York Times bestsellers Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human and Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence. His latest book is called IntraConnected: MWe (Me + We) as the Integration of Self, Identity, and Belonging.

Scott Barry Kaufman talks to Dr. Dan Siegel about expanding the notion of the self. Modern culture has taught us that the self is all about individual identity and personal experiences. But Dr. Siegel posits that who we are is not limited to the brain or body. He argues that the self is not isolated, it’s composed of our relationships to other living beings and to the natural world. This expanded view of the self has important implications for the trajectory of humanity. Dan and Scott also touch on the topics of consciousness, neuroscience, quantum physics, and the flow state.

Instagram: @DrDanSiegel

October 5, 2023
1 hr 13 min
Buddhism and the Impermanence of Life | Joseph Goldstein

Joseph Goldstein is a co-founder and the guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) along with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg. He is one of the first American vipassana teachers and has been teaching Buddhist meditation worldwide since 1974. A contemporary author of numerous popular books on Buddhism, his publications include Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening, One Dharma, Insight Meditation and others.

Scott Barry Kaufman talks to Joseph Goldstein about Buddhism and the impermanence of life. Being too attached to the self can bring suffering. However, this doesn’t mean that we need to forego our identities or self-care. Joseph explains that enlightenment can be achieved when the mind is free from clinging. He talks about the different states that can help us realize the insight of impermanence and selflessness. Scott and Joseph also touch on the topics of mindfulness, compassion, creativity, and wisdom.

X: @onedharma

October 9, 2023
1 hr 2 min
The Psychology of Humor | Bob Mankoff

For over 40 years, Bob Mankoff has been the driving force of comedy and satire at some of the most honored publications in America, including The New Yorker and Esquire. He is the founder of Cartoon Collections, parent company to, the world’s most successful cartoon licensing platform. For twenty years as Cartoon Editor for The New Yorker,  Bob pored over thousands of submissions each week, analyzing, critiquing, and selecting each cartoon. In 2005, he helped start the “New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.” Bob is the author of numerous books, including his New York Times bestselling memoir, How About Never – Is Never Good For You?: My Life In Cartoons.

Scott Barry Kaufman talks to Bob Mankoff about the psychology of humor. Looking back at his illustrious career as a cartoonist, Bob talks about his early beginnings and the people he's mentored in the field. He explains the anatomy of a joke and reveals his all-time favorite cartoons. While humans are creative creatures, Bob believes that using AI and technology can further augment our intelligence and humor by opening up worlds of possibilities.


X: @BobMankoff

October 12, 2023
1 hr 23 min
Life Without Free Will | Robert Sapolsky

Robert Sapolsky is professor of biology and neurology at Stanford University and a research associate with the Institute of Primate Research at the National Museum of Kenya. His research has been featured in the National Geographic documentary "Stress: Portrait of a Killer". At age 30, Robert received the MacArthur Foundation's "genius" grant. He is author of Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers, A Primate's Memoir, The Trouble with Testosterone and Monkeyluv. His latest book is called Determined: A Science of Life Without Free Will.

Scott Barry Kaufman talks to Robert Sapolsky about life without free will. Humans like the idea of having control over their lives, but Robert asserts that free will is just an illusion. Life beyond free will may sound unpleasant, but Robert explains the profound consequences of this belief in reforming the justice system, meritocracy, and education. Robert and Scott also touch on the topics of philosophy, quantum physics, mindfulness, grit, and responsibility.


October 16, 2023
49 min
The Power of Wonder | Monica Parker

Monica Parker is the founder of global human analytics and change consultancy HATCH, whose clients include blue-chip companies such as LinkedIn, Google, Prudential, and LEGO. Her career has been nothing short of colorful, having been an opera singer, a museum exhibition designer, a policy director, a Chamber of Commerce CEO, and a homicide investigator. She is also a world-renowned speaker, writer, and the author of The Power of Wonder.

Scott Barry Kaufman talks to Monica Parker about the power of wonder. In today’s fast-paced world, most people fail to notice the richness of life. To become more wonder-prone, Monica encourages us all to slow down and pursue meaningful exploration. When we pay more careful attention to the world, we become more empathetic, resilient, and exuberant. Monica shares with her cycle of wonder framework and how we can be more open and present in our daily lives. Monica and Scott also touch on the topics of personality, post-traumatic growth, mindfulness, and education.

Instagram: @monicacparker

October 19, 2023
48 min
The Psychology of Secrets | Michael Slepian

Michael Slepian is the Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Associate Professor of Leadership and Ethics at Columbia University. A recipient of the Rising Star Award from the Association for Psychological Science, he is the leading expert on the psychology of secrets. He’s authored more than fifty articles on secrecy, truth, and deception. Michael’s research has been covered by The New York Times, The Atlantic, NPR, BBC, The Wall Street Journal and more. He is the author of The Secret Life of Secrets.

Scott Barry Kaufman talks to Michael Slepian about the psychology of secrets. Everyone has secrets that they keep from others—how does this affect our relationships and well-being? According to Michael, maintaining privacy is not the most burdensome aspect. Carrying a secret all by ourselves is what weighs us down. Michael and Scott explore the different categories of secrets and we talk about when to reveal the deepest parts of ourselves and who to reveal them to. Scott and Michael also touch on the topics of personality, morality, trauma, developmental psychology and communication.

X: @michaelslepian

October 23, 2023
56 min
The New Science of Flow | Orin Davis

Orin Davis earned the first doctorate in positive psychology, and is a self-actualization engineer who enables people to do and be their best. As the Principal Investigator of the Quality of Life Laboratory, he conducts research on flow, creativity, hypnosis, and mentoring. Dr. Davis consults for companies from startups to multinationals on hiring strategies, culture, innovation, and employee well-being. He is the author of Team Flow: The psychology of optimal collaboration.

Scott Barry Kaufman talks to Orin Davis about the new science of flow. A lot of people are familiar with the concept of flow, but according to Dr. Davis, the experience of it is not very common. They discuss Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s work and how Dr. Davis is expanding the research of flow by studying it at a group level. Dr. Davis talks about how we can increase the chances of experiencing flow for both individuals and teams. Orin and Scott also touch on the topics of microflow, hypnosis, absorption, positive psychology, and self-actualization.


X: @DrOrinDavis

October 26, 2023
53 min
The Secret to a Happy Life | Robert Waldinger

Robert Waldinger is a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and Zen priest. He is Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, where he directs the Harvard Study of Adult Development. His TEDx talk on this subject has received nearly 44 million views, and is the 9th most watched TED talk of all time. He is the co-author of The Good Life with Dr. Marc Schulz.

Scott Barry Kaufman talks to Robert Waldinger about the secret to a happy life. Robert shares the recent findings of The Grant Study, which is the longest scientific study of happiness ever conducted. It’s been ongoing for more than 80 years now, and has had high profile participants like US President John F. Kennedy. Robert and Scott get into the details of how they continue to conduct research and how to make sense of both the new and old data. Sure enough, what the study has found consistent is the power of connection. They also touch on the topics of psychodynamic therapy, defense mechanisms, attachment, and psychological research.  

X: @robertwaldinger

November 2, 2023
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