Tali Sharot is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, and director of the Affective Brain Lab. Affective, as in emotions and motivation. Brain, as in processing and decisions. Drawing on recent groundbreaking work in behavioral economics and neuroscience, Sharot shows us how to navigate the intricacies and predictable biases of minds; our own and those of others.
Dr. Sharot is the author of the new book The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others. When I saw the title, I knew I had to discover what she knows about influence: how we can do it well, and how we often screw it up.
I wasn't disappointed. There are thousands of books on persuasion and influence out there; few if any are as scientifically rigorous and practical.
I was delighted when Dr. Sharot agreed to talk about her insights and recommendations on the podcast. And the Atlantic Ocean, often stroppy when it comes to facilitating Skype calls, cooperated beautifully so that we could achieve darn good audio quality.
Dr. Sharot and I discussed:
- why very smart people suffer more from confirmation bias than the rest of us
- how to deal with confirmation bias without reinforcing it
- the UCLA vaccination intervention
- “there's always something we agree on”
- brain studies of pairs of people agreeing and disagreeing
- the evolutionary origins of confirmation bias, and why we don't believe people who claim to have seen pink elephants
- how to talk to someone who believes in the health benefits of a paleo diet
- “if we enjoy eating meat, we don't want to believe that it's not good for us”
- the strategic deployment of carrots and sticks
- the amazing “Go/No Go” brain circuit, and the mixed message of inhibition as a means to a reward
- a new and empowering reinterpretation of the famous Mischel “Marshmallow Study”
- the butterfly effect in groupthink
- what would our phobias look like if they were rational and statistically based?
- why we fear flying more than driving
- we should be very scared of medicating ourselves
- the importance of giving our counterpart a feeling of control and agency when we're trying to influence them
- “under threat, we automatically absorb cues about danger”
- “change their state before you change their mind”
- the first step is always awareness
- and much more…
The Skin Rash / Gun Control study: Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government
Marc Guitart-Masip button-pushing experiment: “Action Controls Dopaminergic Enhancement of Reward Representations”
Sean Taylor's study of manipulated initial ratings: “Social Influence Bias: A Randomized Experiment“
Become a Health Coach
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New Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight
Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.
It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂
This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by . Click the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.
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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.
It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.
You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website, WillRidenour.com.
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