This week, we speak with science journalist David McRaney, who investigates the psychology of reasoning, decision-making and judgment on his blog “You Are Not So Smart.” The blog, which he launched in 2009, spawned a bestselling book, now available in 17 languages, as well as a podcast. McRaney’s most recent book, “How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion, and Persuasion,” came out this year.
We discuss how his thinking has evolved over time, from focusing on behavioral biases and why people are wrong, to learning what leads people to change their minds. Humans are social primates, so everybody is persuadable, but it is a specific process. It is less about facts, and more about their social support system, and their willingness to change their belief system. It is a complex but time-consuming, process.
He explains why we “feel we know things” rather than actually understanding the universe around us. All reality is virtual reality, as we experience the universe through our own internal model, rather than an objective view.
You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, YouTube, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here; all of our prior discussions of psychology and behavioral economics can be found here.
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Michael Levy, Chief Executive Officer of Crow Holdings. The firm is both a developer and investor in commercial real estate, specializing in multifamily, industrial, and office properties across 21 markets in the United States. Crow is the largest developer of multifamily-homes in the United States.
David McRaney Authored Books
David McRaney’s Favorite Books
US Guys: The True and Twisted Mind of the American Man by Charlie LeDuff
Pulphead: Essays by John Jeremiah Sullivan
Joe by Larry Brown
Books Barry Mentioned
The Heretics: Adventures with the Enemies of Science by Will Storr
The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work by Joseph Campbell