Two Psychologists Four Beers

By Yoel Inbar and Michael Inzlicht

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Category: Social Sciences

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 Aug 29, 2018
fun podcast, discussing smart topics about politics and psychology. Plus: love the beer talk!


Two psychologists drink at least four beers while discussing news and controversies in science, academia, and beyond.

Episode Date
Episode 22: Blend of Darkness (with Brent Roberts)
Yoel and Mickey welcome Professor of Psychology Brent Roberts from the University of Illinois to the podcast. One of the most influential personality psychologists of our day, Brent unleashes his thoughts on broad range of topics: candidate gene studies, personality, conscientiousness, coddling of the American mind, screen-time, senior colleagues, and the replication crisis in psychology. What is personality and how does it change? Why do people love the Myers-Briggs personality test? How would conscientiousness have helped us in our ancestral past? Has helicopter-parenting made American kids fragile and easily debilitated? Has the smartphone actually destroyed a generation? Should we be optimistic about the gains made by the reform movement in psychology? Bonus: Mickey gives Yoel a surprise gift. Special Guest: Brent Roberts.
May 22, 2019
Episode 21: Perils of Privilege
Yoel and Mickey discuss the concept of privilege, the unearned, sometimes invisible conditions of a person’s life that give them advantages that others might not have. What are the benefits of acknowledging one’s privilege and calling it out in others? Are there drawbacks to focusing on the immutable characteristics of a person that might normally proffer advantages? If all our characteristics are unearned, that is products of biology and environment that we have zero control over, should people be praised or blamed for them? But, first, they discuss new internal analyses by Google suggesting it has been overpaying women, not men; they then raise serious concerns about this analysis because it conditioned on a collider, a statistical concept that Yoel and Mickey (to put it generously) struggle to understand. Bonus: Mickey falls in love with bidets.
Apr 24, 2019
Episode 20: Apostasy and Dissent (with Sarah Haider)
Yoel and Mickey talk with Sarah Haider, the co-founder and Executive Director of Ex-Muslims of North America, an organization that advocates for the acceptance of religious dissent and supports those who leave Islam. Sarah talks about her own experience of growing up Muslim and leaving her faith; the unique predicament of and risks for Muslim dissenters; and how US partisan politics make her work more difficult. Bonus: Sarah gives Mickey pointers on how to avoid using Twitter as an outrage machine, a lesson he sorely needs. Special Guest: Sarah Haider.
Mar 27, 2019
Episode 19: Two Normies Four Beers
Yoel and Mickey discuss Kill All Normies, a book written by Angela Nagle about the online culture wars, the rise of transgressive politics, and the disappearance of moderates. But, first they discuss a new journal article titled The Paradox of Viral Outrage suggesting that online pile-ons tend to backfire Bonus: What does Mickey really think about Christina Hoff Sommers?
Feb 27, 2019
A Schedule Update (Shomer F*cking Sabbatical)
We are going to be on a one-episode-a-month schedule till May. Why? Because Mickey is on sabbatical from his cough incredibly demanding job: ✈️🌴🏖🍹😎
Feb 06, 2019
Episode 18: What Science and the Humanities Offer Each Other (with Edward Slingerland)
Yoel and Mickey welcome Distinguished Professor of Asian Studies, Edward (Ted) Slingerland from the University of British Columbia to the podcast. Ted discusses what the sciences can offer the humanities, but also how the humanities can enrich science. Ted then discusses his popular book, "Trying Not To Try", where he describes the Chinese concept of Wu-Wei, which can be defined as effortless action or spontaneity and proposes that the ever-striving West could use a lot more of it. Finally, Ted tries in vain to convince Mickey that intoxication is an important, critical part of culture. Bonus: Did Ted actually say there are downsides to being Dude-like? Special Guest: Edward (Ted) Slingerland.
Jan 30, 2019
Episode 17: Why Trump Won
Yoel and Mickey discuss Identity Crisis, a new book about the 2016 US presidential election written by the political scientists John Sides, Michael Tesler, and Lynn Vavreck. But first, they talk about the recent controversy over Patreon's ban of a provocative internet personality and what, if any, implications this has for free speech. Bonus: who is Mickey's favorite Sex and the City character?
Jan 02, 2019
Episode 16: How Polarized Are We? (with Anne Wilson)
Yoel and Mickey sit down with Anne Wilson of Wilfrid Laurier University to discuss free speech, the Lindsay Shepherd case, political polarization, #MeToo, and more. Bonus: how many tattoos does Mickey have, and is that why he's less trustworthy? Special Guest: Anne Wilson.
Dec 19, 2018
Episode 15: Just When You Think You're Out
Yoel and Mickey discuss two mini-controversies recently in the news: 1) Should equity, diversity, and inclusion statements be required from academic job candidates? Do they signal the liberal values of academia, and if so, is that a bad thing? 2) Are psychologists disproportionately likely to argue that free speech is in crisis on campus? If so, why? Bonus: Mickey describes an intimate product that he definitely does not own.
Dec 05, 2018
Episode 14: Vices (with Elizabeth Page-Gould)
Yoel and Mickey have their first repeat guest as Liz Page-Gould joins them to talk vices. Weed, booze and porn are all on the table (well, not literally) as we take on some popular vices. Why do you get paranoid when you smoke? Was alcohol really the impetus for agriculture? Is watching porn bad for your relationship? Bonus: learn who's watched porn in the last week. Special Guest: Elizabeth Page-Gould.
Nov 21, 2018
Episode 13: What's Wrong with the IAT? (with Jesse Singal)
Journalist Jesse Singal joins Yoel and Mickey to talk about the state of science journalism, what he thinks is wrong with how people interpret the Implicit Association Test (IAT), and the pros and cons of moral outrage. Why do so many science journalists simply repeat talking points from university press releases? Is it ethical to administer the IAT as a teaching tool? What is social media like for a journalist? Bonus: Yoel, Mickey, & Jesse discuss a new paper arguing there are upsides to moral outrage. Special Guest: Jesse Singal.
Nov 07, 2018
Episode 12: Everybody Hates Social Media
Mickey and Yoel take on social media. What are the upsides and downsides of being on social media, particularly Twitter? Why does Mickey ban himself from social media for most of the day? What led Yoel to abandon Twitter entirely for two weeks, and what drew him back in? Would the open science movement have happened without social media? Bonus: when is it a good idea to give voice to the voiceless?
Oct 24, 2018
Episode 11: No Such Thing as Bad Publicity?
Yoel and Mickey discuss how scientists should publicize their work. Should scientists issue press releases about their findings? Should they write op-ed columns to communicate directly with the public? If Yoel writes an op-ed about Mickey's paper, is that weird? Do scientists have an obligation to share their work with the public, or does self-promotion involve too many perverse incentives? Bonus: Toronto sex doll brothel, raw water, and beaver fever.
Oct 10, 2018
Episode 10: Conservative Social Psychologist Wanted (with Clay Routledge)
Yoel and Mickey welcome Clay Routledge to the show. Clay is a professor of psychology at North Dakota State University who studies the cognitive and motivational consequences of the search for meaning, including religion and other supernatural beliefs. Clay talks about his childhood growing up as the child of missionaries in Africa and the U.S., what it's like to be outside the liberal mainstream in psychology, and how religion and belief in alien visitors may be connected. Special Guest: Clay Routledge.
Sep 26, 2018
Episode 9: Giving the Finger (with Alice Dreger)
Yoel and Mickey welcome author, journalist, historian, and bioethicist Alice Dreger to the show. Alice, who wrote Galileo’s Middle Finger, discusses how her upbringing, her academic background, and her own Galilean personality led her to piss so many people off in the service of serving both truth and justice. Can academics pursue both truth and justice? What is a Galilean personality? Do activists pollute science? Why did Alice refuse to be lumped in with the so-called Intellectual Dark Web? How can we improve the way newspapers work? Bonus: Why did Yoel and Mickey create an (Alice approved) drinking podcast? Special Guest: Alice Dreger.
Sep 12, 2018
Episode 8: Confessions of a Science Critic (with James Heathers)
Yoel and Mickey welcome Northeastern University research scientist and science critic James Heathers to their show. Yoel, Mickey, and James discuss science reform and the need for robust science criticism. Why is it so hard for some (older) scientists to admit their mistakes? Do science critics feel empathy for the scholars they criticize? Is there a danger of science criticism going too far, even over-correcting? What exactly is Yoel drinking this episode? Bonus: James discusses his fascinating research on people who can control their goosebumps. Bonus Bonus: Yoel and Mickey submit to James's break-music request. Special Guest: James Heathers.
Aug 29, 2018
Episode 7: When Does the Left Go Too Far?
Yoel and Mickey ask how to know when the political Left has gone too far. Assuming the Left can indeed go too far--turning off even other progressives who feel abandoned by their natural political home--Yoel and Mickey riff on ways this might manifest. The conversation includes a discussion of identity politics, the problems with subjectivity, the challenge of balancing the desire for justice with the desire for truth, and the inherent problem of being both a scientist and activist. Before debating the supposed sins of the Left, Yoel and Mickey discuss a new paper overturning the cause of the so-called negativity bias (i.e., the notion that bad is stronger than good). Bonus: Mickey makes a risky hypothesis about German beers. Can any listeners provide evidence that disconfirms Mickey’s bold claim?
Aug 15, 2018
Episode 6: Yoel and Mickey Fall in Love (with Elizabeth Page-Gould)
Yoel and Mickey welcome their University of Toronto colleague and close friend, psychologist Elizabeth Page-Gould. Liz, who is an expert in close friendship, tries to help Yoel and Mickey fall in love with each other…and with her…by administering the so-called fast-friends procedure. By answering questions of increasing intimacy and revealing personal stories, Yoel, Mickey, and Liz grow in rapport over the course of the hour, sometimes uncovering deep emotions. Bonus: Yoel and Mickey discuss a new paper in Science Magazine suggesting that judgments of blue dots can help us understand the advent of concepts such as micro-aggressions. Special Guest: Elizabeth Page-Gould.
Aug 01, 2018
Episode 5: I Love How You Hurt Me (with Paul Bloom)
Yoel and Mickey welcome Yale psychologist Paul Bloom to the show, their very first guest. In a far ranging conversation, Yoel, Mickey, and Paul discuss the potential benefits of pain. Why do we sometimes choose to suffer? Are there any benefits (to self or society) to being a painful or disagreeable person? Why do we enjoy and seek out aversive fiction, be that in books, TV, or film? Why do so many of the goals that we set and pursue involve pain and suffering? Bonus: Yoel, Mickey, and Paul each completed a validated measure of agreeableness. Can you guess who came out on “top”? Special Guest: Paul Bloom.
Jul 18, 2018
Episode 4: The Replication Crisis Gets Personal
In their most emotional episode yet, Yoel and Mickey discuss the replication crisis in psychology. What is meant by the replication crisis and how did it get started? Why does it appear like the field is split into two, with some young academics actively trying to reform psychology and more senior scholars suggesting the problems have been mostly overstated? How have academics dealt with the possibility that their own work might not be robust and replicable? Finally, how did one of the most notorious academic fraudsters get caught? Bonus: Did Mickey spike Toxoplasma gondii (crazy cat lady parasite) in Yoel’s beer?
Jul 04, 2018
Episode 3: WTF is the IDW?
Yoel and Mickey take a deep dive into the so-called Intellectual Dark Web (IDW). What is the IDW and who are the prominent members of this group? Why do members of the IDW seem so cranky? Are members of the IDW actually being silenced, and given their massive popularity, who is silencing them? Is the IDW a positive and new development in our culture? Should the members of the IDW be concerned about some of their fans and followers? Bonus: Why did Yoel decide to have us drink the champagne of beers?
Jun 20, 2018
Episode 2: You're Not Wrong Walter, You're Just an A$$hole
In this episode, Yoel and Mickey tackle problems of tone and incivility in online discussions of the scientific literature. What constitutes bullying and is the term abused to derail legitimate criticism? What is an ad hominem attack and when is it a fallacy? Finally, who's our favorite member of the Black Goat podcast?
Jun 05, 2018
Episode 1: In Search of the Campus Free Speech Crisis
In their first episode, Yoel and Mickey tackle the alleged free speech crisis on campus. Is there reason to worry or are reports of left-wing intolerance overblown? We take a closer look and talk about what we do and don't feel comfortable saying on campus. Also: who are we and why are we doing this?
May 19, 2018