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A show about the science of our opinions, where they come from, and how they change. Hosted by social psychologist, Andy Luttrell.
5 days ago
#54: Influence is Your Superpower with Zoe Chance
*Zoe Chance* is an assistant professor of marketing at the Yale School of Management. Prior to Yale, she managed a $200 million segment of the Barbie brand at Mattel. In February, she's releasing her first book: *Influence Is Your Superpower*. In this episode, we talk about Zoe's winding road to becoming a business school professor, the class she teaches at Yale on influence and persuasion, and the insights she shares in her upcoming book. For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/influence-is-your-superpower-with-zoe-chance/ Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Jan 9, 2022
BONUS: "Best" of Opinion Science (2021)
Another year in the books! Sure, there was a lot of wild stuff in 2021--an insurrection, COVID vaccine rollouts, a new president, another installment in the Tiger King franchise...and my daughter was born! But through it all, we had Opinion Science. This year saw a bunch of new listeners, amazing guests, and some ambitious episodes. Your support has meant a lot. So even though I'm a couple weeks behind on this, I wanted put together another "best of" episode, featuring notable moments from the podcast in 2021. As I said in the 2020 "best of" episode, it’s not truly a “best of” per se because I really am attached to every episode. S eriously, there's something in every episode of the show that has stuck with me. So instead, I’ve chosen some particularly meaningful episodes for me, fan favorites, and moments that highlight what this show is all about. If you’re new to the show, this is a great place to start! And if you’ve been listening since the beginning, join me on some fun memories from this year. -Andy *Featured 2021 episodes:* * Episode 30: “Us vs. Them” with Jay Van Bavel * Episode 32: Moralizing and Attention with Ana Gantman * Episode 35: Ambivalence with Iris Schneider * Episode 36: Negotiation with Kwame Christian * Episode 37: Influence with Robert Cialdini * Episode 44: The Contact Hypothesis * Episode 47: Moral Foundations & Political Opinion with Jesse Graham
1 hr 8 min
Jan 3, 2022
#53: Influence on the Ground with Brian Ahearn
*Brian Ahearn* specializes in applying the science of influence in everyday situations. He is one of only a dozen individuals in the world who currently holds the Cialdini Method Certified Trainer® (CMCT) designation, and he teaches the psychology of persuasion and influence as it applies to sales and other aspects of our lives. He's the author of Influence PEOPLE, which was named one of the best influence books of all time by BookAuthority. He followed that up with Persuasive Selling for Relationship Driven Insurance Agents. Late last year, he released a new book, The Influencer, which uses narrative to teach principles of influence. In a lot of ways, our conversation follows up on my interview with Robert Cialdini from earlier this year, so be sure to check out *Episode 37: Influence with Robert Cialdini*. For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/influence-on-the-ground-with-brian-ahearn/ Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Dec 20, 2021
Giving and Getting Good Gifts [Rebroadcast]
This is a rebroadcast of Episode 27: Giving and Getting Good Gifts (December 21, 2020). It’s that time of year when winter holidays send people on a buying spree as they collect gifts to give to every friend, family member, and acquaintance. And you’d think that after so many years of giving gifts for all sorts of holidays, we’d be pretty good at it. Right? Well, not according to research in psychology. In this episode, we explore the psychology of why giving to others is such a good thing to do, and also where gift givers go wrong. Along the way, we’ll pick up some tips for how to approach giving in a smarter, more effective way. Many guests in this episode! * We hear from *Laura and Bethany Sanders* about childhood gifting go awry. Laura Sanders is a stand-up comedian and illustrator, so check out her work! * *Dr. Lara Aknin* is an associate professor of Social Psychology at Simon Fraser University. She studies what makes people happy. * *Dr. Jeff Galak* is an associate professor of Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. He also runs the YouTube channel, *“**Data Demystified**.”* * *Dr. Julian Givi*is an assistant professor of Marketing at West Virginia University's John Chambers College of Business and Economics. He studies gift-giving. *Research in this episode:* *Part I: Why give to others?* Lara Aknin and her colleagues found that college students were happier when giving money to other people vs. spending on themselves (Dunn, Aknin, & Norton, 2008). She has replicated this finding all over the world, with kids, and other populations (see Dunn et al., 2020). *Part II: How gift-givers and gift-recipients disagree.* A. Gift-givers focus on the moment of giving whereas recipients are thinking more long-term (Galak, Givi, & Williams (2016) B. Gift-givers think price matters more than receivers do (Flynn & Adams, 2009) C. Givers avoid repeatedly giving the same thing, but recipients don’t mind (Givi, 2020) D. People opt to give sentimental gifts less often than receivers would prefer (Givi & Galak, 2017); giving something as a gift can also imbue it with sentimentality and make the affection for the gift last longer (Yang & Givi, 2015) E. Just ask people what they want (Gino & Flynn, 2011) F. Giver-centric gifts make people feel closer to each other, even though we think recipient-focused gifts are the most appropriate (Aknin & Human, 2015) Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Dec 6, 2021
#52: Applying Behavioral Science with Melina Palmer
*Melina Palmer *is founder and CEO of The Brainy Business, which provides behavioral economics consulting to businesses of all sizes from around the world. Her podcast, The Brainy Business, has downloads in over 160 countries and is used as a resource for teaching applied behavioral economics for many universities and businesses. In this episode, I talk to Melina about how she got involved in the world of behavioral science, what behavioral economics means to her, and how she goes about applying research in social science to address real challenges in business. You can read the first chapter of her book, What Your Customer Wants and Can’t Tell You, for free using this link: *http://www.thebrainybusiness.com/opinionscience** *For more information about my comments about "honesty nudges" at the end of the episode, you can check on a recent article by Kristal et al. (2020) and this BuzzFeed News article. For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/applying-behavioral-science-with-melina-palmer/ Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Nov 22, 2021
#51: Debate with Harish Natarajan, Dan Zafrir, & Noa Ovadia
This episode follows up on the previous episode of Opinion Science about IBM's Project Debater. If you haven't already, be sure to check out that episode. But this week we hear more from Harish Natarajan, Dan Zafrir, and Noa Ovadia--three accomplished debaters. They'll share how they got into debate, what debate means to them, and why the exercise of debate is so important. In the opening section of the episode, we hear a quick clip from social psychologist Richard Petty. And the study I summarize is from a working paper by Peter Schwardmann, Egon Tripodi, and Joël J. van der Weele. Music in this episode by Blue Dot Sessions (www.sessions.blue). For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/debate-with-harish-natarajan-dan-zafrir-noa-ovadia/ Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Nov 8, 2021
#50: To Persuade is Human?
In 2019, IBM introduced the world to Project Debater: an AI system that could go up against humans to debate anything. In this episode, we trace Project Debater’s growth from just an idea to a fully fledged piece of technology and the public debates it’s engaged in. And it raises a bigger question: is persuasion a fundamentally human ability or is it really something that machines are capable of? We hear from IBM engineer and project leaders *Noam Slonim*, expert debaters *Harish Natarajan, Dan Zafrir, *and *Noa Ovadia*, communication neuroscientist *Elisa Baek*, and best-selling author *Daniel Pink*. To learn more about Project Debater, visit IBM’s Project Debater website and watch this great mini documentary about the system. Clips from IBM events were made available by IBM and are licensed creative commons. For a *transcript* of this episode, head to: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/*to-persuade-is-human*/* * Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Oct 25, 2021
#49: Inoculating Against Persuasion with Josh Compton
*Josh Compton* studies how “inoculating” people against persuasion can make them more resistant to arguments they encounter later. Dr. Compton is an associate professor of speech at Dartmouth and has written a lot about “inoculation theory,” which began (as a theory) back in the 60s with the work of William McGuire. We talk about lots of inoculation theory’s many extensions and applications. *Things we mention in this episode:* * The “virgin-soil epidemic” explanation of disease spread among indigenous people following Columbus’ voyage to the Americas. (See this Atlantic article by Ostler, 2020) * William McGuire’s original formulation of “inoculation theory” (McGuire, 1964) * A lot of the work Josh discusses is reviewed in Compton et al. (2021) and Compton (2021). * Online games that help inoculate against fake news: “Bad News”, “Breaking Harmony Square”, and “Go Viral!” For a *transcript *of this episode, go to: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/*inoculating-against-persuasion-with-josh-compton*/ Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Oct 11, 2021
#48: "Selling" Social Science with Daniel Pink
*Daniel Pink* is a bestselling author who uses social science research to explore big questions about what it means to be human. He’s written six books, and a new one comes out in February—The Power of Regret. You can also check out his Masterclass on sales and persuasion. In our conversation, Dan gives a look into his writing process. How does he go from an idea for a book to the final product? And how does he draw on social science along the way? This was a super fun chat—check it out! *Things that come up in our conversation:* * Scapple: a mind-mapping app that Dan uses. * The psychology of counterfactual thinking (see Smallman & Summerville, 2018) * Classic social influence study on reusing hotel towels (Goldstein, Cialdini, & Griskevicius, 2008) * “Paper Lion” by George Plimpton * Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert * How to Change by Katy Milkman Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Sep 27, 2021
#47: Moral Foundations & Political Opinion with Jesse Graham
*Jesse Graham* studies human morality and what it means for our political opinions. He’s an Associate Professor of Management at the Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. As a graduate student with Jonathan Haidt, he helped develop Moral Foundations Theory (MFT), which has gone on to be a massively influential theory of morality and how it develops. One of Jesse’s key insights was that these moral foundations help explain the divides between liberal and conservative people, which has implications for all kinds of political opinions and pressing topics like political polarization. In our conversation, Jesse fills us in on the early days of his research and the development of MFT over time, walks through the implications of MFT for political ideology, and reflects on where the theory is now. *Things that come up in this episode:* * Divisions between liberal and conservatives: antipathy (Iyengar et al., 2019), geographic segregation (Motyl et al., 2014), avoiding each other’s opinions (Frimer, Skitka, & Motyl, 2017), and even shorter Thanksgiving dinners (Chen & Rohla, 2018; Frimer & Skitka, 2020) * Jonathan Haidt’s “Social Intuitionist Model” of morality (Haidt, 2001) * Moral Foundations Theory (Graham et al., 2013; for a useful overview, check out MoralFoundations.org) * Values beyond the moral (Schwartz, 1992) * How adult political leanings can be predicted from observations of them as kids (Block & Block, 2006) * Ideology and geographic preferences (Motyl et al., 2020) * Moral foundations and the basis of vaccine attitudes (Amin et al., 2017; Karimi-Malekabadi et al., 2021), needle exchange attitudes (Christie et al., 2019), and a variety of political attitudes including abortion (Koleva et al., 2012) For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/moral-foundations-political-opinion-with-jesse-graham Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Sep 13, 2021
#46: Polling 101 with Ashley Amaya
*Dr. Ashley Amaya* is a senior survey methodologist at Pew Research Center. She has a PhD in Survey Methodology and is an expert when it comes to polling the country’s opinions. Our conversation highlights how the simple polling numbers you see on the news are the results of months—sometimes years—of work. Dr. Amaya shares how Pew recruits and maintains high-quality samples of survey respondents, carefully designs the questions that get asked, and checks their surveys’ demographics against the broader population. We also talk about what consumers should look for when assessing a poll’s legitimacy and where else experts are looking for the public’s opinion. *A few things that come up in this episode:* * 65% of U.S. adults think there is intelligent life on other planets (Pew Research Center; June 30, 2021) * Pew Report: “Measuring the Risks of Panel Conditioning in Survey Research” (June 9, 2021) * Sampling methods: address-based sampling vs. random digit dialin…
Sep 6, 2021
Portraits: "Just Because You Asked" (Vanessa Bohns)
In a new occasional series on Opinion Science, Portraits gives a snapshot of insights in social science. This week, Dr. Vanessa Bohns shows us how we're more influential than we give ourselves credit for. Vanessa's new book is *You Have More Influence Than You Think*. It's available September 7th. To hear the full conversation I had with Vanessa, go back to Episode 21 of Opinion Science: More Influence Than You Realize with Vanessa Bohns. Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Aug 30, 2021
#45: How Kids Judge with Larisa Heiphetz
*Larisa Heiphetz* studies how kids think about religion and morality. She’s an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia University where she runs the Columbia Social and Moral Cognition Lab. As a new dad, I’ve been thinking about how young kids form opinions—do they even form opinions at all? So I was curious to talk with Larisa about her work on how kids make different kinds of judgments and think about their new social worlds. If your interested in participating yourself (or your young child!) in Dr. Heiphetz’s research, you can sign up for studies here: https://columbiasamclab.weebly.com/childstudysign-up.html * Things we mention in this episode:* * Developmental psychology as a research tool to understand big questions (see Heiphetz, 2014) * How we think of moral as different from facts and preferences (e.g., Heiphetz et al., 2013, 2014, 2017) * Research on how kids evaluate “helpers” and “hinderers” (e.g., Hamlin & Van de Vondervoort, 2018). * Psyc…
1 hr 1 min
Aug 16, 2021
#44: The Contact Hypothesis
How can we make the world less prejudiced? Research from the social sciences hints at a promising solution. This week, we do a deep dive on “The Contact Hypothesis”: what it is, how we know it works, and what its limits are. We hear from four experts in this area whose research sheds light on the question: * Tom Pettigrew, emeritus professor of psychology at University of California, Santa Cruz * Linda Tropp, professor of social psychology at University of Massachusetts-Amherst * Shreya Bhattacharya, economist; PhD from the University of Houston * Salma Mousa, assistant professor of political science at Yale University For a transcript of this episode, fully annotated with references, go to: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/the-contact-hypothesis/ Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
1 hr 7 min
Aug 2, 2021
#43: Values with Greg Maio
*Greg Maio* studies human values. He’s a professor of psychology at the University of Bath in Wales. He also co-wrote the popular textbook, The Psychology of Attitudes and Attitude Change, and in 2016, his own book came out called The Psychology of Human Values. In our conversation, he shares his work on what values are and why they’re so important. We talk about when values guide or choices (and when they don’t), how people have a hard time articulating their values, and how we can design interventions around the values that people can come together on. *Some things we mention in this episode:* * What are values? (See this useful online article by Dr. Maio.) * How do values work and how has the science on this evolved? (see Maio, 2010) * How values can act as “truisms” that make them hard to defend (Maio & Olson, 1998; Bernard, Maio, & Olson, 2003; 2005) * Values can contribute unity on otherwise divisive issues (e.g., Wolf, Haddock, Manstead, & Maio, 2020) Check…
Jul 19, 2021
#42: Thinking with Richard Nisbett
*Richard E. Nisbett* has spent his career studying how people think. He is an emeritus professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan, and his research has influenced how psychologists think about reasoning, introspection, culture, and intelligence. He has written several important books over his career, including The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why and Mindware: Tools for Smart Thinking. His newest book is Thinking: A Memoir. In this episode, Nisbett shares samples of his work relating to our inability to know the inner workings of our own minds, whether we can call various cognitive biases “errors” in reasoning, and how culture shapes the way we interact with the world. *Some things that come up in this episode:* * Nisbett’s favorite study: Norman R. F. Maier’s finding that people fail to understand where their insights come from (Maier, 1931) * The classic set of studies by Richard Nisbett and Tim Wilson on our failu…
Jul 5, 2021
#41: Taking Social Science into the World with Neil Lewis Jr.
*Neil Lewis Jr.* doesn’t just study social questions—he studies them in the places where they matter. He’s an assistant professor of communication at Cornell University, and he’s interested in social inequities, how they work, and how we can address them. In addition to his own research, he also consults for organizations and contributes to FiveThirtyEight. He was named a Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science in 2019 and won the SAGE Young Scholar award from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in 2020. In our conversation, Neil shares his research on health communication and education disparities, talks about what it takes to collaborate outside of academic institutions, and how he approaches science communication. *Things we mention in this episode:* * In my introduction to this episode, I pull from a variety of sources to highlight the value of applied psychological research. These include the research by the Research Branch, Information…
Jun 21, 2021
#40: Explaining Brains with Alie and Micah Caldwell
Alie and Micah Caldwell produce the YouTube channel, *Neuro Transmissions*. Their videos present the basics of neuroscience and psychology in an accessible, engaging way. Alie is a neuroscientist and senior science writer at the University of Chicago Medicine. Micah is a licensed professional clinical counselor. In our conversation, we talk about the origins of Neuro Transmissions, their philosophy of science communication, and their new book. Check your local bookstores for their upcoming book: *Brains Explained: How They Work and Why They Work That Way**.* *Some science communication resources that came up in our conversation:* * ComSciCon: A free science communication workshop for graduate students * Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science * COMPASS Science Communication Trainings * Alan Alda’s book, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? * The Union of Concerned Scientists Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."*…
Jun 7, 2021
#39: Social Media Polarization with Chris Bail
*Chris Bail* is a computational social scientist. He wrangles the data that our social interactions leave behind to better understand how ideas spread. He is Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at Duke University, where he directs the Polarization Lab. A Guggenheim and Carnegie Fellow, he studies political extremism on social media using tools from the emerging field of computational social science. He is the author of Breaking the Social Media Prism: How to Make our Platforms Less Polarizing. *Things we mention in this episode:* * Internet bots for good and evil * @simscreens: A Twitter bot tweeting out frames from The Simpsons * Using Twitter bots to understand polarization (Bail et al., 2018) * Many people just don’t care about politics (check out my interview with Nathan Kalmoe) * Dr. Bail’s earlier work on how anti-Muslim sentiment spreads (Bail, 2016) * Tools developed by the Polarization Lab to fight back against polarization --------------- Check out m…
May 24, 2021
#38: American Islamophobia with Nazita Lajevardi
*Nazita Lajevardi* studies public opinion relating to Muslim Americans. She’s a political scientist and attorney at Michigan State University. In 2020, she published Outsiders at Home: The Politics of American Islamophobia. The book is an extension of her research on public opinion about Muslims in the United States, discrimination faced by Muslim Americans in politics, and the experience of facing these biases. In our conversation, we talk about all these questions and what makes Muslim American identity so tricky to pin down. Note. The brief clip at the top of the show is from Episode 4 ("Strawberries") of the Hulu show Ramy and is presented for purposes of commentary and education. --------------- Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/american-islamophobia-with-nazita-lajevardi/ Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow…
May 10, 2021
#37: Influence with Robert Cialdini
*Dr. Robert Cialdini* is an internationally recognized expert on the science of influence. His book Influence is one of the most influential business and psychology books of all time, selling over five-million copies worldwide. As a social psychologist, Cialdini has conducted foundational research on compliance, social norms, and helping behavior. But he is perhaps best known for boiling influence down to several key principles. He just released an updated and expanded edition of *Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion*, and it’s well worth checking out! I was excited to talk with him about the new book, how he started studying influence, what made him write a book for the public at a time when academics stayed within their university walls, and how we can be effective communicators of social science findings. *Things we mention in this episode:* * “Basking in reflected glory” (Cialdini et al., 1976) * The “full cycle” approach to social psychology (Cialdini, 1980; Mo…
Apr 26, 2021
#36: Negotiation with Kwame Christian
Kwame Christian is an attorney and negotiation expert. He's the director of the American Negotiation Institute where he and his team offer training and consultation for a variety of negotiation needs. He serves as a professor for Otterbein University's MBA program and Ohio State University's Moritz College of Law. In his podcast, Negotiate Anything, Kwame talks to experts in negotiation and persuasion to bring insights to a wide audience. In our conversation, he shares that the podcast has been downloaded over 3 million times! He is also the author of the book Finding Confidence in Conflict: How to Negotiate Anything and Live Your Best Life. In it, he shares how to overcome obstacles that get in the way of effective conversations. For a glimpse, check out his TEDx Dayton talk, "Finding Confidence in Conflict." You can find the negotiation guides Kwame mentions in this episode at the ANI website: https://americannegotiationinstitute.com/negotiation-guides/ In our conversation, Kwame…
Apr 12, 2021
#35: Ambivalence with Iris Schneider
*Dr. Iris Schneider* studies the psychology of "ambivalence," which is when we can see both the pros and cons of something. Oftentimes research shows that ambivalence can be problematic, getting in the way of people being able to form a coherent view on something. However, Dr. Schneider suggests that there can be benefits to ambivalence if we're able to see it not as a challenge to overcome but a state to be embraced. *Things we mentioned in this episode.* * For some good general resources for reading about the psychology of ambivalence, see: van Harreveld, Nohlen, & Schneider (2015); Schneider & Schwarz (2017) * You can see people’s ambivalence by tracking the movement of their mouse as they choose whether something is “good” or “bad” (Schneider et al., 2015) * Only a third of people’s everyday decisions are between two alternative options (Fischoff, 1991) * Some people just tend to be more ambivalent than others, and it’s related to having less bias (Schneider…
Mar 29, 2021
#34: Opinions of Ourselves with Ken DeMarree
*Ken DeMarree* studies how opinion science applies how we see ourselves. He’s an associate professor of psychology at the University at Buffalo. In our conversation, we talk about how opinion science can be used to understand things like self-esteem, how people sometimes desire opinions they currently disagree with, and how some people just tend to be pretty confident in their views. *Things we mention in this episode:* * California’s Self-Esteem Task Force (Guardian; NYT; The Cut) * The psychology of strong opinions can help us understand how people see themselves (DeMarree et al., 2007) * More “accessible” self-esteem is more durable and impactful (DeMarree et al., 2010) * Seeing yourself in both positive and negative ways makes your self-esteem more susceptible to influence (DeMarree et al., 2011) * When we want an opinion we don’t already have, it makes us conflicted (DeMarree et al., 2014; 2017) * Some people just tend to be more confident in their views th…
Mar 15, 2021
#33: Liking What Helps You with David Melnikoff
*David Melnikoff* studies how our goals affect how we feel about things. When stuff helps us reach a goal, we like it…even if it’s not the kind of thing we’d ordinarily like. In our conversation, we talk about what psychologists mean when they talk about people’s “attitudes,” how goals can affect those attitudes, and why all of this means that people can sometimes come to like immoral people. *Things that come up in this episode:* * What is an “attitude”? (For more on this concept, check out this webpage.) * “Instrumentality” and “action valence” affect how we feel about someone in the moment (Melnikoff, Lambert, & Bargh, 2019) * Morality isn’t always a valued quality in other people (Melnikoff & Bailey, 2018) Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/liking-what-helps-you-with-david-melnikoff/ Learn more about Opinion Science at http…
Mar 1, 2021
#32: Moralizing and Attention with Ana Gantman
*Dr. Ana Gantman* studies how people process moral stuff. She’s an assistant professor at Brooklyn College, and she finds that our attention is often drawn more quickly to morally relevant stimuli in our environment. More recently, she’s been looking into how our moral judgments collide with bureaucracy and how we can use moral psychology to address issues surrounding consent and sexual assault. *Things we mention in this episode:* * The “moral pop-out” effect where moral stuff grabs our attention (Gantman & Van Bavel, 2014; Brady, Gantman, & Van Bavel, 2020) * Moral pop-out seems to work like a motivational state because it goes away when needs for justice are satisfied (Gantman & Van Bavel, 2016) * Using EEG to study the time course of moral perception (Gantman et al., 2020) * The books The Utopia of Rules and Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber * How “phantom rules” can be selectively enforced when someone’s violated other social norms. * Taking “consent ple…
Feb 15, 2021
#31: The Language of Opinion with Matt Rocklage
*Dr. Matt Rocklage* studies the words we use to express opinions. He’s an assistant professor of marketing the University of Massachusetts-Boston. In our conversation, Matt talks about the Evaluative Lexicon, which is a tool he developed to quantify the language of opinion. Take an online review, feed it into the Evaluative Lexicon, and it’ll tell you how much the person liked or disliked the product and how much their emotions played a role in their opinion. His research with this tool has shown just how potent emotion can be and how we should approach studying language in psychology. *Things we mention in this episode:* * The “Evaluative Lexicon” (Rocklage & Razio, 2015; Rocklage et al. 2018); you can learn more at: http://www.evaluativelexicon.com/ * Emotion-based opinions tend to be stronger (Rocklage & Fazio, 2016; 2018; Rocklage & Luttrell, in press) * The role of emotion in consumer reviews (Rocklage & Fazio, 2020) * People turn to emotional language more when…
Feb 1, 2021
#30: "Us vs. Them" with Jay Van Bavel
*Jay Van Bavel* studies how our social identities shape the way we see ourselves and the people around us. He’s an associate professor of psychology at New York University. In an upcoming book, he and his colleague, Dominic Packer, present social identity theory. It’s a classic theory in social psychology that has inspired tons of research and continues to give insight into the modern world. At its root, it’s the idea that people often adopt an “us vs. them” mindset, which fuels lots of conflict between groups. In our conversation, Jay shares the basic tenets and controversies surrounding social identity theory and the direction his own research lab is going. For a quick overview of Social Identity Theory, featuring Dr. Van Bavel, you can check out *this YouTube video *[13:36]* *I made. *Things we mention in this episode:* * Dominic Packer’s research on identity and dissent. * The pioneering work of John Turner and Henri Tajfel and the development of social identity…
Jan 18, 2021
#29: Hype with Michael F. Schein
*Michael F. Schein* is a writer, speaker, and founder of the marketing agency, MicroFame Media. In his new book, *The Hype Handbook*, he explores the antics of historically successful “hype artists”—cult leaders, music promoters, propagandists, etc.—to extract 12 common strategies that get people excited about and committed to new ideas. In our conversation, we talk about how “hype” is or is not the same as “persuasion,” how much we’re able to learn from stories of historical hype artists, and the ethical and practical limits of hype. Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/hype-with-michael-f-schein/ Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Jan 4, 2021
#28: When Money Buys Happiness with Lara Aknin
*Lara Aknin* studies what makes people happy. In particular, she’s spent a lot of time looking at how being generous can improve one’s well-being. She is an associate professor of social psychology at Simon Fraser University, and you heard her a couple weeks ago on Opinion Science. Her work was featured on our episode on gift-giving, but she has so much interesting work that it seemed setting aside a whole episode for our entire conversation. *Things that come up in this episode:* * College students were happier when spending money on others vs. on themselves (Dunn, Aknin, & Norton, 2008; for a replication see Aknin et al., 2020) * The positive effects of spending on others extends around the world (Aknin et al., 2013), in small rural societies (Aknin et al., 2015; Aime et al., 2017), with children (Aknin, Hamlin, & Dunn, 2012), and among ex-offenders (Aknin et al., 2018). * Giver-focused gifts promoted greater relationship closeness than recipient-focused gifts (Aknin & Hu…
Dec 28, 2020
BONUS: "Best" of Opinion Science (2020)
Although 2020 will be remembered mostly for annoyances and deeply tragic events, one thing that kept me going this year was starting this podcast. Being able to talk with friends, people I've long admired, and people I had only recently met was a real joy. I wanted to put together an episode with some notable moments in Opinion Science this year. It's not truly a "best of" per se because I really am attached to every episode! Although I was learning on the fly how to podcast, there's aspects of all of this year's episodes that I value. So instead, I've chosen some particularly meaningful episodes for me, fan favorites, and moments that highlight what this show is all about. If you're new to the show, this is a great place to start! And if you've been listening since the beginning, join me on some fun memories from this year. -Andy *Featured 2020 episodes:* * Episode 1: Word of Mouth with Jake Teeny * Episode 6: Film Criticism with Alissa Wilkinson * Episode 9: Systemic Raci…
1 hr 32 min
Dec 21, 2020
#27: Giving and Getting Good Gifts
It’s that time of year when winter holidays send people on a buying spree as they collect gifts to give to every friend, family member, and acquaintance. And you’d think that after so many years of giving gifts for all sorts of holidays, we’d be pretty good at it. Right? Well, not according to research in psychology. In this episode, we explore the psychology of why giving to others is such a good thing to do, and also where gift givers go wrong. Along the way, we’ll pick up some tips for how to approach giving in a smarter, more effective way. Many guests in this episode! * We hear from *Laura and Bethany Sanders* about childhood gifting go awry. Laura Sanders is a stand-up comedian and illustrator, so check out her work! * *Dr. Lara Aknin* is an associate professor of Social Psychology at Simon Fraser University. She studies what makes people happy. * *Dr. Jeff Galak* is an associate professor of Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. H…
Dec 7, 2020
#26: Intersectional Role Models in STEM with India Johnson and Eva Pietri
Two guests! Drs. *Eva Pietri* and *India Johnson* stop by to share the important work they’re doing together on the power of role models for underrepresented groups in STEM fields. *Things that come up in this episode:* * Women and racial and ethnic minorities are under-represented in STEM fields (National Science Board, 2020) * Encouraging identity-safety in STEM among Black (Johnson, Pietri, Fullilove, & Mowrer, 2019; Pietri, Johnson, & Ozgumus, 2018) and Latina women (Pietri, Drawbaugh, Lewis, & Johnson, 2019) * Using videos to enhance relatability of scientists (Pietri, Johnson, Majid, & Chu, in press) * Extending these ideas to encourage women to identify with male scientists (Pietri, Drawbaugh, Johnson, & Colvin, in press) Check out my new audio course on Knowable: *"The Science of Persuasion."* For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/intersectional-role-models-in-stem-with-india-johnson-eva-pietri/ Learn more about Opin…
Nov 23, 2020
#25: Geography of Bias with Eric Hehman
*Dr. Eric Hehman* studies the geography of bias. Lots of research has looked at the prejudice that lives in an individual person’s head, but Eric looks at the average amount of bias in particular location. On average, some counties have more implicit bias than others, and some states have more bias than others. But what does it mean? That’s what Eric and I talk about this week! *Things we mention in this episode:* * Zippia’s collection of fun maps, including Thanksgiving sides, pickle fandom, and sandwich preferences. * Regional implicit biases are related to police use of force against African Americans in that region (Hehman, Flake, & Calanchini, 2018) * Inspiration for Eric’s focus on regional bias (Motyl et al., 2014; Rae & Olson, 2015; Rentfrow et al., 2013) * How same-sex marriage legislation affected anti-gay bias one state at a time (Ofosu, Chambers, Chen, & Hehman, 2019) * Validating region-based measures of bias (Hehman, Calanchini, Flake, & Leitner, 2019)…
Nov 9, 2020
#24: Persuasion via Story-Telling with Melanie Green
*Melanie Green** *studies stories. She’s a professor of Communication at University of Buffalo, and for years she’s been looking into whether stories can serve to persuade people. Are stories just entertainment or can they change our minds? In this episode, we talk about stories, her research on persuasion, and the experience of being transported by a story. *Topics that come up in this episode:* * People differ in their “transportability,” which is associated with their receptiveness to narrative persuasion (Mazzocco et al., 2010) * Narrative persuasion depends on transportation (Green & Brock, 2000) * Meta-analyses of narrative persuasion studies (Braddock & Dillard, 2016; Oschatz & Marker, 2020; Zebregs et al., 2015) * Research by Jeff Niederdeppe’s lab on story-telling in health communication * Stories continue to be persuasive after proven false (Green & Donahue, 2011) * People make judgments of a person’s warmth or competence depending on whether they te…
Oct 26, 2020
#23: Polling Young Voters with Kristen Soltis Anderson
*Kristen Soltis Anderson* is a pollster and co-founder of Echelon Insights. For five years, she co-hosted the podcast, The Pollsters, she hosts the SiriusXM show, The Trendline, and the Fox Nation show What Are the Odds? She also regularly appears on television to discuss the latest polls. She’s spent a lot of time looking at polls of Millennials in particular. In 2015, she published her first book, The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up), in which she reviews data on millennials’ tendency to vote for Democrats and the unique features of modern life that may be driving this shift. In this episode, we have a great conversation about her work, what political polling can reveal, and how young voters’ preferences may affect the 2020 U.S. election…and other elections to come. *Some things that come up in this episode:* * Generation Z enjoys mocking Millennials (Buzzfeed) * The Bennington College study of political attitudes ov…
Oct 12, 2020
#22: Political Persuasion with Alex Coppock
*Alex Coppock** *is an assistant professor of Political Science at Yale University. His research considers what affects people's political beliefs, especially the kinds of messages people regularly encounter--TV ads, lawn signs, Op-Eds, etc. In this episode, he shares the findings of a big, new study that just came out as well as what it means for how persuasion works. *Things that came up in this episode:* * A new study testing dozens the efficacy of dozens of political ads (Coppock, Hill, & Vavreck, 2020) * The long-lasting effects of newspaper op-eds on public opinion (Coppock, Ekins, & Kirby, 2018) * The effects of lawn signs on vote outcomes (Green, Krasno, Coppock, Farrer, Lenoir, & Zingher, 2016) * Framing effects in persuasion (for an overview, see Chong & Druckman, 2007) * The sleeper effect (see here for an overview) For a *transcript* of this episode, visit: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/political-persuasion-with-alex-coppock/ Learn more about Opinio…
Sep 28, 2020
#21: More Influence Than You Realize with Vanessa Bohns
Vanessa Bohns studies the difference between how much influence people have and how influence they think they have. On the podcast, we talk about her studies, why people underestimate their influence, and whether this means we should try asking for more than we do now. If you sit tight until next year, Dr. Bohns has a book coming out called You Have More Influence than You Think. *A few things that come up in our conversation:* * For a general overview of Dr. Bohns’ research on this topic, you can check out this article in Harvard Business Review or her review in Current Directions in Psychological Science. * People underestimate how many people they have to ask in order to get someone to agree to do something (Flynn & Bohns, 2008). * People even underestimate their influence in getting people to do ethically questionable things (Bohns, Roghanizad, & Xu, 2014). * We don’t realize how uncomfortable it is for people to say no to requests (Bohns & Flynn, 2010). * The infl…
Sep 21, 2020
New Episodes on the Way!
Just a quick word about new episodes on the way and a switch to biweekly shows. Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Sep 7, 2020
BONUS: Good Accidents with Elliot Aronson
Elliot Aronson has seen a long and influential career in social psychology. Aronson got his PhD in 1959 from Stanford University, working with Leon Festinger on some of the first experiments testing dissonance theory. He authored a celebrated social psychology textbook, now in its twelfth edition, and he pioneered the research on the jigsaw classroom--"a cooperative learning technique that reduces racial conflict among school children, promotes better learning, improves student motivation, and increases enjoyment of the learning experience." Two weeks ago, I released a big episode on cognitive dissonance (check it out!), which pulled together interviews with several people who are experts in the field. Elliot Aronson was one of those experts, and I'm excited to share our full conversation with you this week. We talk dissonance but Elliot also shares how he became a social psychologist and what it takes to run a high-impact experiment. Check out Elliot's writing: * The Role of Cogn…
Aug 31, 2020
BONUS: Dissonance and the New Look with Joel Cooper
Last week's special episode on cognitive dissonance pulled together interviews with several people who are experts in the field. Joel Cooper is one of those experts! When I first started getting interested in the social psychology of cognitive dissonance, Joel's book (Cognitive Dissonance: 50 Years of a Classic Theory) was so useful. You heard snippets of this interview in last week's episode, but I want to share it all on its own for anyone interested in more about Joel's story. We get into plenty of things that didn't fit into last week's show, including Joel's perspective on what made dissonance theory so influential, how dissonance can be felt vicariously, and why he used to use odd measurement scales. For a *transcript* of this show, visit the episode's webpage: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/cognitive-dissonance-with-joel-cooper Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Aug 24, 2020
#20: The Cognitive Dissonance Episode
In 1957, Leon Festinger published A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance. Along with a collection of compelling experiments, Festinger changed the landscape of social psychology. The theory, now referenced constantly both in and outside of academic circles, has taken on a life of its own. And it’s still informing new research and analysis more than 60 years later. For the grand 20th episode of Opinion Science, I want to give you an insider’s look at the theory–its inspiration, the people involved, the classic studies, and the remaining controversies. Throughout the show you’ll hear from people who have studied cognitive dissonance and who knew the infamous Leon Festinger: Elliot Aronson, Joel Cooper, Jeff Stone, April McGrath, and Mike Gazzaniga. To learn more about cognitive dissonance, check out these two books written by two of our guests: Cognitive Dissonance: 50 Years of Classic Theory and Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me). For a *transcript* of this show, visit the episode…
1 hr 1 min
Aug 17, 2020
#19: Political Humor as Persuasion with Danna Young
Dr. Dannagal Young studies political humor. She pulls together psychology, communications, and political science, to understand how political satire works to change minds and expand political knowledge. She also has a new book: Irony and Outrage: The Polarized Landscape of Rage, Fear, and Laughter in the United States, which explores how satire became a tool of political left and outrage media because a tool of the political right. *Some things that come up on this episode:* * Daily Show viewers were particularly well-informed about the 2004 election (Young, 2004) * Jon Stewart defending the Daily Show on Crossfire (2006) * Jokes lead people to suspend critical thinking about a message (Polk, Young, & Holbert, 2009; Young, 2008) For a *transcript* of this show, visit the episode's webpage: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/political-humor-as-persuasion-with-danna-young Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Tw…
Aug 10, 2020
#18: Health Communication with Allison Earl
Allison Earl studies the challenges of getting health information to people who need it. Her research looks at how people react defensively to information about their health and how to improve it. In this episode, she shares her research on people's tendency to avoid threatening health information and how simple meditation exercises can make people more open to these kinds of messages. *Some things that come up in this episode: * * Targeting health information to specific groups makes people feel judged (Derricks & Earl, 2019) * Rejecting information about stimatized health issues (Earl, Nisson, & Albarracín, 2015) * Race disparities in attention to HIV-prevention information (Earl et al., 2016) * Trigger warnings as a way to get people ready for emotional information (Gainsburg & Earl, 2018) * Meditation makes people more open to threatening health information (Takahashi & Earl, 2020) For a *transcript* of this show, visit the episode's webpage: http://opinionsciencepodc…
Aug 3, 2020
#17: How We Think About Animals with Kristof Dhont
Kristof Dhont studies the psychology behind humans’ complicated feelings about animals. In particular, his research looks at how the existence of “speciesism” can stem from the same psychological factors that also produce other social prejudices. In this episode, Kristof and I talk about how people avoid connecting meat to the animals it comes from, how a social dominance worldview gives rise to speciesism, and what psychology can (and can’t) tell us about effective advocacy. Check out Dr. Dhont’s new book: Why We Love and Exploit Animals: Bridging Insights from Academia and Advocacy And as I mention at the end of the episode, a few years ago, I wrote my own vegan cookbook: Vegan Spanish Cooking. *Some of the things that come up in this episode:* * How people disconnect “meat” from the animals it comes from (Kunst & Hohle, 2016) * Why people still eat meat even when they object to its production (“the meat-paradox”; Bastian & Loughnan, 2016) * Denying animal…
Jul 27, 2020
#16: Implicit Bias with Mahzarin Banaji
Mahzarin Banaji is a professor of psychology at Harvard University. In the 90s, she and her colleagues pioneered the research in social psychology on implicit bias. They are perhaps best known for creating the Implicit Association Test (IAT), which purports to measure the preferences that people are unable or unwilling to say they have. Using this tool, psychologists have arrived at fascinating findings about bias, which have spawned a productive (and sometimes contentious) field of research. Together with Anthony Greenwald, Dr. Banaji wrote the popular book, Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. I talked with Mahzarin about her early days studying psychology and what prompted her to study implicit bias. She also shared new research on how implicit biases have changed over time and what this means for how to achieve social progress. If you’re interested in the IAT—the test that researchers use to measure implicit bias—you can take one yourself at the official Project Implici…
1 hr 15 min
Jul 20, 2020
#15: Political Campaigning with Joe Fuld
Joe Fuld founded the political consulting firm, The Campaign Workshop, and he also co-hosts the podcast, "How to Win a Campaign." In this episode, he shares his background in political and advocacy campaigns and what you need to consider if you're thinking of running for office yourself. At the top of the show, I also talked to Pavan Parikh. He's currently running for Probate Court Judge in Hamilton County, Ohio. You can learn more about Pavan at https://www.pavanforjudge.com/ or follow his campaign on Facebook or Twitter. A few articles related to topics that Joe Fuld mentions: * The Tully Message Box * The Seven Cs of Campaign Messaging For a *transcript* of this show, visit the episode's webpage: http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/episode/political-campaigning-with-joe-fuld/ Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter. Additional music this week: Firefly by Podington Bear, licensed under a Attribution-NonCommerci…
Jul 12, 2020
#14: Certainty with Zakary Tormala
Dr. Zakary Tormala is a professor of behavioral science and marketing at Stanford University’s business school. He studies how people can become certain of an opinion and what that means for their willingness to share their views. We talk about what certainty is, how it affects people's choices and resistance to change, and how the research about certainty can inform best practices in persuasion. *Some of the things that come up in this episode:* * Robert Burton's article, "The Certainty Epidemic" (also see his book, On Being Certain) * The difference between "clarity" and "correctness" (Petrocelli, Tormala, & Rucker, 2007) * The relationship between certainty and advocacy (Cheatham & Tormala, 2015; 2017) * How successfully resisting persuasion can boost certainty (Tormala & Petty, 2002) * How apparent social consensus increases certainty (Clarkson, Tormala, Rucker, & Dugan, 2013) * Why uncertainty can get people to pay attention (Karmarkar & Tormala, 2010) * For an o…
Jul 5, 2020
#13: Fake News with Gordon Pennycook
*Dr. Gordon Pennycook* studies why people share misinformation. His research has used many techniques to understand people’s ability to judge the accuracy of information, their willingness to share that information, and what we can do to encourage people to only spread true information. *Some of the things that come up in this episode:* * There’s lots of coronavirus misinformation out there * Seeing fake news repeatedly makes it feel more true (Pennycook, Cannon, & Rand, 2018) * Believing fake news is more about not paying attention than partisanship (Pennycook & Rand, 2019) * Encouraging people to think about accuracy reduces sharing of false and misleading news (Pennycook et al., preprint) * Using Twitter bots to get people to think about accuracy * Interventions to stop the spread of COVID-19 misinformation (Pennycook et al., in press) * The problem with biased thinking or “motivated reasoning” (Tappin, Pennycook, & Rand, 2020; preprint) For a *transcript* o…
Jun 28, 2020
#12: Comedy + Science with Shannon Odell
*Shannon Odell* is a comedian and neuroscientist, and she uses comedy as a tool to teach people about science. She’s done this through hosting live shows, a YouTube series, a podcast, and other ways of getting the word out about how cool neuroscience is. In this episode, we talk about how she got into science, how she got into comedy, and how she thought to combine those two worlds. *Be sure to check out some of Shannon’s work:* * “Your Brain on Blank”: a YouTube series about how your brain processes different life experiences (drinking, meditating, listening to music) * The Science of Self-Care Podcast: a group of comedians take a deep dive into a self-care practice (e.g., acupuncture, yoga, aromatherapy) and explore the science behind it * Drunk Science: Live show (turned Zoom show) where comedians defend their “research” to scientists For a *transcript* of this show, visit the episode's webpage. Learn more about Opinion Science at http://opinionsciencepodcast.c…
Jun 21, 2020
#11: Opinions Across Cultures with Sharon Shavitt
*Dr. Sharon Shavitt** *is a professor of marketing at the University of Illinois. Her research has looked at consumer behavior from lots of angles, and she has been a pioneer in thinking about the role of culture in the persuasion process. In this episode, we talk about how she started to consider how the success of an advertisement depends on the audience’s cultural values and other effects of culture. She also shares her experience connecting social psychology with the world of marketing, which wasn’t that common when she was in graduate school. *Links for more on some of what we talked about:* * Individualistic vs. collectivistic cultures (check out the great book, Clash!) * Dr. Shavitt’s research on culture and persuasion (Han & Shavitt, 1994) * The effect of political values on successful persuasion (Feinberg & Willer, 2016) * "Preferences don't have to be personal" (Riemer, Shavitt, Koo, & Markus, 2014) * Holistic vs. analytic thinking and price-quality judgment…
Jun 14, 2020
#10: Policing, Race, and Advocacy with Deion Hawkins
Deion Hawkins is an assistant professor of Communication Studies at Emerson College. He uses in-depth interviews with members of a community to understand health communication and the effects of police brutality. In this episode, he shares his dissertation work about where members of Black community get information about police brutality and the psychological toll that information takes. We also talk more generally about the recent Black Lives Matter protests and the role of race in academic research. For a *transcript* of this show, visit the episode's webpage on http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ Learn more about *Opinion Science* at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter. *Music in this episode: *Stomps Claps & Beatbox by MusicToday80; Composed by: Anwar Amr Youtube Channel; Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0); Music provided by Free Vibes.
Jun 8, 2020
#9: Systemic Racism with Phia Salter
*Phia Salter* takes a cultural psychology approach to studying racism. She’s an associate professor of Psychology at Davidson College, and in this episode she draws a contrast between thinking of racism as an individual bias versus thinking of it as systemic. She talks about her research on the “Marley hypothesis” and the ways in which our environments’ discussion of racial issues shapes our own views. For more resources on understanding racism in the U.S., you can start by checking out Smithsonian magazine's Resources to Understand Racism in America. *Things we mention in this episode:* * Dr. Salter's summary of research related to systemic racism (Salter, Adams, & Perez, 2018) * The "Marley Hypothesis": Historical knowledge associated with recognizing contemporary racism (Nelson, Adams, & Salter, 2013) * Research on preferences for different Black History Month materials (Salter & Adams, 2016) * Writings of Derrick Bell on Critical Race Theory (For an overview of…
Jun 1, 2020
#8: Opinions Online with William Brady
*William Brady* studies how messages spread online--especially on social media sites. By mixing psychology experiments with analyses of millions of messages on social media websites, he's learned what kinds of language cuts through the clutter. Specifically, he finds that moral emotional language plays a hefty role in online communication. In this episode, Billy talks about this research and his other work on moral outrage to give us an idea of how opinions spread online. *Things we mention in this episode:* * NYU’s Center for Social Media and Politics * Paul Rozin’s research on “the process of moralization” * Statistically analyzing patterns of words (check this out for a quick intro) * Moral emotional language captures attention and prompts retweets (Brady et al., 2017, 2020; also see this Scientific American article) * Moral outrage online (check out Molly Crockett’s article for The Globe and Mail) Learn more about *Opinion Science* at http://opinionsciencepod…
May 25, 2020
#7: Neither Liberal nor Conservative with Nathan Kalmoe
Nathan Kalmoe is a political scientist at Louisiana State University. He studies public opinion and mass political behavior. In 2017 he co-authored the book, Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Ideological Innocence in the American Public. In this episode, we talk about his research on how political ideology means different things to political leaders than to the general public, how lots of people tend to avoid describing themselves and liberal or conservative, but how they nevertheless seem perfectly comfortable identifying as Democrat or Republican. *Things we mention in this episode:* * Early research and writing by Phillip Converse and Walter Lippman * Nathan's recent article in Political Psychology: "Uses and Abuses of Ideology in Political Psychology" * Nathan's book with Donald Kinder: Neither Liberal nor Conservative: Ideological Innocence in the American Public * His upcoming book: With Ballots and Bullets: Partisanship and Violence in the American Civil War Learn mor…
May 18, 2020
#6: Film Criticism with Alissa Wilkinson
Alissa Wilkinson is a film critic and culture reporter for Vox and an associate professor of English and Humanities and The King's College in New York City. We talk about how she translates her own thoughts and feelings about a film into a written piece of criticism and the role that criticism plays in society. She shares thoughts about the job of a film critic and the delicate art of rating, reviewing, and recommending movies. This episode also features snippets from a conversation with Cody Duckworth. If you're interested, you can hear our full conversation as a bonus episode on the Opinion Science website (here!). In this episode, we mention a few things Alissa has written about before, so for full context, check out these articles: * "The case for spoilers" (11/7/19) * "Rotten Tomatoes, explained" (7/14/18) * "Do not see The Emoji Movie" (7/29/17) * Alissa's review of "The Assistant" (4/28/20) * Alissa's review of "Bad Education" (4/24/20) Learn more about *Opinion Sc…
May 11, 2020
#5: Perceived Bias with Laura Wallace
Laura Wallace studies what happens when people perceive a communicator as biased. In this episode, we talk about why bias is different from trustworthiness, how perceived bias affects a person's ability to be persuasive, and how we think about biased communicators in general. *Things we mention in the episode:* * Gallup poll on Americans' perceptions of media bias * NPR's complaints that they have both pro-conservative and pro-liberal biases * Bias and trustworthiness are separate cues to credibility (Wallace, Wegener, & Petty, 2019) * Flip-flopping as a problem for persuasion (Wallace, Wegener, & Petty, 2020) Learn more about *Opinion Science* at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
May 4, 2020
#4: Climate Change Communication with Matt Goldberg
Matt Goldberg is a soon-to-be associate research scientist at the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. He uses established research from the psychology of persuasion to understand how the public thinks about climate change and how to convince people to adopt new beliefs and behaviors to stave off the threats of global warming. We talk about the differences between theoretical and applied research and what leaders can do to guide the world through this difficult time. *Things we mention in the episode:* * Global warming's "Six America's" * Using meta-cognition to understand hurricane evacuation behavior (Goldberg et al., 2020) * Perceived consensus about climate change attitudes (Goldberg et al., 2019a, 2019b) * The effects of discussing climate change with others (Goldberg et al., 2019c) Learn more about *Opinion Science* at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Apr 27, 2020
#3: "Disgusted" with Yoel Inbar
Yoel Inbar is a social psychologist at University of Toronto. He studies the feeling of disgust and how it shapes people's moral judgments. We talk about how disgust is associated with certain opinions, and why moral emotions can make people hold onto negative beliefs about genetically modified crops (even when the science supports their safety and usefulness). Yoel is also co-host of another psychology podcast, *Two Psychologists, Four Beers*. *Things we mention in the episode:* * The relationship between “disgust sensitivity” and political beliefs (Inbar, Pizarro, & Bloom, 2008) * The “behavioral immune system” (see this article by Schaller) * Disgusting smells and attitudes toward gay men (Inbar, Pizarro, & Bloom, 2012) * Reasons to be skeptical that disgust amplifies moral judgments (Landy & Goodwin, 2015) * Facial expressions of disgust during moral judgments (Chapman et al., 2009) * Public opinions of genetically modified food (check out Scott, Inbar, et al…
Apr 20, 2020
#2: Good vs. Bad with Jehan Sparks
Jehan Sparks studies how positive vs. negative information informs our opinions. One of the things she looks at is something called a "negativity bias" where negative events loom larger than positive events when we're forming a summary impression. We talk about the nature of good vs. bad, how the order in which we learn information matters, and how different people think about information differently. *Things we mention in the episode:* * How “good vs. bad” can be too simple (Sparks, 2020) * The “negativity bias” (Baumeister et al., 2001; Rozin & Royzman, 2001) * How opinions depend on the order in which you learn information (Sparks & Ledgerwood, 2017) * Negativity bias to explain risk-taking (Pietri, Fazio, & Shook, 2013) * The effects of age on the negativity bias (Sparks & Ledgerwood, 2018) Learn more about *Opinion Science* at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Apr 13, 2020
#1: Word of Mouth with Jake Teeny
This week I talk to Jake Teeny about his research on word of mouth. When do people pass their opinions along to others? Jake tells me that businesses count word of mouth as a leading form of marketing, but it can be tricky to know exactly how to control it. We talk about when and why people share their opinions, according to the research in social psychology. (By the way, Jake and I co-author a blog for Psychology Today called "A Difference of Opinion.") *Things we mention in the episode:* * Arousal increases social transmission of information (Berger, 2011) * Certainty as a reason to persuade (Cheatham & Tormala, 2015) * Hypocrisy as a form of cognitive dissonance (Stone & Fernandez, 2008) * Atypical things are more popular (Berger & Packard, 2018) * Hit Makers by Derek Thompson (Amazon) Learn more about *Opinion Science* at http://opinionsciencepodcast.com/ and follow @OpinionSciPod on Twitter.
Apr 3, 2020
Introducing the Opinion Science Podcast.
Coming Soon: The Opinion Science Podcast Visit opinionsciencepodcast.com for more. I’m Andy Luttrell, and I’m excited to introduce the Opinion Science Podcast. It’s a show about the science of people’s opinions, where they come from, and how they change. I’m a social psychologist, and I’ll be talking to other social scientists who study public opinion and persuasion, but I’ll also talk to other experts in the business of understanding and shaping the world’s views. The ideas we’ll explore in this show will give you a glimpse into the psychology of political attitudes, consumer preferences, public health communication, and social activism, just to name a few. But I’m even interested in more mundane opinions…like why some people inexplicably prefer cake over pie. So subscribe now and tune in every other week for these conversations. I think you’ll like it…but form your own opinion.