Monthly Archives: May 2015

Maximizing, satisficing and the paradox of choice with Barry Schwartz

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A legend in the field, economic psychologist Barry Schwartz talks about how having too many options can be paralytic and tiresome to the human psyche. Schwartz also discusses the destructive force of an “only the best will do” mentality. We contemplate the implications of these concepts across topics like parenting consumerism, creativity, the prevalence of dissatisfaction in the modern world and what we can do to help ourselves.

In this episode you will hear about:

  • The inverted U shape curve of psychology and the vital importance of balance
  • The paradox of choice and how more can be less
  • How too much information can negatively effect decision-making
  • Avoiding decision fatigue
  • The world of online dating in relation to Barry’s work
  • How chasing only the best job/school/product will make you unhappy
  • How “Good enough really is good enough.”
  • Matching individual differences with the correct environments
  • The role of dopamine in introversion vs. extroversion
  • How parenting styles may form our heuristic styles
  • The grass is greener syndrome
  • The importance of control and autonomy to the human psyche
  • How constraints on choice can be beneficial to creativity
  • Clinical applications for Schwartz’s work on depression
 

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“Barry Schwartz is the Dorwin Cartwright Professor of Social Theory and Social Action in the psychology department at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, where he has taught for thirty years. He is the author of several leading textbooks on the psychology of learning and memory, as well as a penetrating look at contemporary life, The Battle for Human Nature: Science, Morality, and Modern Life. Dr. Schwartz is married and has two children.” -Blurb taken from Amazon.com

How to Be Understood and Reach Your Goals with Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson

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Best selling author and social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson discusses motivational styles and how we can ensure people understand who we truly are. It’s a particularly actionable episode, where the listener can learn strategies aimed at effective communication, habit formation and making better motivational decisions.

In this episode you will hear about:

  • Why our identities often differ from how others perceive us
  • How most of our people-perception happens unconsciously
  • Some of the agendas/lenses we use during people-perception
  • How introverts and shy people get misunderstood more often and what they can do about it
  • How we form a concept of our self identity reflectively (via the eyes of others)
  • The “If I didn’t know you better, I’d think you were ___” exercise
  • Two phases of thinking
  • How our minds are miserly and like to jump to conclusions
  • How we tend to speak when we want to appear warm vs. intelligent
  • Promotion vs. prevention motivational styles
  • Defensive pessimism
  • How willpower is not a good approach to habit change
  • Forming new habits and circumventing temptations
 

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Click to download the episode directly (right click, then click save as)

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
Subscribe to the podcast on Stitcher.

Resources: 

“Heidi Grant Halvorson, PhD, is a social psychologist and Associate Director of the Motivation Science Center at Columbia Business School. She is the author of four bestselling books, including Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, as well as a regular contributor to leading publications, including Harvard Business ReviewFast CompanyWSJ.com, and Psychology Today. Through her books, articles, and her blogs, she hopes to help people understand that ANYONE can reach their goals, and give them the scientifically-tested strategies they need to succeed.” –Blurb taken from Amazon.com