I'm a social psychologist.

Episode 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...

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...

Episode 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...

Giving and Getting Good Gifts (Rebroadcast)


This episode was originally released on 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...

Episode 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...

Episode 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...

Episode 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...

Episode 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...

Episode 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...

Episode 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...


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