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Episode 46: Polling 101 with Ashley Amaya

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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...

Portraits: “Just Because You Asked” (Vanessa Bohns)

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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...

Episode 45: How Kids Judge with Larisa Heiphetz

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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...

Episode 44: The Contact Hypothesis

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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...

Episode 43: Values with Greg Maio

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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...

Episode 42: Thinking with Richard Nisbett

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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...

Episode 41: Taking Social Science into the World with Neil Lewis Jr.

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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...

Episode 40: Explaining Brains with Alie and Micah Caldwell

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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...

Episode 39: Social Media Polarization with Chris Bail

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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...

Episode 38: American Islamophobia with Nazita Lajevardi

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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...

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