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Opinion Science

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A Science and Social Sciences podcast featuring Andy Luttrell
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Episodes of Opinion Science

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 accomp
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 de
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,” whic
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 Mastercla
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
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 o
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 Infl
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 k
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 ex
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
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 int
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 addr
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 Chi
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 Polari
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 extensi
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 psycho
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 Univ
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
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-est
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 ta
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 loo
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 quant
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
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
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
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