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This is a podcast about understanding, analyzing, and predicting human behavior, hosted by me, Zachary Elwood. This podcast is for anyone who wants to understand people better, whether you want to use that knowledge for your own benefit, or if you just want to increase your understanding of and empathy for others. I interview people from a wide variety of fields, from jury consultants to interrogation experts to forensic linguistic analysts to relationship researchers to Russian/English translators to door-to-door salesmen to political polarization experts to restaurant managers to bus drivers.

Basically, it’s a bunch of stuff I’m interested in, tied together by my interest in psychology. Learn more about my poker behavior/tells work and other research and writing. I make no money on this podcast and spend a good amount of time on it, so if you want to show your appreciation and encourage me to do more, please leave me a rating on iTunes and/or throw me some money on Patreon. I’m on Twitter, too.

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Episodes

This section displays episode summaries. To see some popular episodes or see all episodes in a single list, keep scrolling down.

Why do so many people “want to watch the world burn”?, with Kevin Arceneaux

An interview with Kevin Arceneaux, a researcher on the “need for chaos” research project, which found that a surprising number of people (up to 40%) expressed antisocial views about society in either agreeing with or not rejecting statements like “When I think about our political and social institutions, I cannot help thinking ‘just let them…

What is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s tell?, with Jon Hoefling

In this episode, I interview Jon Michael Hoefling, a sports analyst and broadcaster, about a recent story that was making the rounds: a young man named Theo Ash, who has a popular TikTok where he analyzes football, had found a physical tell that Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had: how Roethlisberger positioned his foot before a…

Does gender identity theory create more gender dysphoria?, with Carey Callahan

In this episode of the podcast, I interview Carey Callahan (Twitter) about gender dysphoria, gender identity theory, and transgender topics. Carey is a family therapist who writes about gender dysphoria topics, with an emphasis on healthcare; you can find her writing on Medium.com. For more about her, see the resources at the bottom of this post.…

How can we better connect with people?, with Ashley Pallathra & Ted Brodkin

In this episode of the podcast, I interview Ashley Pallathra (twitter) and Edward Brodkin (twitter), co-authors of Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections. Our modern world seems increasingly isolated, in how we separate ourselves from others, in how many of our communal activities and institutions have gone away, in how we are increasingly…

Reading behavior & tells in video games: a talk with Apex Legends pro Nocturnal

In this episode of the People Who Read People podcast, I interview Brandon Singer, aka Nocturnal (his Twitch, his Twitter) about reading opponent behavior in the video game Apex Legends. We discuss: getting reads of how experienced players are, how much predicting behavior plays a role, how much tilt and mental considerations play a role.…

Reading behavior in tennis, with Carlos Goffi

A talk with experienced tennis player and coach Carlos Goffi about the role that psychology and reading opponent behavior and mood can play in tennis. To learn more about Carlos, visit his site. He’s been coaching for more than 30 years, and has coached John McEnroe and John’s brother Patrick McEnroe, amongst many others. He’s…

Factors in excessive police force, with police captain James Mitchell

A talk with James Mitchell, a retired police captain who worked in Prince George’s County, Maryland. We talk about the United States problem of police brutality and excessive use of force, with the goal of understanding some of the factors that can lead to unjustified and too aggressive police responses. Topics discussed include: what he…

Understanding and coping with anxiety, with editor of The Atlantic Scott Stossel

In this episode of the People Who Read People podcast, I interview Scott Stossel (@sstossel on Twitter), who is the national editor of the magazine The Atlantic, and the author of the book My Age of Anxiety: Fear, Hope, Dread, and the Search for Peace of Mind. That book is a history of humanity’s understanding…

Psych and environmental factors in schizophrenia, with Nathan Filer

Note: there is an interview transcript towards the bottom of this page.  An interview with Nathan Filer (Twitter @nathanfiler), author of the non-fiction book The Heartland: Finding and Losing Schizophrenia and the fiction book The Shock of the Fall. Both of these books deal with topics of psychosis and, as Nathan refers to it in…