Home

Listen on: Apple | Spotify | Google | Youtube, or follow on Twitter

Do you want to understand people better? The things they do, the things they say? People-reading skills can help us in our work, our personal lives, and in many everyday situations.

I’m Zach Elwood. On this podcast I talk to people from a wide range of fields about how they read behavior and use psychology in their work. Popular episodes include: interrogation techniques, poker tells, relationship tells, spotting fake online reviews, and analyzing statements for hidden meaning, to name a few. There are more than 80 episodes.

I also sometimes tackle political polarization-related topics, with a focus on the psychology behind that. See all my politics-related episodes.

Find this podcast on:

Episode deep Dives

Deep dives include summaries, transcripts, source and resource links, and listening options.

Is liberal bias impeding U.S. depolarization and conflict resolution efforts?, with Guy Burgess

A talk with conflict resolution specialist Guy Burgess, who, along with his wife Heidi Burgess, run the project www.beyondintractability.org. Guy and Heidi wrote a paper in 2022 titled “Applying conflict resolution insights to the hyper‐polarized, society‐wide conflicts threatening liberal democracies.“ I talk with Guy about: how conflict resolution principles might be applied to U.S. polarization…

The art of recruiting, with Blake Mobley

A talk with Blake Mobley about the business of recruiting: matching job seekers with companies that are hiring. Blake is the co-founder and managing director of recruiting company Keeper Recruiting (keeperrecruiting.com), which specializes in biotech. Topics discussed include: what the process of recruiting is like; how Keeper Recruiting learns pertinent details about job seekers; the…

Dealing with anxiety and mental health issues as a college student

I was interviewed on Mahima Samraik‘s podcast Breaking The Facts about my struggles with anxiety and mental issues as a young man, which led to me dropping out of college in the middle of my second year of college. We talk about what that experience was like; recommendations for people dealing with similar problems; and…

Understanding madness, with Richard Bentall

A talk with psychologist Richard Bentall, author of the well known book “Madness Explained: Psychosis and Human Nature,” which is an examination of the psychological causes of the symptoms associated with psychosis, schizophrenia, mania, and other mental issues. Richard Bentall is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield. A transcript of this…

Reading tells in football, with Larry Hart

A talk with Larry Hart (Twitter: @coachlarryhart), a football coach at the University of Houston, and the author of the book The Recruit’s Playbook. Topics discussed include: common behavioral patterns (tells) in American football that are used to get an edge on opponents and teams; reading signals that opponent coaches give to players; the importance…

Why studying nonverbal behavior is hard but worthwhile, with Alan Crawley

A talk with nonverbal behavior expert Alan Crawley, also known by his online handle Sin Verba (www.sinverba.com). Topics discussed include: why he initially became interested in behavior; the challenges of studying behavior; the practical benefits of studying behavior (including connecting better with others); and irresponsible “behavior experts” who share bad information and pseudo-science. A transcript…

How do we respond when our sense of meaning is threatened?, with Steven Heine

A talk with cultural psychologist Steven Heine (twitter: @StevenHeine4) about how we react to our sense of meaning being threatened. What happens when our mental framework of how the world works doesn’t hold up and things seem chaotic? What happens when our sense of what’s meaningful in our lives is threatened? A transcript is included…

Is the entire world growing more polarized?, with Andrew O’Donohue

A talk with Andrew O’Donohue, co-author of Democracies Divided: The Global Challenge of Political Polarization. Andrew has studied how societal conflicts play out in many countries, and the harm resulting from those conflicts. Transcript is included below. Topics discussed include: common objections people have to thinking about polarization or considering it a problem; what American…

Are eye movement patterns related to personality traits?, with Sabrina Hoppe

A talk with research Sabrina Hoppe, who specializes in machine learning and cognitive science. Hoppe was part of a team who worked on a 2018 paper titled Eye movements during everyday behavior predict personality traits. Transcript of this talk is below. We talk about that research and what was found. Topics include: how that study…