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This is a podcast aimed at better understanding other people and better understanding ourselves. It’s hosted by me, Zachary Elwood. I talk to people from a wide variety of fields, from jury consultants to interrogation experts to relationship researchers to door-to-door salesmen to restaurant managers.

I sometimes tackle political polarization-related topics because I see extreme polarization as the biggest problem facing the world. To avoid worst-case scenarios, we need more people thinking about the core psychological tendencies that drive our divides. See all my politics-related episodes.

Apart from this podcast, I’m known for my poker tells work. I’ve also done some writing on political and cultural topics. I’m on Twitter. I make no money on this podcast. If you want to show your appreciation, please leave me a rating on iTunes, or gift me some money on Patreon.

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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.

Reading and predicting jury behavior, with Christina Marinakis

This is a reshare of a 2018 talk with Christina Marinakis about reading and understanding jury behavior. Marinakis works for the firm Litigation Insights; you can see her bio here. There’s a transcript of the talk below. Episode links: iTunes (embedded below) Spotify Google Play TRANSCRIPT Zach Elwood: Hello, and welcome to the People Who…

How to spot fake online reviews, with Olu Popoola

This is a rebroadcast of a 2019 episode where I interviewed Olu Popoola about indicators of fake online reviews. Popoola is a forensic linguistic researcher who specializes in finding indicators of deception, or other hidden clues about traits of the writer. His website is at www.outliar.blog. Episode links: iTunes (embedded below) Spotify Google Play Youtube

Group psychology, polarization, and persuasion, with Matthew Hornsey

A talk with psychology researcher Matthew Hornsey about group psychology. Hornsey has published over 170 papers, with many related to group psychology topics. (Transcript below.) Topics discussed in our talk include: why people can believe such different (and sometimes such unreasonable) ideas; persuasive tactics for changing minds; tactics for reducing us-vs-them animosity; why groups mainly…

Analyzing speech for hidden meanings, with Mark McClish

This is a rebroadcast of a 2018 episode where I interviewed Mark McClish about statement analysis: analyzing written and spoken speech for hidden meaning. McClish is the author of the books I Know You Are Lying and Don’t Be Deceived. He’s a law enforcement trainer and a former US Marshal. Episode links: iTunes (embedded below)…

Behavioral indicators of healthy or unhealthy relationships, with Brandi Fink

This is a rebroadcast of a 2019 episode where I interviewed Dr. Brandi Fink, psychology and relationship researcher, about the behavioral indicators of healthy and unhealthy relationships. We talk about her work, the work of scientifically analyzing behavior in general, behaviors that are unhelpful to relationships, and more. Episode links: iTunes (embedded below) Spotify Google…

Psychological effects of content media content moderation policies, with Bill Ottman

A talk with Bill Ottman, co-founder and CEO of the social media platform Minds (minds.com), which is known for its minimal content moderation, “free speech” approach. Ottman and other Minds contributors (including Daryl Davis, a black man known for deradicalizing white supremacists via conversations) recently wrote a paper titled The Censorship Effect, which examined how…

Are a majority of Americans actually prejudiced against black people?, with Leonie Huddy

A talk with political scientist Leonie Huddy about research into American racism and prejudice. Transcript is below. I wanted to talk with Huddy about headlines like this 2012 one from USA Today: “U.S. majority have prejudice against blacks.” I wanted to ask her if such framings were justified based on the research, or if they…

Cryptocurrency, problem gambling, and addiction, with Paul Delfabbro

A talk with psych researcher Paul Delfabbro about cryptocurrency, problem gambling, and addiction. Delfabbro has done a lot of research on problem gambling and on addiction. He’s worked on several papers related to cryptocurrency, including “The psychology of cryptocurrency trading: Risk and protective factors” and “Cryptocurrency trading, gambling and problem gambling.” Topics discussed include: How…

An interview with someone who believes the 2020 election was rigged

An examination of reasons why some people believe the 2020 election was stolen, “rigged,” or otherwise illegitimate. This includes an interview of Peter Wood, a sociologist and political writer, who strongly believes that the 2020 election was stolen. Other topics discussed: election distrust by liberals, and how election distrust is a common endpoint for polarized…