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This is a podcast aimed at better understanding other people and better understanding ourselves. 

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I’m Zach Elwood. I talk to people from a wide range of professions and backgrounds about their views on behavior and psychology. Some episode compilations you might like:

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About me

I’m most known for my work on poker tells (aka, poker behavior). My first poker tells book, Reading Poker Tells, has been translated into eight languages. I’m also known for my work on political polarization (for example, my book Defusing American Anger). My independent research on deceptive online activity has been featured in NY Times, Washington Post, Buzzfeed, and more.

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Episode deep Dives

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

Talking about police violence with a liberal police captain (part 1)

First of two talks with James Mitchell, a retired police captain who worked in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and who happens to be politically liberal. We talk about excessive force by police in the United States, with the goal of understanding some of the factors that can lead to unjustified and too-aggressive police responses. (Here’s…

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…

Interview with an 8-year-old

In this episode of the People Who Read People podcast, I interview an 8-year-old about such topics as: how she knows other kids want to be her friend; how she knows adults are upset with her; tricks she uses to watch more TV; the etiquette around Infection Tag (one of her favorite games); and her thoughts…

Patient-led research into long-haul COVID-19, with Gina Assaf

This episode of the podcast is a December 2020 interview with Gina Assaf (Gina’s Twitter, and her Covid research Twitter) about her patient-led research on “long haul” Covid, which refers to long term Covid-19 effects that persist longer than is typically recognized as normal. Such long-term covid effects can include exhaustion and cognitive impairment (sometimes…

Why hasn’t big data & data crowdsourcing disrupted healthcare?, with Jamie Heywood

In this episode of the People Who Read People podcast, I interview Jamie Heywood (his Wikipedia page), about the benefits and challenges of conducting medical/health research using crowdsourcing of real-world, patient-reported data directly from the public. Heywood got his start on this career path when his brother was diagnosed with ALS; Jamie wanted to do everything…

Reading online dating profiles/pics, with Scott

This is the second of two interviews I did about online dating. This is an interview with an acquaintance, Scott, about his experiences with online dating. We focus on the indicators/tells he relies on when looking at people’s online dating profiles/pics to determine if they might be a good match. Scott is a straight man…

Reading online dating profile indicators/tells, with Celia

First of two interviews I did about online dating. This is an interview with an acquaintance, Celia, about her experiences with online dating. We focus on the indicators/tells she uses when looking at online dating profiles/pics to determine if someone might be a good match for her. Episode links: Apple Podcasts (embedded below) Spotify Some topics…

How does not believing in free will affect one’s life?, with physicist Daniel Whiteson

A talk with Daniel Whiteson, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. He’s the co-author of “We Have No Idea,” about the unknown mysteries remaining in physics, and a co-host of the podcast Daniel and Jorge Explain The Universe. I talk to Whiteson about free will. We talk a little…