Do you want to understand people better? Understanding people better can help us be more effective in our work, our personal lives, and in many everyday situations. Seeing others more clearly can also help us connect better with them, reduce our anger, and lead happier lives.

I’m Zach Elwood. On this podcast I talk to people from a wide range of professions about how they read behavior and use psychology in their work. Popular episodes include: relationship tells, interrogation techniques, poker tells, and spotting fake online reviews, to name a few. There are more than 95 episodes.

Some episode compilations:

Find this podcast on:

About me

I’m most well known for my work on poker tells (aka, poker behavior). My first poker tells book, Reading Poker Tells, has been translated into eight languages. My work on poker tells is regarded by many as the best on the subject. I’ve also done research on deceptive online activity that’s been featured in NY Times, Washington Post, and elsewhere. Here’s my Twitter.

Premium membership

If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, would you be willing to consider getting the paid Premium option? You’ll get ad-free episodes and get to collaborate on shows. Other ways to show appreciation: hit ‘Follow’ on YouTube or Apple or Spotify (or wherever). 

Get updates. Sign up with your email:

Episode deep Dives

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

About this podcast: why I do it and why I think it’s important

This is all about the People Who Read People podcast. Topics discussed include: what led to me starting this podcast; what my goals with it were and how they’ve changed over time; my approach to who I interview and the questions I ask; why I focus on polarization-related topics and why I think that’s important;…

Examining American antisemitism, with James Kirchick

A talk with journalist and author James Kirchick (jameskirchick.com) about antisemitism. Topics discussed include: the origins of various varieties of American antisemitism, controversial statements about Jewish people from Kanye West and Whoopi Goldberg; Donald Trump; Israel; George Soros; Louis Farrakhan; Black Hebrew Israelites; the term “globalist”, and more. Transcript is below. Episode links: Resources that…

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.“ A transcript of this talk is below. I talk with Guy about: how conflict resolution…

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…