Home

This is a podcast about understanding other people and understanding ourselves, hosted by me, Zachary Elwood. I interview people from a wide variety of fields, from jury consultants to interrogation experts to forensic linguistic analysts to relationship researchers to door-to-door salesmen to restaurant managers.

I’ve done many interviews about political issues, focused on the psychology of political polarization. I see extreme polarization as the biggest problem facing modern societies, and I think to avoid worst-case scenarios we need more people understanding the psychological reasons behind our divides. See all my politics-related episodes.

My main claim to fame is my poker tells work. I’ve also done some research and writing on political and communication topics. I’m on Twitter. I make no money on this podcast. If you want to show your appreciation (and encourage me to keep going), please leave me a rating on iTunes, or throw me some money on Patreon.

Popular podcast platforms:

Episodes

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

Can gender identity theory itself 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 (part 1)

First of two talks 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:…

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…