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This is a podcast about understanding, analyzing, and predicting human behavior, hosted by me, Zachary Elwood. This podcast is for anyone who wants to understand people better, whether you want to use that knowledge for your own benefit, or if you just want to increase your understanding of and empathy for others. I interview people from a wide variety of fields, from jury consultants to interrogation experts to forensic linguistic analysts to relationship researchers to Russian/English translators to door-to-door salesmen to political polarization experts to restaurant managers to bus drivers.

Basically, it’s a bunch of stuff I’m interested in, tied together by my interest in psychology. Learn more about my poker behavior/tells work and other research and writing. I make no money on this podcast and spend a good amount of time on it, so if you want to show your appreciation and encourage me to do more, please leave me a rating on iTunes and/or throw me some money on Patreon. I’m on Twitter, too.

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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.

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: iTunes (embedded below) Spotify Google Play…

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

An interview of physicist Daniel Whiteson, co-author of the book We Have No Idea. We talk about the impacts of not believing in free will on one’s life.

On aphantasia (the lack of mental imagery), with Zach Elwood

I learned a few years ago that I have aphantasia, which is, to quote from Wikipedia: “characterized by an inability to voluntarily visualize mental imagery.” Before learning about this, I’d never believed people had actual visual mental images when they imagined things. Honestly, it’s still hard for me to imagine such a thing being possible.…

The role of insults in political and cultural conflicts, with Dr. Karina Korostelina

In this episode of the People Who Read People podcast, I interview Dr. Karina Korostelina, a social psychologist, about her work studying political insults. Korostelina is the author of Political Insults: How Offenses Escalate Conflicts. She’s a professor at George Mason University, and Director of the Program on Prevention of Mass Violence and the Program…

Examining causes of democracy breakdown and authoritarianism, with Thomas Carothers

In this episode of the podcast, I interview Thomas Carothers, an expert on foreign policy and democracy building. I ask him about the root psychological and social causes of extreme polarization, democracy breakdown, and authoritarianism. A little bit about Thomas Carothers: he’s an expert on international democracy support, democratization, and U.S. foreign policy. He serves…

Questioning if social media plays a big role in political polarization, with Levi Boxell

In this episode of the podcast, I interview Levi Boxell about his research into political polarization and the role social media plays in that. Boxell and colleagues did research showing that older Americans, who used the internet less than younger people, were more polarized and had more animosity towards the opposite political group than did…