Skeptic » eSkeptic » July 2, 2014

The Skeptics Society & Skeptic magazine

Dr. Adam Grant, on Demand
Give and Take: A Revolutionary
Approach to Success

Adam Grant (photo by Michael Kamber)

In this lecture, based on his book on the psychology of human interactions, organizational psychologist Dr. Adam Grant (the youngest tenured professor at the Wharton Business School) argues that as much as hard work, talent and luck, the way we choose to interact with other people defines our success or failure. Give and Take demolishes the “me-first” worldview and shows that the best way to get to the top is to focus not on your solo journey but on bringing others with you. Grant reveals how one of America’s best networkers developed his connections, why a creative genius behind one of the most popular shows in television history toiled for years in anonymity, how a basketball executive responsible for multiple draft busts turned things around, and how we could have anticipated Enron’s demise four years before the company collapsed—without ever looking at a single number.

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Dr. Todd Disotell and Natalia Reagan

Dr. Todd Disotell & Natalia Reagan

MonsterTalk # 84
New MT on the Bounty

The 10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty television contest is over and we’re going to talk to the science advisers for the show to see how they felt about the outcome. Did science win the day? Did editing take away the good take-aways? Will Justin Smeja be getting in trouble for hunting feral humans? Check it out in this episode of MonsterTalk!

The Myth of Income Inequality:
The American Dream is Not Dead Yet

Are the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer? In Michael Shermer’s June 2014 ‘Skeptic’ column for Scientific American, he takes a look at the accuracy of our perceptions about income equality and social mobility.

One of the best-selling books of 2014 is Capital in the Twenty-First Century by French economist Thomas Piketty, a 696-page doorstop tome on economic history. Why is a data-heavy treatise from the “dismal science” so appealing? Because it is about income inequality and immobility, which in a December 2013 speech President Barack Obama called “the defining challenge of our time,” concluding that it poses “a fundamental threat to the American dream.” But does it? Maybe not. Continue reading…

Read the column



  1. Karen Kilbane says:

    I am very surprised to see a video about a video presentation with the them of an ‘approach to success.’ This is not a quantifiable measure that can be looked at scientifically with the lexicon psychology currently uses. The review talks of demolishing a ‘me-first world view.’ This term will have as many interpretations as there are people who interpret it, therefore cannot be measured with the scientific method. I find the skeptic to be a great resource for debunking misinformation except for in the realm of psychology. Psychology has no verified or verifiable theory or definition of the human personality. Its foundational concepts are non evidenced-based but applied as if they are evidence-based. It is a huge oversight on the part of all sciences that this situation exists. I believe it is why our mental health issues are so intractable. Psychology never retooled when it applied to be a science. It’s foundational concepts are philosophical, not scientific.

    • Mark says:

      Thats a broad generalization. Some parts of Psychology are scientifically weak so all parts are? No logical fallacy there!

      I would agree that Clinical Psych is a craft and Organizational Psych is a business tool. But what about Biopsych, Cognitive Psych, Human Factors Psych, Evolutionary Psych, Neuropsych, etc.? They all employ a rigorous scientific approach.

  2. Bad Boy Scientist says:

    I am growing concerned about The Skeptics Society – and their publications.

  3. Bob Pease says:

    I try to avoid encounters with folks claiming to be hip about

    What i usually get is a few fiats about stuff that’s jaw-droppingly nonscientific in the strict sense of the word.

    I like Harry Belafnte’s segment from “Man Piaba” about “Sigmund Freud”


    “I grabbed a boat and went abroad
    In Baden Baden asked Sigmund Freud ( rhyme required )
    He said “Son, from your sad face remove the grouch
    Put the body down up on the couch
    I can see from your frustration a neurotic ( erotic ) sublimation
    Hey love and hate is psychosomatic
    Your Rorsach (spelling ) shows that you’re a peri pathetic
    It all started with a broken sibling
    In the words of the famous Rudyard Kipling

    That the woman piaba and the man piaba
    And the Ton Ton call baka lemon grass,
    The lily root, gully root, belly root uhmm,
    And the famous grandy (cranny??) scratch scratch.”

    Copyright International Lyrics


    The latest gig is to state that Hindu Blather is “Very Scientific”
    and that “Science Shows” the existence of Chakras

    I find the phrase “Science Shows” almost always to be followed by
    stunning loads of Horsepucky.

    I think the Rockies really suck this year..Why is that??

    Sic transit RTD denver

    Dr. Latero Sidethink Hp. D.

  4. Patrick McDonald says:

    I have found that people with “great secrets” who flog inspirational videos or seminars do little more than work the gullible up into a lather of unrealistic optimism. It’s the same technique used at revivals and pyramid sales schemes. Is this the real skeptic society site or a look-alike fraud?

    • bob pease says:

      the content has been rather thin lately.
      The discussion is supposed to be on the topic of Skeptical reaction to horsepuckey.
      I haven’t seen much evidence of “believers” posing as Skeptics here.

      IMO, we just need more stuff to take aim at.
      ( “At which to take aim” ???)


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