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EPISODE # 245
Frank Sulloway on How Lives Turn Out: Genes, Environment, Pluck, and Luck
Shermer and Sulloway discuss: relative roles of genes, environment, hard work, and luck in how lives turn out; 60s and 70s Harvard culture; his relationship and work with E. O. Wilson, who was recently defamed by Scientific American as a racist; measuring and studying personality; birth order and family dynamics in how personalities are formed; autocratic personality traits and why people follow and support Trump and other autocrats; why if you know a person’s stance on one issue (e.g., abortion) you can predict their stance on many other issues; and more…
American psychologist Dr. Frank J. Sulloway, author of Freud, Biologist of the Mind: Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (1979), provides a radical reanalysis of the origins and validity of psychoanalysis and received the Pfizer Award of the History of Science Society. For decades, Dr. Sulloway has employed evolutionary theory to understand how family dynamics affect personality development, including that of creative geniuses. He has a particular interest in the influence that birth order exerts on personality and behavior. In this connection, he is the author of Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives (1996).
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