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The Michael Shermer Show

A series of conversations between Dr. Michael Shermer and leading scientists, philosophers, historians, scholars, writers and thinkers about the most important issues of our time.

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EPISODE # 310

Todd Kashdan — The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively

The Art of Insubordination: How to Dissent and Defy Effectively (book cover)

For too long, the term insubordination has evoked negative feelings and mental images. But for ideas to evolve and societies to progress, it’s vital to cultivate rebels who are committed to challenging conventional wisdom and improving on it. Change never comes easily. And most would-be rebels lack the skills to overcome hostile audiences who cling desperately to the way things are. Based on cutting-edge research, The Art of Insubordination is the essential guide for anyone seeking to be heard, make change, and rebel against an unhealthy status quo. Filled with engaging stories about dissenters in the trenches as well as science that will transform your thinking.

Todd B. Kashdan, Ph.D., is professor of psychology at George Mason University, and a leading authority on well-being, curiosity, courage, and resilience. He has published more than 220 scientific articles, his work has been cited more than 35,000 times, and he received the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions to Psychology. His books Curious? and The Upside of Your Dark Side have been translated into more than fifteen languages. His writing has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, National Geographic, and other publications, and his research is featured regularly in media outlets such as the New York Times, The Atlantic, and Time. He’s a twin with twin daughters (plus one more), with plans to rapidly populate the world with great conversationalists.

Shermer and Kashdan discuss:

  • how he became an insubordinate rebel in his unusual young life
  • the effects of a fatherless home on children’s lives (on average)
  • when parents matter more or less on life outcomes of their children
  • the influence of role models on life decisions
  • how civil rights movements make progress
  • the adversarial court system
  • how juries think (and how they should think)
  • the racialization of everything in America
  • why we focus on race instead of eye color
  • why viewpoint diversity is good
  • How diverse should a group be?
  • how leaders can direct group members to be more vocal
  • how to resist the allure of complacency
  • how to discover the value of being around people who stop conforming and start deviating
  • how to produce messages that influence the majority (when in the minority)
  • how to build alliances
  • how to champion ideas that run counter to traditional thinking
  • how to unlock the benefits of being in a group of diverse people holding divergent views
  • how to cultivate curiosity, courage, and independent, critical thinking in youth.

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This episode is sponsored by Wondrium:

Wondrium (sponsor)

This episode was released on December 13, 2022.

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