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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 # 31

Amy Alkon — Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence

Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence (book cover)

In this unique conversation Michael Shermer talks with the science writer and weekly advice columnist Amy Alkon about her new book, Unf*ckology: A Field Guide to Living with Guts and Confidence. She calls her book a “science-help” book, instead of “self-help” because she grounds her recommendations in solid science. Her hilarious anecdotes are there just to illustrate a scientific point. She also debunks widely-accepted but scientifically unsupported notions about self-esteem, shame, willpower, and more and demonstrates that:

  • Thinking your way into changing (as so many therapists and self-help books advise) is the most inefficient way to go about it.
  • The mind is bigger than the brain, meaning that your body and your behavior are your gym for turning yourself into the new, confident you.
  • Fear is not just the problem; it’s also the solution.
  • By targeting your fears with behavior, you make changes in your brain that reshape your habitual ways of behaving and the emotions that go with them.

Shermer and Alkon also get into the #metoo movement, evolutionary psychology, politics, depression, suicide, Jordan Peterson, and other fascinating topics.

Listen to the podcast via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn.

This remote Science Salon was recorded on July 5, 2018.

This episode was released on August 1, 2018.

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