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social influence

Robert Cialdini — Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

In episode 187, Michael speaks with Robert Cialdini — New York Times bestselling author of Pre-Suasion and the seminal expert in the fields of influence and persuasion — about the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these insights ethically in business and everyday settings.

eSkeptic for June 8, 2021

In episode 187, Michael speaks with Robert Cialdini — New York Times bestselling author of Pre-Suasion and the seminal expert in the fields of influence and persuasion — about the psychology of why people say yes and how to apply these insights ethically in business and everyday settings. PLUS, the newest issue of Skeptic magazine (26.2: Drug Trips & Reality) is now available in print and digital formats.

Robert Frank — Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work

Shermer and Frank discuss: luck and circumstances • peer pressure • free will • self-control • happiness vs. purpose • utilitarianism vs. natural rights theory • abortion, capital punishment, polygamy, prostitution, and the selling of organs • behavioral contagions: smoking, problem drinking, obesity, tax cheating, bullying, and wasteful energy use • same-sex marriage • climate change • Universal Basic Income, and more…

eSkeptic for February 11, 2020

In Science Salon # 103 Michael Shermer speaks with Robert Frank about how social environments profoundly influence our behavior. This conversation is based on Frank’s new book: Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work. PLUS: Michael Aisner presents a vintage slice of history, science, and skepticism about UFOs in this interview he recorded in 1966 with UFOlogist Dr. J. Allen Hynek, his photo analyst cohort Fred Beckman, and then repackaged in the early 1970s with contributions from Sherman J. Larson, of the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.

eSkeptic for September 26, 2018

Have Archetype—Will Travel by Michael Shermer attempts to explain the startling phenomenon of Jordan Peterson; not the man’s ideas so much as his message and following, which has grown astronomically in the past two years, from obscure Canadian professor of psychology to international man of mystery: mysterious to nearly everyone, that is, on exactly what it is he believes.

Have Archetype — Will Travel: The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon

Michael Shermer attempts to explain the startling phenomenon of Jordan Peterson; not the man’s ideas so much as his message and following, which has grown astronomically in the past two years, from obscure Canadian professor of psychology to international man of mystery: mysterious to nearly everyone, that is, on exactly what it is he believes.

Dr. Carol Tavris — On the Future of Gender, Race & Human Nature

What will people look like centuries from now? How will they act? What race and gender roles that we take as natural today will be the same or different in the far future? In this insightful look into the future Carol Tavris, one of today’s most prominent social scientists and psychologists, considers how blinded we all are to the influences of the times in which we live.

The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility

How much of our fate is tied to the status of our parents and grandparents? How much does this influence our children? More than we wish to believe. While it has been argued that rigid class structures have eroded in favor of greater social equality, this lecture, by Dr. Gregory Clark, (based on his bookThe Son Also Rises) proves that movement on the social ladder has changed little over eight centuries.

10-09-15

What really rappened in Mattoon, Illinois in September, 1944? In this week’s eSkeptic, we present an article culled from a 1994 issue of Skeptic magazine (volume 3, number 1) which marked the 50th Anniversary of the Mattoon Phantom Gassing. In one of the most poignant examples of social influence and mass hysteria in history, the story of the Phantom gasser of Mattoon Illinois reveals what happens when people come to believe something for which there is no proof.

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