SIO256: The Psychology Behind Cults, with Lindsey Osterman

If you’ve been watching The Vow on HBO (or any number of other cult related shows) you may have been wondering how cults work – why people join, and how cults hang onto their members. There is a lot of psychology behind it, so who better to help break it down than our evo psych expert Lindsey Osterman!

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SIO255: That Horrendous Debate, with Andrew and Alex Torrez!

We’re doubling our usual Torrez here! Andrew’s son Alex, high school debate champ, is here to help us break down the monstrosity that was that presidential debate!

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SIO254: We Have To Win

The death of the great RBG is absolutely devastating, and has made the stakes so much higher. In this episode, I talk about what we HAVE to do to keep our democracy. Things aren’t good.

Toward the end, I get into the arguments over whether RBG should have retired, mainly because in EVERY interaction I’ve seen online about this, people get a bunch of the factual information wrong. However, the arguments are almost completely moot, so if you feel you don’t need a history lesson, feel free to skip this part.

Links: Ideological measures of the court, Avg justice retirement age, excellent Rebecca Traister article, RBG on why she can’t retire, 2014 article asking her to retire.

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SIO253: Unpacking ‘The Social Dilemma’

The new doc ‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix is making quite an impression on people. It tells a riveting story of the harms of social media, and has led to many people deleting their accounts or limiting their usage. But are all the claims backed up by science? Yes and no… If you’ve got an urge to delete all your accounts, you might want to hear what social psychologist Lindsey Osterman has to say about it! (and then maybe still delete your accounts if you want..)

Links: Verge article I really liked, social network sites and well-being study, A systematic review: the influence of social media on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents, Time Spent on Social Network Sites and Psychological Well-Being: A Meta-Analysis.

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SIO252: Lindsey Osterman on Parasocial Relationships

It’s been a while, but today we’ve got a science episode! Making her return to the show is Lindsey Osterman, a psychologist who has been studying parasocial relationships. It’s already incredibly likely that you take part in some number of parasocial relationships, but now in the time of COVID they’re more prevalent and important than ever.

Here are the studies Lindsey references!

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SIO251: Dimensions of Political Identity

I’ve got thoughts and lots of them. How do we as progressives criticize Democrats without damaging our future? Is someone who thinks the DNC is corrupt more left than I am, or more.. something else? No prison stocks didn’t go up because of Kamala Harris. Julian Assange is an absolute crap. And lots more.

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SIO250: James Lindsay’s “New Discourses” Funded By Far Right Christian Nationalist

Today I’m joined by philosopher Aaron Rabinowitz of Embrace the Void and Philosophers in Space to discuss the some revelations about James Lindsay’s organization “New Discourses.” If you’re a long time listener, you’ll remember James Lindsay from this show back when he didn’t totally suck. Well he now very much sucks, and to no one’s surprise, he’s being propped up by right wing Christian Nationalist Michael O’Fallon. PZ Myers has a good writeup of it on his blog. Aaron and I talk about that, our history with James, and what to make of all this.

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SIO249: Can Trump Refuse to Leave? with Andrew Torrez

Here’s part 2 of my discussion with Andrew Torrez of Opening Arguments! This time we focus on (hopefully) wild and unlikely scenarios if Trump refuses to leave office. Find out if any of them scare the expert and always optimistic P. Andrew Torrez, Esquire!

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SIO248: Can Trump Steal the Election? with Andrew Torrez

Hey folks, this is one of those unintentional 2-parters! I originally intended to have Andrew on to discuss the scary (and hopefully unlikely?) ways that Trump might try to stay in power even if he lost, but before we even got to that discussion, we go through the ways that Trump and the Republicans are cheating to try to win. Is vote by mail safe? What’s the deal with poll-watchers? Those questions and more became part 1, and next episode we talk about the scary theories of how Trump could potentially try to remain president.

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SIO247: Reflections on White Fragility and How To Be An Antiracist

It’s a solo show today. I have a lot of thoughts on two books I’ve read – White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo and How To Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi.
The monopoly example I used I should have credited to Kimberly Jones.

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