On Wisdom features a social and cognitive scientist in Toronto and an educator in London discussing the latest empirical science regarding the nature of wisdom. Igor Grossmann runs the Wisdom & Culture Lab at the University of Waterloo in Canada. Charles Cassidy runs the Evidence-Based Wisdom project in London, UK. The podcast thrives on a diet of freewheeling conversation on wisdom, decision-making, wellbeing, and society and includes regular guests spots with leading behavioral scientists from the field of wisdom research and beyond. Welcome to The On Wisdom Podcast.
52: World Wide Wisdom (with Deepak Ramola)
55:12Imagine gathering hard-earned lessons from survivors of human trafficking in Nepal, middle school children in Afghanistan, refugees in Europe, and even a man who has witnessed over 12,000 deaths. Deepak Ramola has been on such a lesson-gathering mission for a while, and he joins Igor and Charles to discuss the life lessons he has collected, who gets to define moral behaviour, and how we might change our culture to encourage more perspective-taking. Igor highlights the challenge of stepping outside ourselves in the heat of the moment, Deepak asks some challenging questions about love, and Charles learns the surprising value of proverbs as tools of reflection. Special Guest: Deepak Ramola.
51: Tricky Colleagues and Contagious Emotions (with Tessa West)
57:48How do we respond wisely to foolish behaviour in the workplace? Tessa West joins Igor and Charles to talk about the most common types of ‘jerks at work’ - including the bulldozer, the credit stealer, and the gaslighter, discussing what drives such unhelpful behaviour, and how best to deal with it. Igor explores the different ways we can respond to uncertainty in the workplace, Tessa suggests that we’re surprisingly nice to moral violators, and Charles learns the importance of building ‘affect contagion buffers’ into his day! Welcome to Episode 51. Special Guest: Tessa West.
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50: Morality Meets World (with Joshua Greene)
57:28To give to both your favourite charity and a super-effective charity recommended by experts, visit Giving Multiplier: https://givingmultiplier.org/invite/ONWISDOM Can insights from moral psychology increase donations to more effective charities? Joshua Greene joins Igor and Charles to discuss ventilator allocation and other pandemic-related trolley problems, deep pragmatism, the dual process theory of moral judgement, and the power of the veil of ignorance. Igor gets excited about the role of metacognition for wisdom, Joshua reveals in what contexts we feel more comfortable pushing a fat man off a bridge, and Charles learns that when it comes to unfamiliar moral problems, we should not expect cognitive miracles! Welcome to Episode 50. Special Guest: Joshua Greene.
49: Wise Goals (with Ayelet Fishbach)
47:44What does goal-setting have to do with wisdom and how do we pick wise goals? Ayelet Fishbach joins Igor and Charles to discuss the dangers of moving too swiftly from planning-mode to action-mode, how to compromise across multiple goals, and why we need to rethink our relationships with vegetables! Igor underscores the importance of thinking of wisdom as a process rather than an outcome, Ayelet encourages us to change our situation rather than ourselves, and Charles learns the benefits of approaching a choice as if you’d make it 100 times. Welcome to Episode 49. Special Guest: Ayelet Fishback.
48: A Joyous Journey from Black-and-White to Grey (with Tom Gilovich)
48:26Is "the spectrum" a more helpful way to think about the world than "categories"? Tom Gilovich joins Igor and Charles to discuss the perils of black-and-white thinking, the evolving data on the hot hand phenomenon, the science of regret, why foxes are wiser than hedgehogs, and the freedom that comes from learning that we are of less interest to other people than we think. Igor considers the limits of psychological nudging in tackling society’s structural problems, Tom shares the perspective that leads him to be so unrelentingly joyful, and Charles learns that even scientists have to work hard to avoid being typecast. Welcome to Episode 48. Special Guest: Tom Gilovich.
47: Charting Pandemic Waters: A Common Wisdom Model for Uncertain Times (with Howard Nusbaum) - Rebroadcast
1:02:02(First Broadcast - 21st June 2020) What is the value of wisdom in the time of the global pandemic? Does the community of behavioural scientists studying wisdom agree on anything about the nature of wisdom? Can we say what we now know about wisdom and, conversely, what do we know we don’t yet know? Howard Nusbaum joins Igor and Charles to discuss the recently assembled Toronto Wisdom Task Force and the resulting Common Wisdom Model, meta-cognition, the thorny issue of moral-grounding, and sage advice regarding how to measure wisdom in the lab. Igor stresses the importance of building solid theoretical foundations for the field in the context of the pandemic, Howard reflects on the viability of evil wisdom, and Charles learns that we had better pay close attention today to the values we program into the decision-making robots of tomorrow. Special Guest: Howard Nusbaum.
46: Antifragility, Gut Feelings, and the Myth of Pure Evil (with Jonathan Haidt) - Rebroadcast
58:20(First Broadcast - 4th November 2019) Does that which doesn’t kill you make you weaker? Should we always follow our emotions? Is life a battle between good people and bad people? And critically, what might the adoption of these three popular, but unwise, ideas be doing to a rising generation of young adults? Jonathan Haidt joins Igor and Charles to discuss the three great untruths of modern life, the nature of antifragility, the 'great awokening,' rising violence on US university campuses, and the origin story of the Heterodox Academy. Igor suggests that diversity can help some projects while hindering others, Jon shares his ultimate conflict-resolving ninja skill, and Charles learns that conservative voters come in radically different shapes and sizes. Special Guest: Jonathan Haidt.
45: Wisdom at Work (with Barry Schwartz) - Rebroadcast
59:20(First Broadcast - 28th December 2018) Can we design our workplaces to generate wiser behaviour? Why do we work anyway, and would we still work if we didn’t get paid? Do employers even want their employees to develop wisdom? Barry Schwartz joins Igor and Charles to discuss how Aristotle’s Practical Wisdom applies in the 21st Century, the reasons why we work, idea technology, the unintended consequences of rules-based systems, and the moral dangers and limits of incentives. Igor proposes the idea of algorithm-based wise machines, Barry suggests companies hire for character rather than skill, and Charles learns why, in wiser work places, the cost of free-riders may well be a price worth paying. Special Guest: Barry Schwartz.
43: Invisible to Ourselves: A Life of a Psychological Scientist (with Richard Nisbett)
1:11:16A disturbing thought - might it be impossible for us to directly observe the workings of our minds? Richard Nisbett joins Igor and Charles to discuss a life lived on the cutting edge of behavioral sciences in the second part of the 20th Century. He shares tales from his groundbreaking research into our faulty mindware, discussing various biases, cultural differences in cognitive processes, our inability to directly observe our mental processes, and why job interviews are not only unhelpful but potentially harmful to our ability to hire the best person for the job. Igor is keen to learn about the human beings behind some of the 20th Century’s academic idols in social psychology like Daniel Kahneman, Amos Tversky and Lee Ross, Richard explains why important work and interesting work are not necessarily the same thing, and Charles struggles to make sense of when we do and don’t intervene to help strangers in peril. Welcome to Episode 43. Special Guest: Richard Nisbett.