You Are Not So Smart is the podcast dedicated to the common, often stunning ways we humans lie to ourselves about the reasoning behind our behavior and motivations. Ever wonder why you keep playing Candy Crush even though you stopped enjoying it about a year ago? Think you’re just as effective when you work from home in your pajamas as when you work in your business attire at the office? Believe that baseball players can hit a 95 mile per hour pitch because they have reaction times superior to the rest of us? David McRaney addresses these types of questions and more in fascinating detail with a guest expert every other week on the You Are Not So Smart podcast.
The YANSS podcast had its origins in a blog of the same name McRaney began writing in 2009. The blog, in which McRaney discusses the many forms of human self-delusion, proved to be so popular it spawned both the podcast and two books. McRaney is not a psychologist, but is a self-described “psychology nerd” who has spent years studying and discussing the ways in which we rationalize our motivations and behaviors. The subjects may seem dry at first glance, but McRaney has a knack for bringing psychological theory into real world application. Thankfully, he also probes his guests for ways in which we might deal with our delusions where they may not work in our favor.
McRaney ends each podcast with a “sweet” segment in which he enjoys a cookie recipe submitted by a listener or blog reader while discussing recent news of the science of self-delusion. The segment is a unique way of engaging listeners, at least those who bake, and adds a fun off-ramp to each episode.
Whether you’re a psychology nerd like David McRaney or just have an interest in learning more about the strange and almost magical ways in which your brain works, I’d highly recommend the You Are Not So Smart podcast.