Adam Grant ReturnsArmchair Expert with Dax Shepard
- 2,076 views
- 4 Feb 2021
Adam Grant (Think Again, Originals, Give and Take) is an organizational psychologist, professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and TED speaker. Adam returns to discuss the power of knowing what you don’t know, the psychology of maximizing and satisficing, and the advantages of imposter syndrome. Adam weighs in on a disagreement between Dax & Monica, explains the dangers of desirability bias, and the different modes of thinking: preacher, prosecutor, and politician. Adam pitches building a competence and character political party while Dax shares one of his self-fulfilling prophecies.
Welcome, welcome, welcome to armchair expert experts on expert. I'm Monica Padman and I'm joined by DAX Shepard. What a stupid name you have, sir.
I like it. Oh. Oh.
Oh, my God. Neck break. Oh, my God. I don't know. Monica just had a headset injury.
I think I heard a loud pop over there and I thought your vertebrae had become disconnected.
But now I think it was just the headphones. But it was loud and scary and all of us into your vertebrae.
Yeah. OK, listen, if you listen to the show, boy, you hear us talk ad nauseam about this. Guess we just are head over heels in love with him.
His name is Adam Grant and he is an organizational psychologist and professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and Ted Speaker, who helps people find meaning and motivation at work. He was also booked probably 20 percent of our guests in twenty twenty.
He knows every person on earth. He does, and he helps us talk to them. It's he's incredible.
He really is. He has a new book out. And of course, it's intriguing and provocative and fun. It's called Think Again The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know, Which He Investigates, How We Can Embrace the perks of being wrong harness the surprising advantage of imposter syndrome, bring nuance into political charge conversations and build schools, workplaces and communities of lifelong learners.
Please enjoy our good friend Adam Graham. We are supported by Third Love. Monica, are you currently being supported by Third Love?
I am. I love it. I really do. And I've recommended it to so many friends. Perfect.
When Charlie was asking for a gift recommendation for Christmas for his wife and I said, why don't you replan her brass section? Yeah, and he did. And she loved it.
Yes, everyone loves him. Oh, wonderful.
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He's in options. Oh, my God, it's taxand Monica. I can't believe I have only met all of you once before.
I know that's so bizarre. That does not show you proof of the simulation.
I guess somebody wiped my memory of all the other times we've hung out there, but we email multiple times a week. I'd say, yeah, I'm going through withdrawal. I have not gotten armonica email in at least two weeks. And you're probably behind.
Yeah, I am not the strongest email or on the team, that's for sure. Why or why emailing as well.
The Oh hard.
Who the hell did we just interview a friend of yours that we were interviewing, which is most of the people we interview now.
Seventy five percent of the people we interview. It must have been done. Yes, yes. Yes. Somebody sent me an email before I even listen to it saying, hey, I just heard your name again. You all talk about me way too much. You're way too nice. I'm going to try to fix that this time.
OK, good. But now you can answer this debate, which, as I said, you know, Monica does not think this, but I said, you know, there's some little part of Adam when he responds in one second or he's like, yeah, fuck you.
That was the part I wanted to know if you heard.
Oh, I listened to that. I laughed hard at that. I actually lined up some intros there, ready to go after this. And I'm just going to be like, fuck you, DAX Shepard.
I know more important people than you do. I'm making you feel much shorter than your six foot three as you should.
As you said, everyone needs to do it. How are you doing? Where are you? What's your emotional state right now?
I'm good, all things considered. I'm in my basement recording studio in the Philly suburbs and I basically have not left this house since March of last year.
Is that true? You haven't traveled? I think the furthest I've gone is maybe an hour, hour and a half drive. Once or twice. Really? Yeah, we really haven't gone anywhere.
Are you someone that in general has wanderlust or.
No, no, not at all. OK, I think the thing that I miss is the energy of live interaction and live audiences.
Yeah. Yeah, that's true. And what about teaching?
Teaching was interesting virtually. So I think the highs are lower because it doesn't feel like the same performance. Right. But there are two things I really loved.
One was guest speakers were suddenly available from anywhere in the world.
Yeah, same over here. Yeah. I was going to say you just keep climbing up in the world. I feel like the guests you've had are the who's who of the world. Well, right.
I don't think Bill Gates would have traveled to the attic. Something tells me that would have never gotten scheduled or Hillary Clinton for that matter.
I understand he invited himself, though, so I'm pretty sure he would have found a way to make it happen. Yeah.
So that part was cool. And then the other thing I really love is the chat window. I had deeper and richer conversations than I've ever had in the classroom before because instead of calling on a random person with their hand up, I got to see everyone's questions. We actually use hashtags in class. Yeah, you can type in your question, but I also had people put in hashtag debate if they wanted to disagree with me or a classmate. And so then I could actually move the conversation forward.
We had also people with a hashtag Ahar if they had an insider eureka moment so we could capture that for the class. So it was really fun just to see the conversation built. So that was the other highlight.
Now, my only experience with this is a zoom and occasionally there's chat going and my thought is like, I can't type whatever part of my brain is required for the dexterity of it all. I can't then listen, so I have to bail out. So how is that working? Like your MIT lecture and people are just typing up a storm.
Yeah, I'm sorry. What were you saying? Oh, my God.
Says that's a good point. I see. No, no, I'm completely taken out of where I was.
I don't know where everyone had manners. There was no inappropriate stuff. Not that I saw. OK, because I have a friend who's teaching seventh grade art over Zoom and they get it's terrorism. I mean, kids join in, they yell, terrible. There's a Michigan. Oh, no. Oh, they yell the most God awful thing. Or they type it and then they get out and it's like weekly. This happens a couple of times. So sad.
I think by the time they're at the college level, they mostly know how to act like adults.
You at home. Do we ever learn how to act like adults, though? I mean, we get better at faking. That's true. That's true.
Wait, how are you both catch me up, Monica? We're great.
We're just lucky because, yeah, like you said, we've been able to still do this and still have amazing guests. And we have gone on a few vacations within our pod.
So we've traveled a tiny bit.
I was traveling for Top Gear, but we had to drive everywhere and then we were in an insulated pod. We're getting tested four times a week. So that got us over to Sedona, which was exceptional. Oh, yeah, we did the best stargazing of our life. I was relieved to find out I don't need a device to be entertained. I was starting to question whether it had damaged my attention and we laid on the road. In front of the house every night for a couple hours, just staring at stars, and it was riveting.
Yeah, so that was encouraging because I have horrendous wanderlust. I cannot not have something on the calendar that I'm looking forward to or I just collapse.
It's rough. I can see that.
Although just listening to the two of you talk to these guests and each other, it seems like armchair expert is something you both look forward to.
Oh, really? More than that. Exactly. I agree. Isn't that shameful? Yeah. I have a disease of more than you. Right. It's the most perfect job that's ever been invented. And I love it with my whole heart. And I also think, why can't I be doing this while stargazing or I think, you know, I can always think of a way to make this wonderful thing a little bit better. I'm the opposite of a Buddhist.
Well, it is funny because you have the best job on Earth and here you are saying, well, but it's not enough. And it makes me think about the psychology of maximizing and satisfying. Do you know this language already know how. Tell us.
Teach classes in session. Oh, so the original idea is from a Nobel Prize winner, Herb Simon. But the research that I love on this is Barry Schwartz and Shenango and their colleagues, where they give you a survey about your tendency to be more of a maximizer satisfied. So when you make decisions. Satisfied, sir? Yeah. Satisfied, sir. Versus Maximizer. OK, that's a weird word, but continue. It is weird, but it grows on you over time.
Yeah, sure. Sure.
So if you're a maximizer, when you make a decision, you are looking for the best option if you're satisfied. So you're more interested in good enough.
Oh OK. That sounds more tenable.
Well, I think it's an interesting trade off because one of the studies that Berry and Gina did was of college senior searching for jobs and they filled out this scale.
So the maximizers agree with statements like when I'm listening to the radio, if I hear a song I like, I'm going to still keep flipping channels, changing stations to see if something better is on.
OK, I can relate. And they would agree with I treat relationships like clothing. I expect to try on a lot before I find the perfect fit.
Oh, I don't think this person I don't know are either. Which is kind of surprising because when you first started I thought I would be that. But I'm not.
Well, you're not those two things, but I think I could give a couple of examples of times where I was total maximizer. Yeah. Like if Monica's looking for houses, she would never see a pretty house that meets her needs and stops. She wants to fight. Do you think I should bet you found the best house possible? I did, but it truly is the best house that was on the market. But I didn't see like four hundred houses and I didn't after this one think, oh, but what if there's a better.
I didn't think that at all was like this is the one.
Well but other examples. So Monica doesn't have a truck. She needed my assistance in buying a bed. I went with her. So then she was laying on all these different beds and I said, tell me which one before the salesman gets involved that you think is most comfortable. And she said, OK, after a dozen beds, this one's definitely the most comfortable. And then like a two and three option, then the salesman came over and we talked to him.
How much is this one? Oh, it's X amount of dollars. How much is the one over there? Oh, that's three X and Monica is literally goes.
Yeah, that was really comfortable. Like she totally convinced herself the other one was more comfortable even though we already did it without price, is blind and massively affected. How comfortable she thought that bed was.
OK, so I have a few tentative hypotheses here. I got first of all we all maximized more in decisions that are important to us. And so Armonica, you might be a house person or a bad person. Lowline. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Possible.
A second thought is maximizers usually are defined by two things. One is impossibly high standards. I'm looking for the best or the perfect choice. The other is in order to get there, I have to consider as many options as possible.
I don't see now he lost me.
No, I think that's the part that is you know, that's the part tax that gets you in trouble is the data show that if you're a college senior searching for jobs, if you're a maximizer, you will do better in the job search. You get more offers, you get a higher salary, but you actually are less happy with that better job that you got because you're obsessed that there was a better one out there.
Yeah, you're always wondering what could have been if only I had ordered the soup instead of the salad, my whole life would have been different.
Well, it seems to particularly like people in relationships. I definitely think that's what happens is people are constantly evaluating like you and I get the best option out there for me. And they think they fall for the illusion that they're meeting other people. That would be a better fit for them. Well, I'll say this. I'm going to add just a little bit of data for you. I'm always happy with whatever I get. So if I order something on the Internet and then it comes and it is not at all what that thing was, I'm like, that's fine.
I don't return anything. I'll live with anything. I have total peace once I have the clothes or something you don't care about.
So according to Adam, maybe that's just not on your list.
Yeah, I think I'm good with, like, wherever I land. I don't. And going on shooting at this house, it's really noisy in here on the road, I'm like, yeah, whatever it is what it is, I don't know that part. I move on. I think you use the key phrase, which is you said perfect fit for me because maximizers tend to forget about this idea of fit. Right? They walk around thinking that there's such a thing as the perfect job or the perfect husband or wife or the perfect place to live, as opposed to saying, no, I'm looking not for the best.
I'm looking for the best fit.
Yeah, but just to clear up any uncertainty, Dachsie, you did clearly marry the perfect person.
Well, does anyone marry the perfect person?
I know a lot of people who believe that Kristen Bell is a perfect human being, who know her extremely well. There's many millions, there's no question. Yeah. Those people don't shut the cupboard doors behind her and they don't have their razor thrown in the trash for no reason by her. I kind of reject that premise. I would say, boy, how do I phrase this? America doesn't hate me.
Chris is a person. Person's a person. No human is a breeze to be with. It's always a compromise. It's always a challenge. You're always working hard to make it all work. Everything that's great about her also puts us at odds. She's very, very strong willed. She's industrious, she's decisive. If I didn't put up a fight, we would just be on the Kristen Bell train traveling down the tracks without anyone looking at the map. And I'm the same way I am the same pain in the ass.
And I think it's a lovely fit in that we challenge each other non-stop. And we've both grown towards each other's virtues in a way from our character defects. But it's not like we met and was a perfect fit by no stretch tons of work. And I think I just would want to publicly dispel the illusion that we met shook hands. And then it's been easy because that's not the case. I appreciate that.
And I think this is one of the maximizer myths when they're choosing who they want to marry or choosing what they want to do with their lives as they think the job is to find the perfect person as opposed to building the best relationship they can, right?
Yes. I also have this theory and I feel like this flies in the face of it. Monica hates this theory. I believe anybody I'd end up on a desert island with, I would love. I'm certain of it.
Dex, you need to have some standards here. Exactly.
I would love any human being that I shared my life with on this island. I know I would I would find out how to and I would accept that this is who I was with and I would make the best version of it. And I think every human being is lovable if you really want to.
So I would love to run that experiment. If we can send you to a desert island, I have some people that I want to see if you can tolerate is the first thought. If you can get my wife to agree to this, I am in. All right. I'll talk to Kristen. Stay tuned.
But the other thing I would say on that is I think that attitude, that mentality is why people love the two of you and love this show so much. There are many reasons, I think, why you're so beloved. So one of my favorite phrases that I came across while I was writing think again was this phrase called inverse charisma.
Oh, so it's this quality that a biographer first used to describe a writer, E.M. Forster, and she said that he had inverse charisma, that he listened to you with such curiosity, such attentiveness, that he brought out your most charismatic self. Oh, I think that's one of your gifts on this show.
DAX Armonica is I have heard you do this over and over with guests. You make every guest you bring on more interesting and more likeable than they thought they were capable of being. That's a huge.
Yeah, thank you.
I like that compliment versus charisma is much more admirable than regular charisma. Well, I noticed this about my friend Scotty Johnson, who I started modeling my behavior after in my 20s. I was like, everyone loves Scotty. Every girl's in love with Scotty. What is Scotty doing? He's clearly cute, but another Michigander do it, by the way, Lansing suburb. I do love Scotty, right?
Yeah. He has a genuine well, I believe it's genuine. He asked so many questions when he meets people. And I just started noticing it and I was like, man, I got to do that. I got to stop trying to impress all these people in monolog and I got to engage and ask them about themselves. And it's such a huge gift he gave me.
Yeah, it's amazing to listen to you. And I was listening to your interview with Hillary Clinton. And I came out of it thinking as an organizational psychologist, the experiment I want to run here is I want to take some of those audio clips. I want to change the voice tone so you can't tell that it's her.
And I want to ask people who are very anti Hillary just to listen to it and see if they like this person.
Exactly. Oh, I couldn't agree. That was my take away. I was like, this is the, quote, unlikable person that she was labeled over and over again. Like, she's so likable.
Yes. Well, I'm in love with her. When that interview ended, I said it's one of the few times that if she had said, fuck it, you want to fly here and have dinner with me, I'd be like, I am on my way to. The airport, I would just love to yes, it showed I wondered so many times what you're thinking because you must have felt this tension between I have so many questions I want to ask, but I also just want to watch DAX in this mode of being mesmerized totally.
I mean, also, we only had so much time with her and we could have talked to her for 16 hours. So it was a balance. But I was just like I just couldn't believe we were staring at her face.
Yeah, yeah. It was hard to comprehend. OK, now back to maximizers and the word I'm satisfied was satisfy SSAs advisers.
Fundis Fyssas. I don't know why.
OK, yes. So Monica wants to know. Well yeah. Because we touched on maximisers and then tell us about satisfies.
I mean it's really if you reverse everything I just said, I think everybody here satisfied saying and they think well that means you have low standards. No, you don't have to have low standards. You get to decide what's good enough for you.
And so I think as far as I know, the key to balancing happiness and success is to be a high standard, satisfy, sir, and say, look, I'm going to aim extremely high. I'm going to be ambitious in my goals. But once I find an option that meets my standards, I'm not going to keep looking and keep wondering about what might have been.
Well, yeah, you could almost phrase this same study in two different ways, which is like compares and compares. It almost seems to correlate perfectly with that. It's like you're comparing your enjoyment of this thing against your previous enjoyment of other things. You're probably going to land in a satisfied place. But if you're comparing your enjoyment of it to the perceived enjoyment of the other thing, you're fucked nine times out of ten. That is exactly what the research shows.
Actually, when I was in grad school in Michigan, I had a student, Keenan, who had that exact question. He wanted to know who I had are satisfied. They're so much happier than maximizers. And he wanted to know, is it because of social comparisons or is it because of other differences, like the number of options you consider? And he found that at least one of the key drivers was that Maximizers only knew if they got the best by knowing that they did better than everyone else.
And the problem is you can never be better than everyone else.
There's too many people. Yep, seven billion too many people.
And also there are too many dimensions. Right. I can imagine getting better than everyone at one tiny thing. And then what about everything else in life? And by the way, did you start the Tiger documentary yet? No, I haven't.
Oh, for a second I thought you were referencing your future role as Tiger. You know that Tiger Woods documentary that started on HBO last week? I have not seen it yet. It's fucking incredible.
And then you're looking at maybe the purest example ever of someone being definitively the best ever in such a fashion that there's no arguing it. And then what are you left with? And it's a very, very sad story in so many ways.
You know, I think there is a sense in which it's probably helpful to be a little bit of a maximizer, at least in your sport. Right. Or in your field if you want to get that good. When I've met Olympic gold medalists, none of them had ever had the goal. I want to be the good enough athlete. I was always I want to be the best. But it seems like there are a lot of demons that come from that, too.
Even he took me by surprise in one of these early interviews, I think, right when he joined the pro tour, they asked him what his goal was and he did not seem to be the best on the tour. He said, I want to be the greatest to ever play this game. And I was like, oh, my God, I wouldn't even think like that. You know, the greatest of all time to have ever done. The thing is wild.
And also, in order to meet that, you need a time machine and you have to go into every future to make sure that nobody.
Yes. Yes. Because yes. Then you're accumulating more Grand Slams or whatever and you're wondering, well, is it comparable? I don't have a Jack Nicholson or Arnold Palmer, all these dumb things. Yeah, not for me. OK, think again the power of knowing what you don't know, the power of knowing what you don't know. It starts as a paradox, right? How does someone know? They don't know. And it reminded me, do I have this right?
I remember reading early, early in college 90 years ago, did Socrates go to the Oracle of Delphi? And they said, you're the smartest man in the world because you know you know the least or something along those lines. I mean, this is a three thousand year old concept, right?
Yeah. I mean, the version of the quote that stuck in my mind was I know I'm intelligent because I know I know nothing.
Uh huh, uh huh. It is a paradox. So my way of tackling this was to say, look, we have a lot of overconfidence in the world. What we need is humility. I just think the world would be a more interesting place if everyone was aware of how ignorant they are.
So, yeah, in my effort to figure out all the things I don't know, I literally started keeping a list. I made a list of all the stuff I'm completely ignorant about. And some of the things were easy because Alison makes fun of me all the time. You know, she'll mention the name of a singer who I'm sorry.
She's like, did you sleep through the 80s? What happened? I just know nothing about music.
Madonna had I mean, I've heard of her. I could probably name three or four of her songs, but it goes downhill pretty fast. I think that I didn't realize that David Bowie and Ziggy Stardust were the same person, OK? And she was jaw.
I didn't even tell her that I never heard of Ziggy Stardust. But those kinds of moments happen. And I had the same experience with fashion, with food. I'm the opposite of a foodie. And so then I just kept adding to the list. Every time I was either stunned, it was almost like a Joey Tribbiani moment and friends, you know, he just nods and smiles.
Yeah, duh. You guys are on your own here, but. Yeah. So that's on your list, friends. Yeah, I know. Now we should just have the rest of the conversation about friends. It, I deserve it.
But there's that image, it's just frozen into my brain of Joey, just having no idea what anyone to talk about. Kind of nodding and smiling. Yeah. And we all have those moments and we usually try to act like we know what we're talking about. What I've started doing instead is jotting them down afterward and saying, OK, when did I feel like that? I felt like that when people were talking about financial markets and economic policy.
I mean, some of them are just really broad domains, but others are really specific. Like I realized something that I'm just ignorant on that I really want to figure out and I still can't is why if you have a British or Australian accent, does it go away when you're saying, oh, yeah, we were told yes.
We've asked we've asked a British singer and they had no clue either.
I've asked linguists. It's a mystery. I think they did have an answer. I think it was well, one reason is their influences are often American. So when they're learning to sing and they have like, you know, those sounds in their head, it comes out a little bit more generically American.
And like singing is so how you shape the back of your mouth and stuff that I think it all ends up kind of sounding similar if you're good.
I think that's an interesting explanation. I wonder if it's true. We should find out that. Can I listen to the fact check? Absolutely.
Right now I'm in an ethical quandary. Why Google? Because I was a part of the same interview and I don't recall that answer at all.
So I know who we were talking to, know who are we talking to? I don't know.
Oh, I thought that was a tactic to bust me. It was like I forgot if I could remember now. Oh, good.
Oh, I do know it was Keith Urban. Oh OK. Keith Urban. I'll go back and all this interest. OK, yeah. I don't remember him saying that, although he might have specifically been saying he was listening to country and he was getting into country so he. Yeah. Was mimicking country but British rock and roll the very beginning of rock and roll. Well of course Chuck Berry. But you know what I'm saying. I don't actually.
But keep going.
Oh God. Added to your list.
But yeah, the first huge rock bands are The Beatles and then the Rolling Stones and so on. And they're singing. And what I would say sounds American affected. And they weren't mimicking anyone. They weren't copying. Maybe it's just our ears.
We think it sounds American because we're obsessed with ourselves.
I really want to get to the bottom of this and I'm hoping that we can figure it out between us.
So, Adam, these things to me sound easy to know. Like anyone who can't work on a car go, oh yeah, I don't know how to work on a car. I think what's harder is all the things we think we like the Dunning Kruger effect, right where we think we're smarter than we are and we think we know more about it. And we are victims of confirmation bias and we see all the time evidence that were correct. That to me is the area where I know I have to be so wrong all the time and I can't see it.
Yeah, I'm afraid to say this, but I think you're right. Yeah. So so Dunning Kruger effect.
One of the things we learn from it is that people who are the least knowledgeable or skilled in the domain are the most likely to overestimate their expertise. And I think the fun explanation that David Dunning gives for. So there there are multiple explanations is that when you lack the skills to produce excellence, you sometimes also lack the skills to judge excellence?
Uh huh. But there's a catch, which is, to your point, DACs, it's not the complete beginner who's overconfident. It's the person who knows a little bit. Yeah. The DAX Shepard, the arm chair out there.
Clearly, I think the football analogy is so clear.
If you gather a bunch of your friends who are football fans for a Super Bowl party, the one who knows the least is the most likely to be screaming at the coach saying, you go the wrong play.
But the person who doesn't know anything about football is obviously not going to do that. And I think the challenge here is when you start to get experience or you start to gain knowledge, your confidence tends to rise faster than your confidence does. And you have to find a way to keep those two tracking together. And my favorite way to do that is to keep your confidence a little below your competence as opposed to trying to match them.
Well, I see two potential catalysts for the guy at the football game. So one would be me. So I know very little about football. I'm ashamed of that around these guys who seem to know everything about football. So I know my four things and I want to get those four things out into the ether so that I can fool them. Right. So that would be one based in basically insecurity, not arrogance. And then I think there is one that's based completely in arrogance, which is I totally fucking know this game.
I know four things about it. So it seems like there could be different motivations for it.
I would love to see that study actually, because I don't know that anyone's really it's there's two things apart. So one is about your image and trying to impress an audience and the other is about you actually not knowing what you don't know.
Right. One's in insecurity. And one to me seems like confidence. Can I read you all they did in this study was, oh, this is probably written forty years before the Dunning Kruger study. This is Charles Bukowski. The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.
Yeah, I mean, you fucking nailed it, right? And one line of prose crushed it.
Good job, Bukowski. That's amazing. And I think that nuance there is if you take that quote on its face, it sounds like they're intelligent people and stupid people. My read of the Dunning Kruger effect is we all have moments of being the idiots.
Sure. Because we all have situations where we don't know what we don't know. And we're overconfident because of the little knowledge we have.
Yeah, everyone has big gaps and blind spots. That's the thing I worry about is, you know, it's easy to laugh at someone when they're overconfident and they're obviously ignorant. And we forget there was probably a time in the last week or two where I was that person.
Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.
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And I was thrilled. Oh, I'm so happy to hear that. I even let myself glance at Twitter, which is always a mistake.
And in this rare case, it wasn't a mistake. It was all positive.
Yeah, I'm not surprised. The three of you, your chemistry. So off the chart. Yeah. We're having so much fun and I think it's obvious. So the two episode premiere was on January 29th. Of course, it stars Rob Corddry and Jethro Bovingdon and myself. Top Gear America takes an irreverent hands on look at the auto industry each week as Rob Jethro and myself tackled challenges with comedy class and commitment. Please join us for some motorized mischief as we celebrate all things about cars that we love and argue in between those love sessions.
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I'd say the landmark paper came out late 90s and it really got traction early 2000s.
OK, so because it's relatively recent twenty five years or something, we can't track yet if it's an effect that's increasing or decreasing. Right. But my hunch is it's increasing. Do we know at all?
I haven't seen that study. I think it would be wonderful even to see if it's changed over the last five, 10 years. And the irony of this is we have more information. It is not that hard to run a Google search and find out that you're wrong about a lot of stuff. Yeah, yeah.
But I know you already know the answer to this, but I want to theorize for a second, because it's so fun to do with you. What I would immediately imagine is that because we have the technology to exist within bubbles and silos, we are only communicating with other people who have the same blind spots. So we're getting confirmed regularly that our opinions are correct. That's what makes me think it has to be dramatically on the incline, is we're not even exposed anymore to the opposing opinion or the opposing data by which we would go, oh, I don't know anything about that because we're only listening to each other.
Yeah, I think there's some truth to that. I think the filter bubble problem or the echo chamber problem, I think about it differently now than I did when I started writing. Think again. I went in thinking, OK, we've got to let people see the other side. Yeah. And that is going to be the solution to the polarization problem. I actually think it's part of the problem now. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Oh, wow.
OK, wow. Now we're getting controversial. I want to hear. Yeah, me too.
All right. So here's the issue. The moment that you say there's another side, you're falling victim to what psychologists call a binary bias, which is you're taking a very messy world that's to continue continuum with lots of shades of gray and you're carving it up and turning it into a black and white. And that makes it really easy to say, look, I can create a caricature of the person on the other side and they are obviously wrong and I can debunk their arguments in my sleep and that just I get trapped in confirmation bias.
I validate my existing knowledge. I feel proud of what I know. I think my tribe is superior and then we're done. I think the ad I shouldn't say the antidote because that would violate the very principle I've tried to talk about. But one of the antidotes is to complexity and say, you know what, there are actually many different sides to this issue. And instead of saying, look, it's just a heads or tails coin, you actually look through a prism and say, you know, this is complicated.
And there's a brilliant set of experiments by a psychologist, Peter Coleman, who brings people together to have difficult conversations about topics like abortion, and he randomly assigns them to read both sides of a different issue. So let's say, Monica, you and DAX had opposite views on abortion. He wants you to come together and see if you can get on the same page. And before having the abortion conversation, he lets you read both sides article on gun control.
So he gives you the gun rights and then the gun safety argument.
And after reading that both sides article, you have about forty five percent likelihood of being able to write a joint statement about abortion with some areas of agreement, which sounds good.
Yeah, except there's another version of the gun control article that he could give you that raises your odds of agreeing on abortion to one hundred percent. I mean, it's really simple. It's all the same information only instead of saying here's what pro gun rights people think, here's what pro gun safety people think, it says, hey, the gun control issue is really complex and there are lots of different positions. Everybody agrees on background checks, for example, but then people have very different views on concealed carry.
And so you actually get the same information, but it's presented as having a continuum as opposed to two categories. And all of a sudden you realize how nuanced and complex your views are. And you are much more open minded around rethinking what you think and also hearing what the other person has to say.
Wow. And I'm I am so glad this is what you're thinking about, because my expressed desire, Monica and I talk about it all the time, way more than I care about any one of the actual issues politically that I care about. I'm so much more bothered by the rabbit holes we're all stuck in. That scares me much, much worse because there's no productivity that can come of that. It just it's my number one concern actually above my position on abortion or gun safety or this or that.
I want you to weigh in now on a disagreement Monica and I had about a week ago. You're always our mediator. Yeah. Yeah. OK, my point was, I think it's ludicrous that people in a bio of their social media will write liberal or conservative. I'm like, nothing could tell you less about a person you've literally divided three hundred and seventy million people roughly in half. I said it would have the same validity as saying male. Like if your bio said male female, it doesn't mean anything.
I have probably the overlap of I'm more similar to people on the right is equal to me being similar to people on the far left. Like it doesn't tell you a fucking thing about me. Monica Disagree.
Monica Well, I disagree and that I think people who have strong convictions in what they believe should say that if they want to or, you know, for me, really, I was like, why do you care so much to me that speaks more to you than it does to the people who are writing liberal or conservative like.
Well, I can tell you why it it concerns me because that's not an identity and identity is not, oh, 50 percent of America and I share this identity. There's nothing you don't even don't even describe your identity. That's not an identity.
It might not be yours, but it might be for them. Exactly. What they identify with is, you know, what they think are the tenants of whatever party they're in, lock step. And that tells the world a lot about them. They think. And if you put like car guy and someone was like, that doesn't tell me anything like, OK, but he wants to put that.
Well, that actually tells you way more about me. I actually enjoy cars. I work on them. I drive them, I collect them. I read about them being a Democrat, not a thing. It's not actually a thing. You vote. So what are you telling people? I vote once every four years. I cast a vote in a predictable way. How do you do? But ninety nine percent of people are that political.
I guarantee you the people who are writing it probably are far more active in politics than you are. And so for them it probably it means something more than it means to you.
OK, did you feel like you gave your steel man argument? I don't want to get out of the way in. OK, OK, we're ready for you.
I'm just fascinated listening to this. I was hoping you'd go for another 20 minutes. I have to weigh in so I have complicated reactions to this debate, and I think you're both right, which, of course, is the only nuanced way to respond here. It's not because I don't want to choose sides. It's because I think there are elements of both of your arguments that I know of good evidence for. So let me reflect back a few things I heard and you can tell me where you agree and disagree.
The first thing I heard is that DACs you define yourself much more by your interests and your activities and what you do than what your beliefs or values are.
Yes, if I can make a statement, I think people are the sum of their actions, not the sum of their intentions or thoughts.
And I tend to agree with that. But Monica, you also are saying, wait a minute, if a set of issues is really important to you and you're willing to not only vote on them, but go door to door and be an activist and raise money and volunteer, that actually may become your actions. And so telling me that you're a Republican or a Democrat, that sends an important signal about the things that matter enough to me to invest my time and my energy in them.
Yeah. See, he's a good steel man. Are you you're well. Is rolling her eyes.
I don't think she knows what that expression. Oh my God. I didn't know yourself a huge great. I rolled my eyes because you were saying I didn't do it.
No, I wasn't. I was literally just observing that. Adams really good at making your argument for you. I thought he did a great job making your bed, and I thought he did a great job making mine.
But I only did that because I was able to translate what I heard from Monica DACs in language that you already found compelling, right? Sure. Do you saying to the choir.
Yeah. So I think if I were to lean one way on this, I would say I think that America would be a better place if more people thought about this issue like tax.
Mm hmm. Because I think that the moment that we define ourselves by a political party, we stop thinking for ourselves.
Sure. I agree with that.
As a social scientist, the odds that you take 15 or 16 issues and I happen to agree with a bunch of people on all of them are very low. And so I want to have my own stance, my own values. I also, more importantly, I want to be open to rethinking them any time. And so I don't want to feel like, well, if I'm a Republican, Republicans think this now I have to think this, too, right.
I want to find out what the best ways are to solve problems.
One thing I thought was really intriguing, listening to the two of you is you both have strong views about people having identities and displaying their identities.
And I wonder if that's part of the problem. Probably.
Why is it so important for us to wave a flag and say I'm a car guy or I'm a Democrat in the first place? Yeah, I agree with you.
One of my resolutions in November was I said, I'm going to stop saying I'm a Democrat. A more accurate thing for me to say is I vote Democrat regularly. That's pretty much what I do. That action I take is I vote Democrat, but I'm not allowing that to be part of DACs. When I think of me, I'm not going to think Democrat, just like I buy Kraft brand macaroni and cheese when I'm at the store. You know I'm not a crime.
You're not a crafter. Oh, wow. I kind of am. My grandma worked for them, but yes, I digress. No.
So that's very much where I would love to see people go is to say, all right, look, I understand that that's not effective for politicians to build movements they want people to identify because that's how you mobilize a tribe. But I'm not a politician, right? My job is to think like a scientist. And so I feel like the place I always want to land on. This is first of all, let's just look at the data empirically. One place where psychologists are clearly aligned across meta analysis, studies of studies is the further you go on either political extreme, the dumber you tend to be.
Oh, I'm so glad to hear that. Yeah, really, really.
Smart people tend not to be dogmatic. Yeah.
Oh, and then there's a debate about whether one extreme is more dogmatic than the other, which is a mess to me.
I look at both sides and I think both parties should be embarrassed by the shoulders of their tribe.
I almost want to have a tribe that's just this is why I would never go into politics. And no one in politics should pay too much attention to my views on that issue. But if I were going to build a political party, I would build a competence and character party and say, look, I want to elevate the candidates who are the most capable of doing leadership jobs and who stand for a set of core values, independent of policies that we agree are important for a country.
And then we can debate and run experiments to figure out what are the best policies to advance those values. And this is what drives me crazy with the current sort of polarized political discussion is people are attached to policies as opposed to being attached to principles behind them.
Oh, my God, I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you for saying that. When I look at the current homelessness crisis here in California, acutely here in Los Angeles, I go, oh, wow. So you got the left in the right. And the option is build a million homes for these folks or fucking burn them. And I'm like, do we agree both sides that we don't want people's homeless sleeping on the streets? So to your point, where are the studies, where is the science, why isn't there a group of 5000 we give houses to in 5000?
We do this to like there's no room for that because neither of those fit neatly into this Left-Right debate. And it's maddening.
And that's exactly how I would formulate policy. And the good news is I don't see government going that way any time soon, although if you look at what nudge units do, they sometimes pull this off in specific areas.
But workplaces do this all the time.
With our nudge units. I'm only my ignorance. What is that?
So Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein popularized this idea of nudging. Right, which is to make good choices easier for people at scale. And so the classic example is organ donation, where if you change the default to you have to opt out or to not donate your organs, then you get a lot more organ donors. That's a nudge.
Oh, OK, great. I like that. It became popular first in the British government, then it was adopted by some teams in the Obama administration. And now there are various governments around the world that have Nigerians that actually run these kinds of experiments and try to drive policy based on them. But governments tend to get so ideological that it's often hard to get people on board for what you're describing. But this is one of the things I love about being an organizational psychologist is workplaces where we spend so much of our time and really invest a lot of our energy in waking hours.
I find them very open to experimenting and saying, just as you add AB test a product before you launch it or an app, why don't we figure out what are the most effective ways to hire people or to build a culture? And I think that's good news for all of us because it means we get to learn what is effective.
Well, I just quoted you the other day we were interviewing someone and I pointed out that you in working with business, we're trying to figure out some metric by which you could predict how good of an employee they would be. And you'd looked at all these different buckets of qualities. And at some point, I don't know who got the idea. It was looked at. How did the person apply to the job on their application? Had they used Outlook, had they use Microsoft Explorer had the or whatever?
I don't even know the names of these things or they use Firefox. Tell us about that. I found that to be mind blowing. Oh.
Have you been wasting your time watching my TED talks about what's happening? That's probably what's happened. My wife is so hot for you that I also hear a lot about you now through her.
So they could have come via her honor that might work to any of your interests. This is a Michael Housman study where he looked at whether you applied for a job. And this is over fifty thousand people with the Web browser, Internet Explorer or Safari versus Chrome or Firefox. And he found that the Chrome and Firefox users were significantly better at their jobs and also significantly less likely to quit. And at first you say, well, all right, maybe they're a little more tech savvy, but there's actually no difference in computer knowledge or typing speed.
And what hit me when I looked at that result was this is resourcefulness. What's going on is, at least for a long time, Microsoft had Internet Explorer or Safari.
You know, if you're Apple preinstalled, is the default on your phone or on your computer and the kinds of people who had the intuition or the instinct to say, you know what, I wonder if I should rethink that. I wonder if there's a better option out there and then upgraded their browser.
Yeah. To Chrome or Firefox. Motyka your total bragging rights is got a nice you got an edge.
You beat me to nicely.
But the thought is that that's a small signal of your tendency to be proactive and you know, to question the things that other people accept to challenge the status quo. And yeah, I think a lot of people look at that and they say, OK, wait, so if I want to get better at my job, I just need to download a new browser.
It's about being the kind of person who thinks about whether there is another way to do things.
Well, I was sad when I heard that because I've only used the preinstalled one. I just use Safari and I'm angry when I have to go use something else to make an app work. Yeah. You want everyone to just walk around safari.
Yeah. What do you use. Well you do. I do. Oh my God. And you are great at your job. Thank you. This is all very true and I've been a poor employee in the past, so this makes a lot of sense.
And also kind of makes me think the thing about people who read child parenting books in general have good results, but not because any one of the philosophies are accurate, but it more is is a demonstration that you've already started by saying, I'm going to commit some time to this. Yeah, it might be a self selection effect. Yes. Yes.
OK, so there's some fun things from think again. And one of them are we were interviewing this great guy who studies the occult and stuff down in Texas, and he said, if you're doing critical thinking correctly, it should hurt. And I thought what a great useful tool to check yourself against when you're hearing the new idea. And it's just like Candy the whole time you're hearing it. I think that's a great moment to go oh, am I just hearing something I already believe and know?
And you wrote the discomfort of doubt. You say that you need to examine the discomfort of doubt. And I want you to tell us about that. Yeah, it's funny.
I'm having an ambivalent reaction to this idea that it should hurt. And I'm trying to figure out why. And I think I have a hunch.
Let's see. Let's see if this makes sense. So I love how disagreeable you are. It's one of my favorite parts of your personality.
I am not disagreeing. We are not. You are not. You're not. You haven't. I am not disagreeable. But I love intellectual disagreements. Yes.
The basic premise for me of a think again is to say that too many of us get stuck in an overconfident cycle where we are proud of what we know. And instead of doubting our convictions, we basically fall into a confirmation bias where we see what we expect to see, but also the cousin of confirmation bias, which is called desirability bias, and that seeing what we want to see, which I think is worse. Oh, or comment. Tell us a lot about that.
Can you give us an example?
So desirability bias is actually I think it's part of what people mean when they say confirmation bias. But there are two different things. OK, so confirmation bias happens any time you have an expectation and then you only pay attention to the information that would validate it.
I think desirability bias is much more pernicious because you could say, OK, I really want to believe that my candidate did not lose the election and now I'm going to go and find whatever information can help me tell that story.
Yeah. Oh, that is a great distinction to make and or ignore. I love Bill Cosby, so I'm going to ignore all this stuff. Exactly.
Or I'm going to explain it away and I'm going to become a defender or apologist.
Yeah. And once that happens, you're very good at confirming those pre-existing convictions. You become prouder of what you know. You tend to gravitate toward people who share those convictions and then you're basically in a self-fulfilling loop.
Yeah. Oh, that's so dangerous and so prevalent. I feel like it is.
And I think the way out, at least the way out that I'm familiar with is I said, OK, what's the alternative to that cycle of overconfidence? It's to get into a rethinking cycle where you start by being intellectually humble. You know what you don't know. That gives you the doubt to question your convictions and that makes you curious about what you don't know.
And the more curious you are as you both model, every time we do an episode of the show, the more likely you are to discover things that surprise you. And that surprise doesn't mean I know I'm an expert. It means, wow, I wonder what else is out there that I haven't figured out yet.
Yeah, and that just reinforces your humility.
And you keep going through that doubt, curiosity, discovery, humility, cycle, and that keeps you open to rethinking the things that you think you know.
And see, we've talked about this once before, but this is exactly why I love reading Malcolm Gladwell books is in general. His approach is to take something that makes sense on a gut level or it seems like common sense. And then you find out you're wrong. And I really enjoy that feeling. I do sometimes wonder if, like, does everyone enjoy that feeling or not? I find that so exhilarating.
And I think that actually speaks to why I was ambivalent about this idea that critical thinking should hurt. OK, because when someone is as brilliant at crafting a story as Malcolm is, then it doesn't hurt. It's actually fun, exciting discovery for sure. It's not always going to be like that, but I think we should have both. I think we should have moments of being wrong that are painful because they really challenge are deeply held beliefs and that can be painful to let go of those.
But I think there are lots of things that are sort of weakly held assumptions where it's kind of fun to turn them upside down. I had a ton of them. I was writing this book. I discovered that there are it's not the T-Rex, but there are certain Tyrannosaurs that apparently had colorful feathers. Oh, right.
That is so cool. Yeah. Yeah. And by the way, when I found that out, I was upset because what it did is it threatened my childhood. It threatened all the moments. I was looking at those National Geographic books that Grandma Yosses house, it ruined that for me. So that was like felt like it was on the table.
Sorry, not sorry, but it's funny because I just thought the Tyrannosaurs thing was awesome. But I had this vivid memory of reading that Pluto was probably not a planet and being really annoyed and then late, but the whole solar system was falling apart.
And what does this mean? Are we going to find out that Earth is not a planet that we're we're actually revolving around something other than the sun? Where does this end? Right. And I think the more often we can get into the mode of enjoying being wrong, because it means now you've learned something the more we learn.
Yeah. Again, that thing, they trigger the same thing. I think in people, which is my childhood now is in question. Like I grew up with this vast knowledge. There's nine planets and that was wrong. And that scares me. Yeah.
Or like, was everything wrong? Did I just waste eighteen years of. And now we know all that stuff is wrong, that feels like a waste of a life. Yeah, it can anyway. I mean, it's not, but that's what's at risk.
Can I no longer believe textbook or a teacher or an expert? No, it just means knowledge evolves.
And we're always learning stuff that's called science, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, now those are tasty ones. Can I tell you ones really quick analogy from this year that happened. And I want to know if this is technically confirmation bias because I kind of think it is.
If that's meta confirmation bias. Sure, I agree. Yes, yes. Yes. There's no way out of this.
I guess this is like those moments in courtrooms when the judges say a jury strike that from the record, like, no, you can't just wipe it from your memory and the fact that draws more attention to it.
Oh, I hate that. Now I'm going to remember it even more. I probably would to go out, but now I'm going to. So I as a New Year's resolution last year was I said, I'm going to stop telling people I'm an insomniac and I'm going to stop telling people I have a hard time sleeping and I'm just going to see what happens because I started getting suspicious. Well, if I'm telling all these people this thing, I have to confirm it.
I can't open myself up to be a liar. Not that I'm ever even thinking that way or aware of it. But lo and behold, I stop telling people that for a solid year and I fucking sleep so much better. It's insane. My wife laughs about it nightly. I fall asleep before or now, and I feel like that was the power of that.
Interesting. So it sounds to me like there are a couple of explanations for that in psychology. One is basically a cognitive dissonance, which is now that you've stopped calling yourself an insomniac, you're sort of freed of the pressure to do whatever things confirm that identity. And that might mean like, oh, you know what?
I guess I could go to bed earlier or I don't have to check my phone when I'm about to fall asleep.
It's weird, though, to think about cognitive dissonance in this sense because you're not really wanting to be an insomniac. It's just something you're accepted. Right.
It just makes me feel safe. I guess on some level that I'm this thing that I've been for years and I tell people it, I don't know.
So I think the better explanation for what happened there is there are two pieces to this. One is that self perception theory is the original label for it. But the basic idea is that, you know, a lot of times we learn who we are by observing what we do and say. And so if you hear yourself over and over again saying I'm an insomniac, then pretty soon you start to internalize that as part of your identity and then you feel all this anxiety every time you go to bed.
And that just perpetuates the problem. Right. Whereas if you stop saying that, what you've done is you've freed yourself from all the emotions that are associated with the identity. And my guess is you're a little bit less stressed about falling asleep or staying asleep.
Oh, totally. And then it's perpetual. So I'm less and less and less with more proof that I sleep well. I'm even less afraid to lay down at night.
Do you have one, Monica? Self-fulfilling prophecy. I guess that's what you could call it.
I mean, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. That's a great description of it.
I always thought of it as the anti daily affirmation. It was almost like instead of telling myself I'm something all the time and hoping I become that I stop telling something about myself. I didn't want negative thing.
Yeah, but it's weird that you say you didn't want to be an insomniac, because I will push back on that a little bit. I think maybe subconsciously you didn't want to be an insomniac, but it was something novel about you. Sure. That you probably did like that.
You had something like that or a struggle or struggle or a little bit of a not a victimhood, but like something to overcome.
Well, if our brains work in stories which everyone agrees and I need conflict and I need struggle to make my story interesting, i.e. to make me interesting. Sure, I bet I thought, well, this is part of my thing. Yeah.
I feel like this past year in particular has been for me, one of the defining themes of Twenty Twenty is a feeling of helplessness and a lack of control. And I wonder if there's something about in the realm of struggles and problems that you could claim as your own. There's something about insomnia that feels a little bit more controllable than a pandemic or then systemic racism or some of the macro worries that you have. And so do you latch on to that in part as a way of saying, all right, I've got a problem, but this is one that I might be able to do something about.
It's like a bizarre version of exerting control, even though it's negative, it makes me out of control in some sense. It is still. Yeah, this thing. It's yours. Oh, boy. OK, what I wanted to ask globally of you, I do think everyone listening would be identifying and relating to different hiccups they have in their thinking or overestimation of their own knowledge or any number of the things we just kind of talked about. I think they're pretty highly relatable.
So what are the steps? What are the actions one can take? You've said a couple of them, but I want to know what your solution is to this or your approach. I know you said listing things you don't know about, it's a great start because it starts out a path of humility, which I think is great. But how do we move through all this? Because that is what the book is telling us ultimately. Yeah, I think so.
So let's start with how we do this ourselves. And then there's a whole nother conversation about opening other people's minds, which we can have. If you want.
I'll I'll talk to you until Friday.
You clear my calendar. Let's do it.
Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare.
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That's friends without the best fiends.
So I think what really shifted my thinking about rethinking was a paper that my colleague Phil Tetlock wrote two decades ago where he said, look, so much of social science, so much of our study of decision making and judgment is assuming that people are kind of rational economists who are making efficient utility maximizing, maximizing decisions.
Yeah, and what we know is true is that we're much more social creatures than that, and that the way we think in the way we talk is heavily influenced by our stance relative to the people who matter to us. So Phil introduced these alternative metaphors for thinking about who we are, if we're not homo economicus, you know, looking for a rational utility. And he said basically we often end up thinking and talking like preachers, prosecutors and politicians. I was immediately hooked because this right at the heart of what I do as an organizational psychologist is to say, wow, you have never had any of those jobs in America.
You've never been a preacher, DAX, you've never been a prosecutor. Neither of you has worked in politics. And yet somehow you've internalized those professions and they kind of take over your consciousness in ways that you can't even see.
And so when we're in preacher mode, we are basically convinced we've already found the truth and we're trying to proselytize to other people about our sacred beliefs. When we're in prosecutor mode, it's more about the other person being wrong and saying, I've got to win my case and decimate your argument. And it's very much a both sides kind of thing, which we criticized earlier. And then politician mode. My first thought was preaching and prosecuting stops you from questioning yourself and thinking again about assumptions that you should let go of.
Because if you're right and everyone else is wrong, your work is done. If you're in politician mode, you're a little more flexible because you're trying to campaign for the approval of an audience who you care about. And so you might adjust what you think in order to please that tribe. So you are showing some mental flexibility, but you're doing it at the wrong times for the wrong reasons. You're doing it to fit in or you're doing it to, you know, to win votes or support or, you know, you're lobbying as opposed to actually thinking.
And so my hope is that we could all recognize the traps that we fall into and say, huh, I sound a lot like a preacher right now. Oh, I just got stuck in a debate. Why am I prosecuting Monica? Why am I prosecuting Monica for having a political identity? What's that all about? Or, you know, as a politician, why am I so determined to have this group of people like me and have my back to the point that I'm saying things I don't even believe deep down?
And I think recognizing those mindsets and recognizing that they can actually bias our thinking to me is a powerful step.
I just want to personalize it for a second. So, Monica, what do you think your default is of those three? I know mine.
Mine. Well, I know what you think mine is.
I don't think wait a minute.
That even I'm feeling I'm almost more interested in what you think I think yours is the more I think you think mine is preacher.
Oh, and I think mine is prosecuting.
I sincerely didn't guess one for you, OK, because I'm not in your head as much as I like to think I am right. I don't really know. Mine is ninety nine point nine percent prosecutor. I can't tell you how many hours of my life I am literally in a courtroom. I'm going through the exhibits I'm going to present and then I'm going to wrap it up in my closing statements. I do it all day long and then when I get into that courtroom with the person, it never fucking goes the way the court case was supposed to go.
I scripted the whole thing and it doesn't work. What are you Adam, what do you think I am, your default? I think you're a politician. I think he's a preacher. You're both wrong. Oh, yeah.
Oh, that's the best outcome I would not want. And that's a clue about what my worst instincts are. Prosecutor all the way.
OK, so the three of us are prosecutors. I like this might be why we get along so well. Yeah.
Do you think we'd clash if that. Oh well you think we would. Yeah. I don't, I just haven't spent enough time with me.
Oh interesting. So what's the antidote to those things?
I'll tell you an embarrassing story, which is I had an experience a few years ago, had a former student named Jamie and she called me for some advice. She was thinking about going to business school. She'd already done an undergrad business degree thinking about an MBA. Should I go? And then if so, which of these two schools that I got into should I go to? And at the beginning of the conversation, it was abundantly clear that she had already made up her mind.
She's definitely getting an MBA.
And the moment I hear that, I think, all right, she's preaching, but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid that she's selling at all, even though I teach at a business school.
You've studied almost four years of business. You really need to do more. There is literally nothing you need an MBA to do. It's not like, you know, I need an MBA to go fly an airplane or to be a surgeon. Right. Or to practice law. And so I knew that she was very strong willed from our past interactions. I really wanted to make sure that her thinking was clear as opposed to confirmation liability her that. So whenever I hear somebody passionately believe in something that I don't think has been well thought out, I passionately argue for the opposite, even though I don't necessarily believe it.
And that's my prosecutor instinct rearing its ugly head. And so I told her, you know, here's why an MBA is a complete waste of time. If you had two years and a quarter million dollars and you could invest it in anything, is this really the thing you would do? And if you didn't understand business after three or four years of studying it, do you really think two years are going to do that much?
I just I just argument after argument.
And finally, at one point she interrupted me and she said, Urologic boully.
Oh, and that was my reaction, too. I was like, cool, because what I took away from that was first I said a logic. What? And she said a logic. Bulle, she said, you overwhelm me with data and rational arguments. And I don't agree with them, but I can't fight back Mom, because she doesn't agree with them emotionally.
By the way, it sounds like you're married to her. This sounds like identical to eighty percent of. Yeah, Alison has given me this feedback.
Yeah. More than one conversation that I just you know, I get locked into challenging a view and then I just won't let it go. And I think that she's enjoying having a feisty debate and she was ready to be done with the conversation three and a half hours ago. The do you have this problem to both of you? We have this problem.
I have it. Yeah, I have it terribly. I think I've made strides over the years. But I think, yes, I am convinced in the moment if I can get someone to see the logic behind what I'm saying, they'll have a change of heart. And I ignore the reality that we are actually endeavoring on an emotional solution that nearly has nothing to do with logic. I forget that all the time.
I do, too. And I have to say this is a little embarrassing to admit, but I was sort of proud of being Kabulov.
I think that's what I do as a social scientist. I want to have the best arguments and the most rigorous data. And if you recognize that you can't pick those apart, then I have done my job. I rest my case, Your Honor. Yeah.
Also, can I say I mean, just to let you off the hook a little bit, she knew who she was calling, like talk about confirmation bias and desirability bias, like she probably needed it and subconsciously or consciously called you for that reason. Or she could former friend would have been like, you do it. That's awesome.
I don't know. Monica, I think you're giving me too much credit here.
I actually think people call the person they think they're going to get the answer they want to hear from. I think in my friendship history, I'm the guy you come tell you have a drug problem because I think you just know I'm not going to be like, you know, you're a piece of shit.
Yeah. Because you're accepting and nonjudgmental. I'm going to have to go back and ask her now to find out what I don't know. But my hunch is that her overarching impression of me is, OK, Adam likes being helpful and he is going to do whatever he can to support this and help me think through which school to go to not talk me out of going to business school.
Right. And also, she probably also thought about how, you know, I tend to be really agreeable if we're not having an intellectual exchange. And so, yeah, this is somebody who's going to really reinforce and validate my preconceived notions. So the more I thought about it, and especially as I finished writing Think Again, I came to rethink that. I don't want to bully someone into changing their mind. And even if I did, it's not a.
Most of the time, the various situations where I go into prosecutor mode are when people are showing resistance and that's when this is not about me twisting their arm or winning the game of tug of war. It's about me saying, OK, this is a dance and I've got to think really differently about how to open their mind as opposed to ramming all my arguments and evidence down their throat. So I guess there are two layers of this. There's a layer of how do you get yourself out of prosecutor mode?
And then there's the how do you reason with the other person?
Well, I'm thinking of a line I read from your book, but I don't have it down exactly. But it said something to the effect of, you know, prepare to make your very best argument and argue to win. But and I'm forgetting the second part of that. What's the. But. I think it's but be ready to argue, to learn. Yeah, it's like go in swinging, make your case and then also be open to, I guess, being wrong.
You know, you can do both things, I guess is what I felt like you're giving us permission to do. Like it's not a surrender default. No.
First of all, we have to talk about what kind of disagreement we're having. Right. So let's assume that the other person has actually opted into a debate, which is something I always forget to check up. So now I'm much more likely to say, can we debate this? Which, as you know, some evidence suggests that people take it less personally and they're much more likely to say, oh, this is an intellectual discussion, an emotional one, very smart.
That's so smart. I want to know exactly how you phrase it so I can employ that, because I think that's where Monica and I get into tons of trouble, is that we have all these different layers of connection. We have a professional connection. We're best friends. She's my wife's wife. She's my wife's daughter. She's my daughter's soulmate, you know.
So some of that is logically impossible. By the way, those things can't all be true at once. I like the metaphor.
Oh, yeah. We even figured out that Monica is going to marry Kristen's ex-boyfriend, which is going to make Monica Kristen's stepdaughter, which doesn't even make sense. I not even how it worked, but it's so obvious that it would make it.
But at any rate, yeah, I think so often we're having what one of us thinks is a debate and then it is like sliding in and out of all this personal friendship. And because we're not just debate partners, we're also best friends. And so I have an obligation to alleviate her fears when I can do that. And she has that same obligation to me. So in a debate, you're not really doing that and it gets very murky quite often.
Yeah, it's funny because I often starting with the can we debate this? I just say, hey, can we debate this? Because then I can find out if the other person thinks that's fun, too. And then, yeah, we're going to spar and it'll be a little bit feisty, but we'll both admit where we changed our mind and where we dug our heels in. And we like each other just as much, if not more afterward. I think, though, the danger that you point out is that it's very easy to get locked into this.
You know, US is preaching the other's prosecuting or it's just two sides and it's about having an argument as opposed to actually trying to discover a truth that might be different from what both of us believe. And so an alternative metaphor that psychologists use a lot that one of my mentors, Jane Dutton, first introduced me to is actually saying, can we dance more?
And what I thought was so powerful about this. Well, actually, I didn't get it at first because I have no rhythm, I humanly incapable of rhythm.
But as I thought about it more, when I watch other people dance, I thought, OK, yes, because what happens in a dance is you actually start by trying to get in sync. You start by saying, let's identify our common ground and then you don't throw 19 dance moves at your partner. What you do is you pick your one or two best moves and you lead them there and then you let them lead on their one or two best moves.
That tracks really closely with the science on how to negotiate effectively, which is expert negotiators are actually likely to give fewer reasons for the proposals they make because they're afraid of diluting their argument. And they know that if I come and give you seven reasons why you should change your mind about this thing that I care deeply about, you're going to pick Reasons six, which you think is dumb, and then you're going to dismiss my whole case because of it.
Yeah, this also works in pitchin movies like when I advise writers who are about to go in to pitch a TV show or a movie, it's like, you know, your three best sentences about this. You know, in the deeper you get into the weeds of all the different twists and turns, inevitably you're going to run into areas where the buyer doesn't really like that part of it. And now they love the first three things. They love the umbrella concept.
And so, yeah, that seems to happen in pitches as well.
It's such a fun place to think about it. So I'd actually love to hear how this works. So I want to hear what those three sentences look like for you.
I'll make one up right now for us three. Right. It's a new three's company. Instead of there being two gals and a guy, the guy acting gay in this case, it's two guys and a gal in the gals acting straight. OK, so easy. And then you're saying, all right, I'm just whatever, because we know the first thing, Three's Company, we all love it. I've brought up something we all loved and now I've given you a very easy pivot to why this is different and what is novel and unique about it.
And then I go, so gal, the lesbian who's acting straight works at a car manufacturing plant. So, all right, already we're fucked that because this person bought a car pitch. They don't like manufacturing, set workplace things. They don't know where they're going to get that set. You know, all I've done is opened up that you loved this thing. And now I'm adding details that can potentially be reasons you're going to reject it. And they're not relevant details.
The most relevant details is this is a new take on Three's Company.
Yes. Oh, I like that a lot. It's a little bit like the classic Disney example of they pitch this movie that nobody gets and then they reframe it as Hamlet with lions. And then The Lion King becomes a huge hit. And what I think is hilarious about the story is the original pitch was Bambi in Africa with Lions. I remember hearing that and thinking I have no idea what I'm talking about and I am terrified for you can't take a kid to see that movie.
No, no, you can't.
But that divisive saying, OK, I'm going to give you just one or two little points that you're already on board with and add my twist. Yes. So much more convincing.
Yeah. Because you end up debating minutia. And then they were in and now they're out. Yeah, it's a fine line. Are you going to make the show or what?
I'll have a script on your door by Monday.
I'm ready to watch. My God. He bought it in the room. Oh my God. You weren't in the room before. Oh, I'm going to do is take the pilot of Three's Company and change the names.
I mean, I don't have a studio, but I'm making it up.
OK, tell me about harnessing the surprising advantages of impostor syndrome, because as you might guess, so many of the people I interviewed seemed to all share a bit of imposter syndrome, maybe rightly so, because it's an unproper national reward for, you know, something many people do. It does seem to elicit that response. I have it often.
It's such a paradox that the most successful people, you know, seem to be the biggest imposters. And I started wondering a couple of years ago if maybe that's not a coincidence, that maybe feeling like an impostor, it's not a byproduct of achieving some stratospheric level of success that just a mere mortal would say couldn't be me. How could this happen? But that actually feeling like an imposter could fuel your success. And we ended up having a doctoral student assignment, Toufik, who's now an MIT professor, and she did these studies of investment professionals and medical students where she said, look, imposter syndrome.
That's the wrong frame. Why does it have to be a syndrome? It becomes a huge pathology. It's only relevant to a corner of the population. What if instead we just said, you know what, everybody has impostor thoughts sometimes, right? Those moments where you wonder, am I going to bomb this interview? Is Monica going to think that I'm a complete idiot and I've lost a lot of knowledge since we last interacted? Is DACs going to be thoroughly uninterested in my data and stories and those kinds of thoughts crop up for everyone.
That's part of being human. Yeah. And so Asema did, which she surveyed people in these different professions and how often they have those thoughts. And then she tracked their performance. And lo and behold, there was no disadvantage at having more frequent impostor thoughts are interesting.
You didn't do worse in diagnosing patients symptoms if you're a medical student and you actually did better as an investment professional and then going back to medicine, you are also more compassionate if you felt like more of an impostor with your patients.
And so what I started thinking was feeling like an imposter from time to time has a few potential advantages. One is you work harder, you're not complacent. Two is you work smarter. You realize how much you can learn from other people. And three is you don't stand on a pedestal.
And so you do lots of questioning and rethinking of assumptions and strategies and visions that other people might be taking for granted. And so I think this is a big opportunity for reframing and it's probably easier for men to do than women. It's probably easier for white people to do than people of color, because if you've grown up and lived in a world where people assume that you're competent and knowledgeable, then when you have those impostor thoughts, it's easier to dismiss them and say, you know, I've overcome these before, I can do it again.
What I've started doing is when I have those moments of feeling like maybe I don't belong here, maybe I don't deserve this, maybe people are going to figure out that I'm just a random person who likes to do studies and collect knowledge, and I don't have all the answers. I think, OK, that feeling is exactly what motivates me to be humble and curious and hard working. And the day that I never have impostor thoughts again is the day that I think I am in danger of overconfidence.
I was going through my different work identities and the ones that I feel more deserving of and the ones I feel less deserving of. And then I think about how cooperative I am in correlation to those. And it immediately strikes me. Armonica will confirm this is I always feel like I'm in the right place when I'm directing. I'm like I am the person of these hundred people that should be doing this arrogantly. So and I'm as Monica will say, I can be my worst self in that situation.
And I'm also often as a writer, I think I might know better than other people. I don't feel fraudulent ever about when I've been hired to write. I've many times felt like they hired the wrong guy for a movie. I have many times been sitting here talking to someone who thought, Jesus Christ, am I the person that's supposed to be talking to Bill Gates? So if I track my humility and my cooperation, I do think it's inversely related to how confident I feel or related to how much of an impostor I feel.
That's so interesting. So you feel like you become more open to other people's ideas and more collaborative when you're in more of an imposter mode?
Yeah, like, I was really, really, really regrettably mean to Monica. I didn't recognize I was I thought I was being mean to the clients. I was directing a commercial thing for Kristen and I was really annoyed that they were going to be on Zoome. I didn't know that and I was pissed because I wouldn't have signed up for that. Belova I'm ignoring the fact that Monica is the intermediary between those people and she has a relationship with them and I'm being so fucking short with them and I'm making it very obvious I didn't want this and it was horrendous and I owed Monica a million apologies and that just wouldn't have happened.
Monica and I were seeing partners bless this mess that couldn't have happened during bless this mess.
Well it was weird because it was almost like you felt so comfortable that it allowed you to be rude or something.
Yes, I can tell you I can tell you the completely arrogant, self-centered vomitus thoughts I had, which is if you guys could be doing this, you'd be here and not on Zoome So you asked me to come do this and now you want to pretend you can do the job that we all are acknowledging you can't or you would have. I mean, literally that was the thought process I had, like, how dare you either come direct it or don't direct it, but you can't direct it by proxy or don't hire me like I was indignant and arrogant and annoyed because I thought we all agreed to something.
But now you want to be both things. I don't. It was again, it's so ugly. I'm telling you, it's an ugly place. I was in my brain, but I was so frustrated, like, well, if you want to fucking drug commercials, drug commercials, I'm really shocked to hear you say this.
That is not the DAX Shepard that I know and love with. Monica, you've clearly witnessed some of that. Yeah. I mean, you've been the victim of.
So I have to tell you, Adam, we already burst Kristen's bubble. DAX is also a person. The two of them are human. I know. I'm sorry. And so am I. And we all make mistakes and have triggers and pitfalls and all of these things. But DAX is so good because he can share that story.
Yeah, that's where the humility always comes back, comes back like way too late, like way after that. OK, so let's try to change that.
Yeah. So this is a great opportunity to go back to your question about, OK, how do we get better at rethinking some of those approaches and making sure we stay humble and curious and open? I think one thing that I think would be a fun experiment is so I mentioned before my favorite alternative to being stuck in preacher, prosecutor, politician mode. And I think you were in prosecutor mode a little bit there.
Oh, I had their backs, but also maybe fueled by preaching, you know, the answer. And so you had to trash somebody else's approach. Mm hmm. I think the best alternative is to think like a scientist where you say, look, my goal is to find the truth here and my belief about the right way to direct this commercial. It's just a theory. And under that theory, a bunch of hypotheses. And I need to run a little experiment to find out if my hypotheses are true or false.
And so what data would I need to gather? What do I need to observe in order to find out if my way of doing this commercial is a good or bad way? And I think that the evidence on this is is really cool.
If you just teach entrepreneurs this is a study of Italian entrepreneurs, if you randomly assign them just to learn that their strategy is a theory, they're doing customer interviews to come up with hypotheses and then their product launches an experiment to test the hypotheses they go from. The control group averages about three hundred dollars a year in revenue. The group that's taught to just think of their business like a scientist, they average 12000 dollars in revenue. That's a massive effect of just putting on these scientist goggles.
And I think part of what's cool about it is when you start to think like a scientist, you're no longer locked into your way because the experiment might just you in my challenge or assumptions. And sure enough, the entrepreneurs who are trained to think like scientists, they're more than twice as likely to pivot instead of saying, well, my pet strategy didn't work out, like, oh, well, the experiment showed that I was wrong and there's a better way to go.
There's nothing personal about it. No, it's not about me. Exactly. Yeah. So, DAX, I wonder if your version of this is to say you have some modes where you are super humble and curious. One of them is hosting the show. Uh huh. What if you approached everyone you worked with by saying, I'm about to interview this person for armchair expert? And I think they're incredibly interesting and I believe I can learn something from everyone I meet.
What would happen then?
Well, by the way, that is how I approach this show. So I don't know anything about being a host of a show, but this is the first time I've ever done it. I've never been saying in like I'm saying in your director. Oh, yeah. If you took the teams that you worked with and you said, I imagine I'm interviewing them.
Yeah, well, I'll tell you, the directing thing is I'm going to defend myself a little bit. It is a very complicated thing in that it is a dictatorship. It is designed because everyone has a movie they want to make and that's great. Everyone should make a movie. But you cannot make several people's movies. It will not work. It has to be a singular vision. For the most part. This is very embraced by the DGA. Everyone agrees that this is the system.
You're looking at me a little wider.
Well, no, because I think that's an approach and I think that's an approach a lot of people take. But there is also some directors who are insanely collaborative and take on the Grip's ideas and.
Yeah, but I'll add even more detail to it to put everyone to sleep. So there is a period, in my opinion, to be collaborative. There is a zone in a movie where you're very, very collaborative and that is prep. You know, you're working in rehearsal with the actors. You're finding out what they want, what they don't like. You're making it ideally something everyone can buy into and share and have ownership in. And there's a time for that.
And I love that time. And that's when the production designer says, I think you should set it at night. It'll look cooler when the explosion goes off. And I go, oh, my God, thank you. I didn't think of that. And I embrace that. But once we start shooting and we have forty five days and we have 12 hours a day and we have X amount of money, the time for collaborating is dramatically reduced because it just functionally and practically speaking, it's not the time to rethink whether we should shoot this at night or in the daytime.
That ship sailed. So it is a little harder to navigate than some other situations because people do lose control of their movies all the time. It's a complicated thing. And so there is a leader aspect to it that I don't think can be completely ignored.
So the way I would look at what you just said is you have a lot of experience in this industry and you have a well fleshed out theory of how to lead effectively and your director role and how there's kind of a divergent thinking phase where you do a lot of idea generation and then there's a more convergent thinking phase where you want to focus on implementation or execution. And you have a lot of data right. From your experience that tells you this works.
And the only question I would ask then is how many alternatives have you run? And actually not only question two questions. One is how many alternatives have you run and maybe enough of them that you don't need to be curious about alternatives or maybe the one that you have is working well enough that you don't see a need to rethink it, which I think is fair game. The thing I would wonder about here is have you articulated your theory to the people you're working with and explained how?
Look, I am very open in this phase, but then I like to be much more. Directive and task focused in this phase and would that make the collaboration smoother? OK, again, I'm going to defend myself a little bit. So in movies, I'm not the version that Monica saw on the commercial shoot. I don't want to shoot a commercial. I don't want to direct a commercial. I have no desire to do it. My wife needed a favor, so I'm somewhere I don't really want to be to begin with.
There's so many layers to that day. Marriage is in the mix again, this complicated friendship with Monica and I. Sometimes she has to take this role where she's talking to the client. You know, we're equals in here. But then we go down there and there's a structural status thing that fucks everything up. And then my expectation my expectation was you guys asked me to do a favor. And I think everyone's going to let me just do my fucking thing.
And so my expectations are so in cement at that point. That I just can't be flexible and adjust when I find out. Oh, that's not the case, the client's going to be there and of course, they're going to be there. They paid for it. I'm wrong. I'm on a percent wrong. But in that moment, you know, I couldn't accept that.
That makes sense. And I think you just hit on something that a lot of us miss, right, when we have those kinds of moments, which is when somebody disappoints you, it's not because they necessarily did something wrong. It's because of your expectations and the mismatch between what they did and what you wanted. And so then you either have to get clear about your expectations or you have to then be comfortable recognizing that other people have different goals and expectations.
Right. And it sounds like that's where you ended.
Yeah, the whole thing was really, really regrettable. But also, I don't really think that's how I am on movies where I want to be there, I care about it and blah, blah, blah. And I will just because it sounds like you might be curious, I will say I've done experiments. And what I sadly have found is throughout the three movies I made, once the cameras rolling, the factory's on, it's time to manufacture the cars.
The design phase is over. The less I get bogged down in those compromises, the better it has worked out for me. So I actually have found I've gotten less cooperative, I guess, as I've gone on. But again, I do think there's this huge window where everyone, all ideas are great and all that. But and I have expressed that to I have communicated that like now's the time. I'll tell my co-star, like, I want to hear everything because we won't have time when we get there.
We just don't have that movie. We don't have those many days. So let's do it all.
Now, it sounds like your process on a movie is not broken. And the problem is when you ran into a situation where you didn't get to apply your process.
Yeah. And then I was completely inflexible and arrogant and dismissive and.
Well, I think that Alphie, the answer is to treat people when you're starting to feel like you're going to be rude to think of those people, because I even had this thought were down there and these people can hear him being rude.
And I was like, what if these people listen to our show?
They hate you now. Yeah. And like, I was pissed. I was like, you're ruining other parts, too, by doing this. Right? So I think you should just consider the fact that maybe every single person listens.
No, I can tell you that that has been a trick of employed in real life, which is I literally forced myself to imagine the person's in armchair. Then I feel like exactly what you were saying when you brought that up. I was like, I'd be heartbroken if those people had, like, the show and they saw that side of me. Yeah, I really break my heart. Yeah.
Yeah, I hated that. And I have when frustrated sometimes with people, I go, imagine they're armchair. Exactly. It's embarrassing. I have to do that. That should be my default. But sometimes it's not. And that is a trick of employed.
Well yeah. I mean your audience here does see some of the very best sides of you and they have an expectation of you.
Yeah. So you want to meet those, I think.
Yeah, I want to be the person they think I am who you are, but yeah. Yeah.
You just want to be that person more often. Yeah, yeah, yes, yes. On a maximizers that side, which I think is a noble aspiration.
And I think one of the things that that I love about that is it really shifts your goals in the moment. It sounds like your goal was to get a task done. And when you say what if this person is an arm chair, you realize the most sacred thing there is the relationship you're building.
Yeah, exactly. Oh, I can lose sight of that easily. Me too.
You know, it's funny, I do the same thing sometimes when I get frustrated with someone used to happen that I'd be trying to catch a flight and I'd get there at the last minute and they don't want to let me on. This is just a rule that a bunch of people made up.
I know that you have the flexibility to bend that rule if you want to and know I start to prosecute all the ways I've worked with airlines. I know that you have the time anyway. And what I start to do is I try to remind myself, OK, this person could be a former student.
I guess that's the relationship that I think of first and foremost is I want to be as respectful and as curious every day as I am on my best day in the classroom.
That's such a great way to look at it. I also do, too. I bet you do. Like I imagine that's my daughter. Like, I insist on the best version of myself for my kids, and I find the bandwidth to do that. And I also think I find the bandwidth for this show, which I care so much about. Yeah. And I'd love to extend that out. I aspire to extend that out.
This is a really good one for me to think about too. I love the idea of saying, OK, you know, I to students first because I had them before I had kids and said that was the easy group to say that's a relationship that I've worked really carefully to put above whatever my goals might be. Yeah, but parenting is exactly the same way. And I think it goes both ways that we have moments where we talk to the people we love the most in a way that we know they'll forgive us or, you know, be understanding.
And sometimes it's actually I find it helpful to think about it. More distant relationship. Yeah. I say, what if this is a stranger? I was meeting for the first time. I've said this on here.
I'll sometimes be looking at my wife, getting ready for bed at night, and I actually have to force myself to say that's a human being who has fears, who has needs, who requires love. I mean, I have to remind myself, she's not my robot counterpart in this endeavor of raising kids. You know, I don't know. I think it's easy for us, the people we spend the most time with and that we love the most to all of us and take for granted the most.
And then I also really notice, like the insomnia story, it's like if my story is my wife is X, Y and Z, well, guess what. Or I usually think about it when she's thinking about me, which is I'm not helpful. Well, the premise of me is I'm not helpful. You will certainly see the four times a day. I'm not helpful and you'll certainly miss the maybe nine times the that day. I was helpful.
Yeah. That strikes such a chord. My version of this is constantly being late. There's always a task to be finished.
And I mean, time is a social construction to who decided, you know, how the clock ticks and I have a chronic inability to disengage from a task until it's done. Yeah. And that means that the poor person who's next on my schedule is always the one who suffers. Yeah. And one of the things Allison has taught me is to really recognize, OK, it is not important to me to be on time. You cannot make me care about being on time if I'm in flow writing or if I'm having just a generative creative discussion.
That's a magical moment and I don't want to mess with it. And whoever is on my calendar, hopefully they like me enough or want something from me enough that oh yeah, they'll begrudgingly accept it. And what Alison has taught me is, you know what? I have to think about the fact that time is important to other people and because it's important to her that we're on time, I need to care about that, too. And if I don't, then I am basically telling her I don't care about the things she cares about, which is obviously not true.
Yeah. You just Bull's-Eye to another issue, of course. Wait, do you have this issue of Monica, you a funny expression.
Tell me your tardiness issue.
It's a spectrum, Chris is the words on the second words. You're the last words.
I have a real, like, kind of visceral issue with people being late. I take it personally. I'm just like, you think your time is more valuable than my time and it is not. And then I get defensive over my time. You know, I'm like, well, now something I had planned later, which is important to me, is now getting cut into and you only care about making your moccia and whatever. And so it becomes a much bigger issue.
Right, about value so quickly, which it doesn't have to be.
That's my own issue. Well, I know so few sociological terms and I want to use one now. First of all, I heard you and I never want to make you feel that way. And I do not think my time is more valuable than yours. So I hope you've noticed. I've adjusted. I have. OK, great. And also that is attribution error.
So when I'm late Shepherd psychology student, I stare. You know, this self-fulfilling prophecy.
This is a good one. No, because I feel like almost every guest who's an expert that you have, that you tell me you love is a psychologist. So pretty much I mean, clearly you have an anthropology bent, but I think you might love psychology even more. I would have liked it more, but attribution error. Yeah. Which I learned I'm so guilty of in Christian rarely is. And I've had so much thought on this. But in general, someone cuts you off in traffic.
If I say that person's an entitled asshole, I've made a character assumption about them and I've explained their behavior by this character assessment I've made, whereas Kristen will think it is. Situational, so that person has someone in the hospital they're racing to see, and when you make it situational, there's nothing personal. They feel there's no sadness, there's no nothing accompanying. It's situational. And what I drill deeper into my own psyche, deeper than that is the reason I say that person's an entitled assholes, because I cut people off, not situationally, that I'm rushing to save someone.
I do because I'm entitled and I don't want to wait. And so you will see the world, however shitty you are, you'll pay the ultimate price because you'll have to assume everyone else is as shitty as you and it makes the world a miserable place to be. So I have to start personally by stopping being an entitled piece of shit and then I won't assume everyone else's. And that is the freedom that Christine has of not making attribution error because she can't even relate to that motivation.
I have so many thoughts right now. I'm not sure where to start. That is fascinating. So first of all, I think what you're describing is an attribution error that stems from projection bias. Another term for it is false consensus, which is, you know, whatever I think is true. And however I operate, I assume that other people like that as well. But I think your version of this text is different from most people, because I think most people go around thinking that they are good and decent human beings.
And so somebody who acts the way that is not OK with me, that person is not like me. Right. And so there's kind of an egocentric judgment that gets made of, hey, you know, well, I am high and mighty up here. And that entitled asshole is not one of my rare breed. Yeah, I think that you're much more humble than the average person in that way. You're willing to admit that you have flaws and foibles and faults as an next pill addict.
If someone's in my bathroom for a half hour and I hear the cabinet door open and close, it crosses my mind. I wonder if they're trying to steal my pills. Now, that will never cross Kristen's mind because she's never stole someone's pills.
Yeah, I guess this also goes to something else that I thought was interesting, which is there's another kind of attribution you gave basically the kind of the internal versus external or, you know, the the dispositional versus the situational. Right. Is it caused by this person being a jerk or is it caused by the circumstances that this person is in?
I think most of the problems that we run into if guessing about other people's behavior and not getting along with other people actually comes from failing to do another kind of attribution and doing too much of the internal or the external, doing too much of the personal versus the situational. So this is a relatively recent development and attribution research by the American Halbertal and her colleagues. The basic idea is that most of the time when we get into a disagreement or a conflict with someone else, we either will say, well, it's not you, it's me.
And that's sort of what you're doing. Right?
Or more often, we're like, no, actually, it's really you. Yeah, yeah. Most of the time both of those things are wrong. It's not me. It's not you, it's us.
And it goes back to the idea of disappointing expectations. Right. It's not that that person was bad. It's not that I had a completely ridiculous view. It's that my expectations clashed with your behavior. And so I think one thing we could all do, probably more often, is in marriages, in collaborations, in any interaction. We have to say, you know what, if I'm not on the same page with somebody else, maybe I should rethink how I explain that and stop blaming the individuals involved and see it as a property of the relationship instead of say, all right, we've got to we've got to rethink how we communicate.
Well, I also think with the time issue, we did that a bit because I wasn't like, you're always late. You don't value my time. It was I know that that comes from my insecurity of feeling not valuable. It is a convergence of both things. But I don't agree with you that it's because, like secretly I value my time more than anyone. I don't know.
No, no, I don't think that you do at all. I was not implying that. Oh no.
You see the bad things in others that you have.
And yeah, I introduced attribution error and then I went on a tangent with my own kind of personal realization about the reason I do it. But I was not extending that to you.
Right. It is something that is definitely half, if not seventy five percent, if not one hundred percent. My own issue that is clashing with your behavior. So Monica, can you teach me something? Yes. I'm really intrigued by what you said about how you look at people who are not respecting your time. Huh. So the way I've always looked at this is to say I don't want to be a slave to schedules and I organize my time around my commitments, not my calendar.
And the reason I do that is because my commitments are the people and projects that matter to me. So you will always know if I'm running late, it's because I am with someone or doing something that's really important to me. And that means you cannot count on me to show up on time unless it is important. I won't show up late for a class, for example.
Or for a speech, because I know that there is an audience dependent on my arrival at that moment, but if we have a meeting, probably five or 10 minutes at minimum, you're going to expect me to be running late. But then, you know, if I have to deliver something for you on a deadline, if I have to show up for you when something matters, that you can always count on me clearing my calendar for you. And I think I'm being more respectful of you by doing that.
Tell me how I should think about this different because people are not getting that message.
Well, I actually think the fact that there are things you would never be late for makes it worse, that you are leaving some things because what it signals and again, I don't think you mean this to be true, but what it can signal is those things take priority over me or I'm down on the list because you would never be late for X, Y and Z, but he's late for me, so I must not be that important.
Oh, no, no, but but what you don't see is I'm thinking, OK, I just had four emails come in and you responded, all I can respond immediately to all those people and say, fuck you, DAX is fine.
But in all seriousness, that then those four people will be excited that they got a rapid response. And then I'm only letting down one person who also is getting rapid responses in other situations. And so net, I'm actually being responsive and helpful to more people. You have too much on your plate. Well, that might be true. So, you know, it's great as I am often in a position where I'm defending my behavior to Monica and I will say things like, yeah, the matches seems completely insignificant, but I know if I don't drink that much, I'm not going to do this interview very well.
Like there's things I know about myself. And in some things I'll say our worth this moment I have to do it or I got to sit for five minutes with that kid, because all I think about is that I ran, you know, so now when I'm frustrated with my wife for doing the exact same thing, my critique is everything you're saying is correct. But what is unavoidably true is you commit to too many things. So, yes, guilty as charged.
Yet, you know, you can continue to excuse all this or you can adjust the other side of this equation, which is you've just committed to way too much stuff. And if you continue to do that, this will be your life for the rest of your life. You're constantly being late. You'll be apologizing, you know. So, you know, I can see both sides of it very clearly.
I think Kristen and I suffer from the same curse which we've talked about a little bit, which is we love to be helpful. Yeah. Yeah. And we also like to please people. And those two things together are dangerous.
Yeah. And if I'm being really critical, maybe I'll speak for your wife. That's your addiction. Like your self-esteem is being anchored in that. And you made a commitment to me to anchor your self esteem to me. And of course you're going to win the global argument of what's important, saving the world or going to the movies with me on time. Clearly, you're always going to have the moral high ground, but you can have all that. But you might not also have a wife and kids or you might not have a husband and kids.
You can't have all things.
Have you and Allison been talking? You're 100 percent right that I commit to too many things for exactly the reasons you describe. Every individual situation where I run behind is something I can justify. Yeah, but when you add them all up, it feels like my priorities are out of order. And Allison is so brilliant in so many ways. But one of the things that she's done that has really helped on the margin, I think I'm less often now and I'm also closer to the on time time with her, not just because I love her, but also because when something is important to her from a timeline standpoint as opposed to just, I think it is morally righteous to be on time, which I just can't get on board with.
Yeah, she will just ask me, are you going to be on time for this?
That's great. Well, she's setting appropriate expectations so that she doesn't have a resentment.
Not only that, but what do I say to that?
Did he say no, letting her down in a huge way? And the moment I say yes, I have now made a commitment. And guess what? I am somebody who stands by my commitments. So now the clock and the commitment are aligned here.
Yes. She had to figure out what leverage. Yeah, yeah. Good job. Good job. Adam, you're the funnest person in the world. I hope you it always gets back to you how regularly we sing your praises.
Can I ask you both a couple of questions before we wrap here? Do you have to go? Yes. Yes. One of my biggest fears in writing this book was that I would landed a set of beliefs and opinions and that I wouldn't rethink them. And that would be completely at odds with the point of encouraging people to think again. So what is something that I should rethink? Who you ask is the hardest question.
I know you love to do this. This is kind of your your perverse kink. This is your proclivity. This is the S.A.M. portion of the thing where you want us to be. It's more me feeling like when we have long conversations, which is twice now, right? Yeah, yeah, it's asymmetric and I don't get to be in podcast host role. I'm the guest there. All these things I'm curious about. And you don't let me ask that many questions.
And so I have to turn the tables a little bit.
Well, I'll come on yours in two seconds. That sounds like fun. We're going to have to happen.
I would love to do that. I said Monica would love to do that as well. Definitely.
The question is, what thing does he believe in that maybe he deserves a rethink? Well, I think we already covered one. Yeah, time. Time is a good one. You still have some work to do there. You can enjoy doing further towards and away from Kristen and I.
I definitely need to work on that and anything else that jumps to mind.
Yeah, and it's ironic because it's what I kind of fell in love with you over from afar was your position was Sam, while I understand what it was and I loved it, it also did say to me, what the fuck do you got to lose? Like, I think maybe meditation, meditation. And there there's also a drug conversation in there. And of course, I'm a big proponent of psychedelics and you're not. And that's fine. Everything's fine.
But you sound a little disappointed that you didn't prosecute that one successfully.
I'm not going to. I'm not going to. You don't you don't deserve that. But I would say there is an element to it, which is it doesn't need to be defensible in any way to do it. You know, I don't think it could hurt you to do things that are completely without reason or illogical or contrary to your fundamental beliefs just for the fucking experience of it.
That is great feedback. The criticism is spot on. I like to have a reason for everything I do. And if I can't explain what I'm doing with data or logic, then I don't do it. And because of that, I've missed out on some of the richest experiences in life.
I too is I don't get drugged to as many places as I should allow myself to be drug to. Wow, this is really good.
You know, it reminds me just as a quick tangent, I've been reading this research recently on how when people think about what they want out of life, a lot of people go to happiness. And then there's kind of the toxic positivity crowd that says actually meaning is more important.
And there's a new third leg of that stool, which is called psychological richness. And it's the idea of of saying, you know what, I could have failures, but I'm actually just accumulating experiences and I want to seek those out in life. And that's exactly what you just made the case for. And that is what I tend to overlook, is I feel like I put meaning first and then I get enough, meaning that happiness is a byproduct. And I don't have the richest, most interesting experiences that I could because I'm too busy learning from other people's experiences.
Those are my data.
Or you're waiting for like a critical mass to make your decision as opposed to it's OK to go on with a 20 percent interest or a 20 percent conviction and see what happens.
I did talk Monica eventually into doing mushrooms and she had all the reasons you did to not do it. And ultimately for her, she's very, very grateful on this trip, her one time trip through planet Earth. She did it.
Yeah, I would recommend it, even though I was really against it for all the same reasons I heard you speak of, that isn't something I've even considered rethinking.
So, yeah, I think it's a pretty far stretch. Yeah, I know where I've lived, but it's a it's an interesting fact. It was for me too.
It really was like I was like, I'm not doing that. Like there's no reason for me to even more so for me. I have like part of my identity, even though we're trying not to do that anymore, is I can't be peer pressure and I can't be made to do something I don't want to do. And I feel really convicted in that. So then it became just like a well, I said I wasn't going to and I'm not going to.
And then, you know, then I was like, what is the or also the very thing you're evaluating whether to do it or not to do it is the thing that it offers you a vacation from. Yeah, and it does for very analytical people like all three of us, it allows you to be a person you couldn't otherwise be. I don't believe you can monitor your way into seeing and experiencing like, well, you would know biochemically what happens.
There's a division in your brain as an adult you have that children don't have. And there's all this confusion between these two sectors of the brain. And what it really does is it stops those two sides from communicating and you're literally thinking like your child does. And there's a great value to that. I believe that.
And I think one of the things that's interesting about that, as I think it through, is my idea of a vacation is going and doing something really challenging. Right. So I'm going to climb a mountain or ski a black diamond. It's all a stimulation and intensity and growth as opposed to relaxation and maybe more idle curiosity. And you're pushing me to go there. I think I'm more likely to try meditation. That's yeah.
That's rethinking anything in theory. Yeah. Yeah.
But you also don't have time as schedules packed. Don't add in. Now, while you can't promise you a result from meditation, but I would bet my house and my family on a result with mushrooms. Wow. Yeah, I love you.
Now, we really do have to before the light fades here in L.A. light.
But I just want to give you one compliment. I know you want some constructive criticism, but the compliment I'm going to give you is since we've switched to Zoom, we've not talked to anyone for more than seventy five minutes. It is almost impossible because when the rhythms over, we stop and we're up to 20.
And that's just that's almost double what we've done thus far through by Rubaie added porridge axton Monica, by the way.
You don't have to run all of this right. You can edit out all the garbage.
This will do editing of the compliment. Trim the fat meant they got everything nice. You said about when she when you said I should have been a psychologist. That'll be gone. Don't worry. No, that has just added a fight for that. And I will also I will also fight for inversed charisma. Oh, yeah. Things I believe passionately.
Yeah, that one's wonderful. All right. Love you, Adam. And again, we'll be on your show anytime you want, so just thank you.
I love being with you both. It is such a huge honor to come back to armchair. And my mission is to become the guest that you're most excited to bring back.
Yeah, well, you go accomplish that. You need a new goal.
Thank you both and thank you, by the way. Thank you also for taking the time to think about think again and to share it with your audience. I'm obviously excited about it, but it means much more if you all are excited about it.
Yes, I'm very, very excited about it. Again, as I said, it overlap perfectly with my number one concern about humanity. So I'm grateful to you for having studied this and written about it. Well, thank you both.
Give my warmest regards to Kristen and I can't wait to meet her in person and hang out with you guys when this shit show is over.
I call you her sidepiece, so I just know that I'll try to figure out what that means.
And now my favorite part of the show, the fact check with my soulmate, Monica Batmen. Satisfies us all, satisfies. We brought to you by the Fizer FICA ever since we interviewed Adam Monacan, I randomly probably twice a week we'll just text each other the word satisfied.
It's such a good word. It is. It feels wrong, but it's so good. Feels wrong. But it's so right.
I love Adam so much. I do too.
He's our best friend. He's our best friend. And what was really cute is that he and I ended up being on the same episode of a TV show on Sunday. Yeah. How fun. Yeah. The Today Show.
What were you talking about? Top Gear. Top Gear. Yeah. And what was he? Top Gear in the podcast.
He's talking about his book. Oh, wow.
Yeah. When we were talking about.
Yeah. And he sent me a little email said Michigan take over. Oh how fun.
I wish she was from Georgia so I could have that feather in my cap.
Yeah. Maybe you can have them retire there. It's a beautiful place to retire. Very. What do we say. Well, know mild weather, mild winters, very mild, not as mild as Los Angeles Sakalys.
Well, that's where Los Angeles really shines is the winter months. Oh, yeah. People right now are posting like snow pictures. And it's I mean, it's, quote, cold for L.A. right now. It's like sixty three, right.
Generally, we're hovering around 70 all winter.
I know I know a simulation that Mediterranean climate, we have got not a lot of inclement weather minus though.
We got those earthquakes. I don't bother me. I've been here. Twenty six.
Knock on wood OK, I'm not going to come in. Do you have a favorite knock knock joke?
That's a good question. I don't think I have a favorite joke.
I'll tell it. Why did the arm fall off the toilet? I don't know why he was pissed off. Oh, that's good. That's really good. Thanks. I didn't make it up. I have a couple of favorite jokes, OK? One of them is potentially offensive. But I'm going to add I'm going to add that I lost my favorite one of my favorite women in my life, my grandma Youlus. I lost it all. Simers So I'm just going to say that.
And then I lost my father to cancer. So I'm going to say I've earned the right to tell this joke. OK, bye.
OK, so an older man goes to his yearly show that he told you told this joke so many times.
It was my favorite joke about my favorite joke. OK, so in a lot of its interests in the delivery, OK, that's why I like it. OK, so an older gentleman goes for his yearly physical and the doctor runs a barrage of tests and then he comes back into the room and he says to the older man, well, I've got two pieces of bad news. And he goes, OK, let's hear it. And he said, No.
One, you have cancer. Number two, you have Alzheimer's, and he said, well, at least it's not cancer actually isn't the one.
I thought you like the underwear. Well, that's another good one. So another an old man and his wife. It's always an old man in these jokes that I like. An older man and his wife go in for his yearly physical most.
My jokes are about a yearly physical and older man who's a bit hard of hearing goes in for his yearly physical.
And he's with his wife. And the doctor says, OK, Mr. Kelly, we're going to need a blood sample, a urine sample in a fecal sample. And he goes, what did he say? And his wife goes, He needs your underwear.
Yes. That's all you should control, your favorite jokes are stories. And my joke was just a quick in and out.
Do you think that says something about our personalities?
It does, because like you don't like doing voices outside your thing. It's not my thing. And I this is terrible to say, but I don't know if anyone else could deliver the joke.
The same level is good.
I'm not interested in it.
Like, I want something that's got like there's a performance element to it that makes it good, OK. Like there's a people can say at least it's not cancer and a lot of different ways and it's going to change that joke quite a bit. Right. Well, you got to really make them optimistic. Well, at least it's not cancer. Try to tell my aunt joke, OK? Why did the ant fall off the toilet? He was pissed off.
He couldn't give a shit. Oh, I don't know, sometimes he still somehow you could connect the dots. No, let's do it for OK.
OK, so I'm confused, though. I thought you wanted to see what happened. OK, ok.
Did something happen? Hold on one second. Hmm. Why did the ant fall off the toilet? Why he lost the farm? But he committed suicide, you know, they live in it and it's horrible, they live in an ant farm, OK, I'm not asking you to rewrite the show, OK?
OK, OK, here's looking for a delivery. OK, here we go. Take nine. Hey, Monica. All right, take 10. Oh, come on. Have you heard this, hear why they fell off the toilet? No, why? He was pissed off.
I think I like my delivery is better, but I'm just illustrating that there's a lot of waste in this.
Banjoko. Wow. Let me try one more.
OK. OK. Hey, can I give you a note, we always. Monica. To hear why they fell off the toilet now pissed off. Yeah, OK. Right. Are you all right? Straight off he's gone. OK, what was the note you were going to give me?
The no is it's uncomfortable when you say, hey, Monica. Yeah, yeah. That's the goal, to make it uncomfortable because jokes like that feel like it's people on the golf course.
Oh, I don't want to make the joke uncomfortable for people. They don't know if they can laugh. You want to take 12? Yeah, OK. Oh man. You hear about that. And that fell off the toilet seat now.
Yeah. You know what happened? What will happen when you get pissed off?
Oh yeah. I had a tumor. It's not a three step.
No, exactly. It's an in and out.
You're much better at telling this joke. So that's one. That's one I would not tell. OK, ok. OK, you don't hear the other one. I probably the most in my life. OK, ok. There's a bear in a bunny rabbit sitting in the woods and the bear says to the bunny rabbit, a little bunny rabbit.
Do you have any problem with shit sticking to your fur in the bunny rabbit says No Mr Bear, why do you ask.
And he says No reason. And then he picks up the bunny and wipes his butt with them.
That's a good kid, Joe. Then you can just say poop instead of shit like right.
I mean, it's shit because we have an adult audience right. Right here. Do you wanna try and tell?
I don't know, because I was only half listening. But listen, listen, listen, listen, listen, listen.
I actually. Not a fan of jokes of this nature or just like formulated jokes. Yeah, me neither. Me neither. I think if someone's starting to present a joke, I get very uneasy because I have to laugh and I probably do not think it's funny.
And yeah. So that's the immediate concern is like, well, I hope I think this is as funny as the person telling it obviously is anticipated.
There's no way I'm going to because this person loves it. Although I think the first time I told you the to our joke, he really liked it. Yeah. OK, maybe I just did good acting wave too.
Is anyone who tells one joke out of the blue is probably going to tell a joke.
And if you laugh so hard, they're going to think you want more, you're going to purge them. It's a positive feedback loop.
That's misguided because I don't know.
A lot of people love hearing. I think we're an anomaly. I think yes. I think this is a spoiled. You were at UCB. I was at Groundlings. We know a lot of really funny people. So spoiled. So when someone hit you with a knock knock joke here, like it's too elementary for me, that's too pedestrian. So we can't rob people.
We're being snobs. No, I don't think so. I think that the American public and the international public is on my level.
You do? Yeah. I don't they're not below me. They can they have the same standards of thinking of the states. I think they appreciate good humor over bad humor.
I think there's a huge latitude in that as well, or a huge spectrum in that some people don't get jokes for sure.
Well, that's true. Yeah. That's why there's a whole category of jokes called way homers.
You get them on the way home.
I've never heard of that. Well, there are, yeah. Do you remember when I showed you my favorite movie? Everyone was so delighted. You actually loved it, too, which is raising Arizona. Yes. The guy with the kids, he has a rambunctious kids and they're writing on the wall inside of H.R. McDonough's trailer trucks. A handful of nuts, Adam. And that guy tells a really terrible joke. And he says, I guess it's a way Homer in Heigl's what he was you know, you get it on the way home.
Oh so he, he. Yeah.
So it came from raising Arizona. I think it predates that. But yeah it was immortalized in Arizona. Oh it's the movie.
Anthony doesn't like it. You should have never told me. I'm sorry, I strike that from the record. OK, sorry, Anthony, that is unacceptable.
He does it and I know that is so unacceptable. Just just like some people like knock knock jokes. Some people don't like raising Arizona.
Raising Arizona is the only thing I'd ever put my foot down about. That's right.
He's got so many things to put your foot down about.
I'm saying in on the artistic scene, like you don't like Godfather. OK, that's hard for me to imagine, but OK, for someone and he's a writer and he's a real comedy.
He is. This is completely unacceptable. This would be like someone that's into race cars not liking Michael Schumacher or your basketball fan, not respecting Michael Jordan. It can't be done well.
And it did well. It did. Wow. Sorry for adding you, Anthony. I don't think I'm the same. Maybe needs to watch it with me.
No, I don't think that's a good idea because you're going to be reciting it or not going to be in the position of the joke where he's going to have to laugh.
No, I think perhaps for whatever reason, whatever Moody was in, he missed the tone somehow, the tones. He didn't anchor into the tone. And if he was watching it with me, I'm kind of like a guide. I'm the soundtrack. I'm a I'm a live audience, so I'll be laughing. And then he'll go like, oh, I guess, oh, that was a joke that was played for a joke. And then he might get the rhythm and the tone I think he gets.
He's just not for him.
He couldn't have got it or he's like it. That's what I would say be impossible to get the tone and rhythm of that movie and not like I thought you I thought you specialize in seeing other people's points of view.
I did. Except I said this is the single thing I'm going to say. I don't I cannot understand someone's point of view. I'm trying to a man put myself in his shoes and I'm watching the movie. I'm like, this is not good.
OK, that's like looking at the ocean and saying, that's a tiny puddle.
OK, now. OK, OK, Adam, let's get off Anthony's back for a second and let's go to Adam.
OK, so what does the Oracle of Delphi? Is it Delphia Delphi?
I've heard it said both ways. OK, I'm sure if you're in Greece you would say in a way that we don't say it.
I think I learned at Delphi in the USA, we say Delphi and everywhere else in the world, we say Delphi. Oh, wow.
We nailed it. Great. OK, good job.
What does the Oracle of Delphi tell Socrates about being the smartest man in the world? You couldn't quite remember the line. After his service in the war, Socrates devoted himself to his favorite pastime, the pursuit of truth, his reputation as a philosopher, literally meaning a lover of wisdom, soon spread all over Athens and beyond.
When told that the Oracle of Delphi had revealed to one of his friends that Socrates was one of the wisest men in Athens, he responded not by boasting or celebrating, but by trying to prove the Oracle wrong. So Socrates decided he would try and find out if anyone knew what was truly worthwhile in life, because anyone who knew that would surely be wiser than him. He set about questioning everyone he could, but no one could give him a satisfactory answer.
Instead, they all pretended to know something they clearly did not.
Finally, he realized the Oracle might be right. After all, he was the wisest man in Athens because he alone was prepared to admit his own ignorance rather than pretend to know something he did not.
Mm, lovely. And the Oracle of Delphi is a like it's fake, you know, it's like mysticism. Yeah. Yeah, it's a myth. Yeah, it's a fable. It's a parable. It's a party. It's a great place to party.
That's that reminds me of the club that Carly and I were going to star called Kottoor, say, oh, tell me about it. We had a dream of starting a club together.
Yeah, of course all of us friends knew it was going to be called Catorce because fourteen is my favorite number and her favorite number, but her favorite number because it's her birthday and you're more pure.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah. She was kind of given her favorite number. Yeah.
I'd like to be your favorite of hers. So Catorce and behind the bar was going to be kind of a waterfall rock wall and carved out was going to be Condorcet. Oh wow. Wow. Was this in your booty bump in days.
Booty pump. Now we were still booty pumping at that light. You've not changed the booty pumping. I thought that's what you said. Booty bump in which. Oh, I didn't write either. But a lot of people came to your defense, by the way, is a booty pumping was was dancing.
Thank you, people. Yeah.
And a lot of people were so mad that I don't love coronation or inauguration, but it was deep. It was deep. It was more than like, I disagree with you. It was it was a moral failing on my part that I didn't enjoy watching those things. Yeah, I can see that. I know you did see that.
That was the point, the crux of the debate. But back to booty pumping.
My first ex. Booty pumping was in middle school. Oh, God, what a sentence, if we're in the Howard Stern Show, you know, what they do is they they have the whole catalog of everything that's ever been said. And they often, like, will cherry pick something like that. And they'll call they'll call like a restaurant. And they'll have Robin said that one time and then they fuck with you. So the fact that we just got a little snippet of you going my first time booty pumping was in middle school is is valuable.
It's gold. It's gold. It was in middle school. And literally the parties at that time were in basements.
The one I can remember very vividly was my friend Ashlee's birthday.
And I think it was eighth grade and her mom rented the clubhouse in our neighborhood. OK, get the tennis court. OK, literally everyone at the party and there was like 80 people there. Wow.
Just getting a circle. Uh huh. You're just in a big circle and then you're just booty pumping.
OK, but don't you need a partner to booty pump.
Yeah, someone is behind you and. Oh my God, it's a change.
Train pumping chain train. Booty pump train. Yeah. Oh my.
It was so fun. It sounds raunchy. I think it was called like we're the parallel line or something or the parents were concerned.
Everyone was like gyrating there.
Um, it was it was raunchy. It was fun.
Wow. And were you did you get charged by that or was it a little early for that? Do you remember who was booty pumping?
You know, I mean, look, I remember who I wish was OK. Sure. But they were. Oh, bummer. Did you try to get yourself, like, position? Yeah, it's like musical booty chairs. Oh, wow.
Like probably the birthday girl I hope got her selection of.
Yeah, she was really popular and so she had boyfriends and stuff. OK, so they would pump.
OK, so romantic. Oh it's timeless.
Oracle of Delphi. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
OK, so why do accents go away when you sing? There is no definitive answer on this, I'll tell you. But I found two different explanations of all.
Yes. And I'm going to read them. One is technical as Billy Bragg, a guy who's never had difficulty letting his accent shine through. Who's that? No clue. OK, great, he explains.
Sorry, I hate when I have to say that, but no, I'm glad he's probably super popular. And I just want to know what what you're like, Socrates.
You know what you don't know? Ding, ding, ding. Or you better take that in.
And I will never say that again, that we got two great snippets.
Rob, put those in the bank. He's an English singer songwriter and left wing activists. OK, different accents are often defined by the rhythms, intonations and vowel quality and length. For many accents, the tune and the rhythm of a song can constrain these qualities to the point where the accent seemingly disappears.
This is true even for certain qualities of the general American accent and regional American accents related to it. General American is a Rodica accent.
Ironic or rather, this just says Roddick or maybe Roddick or Otis Roddick, I think, which means speakers pronounce the letters are at the ends of words like car and lover, unless they're on the East Coast.
Yeah, but if most Americans saying those words the same way they said them, they'd sound like pirates. Instead, many songs force American singers to push the R more towards a vowel or sound the same way many Brits might pronounce it.
So it sounds like if there was ever going to be universal language that could be spoken from everyone on the planet and intergalactic galactically, we'd have to sing to each other.
Oh, that'll be nice. Yes. Oh, maybe that's what he was on to. Fehlberg in Close Encounters NEPI You haven't seen it b B And that's how they communicated.
Oh and then they realized those notes on a thing and then they could spell I believe.
Oh wow. I know Anthony hates it. It's a great movie. OK, and here's something else. Linguist and author David Crystal from Northern Ireland. He says a song's melody cancels out the intonations of speech, followed by the beat of the music, cancelling out the rhythm of speech. Once this takes place, singers are forced to stress syllables as they are accented in the music, which forces singers to elongate their vowels. Singers who speak with an accent but sing it without aren't trying to throw their voice to be deceptive or to appeal to a different market.
They are simply singing in a way that naturally comes easiest, which happens to be a more neutral way of speaking, which also just so happens to be the core of what many people consider a, quote, American accent.
What's weird to me is that presumably there are many English singers who sing in, quote, an American accent that probably can't do an American accent. Isn't that interesting to think like him?
Like anyone? Like not everyone.
Not every Brit can do an American accent.
That's in fact, it's rare, but maybe they can't sing also.
Yeah, but they're all the British singers, to me, sound like they're singing in an American accent, like even Adele.
I bet Adele can do a. Very good American, and probably she's a phenom, but you know what I'm saying, I do know what you're saying, but I also most of the people I've met from England or Australia, they are much better at doing an American accent than like I am doing it their accent much better because of all the American content.
Exactly. Sure. Australian friend of mine, me. Well, great dear Australian from an Aussie pal.
He he speaks in a great American accent. Josh Yeah. Oh, I'm like, who's your vegan?
And I asked him why and he said, yeah. I grew up watching Sesame Street and I grew up watching. So it's just it's already ingrained. We're not growing up introduced to those other accents.
Right. Unless you are a regular customer of Lucifer's Pizza Hut for for all meros location to for Hillhurst.
Didn't Josh say that? Actually wasn't Australian.
He's I think he's we found out that he's Kiwi, right? Yeah. It's all it's all topsy turvy and scatty. Wampus.
Thank you for calling Lucifer's pizza.
Oh, it's getting getting kind of hectic, but you haven't done that in so long. I know.
I in fact, I just did it because I did see a couple of people say they missed it. I miss it.
I actually miss the first pizza we have occasionally they used to have a gluten free crust, but they still have it. They have a gluten free crust. That's great. But now they have even a second gluten free option, which is cauliflower, cauliflower. And it is the way it is.
Yes. It's really going to be hard for me to pick because I was born right now I am hungry. Yeah, me too. Well, then I'll call them all.
Thank you for calling Lucifer's pizza for Melrose location. Press one for Hillhouse location press two to thank you for calling on here. So please do these on the web. We hate talking to you as everyone else does too. Please use an app that's hard to use. No one wants to make your pizza. Thank you. That is calling anyone these days is.
I hate it. They shame you. They do.
And they make you listen to so much of that automated crap just to tell you to go to the website or on to you on your computer, put down your phone.
It's not nineteen ninety eight pizza like a new person who lives in the present day.
Oh yeah, that is funny.
What if when you call it said this, how dare you calling Lucifer's pizza.
Can we call this a recipe.
Yeah I am. OK, well let's see. But I want the regular if we ever played the real thing on here.
Yeah. Or maybe not. Let's do it. Just let's see. And you remember it changed and you were upset.
Welcome to Luciferase Pizza. If we the Steelers store, if you're looking for one of your other locations, please call them direct. You can find the number at Lucifer's pizza dot com where you should be.
Wait a minute. Is that change or that has changed?
Yeah, they used to make you pick what location drove me nuts.
So I just just dedicate a phone number to the one I want all the time. Yeah. All right. Well that's all. Let's eat pizza, ok. Love you. Love you.