Would People Rather Give Themselves a Shock Than Sit And Think?

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Dr. Timothy Wilson is a social psychologist at the University of Virginia. He joins us in this HumanTech podcast to talk about research on how self-stories affect our behavior, and his new research on the things people are willing to do to not have to just sit and think. And you’ll also hear how Dr. Wilson’s first book, Strangers To Ourselves: The Adaptive Unconscious, dramatically changed the course of my career.

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And here are some links to Dr. Wilson’s books if you want to check them out for more information:

Redirect, by Timothy Wilson, 2011 –  If you want to know how to make permanent and lasting change in your behavior, or the behavior of someone you know, then this is the book to read. Wilson covers the recent, and often very surprising, research on interventions and therapies that result in people actually changing. Permanent behavior change is hard to come by. This book tells you what does and doesn’t work based on research.


Strangers to Ourselves: The Adaptive Unconscious, by Timothy Wilson, 2004 – This is the book that actually got me started seriously on the topic of the unconscious. I had read Blink (Malcolm Gladwell) and although that was an interesting book, I wanted more depth and detail. Gladwell referenced Wilson’s book so I started reading it and light bulbs went off for me. This is a great book with lots of interesting insights and strong research.

HumanTech is a podcast at the intersection of humans, brain science, and technology. Your hosts Guthrie and Dr. Susan Weinschenk explore how behavioral and brain science affects our technologies and how technologies affect our brains.

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