YANSS 054 – The self who wasn’t there

Is the person you believe to be the protagonist of your life’s story real, or do you daily witness the unfolding tale of a completely fictional character? In other words, is your very self something concrete, or is it as illusory as a daydream?


Bruce HoodAccording to psychologist Bruce Hood, the person at the center of your life isn’t really there; it’s all neurological smoke and mirrors. Sure, you have the sensation that you have a self, and that sensation is real, but the beliefs and ideas that spring from it are not. Learn all about it in this and how it shapes your life in this episode in which you’ll hear some new material mixed with a rebroadcast of episode four’s interview with the author of The Self Illusion, Bruce Hood, professor of developmental psychology in society in the School of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol. Check out his website here.

After the interview, I discuss a news story about how once the brain has decoding a scrambled message you can never unhear the decrypted version of the sound.

In every episode, after I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. That listener/reader wins a signed copy of my new book, “You Are Now Less Dumb,” and I post the recipe on the YANSS Pinterest page. This episode’s winner is Mary Nir who submitted a recipe for Stellar Orange and Peanut Butter Cookies. Send your own recipes to david {at} youarenotsosmart.com.

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSS – Soundcloud

This episode is brought to you by The Great Courses. Get 80 percent off Behavioral Economics: When Psychology and Economics Collide taught by Professor Scott Huettel along with many other fantastic lecture series by visiting this link and ordering today! Offer code SOSMART.

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Links and Sources

DownloadiTunesStitcherRSS – Soundcloud

Previous Episodes

Boing Boing Podcasts

Cookie Recipes

A Sound You Can’t Unhear (and What It Says About Your Brain)

The Self Illusion

Bruce Hood’s Website

Image: CC via Jennifer Garcia

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