YANSS 177 – Why people waited so long to take precautions against COVID-19, how to better persuade those who still refuse, and how to take bettercare of your mental health during isolation

Flatten the curve.

That idea has spread through the population faster than COVID-19 ever could.

That’s the power of culture, of human psychology, of brains interacting with brains. Of course, culture and human psychology and brains interacting with brains are also how the virus spread to begin to with, and that is what this show is about — the psychology behind the spread, and the prevention of the spread, of COVID-19.

When I asked followers on Twitter what kind of show they would want if I did a show about the psychology of this moment, the answer I received the most was, “Why aren’t people staying at home?” so, that’s the first thing we talk about (even though we may soon be asking, “Why DIDN’T people stay at home?”)

The second most-asked question was “how do we persuade people, in times like this, to take precautions and follow guidelines?” so that is segment two. And the other topic most requested was how do to deal with anxiety and loneliness and relationships right now. So, that is segment three.

This is a show with six experts, answering all of this, across three segments: Why we respond to situations like this in the way that we do, how to encourage people to respond differently both now and in the future, and how to take care of yourself during a long period of isolation?

– SEGMENT ONE: 5:00
– SEGMENT TWO: 50:00
– SEGMENT THREE: 1:18:00

Oh, and #GoVictorian

TranscriptDownload – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – PatreonSoundcloud 

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Dr. Julia Shaw is a psychologist best known for her work in the areas of memory and criminal psychology. In 2017 Dr. Shaw co-founded the memory science and artificial intelligence start-up Spot. Spot helps employees report workplace harassment and discrimination, and empowers organizations to build a more inclusive and respectful work environment. In 2016 she published her bestselling debut book The Memory Illusion, which has appeared in 20 languages. In 2019 she published her second international bestseller Evil: The Science Behind Humanity’s Dark Side. TWITTER: @drjuliashaw

Dr. Joe Hanson, is a science writer, biologist, and YouTube educator. He is the creator and host of It’s Okay To Be Smart, an award-winning science education show from PBS Digital Studios that celebrates curiosity and the pleasure of finding things out. His science writing has been published by WIRED, Nautilus, Scientific American and Texas Monthly. TWITTER: @DrJoeHanson

Amie M. Gordon is an assistant professor of psychology and the director of the Well-being, Health, and Interpersonal Relationships Lab (WHIRL) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She studies the ways in which our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors shape our close relationships. She writes regularly at Psychology Today under the column Between You and Me. TWITTER:

Jay Van BavelFrom “neurons to social networks,” Jay Van Bavel studies how collective concerns like morals, group identity, and political beliefs affect human brains. His team at the Social Evaluation and Perception Lab studies these issues using social neuroscience, and approach that uses neuroimaging, lesion patients, and linguistic analysis of social media to examine how humans in groups affect the beliefs and perceptions of other humans in groups. TWITTER: @jayvanbavel

Richard Chataway is Vice President of BVA Nudge Unit UK and founder of Communication Science Group, and one of the most experienced behavioral science practitioners in the UK. His new book is, The Behavior Business. He has worked in senior strategic roles for government in Australia. France, and the UK, and for the four largest advertising agency groups, addressing behavioral challenges as varied as getting people to stop smoking, join the armed forces, drink spirits rather than wine, prevent domestic violence, pay for university tuition, submit their taxes, buy flatpack furniture, and take public transport – to name a few. TWITTER: @rich_chataway

Dr. Jud Brewer is the author of The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love — Why We Get Hooked and how We Can Break Bad Habits— and his TED Talk on how to change a bad habit has more than 12 million views. He is the Director of Research and Innovation at the Mindfulness Center and associate professor in psychiatry at the School of Medicine at Brown University, as well as a research affiliate at MIT. His apps, mentioned in the show, are available at the link. TWITTER: @judbrewer

Links and Sources

TranscriptDownload – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – PatreonSoundcloud 

Julia Shaw’s Website

Julia Shaw’s Twitter

It’s Ok To Be Smart

Joe Hanson’s Twitter

Amie Gordon’s Website

Between You and Me

Jay Van Bavel’s Website

Jay Van Bavel’s Twitter

Richard Chataway’s Website

Richard Chataway’s Twitter

Jud Brewers’s Website

Jud Brewer’s Website

Jud Brewer’s Twitter

The Human Response to Disasters

Exponential Growth of COVID-19 Visualized

MUSIC PROVIDED BY: Mogwai, Espanto, Fin Taylor, Twin MusicomIncompetech

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