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Social Psychologist Roy Baumeister on Willpower, Violence, and Free Will

by Scott Barry Kaufman, April 3, 2017

Roy Baumeister brings the methods of social psychology to bear on some of life’s deepest philosophical problems. In the second part of this two part series (see Part I), we cover the psychology of self-control, violence, sex differences, and free will. In addition to Roy responding to the critics of his “ego-depletion” model of self-control, he also offers some practical strategies to improve willpower for goal attainment, looking at how successful people set up habits that deplete less energy. We also speak to him about the four root causes of violence, looking at research on why perpetrators commit atrocities, and we discuss his controversial research on sex differences and some of the ways that society uses men and women differently. Lastly, we discuss whether humans are special in a way that makes us exempt from the natural laws of causality. We’re appreciative of having had the opportunity to speak with Roy and regardless of whether you agree or disagree with his views (we encourage diverse perspectives on the show), we hope these two episodes (this week’s and last week’s) offer a great deal of value to our listeners.

To learn more about Dr. Roy Baumeister, visit roybaumeister.com.

Visit thegreatcoursesplus.com/psych to get your free trial and access to over 8,000 free online lectures.


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