Podcast Recap (October 2018): Sexual Fantasies, DNA, Habits, and Perfect Timing

by Scott Barry Kaufman, October 31, 2018 in Blog

This month at The Psychology Podcast we discussed the most taboo sexual fantasies with Justin Lehmiller, the importance of going “with the grain” of you nature with Robert Plomin, the importance of choosing the best environment to create habit change with James Clear, and  the importance of timing for virtually everything you do in your life with Dan Pink. Have a listen below!

The Science of Sexual Fantasies with Justin Lehmiller

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute and author of the book Tell Me What you Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life. Lehmiller is an award winning educator, having been honored three times with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence from Harvard University, where he taught for several years. He is also a prolific researcher and scholar who has published more than 40 pieces of academic writing to date, including a textbook entitled The Psychology of Human Sexuality. On this episode we cover a wide range of provocative and fascinating findings from the largest survey on sexual fantasies of all time. Topics include:

  • The most common sexual fantasies among humans
  • The most taboo sexual fantasy category
  • Fantasy vs. desire
  • Reducing shame for the content of one’s sexual fantasies
  • The relationship between the fantasy-prone personality and sexual fantasies
  • The importance of sexual self-actualization for well-being
  • The benefits of open communication of our fantasies with our partners
  • Sexual orientation vs. sexual flexibility
  • The truth behind widely held stereotypes about BDSM
  • Gender differences in sexual fantasies
  • What your sexual fantasies say about you
  • The sexiest superhero
  • OCD and gender bending
  • Does size really matter?
  • Which fantasy is the least likely to work out when it’s actually acted out?
  • How can more people turn their fantasies into reality in a healthy way?
  • How can we break the barriers in society that prevent us from properly communicating our sexual desires?

How DNA Makes Us Who We Are with Robert Plomin

Dr. Robert Plomin is Professor of Behavioural Genetics at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London. He previously held positions at the University of Colorado Boulder and Pennsylvania State University. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and of the British Academy for his twin studies and his groundbreaking work in behavioral genetics. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including G is for Genes: The Impact of Genetics on Education and Achievement (with Kathryn Asbury), and most recently, BluePrint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are.

In this wide-ranging conversation, we discuss the following topics:

  • How Robert became interested in genetics
  • The importance of going “with the grain” of your nature
  • Robert’s twin studies methodology
  • How genotypes become phenotypes
  • How kids select their environments in ways that correlate with their genetic inclinations
  • The genetic influence on television viewing
  • How virtually everything is moderately heritable
  • The effects of extreme trauma on the brain
  • The developmental trajectory of heritability
  • How the abnormal is normal
  • How we could use polygenic information to inform educational interventions
  • The potential for misuse of genetic information to select children for particular educational tracks
  • Recent research on shared environmental influences on educational achievement
  • The “nature of nurture”
  • The variability of heritability across different cultures and levels of SES
  • The role of education on intelligence
  • How teachers can and cannot make a difference
  • The genetics of social class mobility
  • Free will and how we can change our destiny

See further reading here.

How to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones with James Clear

James Clear’s website, jamesclear.com, receives millions of visitors each month, and hundreds of thousands subscribe to his email newsletter. His work has appeared in the New York TimesTime, and Entrepreneur, and on CBS This Morning, and is taught in colleges around the world. Clear is the creator of The Habits Academy, the premier training platform for organizations and individuals that are interested in building better habits in life and work. His latest book is called “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones”.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How the mind is a “suggestion engine”
  • How James has grown since his last appearance on The Psychology Podcast
  • The importance of “dichotomy transcendence”
  • The importance of choosing the best environment for your genes
  • How was easily fall into “frictionless” habits
  • How environment design plays a crucial role in habit change
  • The four laws of behavior change
  • The multiple levels of behavior change
  • The link between identity and habit change
  • The importance of small habits
  • Why we should stop focusing on goals and focus on systems instead
  • Why it’s easier to build a new habit in a new environment
  • How to go from good to great

Motivation, Selling, and Perfect Timing with Dan Pink

Dan Pink is the author of six provocative best-selling books— including his newest: When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. His other books include A Whole New MindDrive, and To Sell is Human. Pink’s books have won multiple awards and have been translated into 38 languages.

In this episode we discuss the following topics:

  • What is the best way to motivate people?
  • The case for “metapay” among self-actualized people
  • How purpose is a powerful motivator
  • The “motivation continuum”
  • The ways contingent rewards can go awry
  • Is it possible to be “unhealthily autonomous”?
  • The importance of “killing your darlings”
  • Dark triad selling vs. cooperative selling
  • The “identity civil war” and zero-sum thinking
  • The new ABCs of communication
  • The myth of the necessity of extraversion for sales success
  • The importance of time management
  • The best and worst times to do…
  • When is the best time to have a mid-life crisis?


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