Today the tables are turned on The Psychology Podcast as Andrew Yang interviews Scott Barry Kaufman! This is a really meaningful episode for Scott, as he was a big supporter of Andrew’s presidential campaign, and is now a big supporter of his Mayoral NYC campaign. Andrew and Scott share a humanistic viewpoint, and it was great to finally get them together in a discussion.
Andrew is the founder of Venture for America, a non-profit organization aiming to create economic opportunities in American cities. He is a former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and is currently running for mayor of New York City on a Democrat ticket. In 2012, the Obama administration selected Andrew as a “Champion for Change” and later as a “Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship” in 2015. This episode originally appeared on Andrew’s podcast, Yang Speaks.
In this eagerly anticipated episode, Andrew and Scott discuss:
[02:48] Scott’s journey into and out of special-education
[05:45] Why Scott signed up for dance classes in college
[06:30] How Scott accidentally discovered his singing talents
[08:10] Why Scott decided to pursue psychology
[15:30] The worrying trend of schools rewarding behavioral conformity and performance on thinly disguised intelligence tests
[17:29] Scott’s “Dual-Process Theory of Human Intelligence”
[20:23] Why academic psychologists are always under pressure to come up with novel ideas
[21:02] Scott’s encounter with creativity research
[24:39] How Scott’s research on human intelligence opened doors for studying other research topics
[26:31] Examples of human-centered schools
[30:41] Andrew Yang’s take on humanistic and positive education
[33:20] Why Americans need to incorporate humanity into their everyday lives
[36:04] The difference between narcissism and healthy self-esteem
[39:20] Scott’s revised hierarchy of needs
[42:17] The distinction between deficiency motivation and growth motivation
[48:04] The reception of Scott’s latest book Transcend: The New Science of Self-Actualization among psychologists
My friend Andrew Yang is running for New York City Mayor, and he needs our help! Andrew maintains a huge lead in the polls and is dominating press coverage, and together, we can push him into first place in the fundraising race, too. This week, let’s make sure Andrew receives more contributions than any other candidate. What’s more: any New York City resident who contributes will get their contribution matched 8 to 1 by the City! To contribute, please go to y4ny.com/scott.
My first post didn’t seem to go through, so I’ll try this again. Thanks for sharing your personal experiences, Scott. It sounds like you were mis-identified as having a learning disability. Didn’t they give you a hearing test before administering the psychoeducational battery as required by law? The problem with IQ tests in schools is that many educators misuse them as predictors of future achievement in the special education population. Research shows IQ tests predict 10-50% of the variance in near-term future achievement in TYPICAL kids. In kids with DISABILITIES, the predictive value of IQ tests has not been studied much, and what little it has been investigated suggests it’s a poor predictor, as in your case, Scott. (https://www.nasponline.org/publications/periodicals/communique/issues/volume-46-issue-5/did-endrew-f-change-the-a-in-fape-questions-and-implications-for-school-psychologists )
You mention dyslexia briefly here, and I hope you devote an entire future podcast to the topic. For every story of a creative and successful dyslexic, there are countless stories of poor readers who flunked out of school because reading deficits prevented them from doing well in all academic classes, and who become stuck in low-wage jobs because of it. 60% of the prison population is functionally illiterate. The sad part is that it doesn’t have to be that way. David Kilpatrick’s book, edited by your friend, Alan S. Kaufman, reviewed the literature and concluded that the LARGE MAJORITY of reading problems can be prevented and/or remediated into the average range if schools use scientifically validated methods of reading instruction and intervention. Unfortunately, too many schools are not doing this, and so NAEP reading scores continue to show (year after year) that only about one-third of US students are proficient in reading. This topic may not be as exciting as humanistic education, creativity, transcendence, and the hierarchy of human needs, which are obviously all important. But reading skills are the boat of the hierarchy of academic skills, and a prerequisite for living-wage employment in today’s world, which in turn is necessary for meeting the basic need of security. No basic security, no growth. https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Essentials+of+Assessing,+Preventing,+and+Overcoming+Reading+Difficulties+-p-9781118845240
What a wonderful interview! It’s heartening to know that there are genuinely humanistic leaders in the field of politics, education, and psychology. I hope these two bright shining lights in their fields continue to grow in their purpose/endeavours and continue to garner support. We need more people like them.
TY. Great interview!