This month at The Psychology Podcast we discussed a new model of gifted education with Scott Peters, why everything is fucked with Mark Manson, why so many incompetent men become leaders with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, and how we can integrate evolution and contextual behavioral science with David Sloan Wilson and Steven Hayes.

Rethinking Gifted Education with Scott Peters

Dr. Scott Peters is an associate professor of educational foundations and the Richard and Veronica Teller Endowed Faculty Fellow of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater where he teaches courses on measurement and assessment, research methodology, and gifted education. His research focuses on educational assessment, gifted and talented student identification, disproportionality within K-12 education, and educational policy. He is the first author of Beyond Gifted Education: Designing and Implementing Advanced Academic Programs and the co-author (along with Jonathan Plucker) of Excellence Gaps in Education: Expanding Opportunities for Talented Students, published by Harvard Education Press.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Advocates vs. scientists in the field of gifted education
  • Does teacher training in gifted education have any effect on self-reported teaching in the classroom?
  • How the desire for good advocacy in gifted education can bias good science
  • The real need to advocate for kids who aren’t being challenged in the regular classroom
  • The absurdity of teaching children based solely on how old they are
  • Is there room at the table for all different perspectives in the gifted education field?
  • The problem with the “gifted” label
  • How can you balance excellence with equity?
  • How to close the “excellence gap” in gifted education
  • What domains should be included in gifted education?
  • The importance of “frontloading” opportunities in school
  • Acceleration vs. enrichment
  • What happens when addressing underrepresentation is the main goal of gifted education?
  • The value of using local norms for gifted student selection
  • Is complete excellence gap reduction a reasonable goal of gifted education?
  • Scott’s plan for addressing excellence gaps in gifted education

Hope is Fucked with Mark Manson

“Whether you think you’re better than everybody or worse than everybody, you’re still assuming that you are different than everybody.” — Mark Manson

Mark Manson's blog, markmanson.net, attracts more than two million readers per month. Mark is the New York Timesand international bestselling author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (with over 6 million in sales in the US alone) and his latest book is called Everything is Fucked: A Book About Hope.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why we are a culture in need of hope
  • The paradox of progress
  • How self-control is an illusion
  • How to learn to communicate to yourself effectively
  • “Emo Newton’s” laws of emotion
  • Mark’s definition of growth
  • How to start your own religion
  • The paradox of hope
  • How hope can be incredibly destructive if we’re not careful
  • Kant’s Formula of Humanity
  • How to grow up
  • Political extremism and maturity
  • The difference between #fakefreedom and real freedom
  • Why we are bad algorithms and why we shouldn’t fear artificial intelligence so much
  • What Mark dares to hope for

Why So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders with Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

“There is a surplus of charismatic leaders with a fascinating dark side.” — Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is the Chief Talent Scientist at ManpowerGroup, a professor of business psychology at University College London and at Columbia University, and an associate at Harvard’s Entrepreneurial Finance Lab. He’s the author of Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It) as well as 9 other books, and over 160 scientific publications. He is the co-founder of DeeperSignals and Metaprofiling and a regular contributor to HBR, FastCompany, and BusinessInsider. You can find him on Twitter @drtcp or at www.drtomas.com.

  • Limitations of the “lean in” approach
  • Tomas’s alternative explanation for the existence of gender differences in leadership
  • How people focus more on confidence than competence
  • How we emphasize charisma more than humility
  • How we are more likely to select narcissistic individuals for leadership positions than people with integrity
  • Gender differences in narcissism
  • Is masculinity necessarily toxic?
  • Why we waste so much money on unconscious bias training
  • How do we get more women in leadership roles?
  • The better way to select talented people in the workplace than using gender quotas
  • Do nice guys finish last?

Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science with David Sloan Wilson and Steven Hayes

David Sloan Wilson is president of The Evolution Institute and a SUNY distinguished professor of biology and anthropology at Binghamton University. Sloan Wilson applies evolutionary theory to all aspects of humanity in addition to the biological world. His books include Darwin’s Cathedral, Evolution for Everyone, The Neighborhood Project, and Does Altruism Exist? Steven C. Hayes is foundation professor in the department of psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno. An author of forty-four books and over 600 scientific articles, his career has focused on an analysis of the nature of human language and cognition, and the application of this to the understanding and alleviation of human suffering and the promotion of human prosperity. Hayes has received several awards, including the Impact of Science on Application Award from the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT).

Together, they edited the recent book, “Evolution and Contextual Behavioral Science: An Integrated Framework for Understanding, Predicting, and Influencing Human Behavior.”

In this episode we cover a lot of ground, including:

  • Steven’s perspective on language and cognition
  • The difference between evolutionary science and evolutionary psychology
  • How Skinner thought of himself as an evolutionary psychologist
  • How evolutionary theory needs to take a step back and taken into account variation selection
  • How evolutionary science need to be an applied discipline
  • How evolutionary psychology done right acknowledges both an innate and adaptive component
  • Why Steven Hayes thinks that 98% of the research we’re doing in psychology might be wrong
  • Steven’s criticism of psychometric research (he thinks it’s “going down”!)
  • The first time Steven encountered David’s work and how it made him cry
  • Steven’s criticism of how the term “genetic” is used in the psychological literature
  • Separating “pop evolutionary psychology” from good evolutionary science
  • Renee Duckworth’s skeleton metaphor
  • The tension between evolutionary change and stability
  • Why we need to look at function, context, and longitudinal development in order to really balance flexibility and structure,
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as managing the evolutionary process
  • How multidimensionality and multi-level thinking allows us to manage evolutionary processes like never before
  • Their upcoming book on prosociality