301: Robin Hanson on Motives and Human Behavior


Manage episode 244045223 series 1659696
By Eric Zimmer|Wondery. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Robin Hanson is an Associate Professor of Economics at George Mason University and a Research Associate at the Future of Humanity Institute of Oxford University. His book, The Elephant In The Brain: Hidden Motives In Everyday Life, is what he and Eric discuss in this episode. They explore topics like motives, perspective, the left brain interpreter and so much more as it relates to human behavior. This episode will give you a lot of insight into yourself and others.

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In This Interview, Robin Hanson and I Discuss Motives, Human Behavior, and …

  • His book, The Elephant In The Brain: Hidden Motives In Everyday Life
  • How often, we keep our true motives hidden from others
  • That we also keep our true motives hidden from ourselves
  • Modularity
  • The things happening at a conscious as well as an unconscious level
  • The left brain interpreter being like a press secretary
  • Needing to tell a story about our motives
  • Questioning whether or not you know the motives of others
  • That we have multiple motives for doing things
  • Understand others and then assume you’re a lot like them
  • Cynicism and Misanthropy
  • Perspective
  • The evolution to protect ourselves from each other
  • The need to have others like us and think well of us
  • Obliviation
  • What if others couldn’t see what you bought – that their opinion of you wouldn’t change because of what you bought – how would that change what you’d buy?
  • That we pay a lot for variety
  • Proximate and distal causes
  • That evolution designed us to be relatively unaware of our motives – so why is it good to know about them?

Robin Hanson Links:




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