Awake and Aware: The Science of Becoming a Better Human and Society with Stuart Shanker & Jim Davies PhD


Original Air Date Wednesday, March 24, 2021 


Since 1995, the amount of stress Americans feel has skyrocketed and is still escalating. This time correlates with the accessibility of personal computing in our homes. Today, the constant barrage of distractions from smartphone notifications and other electronic media have penetrated our ability to concentrate and seriously slashed our productivity. So, how do we take back our lives and become better aware humans and a better society? To explore strategies to keep us awake and aware, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with two doctors about optimizing our lives. Dr. Stuart Shanker discusses the many types of stress and his latest book, REFRAMED and Jim Davies Ph.D. walks us through his book, Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are, and what science says about how we can become better people and a better society.


Dr. Stuart Shanker — Becoming an aware Society:

  • What is self-regulation and maladapted self-regulation? [1:47]
  • The five types of stress and how excessive stress causes polarization. [5:32]
  • The stress levels in the U.S. have crept upward since 1995 and continue to rise every year. [8:37]
  • Hidden stresses can be remedied with time and patience. [13:58]
  • Stuart’s latest book, REFRAMED explores human nature, human development, and IQ. [22:41]
  • The triune brain has three parts, the neocortex, the limbic system, and the reptilian brain. [26:14]
Man with glasses, dark hair and grey shirt in light background. Guest of new episode titled Awake and Aware: The Science of Becoming a Better Human and Society with Stuart Shanker & Jim Davies PhD

Stuart Shanker

Stuart Shanker is a distinguished research professor emeritus of philosophy and psychology at York University, and founder of the MEHRIT Centre, Ltd. He is a world-leading authority and bestselling author on the topic of self-regulation and child development, and the former president of the Council of Early Child Development.

 Book: REFRAMED: Self-reg for a Just Society


SelfReg Global

@StuartShanker on Twitter

SelfReg on Facebook

@stuart_shanker on Instagram


Jim Davies Ph.D. — The Science of Being a Better Aware Human:

  • The three components of optimizing our lives. [34:57]
  • What biases do we have toward charities and why do we give to certain charities but not others? [40:27]
  • Shifting priorities and changing habits is the secret to happiness. [43:03]
  • Jim shares the causes that save the most lives for the least amount of money. [49:17]
  • The science of intuition and when to defy your gut instinct. [52:40]
  • Distractions and interruptions, how they affect productivity, and what we can do to avoid them. [57:08]
Man with glasses, green eyes and dark jacket in black background. Guest of new episode titled Awake and Aware: The Science of Becoming a Better Human and Society with Stuart Shanker & Jim Davies PhD

Jim Davies PhD

Jim Davies is a professor of cognitive science and author of three books, Riveted, Imagination, and Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are, to be released in February 2021. He is an award-winning teacher and researcher and co-hosts the podcast Minding the Brain.

Book: Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You



Jim Davies Website

Minding the Brain Podcast

@DrJimDavies on Twitter

Dr. Jim Davies on Facebook

This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio is sponsored by:

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Are We Happy Yet? Eight Keys to Unlocking a Joyful Life A boot camp manual for greater emotional fitness. Happiness waits for no one and sometimes we all need support. What is getting in the way of your happiness right now?

HFactor: Where is Your Heart? — Lisa’s documentary film that explores the journey of human happiness. Emotions are contagious and happiness is a universally desired state. We tend to forget we all have the freedom to be happy or the liberty to be miserable each day.