Get Smart: Intellectual Humility and Critical Thinking with Mark Leary, Ph.D. & Lee McIntyre, Ph.D.

Original Air Date Wednesday, March 30, 2021 

Research shows that most people believe themselves to be above average when it comes to most things. And, for some, being right has become less of a virtue and more of a defensive stance. Standing our ground on trivial issues may damage our relationships and make us more susceptible to disinformation campaigns.

To discover the strategies that help us to increase our critical thinking skills and our intellectual humility, Positive Psychology Podcast Host, Lisa Cypers Kamen, speaks with two experts about their work in what motivates humans to think critically. Mark Leary, a professor emeritus at Duke, describes the three benefits to being intellectually humble, the history of the study of intellectual humility, and strategies to increase connection and creativity by increasing intellectual humility. Author and Research Fellow, Lee McIntyre, shares excerpts from his book, How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason and describes how to practice inclusion with those who absorb the information provided by disinformation campaigns.

Mark Leary — Intellectual Humility:

  • Mark explains intellectual humility and how it plays out in our lives. [1:34]
  • Ways to activate critical thinking to become more intellectually humble. [3:18]
  • Three big benefits to being intellectually humble. [7:01]
  • Most people believe they are above average in most things, which is statistically improbable. [14:46]
  • Standing your ground on cherished values is different from standing your ground on trivial issues. [18:01]
  • Suggestions to increase intellectual humility. [21:13]

Mark Leary, guest of episode about intellectual humility and critical thinking with Lee McIntyre.Mark Leary is Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. For more than 40 years, he’s studied the psychology of emotion and motivation, with an interest in processes that underlie human well-being and strong social relationships.




Mark Leary

Lee McIntyre — Critical Thinking:

  • The five-step blueprint of a science denier. [28:38]
  • The difference between skeptics and deniers. [31:42]
  • If a person is susceptible to disinformation in one realm, does it translate to other subjects? [35:19]
  • Lee shares his framework for understanding a science denier’s point of view and if possible, how to offer them a different view. [40:56]
  • In Lee’s book, Post-Truth, he describes the strategies and narratives employed by those interested in spreading disinformation. [46:02]/li>
  • How social media propagates propaganda, free speech, and preserving relationships with science deniers. [48:26]/li>

Lee McIntyre, guest of episode about intellectual humility and critical thinking with Mark Leary,Lee McIntyre is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and History of Science at Boston University and an Instructor in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. He holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. Formerly Executive Director of the Institute for Quantitative Social Science at Harvard University, he has also served as a policy advisor to the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard and as Associate Editor in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Book: How to Talk to a Science Denier: Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason


Lee McIntyre Books

@LeeCMcIntyre on Twitter

Lee Cameron McIntyre on Facebook

This episode of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio about intellectual humility and critical thinking  is sponsored by:

Futurology Podcast — Have you ever thought about how and why thought trends lead to the innovations of tomorrow? Audible and SXSW have a new podcast, Futurology: 12 Big Questions About What’s Next to explore the future of everyday activities. Listen to the first 4 episodes now on Audible at

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 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.

“We need to be curious, investigate, and look for evidence.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We all get to our positions through our own experience; the lens of our lives and the stories we have to tell about it.” @LisaKamen on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet “Most of us walk through life far more confident of our beliefs and opinions that we should be.” — Mark Leary on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“You can’t possibly know everything and you can’t possibly always be right.” — Mark Leary on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“We make better decisions when we have our eyes open to the possibility that our beliefs might be wrong.” — Mark Leary on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Intellectual humility fosters collaboration and creativity to some extent.” — Mark Leary on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Intellectually humble people are highly motivated to be correct in that internal mental sense.” — Mark Leary on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Most people think they are above average on almost any quality you can think of.” — Mark Leary on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“You have to be able to tolerate a certain amount of uncertainty and ambiguity if you are intellectually humble.” — Mark Leary on @HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“A recent research study shows that 65% of the anti-vax propaganda on Twitter was due to 12 people.” @LeeCMcIntrye on@HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Some of the lies that are amplified on Twitter, FB, and YouTube are the result of a deliberate disinformation campaign.” @LeeCMcIntrye on@HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“There are no magic words you can say to anyone to convince them to give up their position on a closely held belief.” @LeeCMcIntrye on@HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“A lot of science deniers are victims of disinformation campaigns that are used to try to dupe them into being confused.” @LeeCMcIntrye on@HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet“Once liars have a microphone they are going to do damage.” @LeeCMcIntrye on@HH_TalkRadio Click To Tweet



Psychology of Money: Finessing Financial Security

Psychology of Money: Finessing Financial Security

Psychology of Money: Finessing Financial Security with Michelle Singletary & Scott Nations Original Air Date Wednesday, May 18, 2022  These days, more often than not, financial market headlines include the terms ‘market crash’, ‘bubble bursting’, ‘inflation’, or...

read more