Psyched Up: The Brain Science Behind the Human Story with Paul Bloom PhD

Original Air Date Wednesday, February 15, 2023 

A sense of belonging is essential to human existence. Our ancestors needed to be part of a social group to be safe and provided for. Our need for acceptance still drives us. As an example, being ostracized in today’s ‘cancel’ culture has been referred to as a type of death.

To better understand how the human mind has evolved to deal with the pressures of 24-hour access to social media and more, Positive Psychology Podcast Host Lisa Cypers Kamen speaks with the Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, Paul Bloom. Paul shares the key concepts from his latest book, PSYCH: The Story of the Human Mind, and provides answers about how social interactions, or the lack of them, might stave off human happiness.

Paul Bloom PhD — Brain Science:

  • Paul explains the difference between the mental mind and the brain. [2:06]
  • Paul contends that evolution hasn’t changed our minds. [7:39]
  • How has the human stress response evolved to cope with the constant social threats we experience today? [9:19]
  • Social interaction is the key to keeping people healthy, happy, and free of mental illness. [17:29]
  • Pandemics and political polarization are unique curses because they take away the social interactions we need to be healthy. [19:43]
  • In his book, PSYCH: The Story of the Human Mind, Paul studies every aspect of psychology from children to seniors. [25:08]

Podcast episode about brain science with the author of PSYCH Paul Bloom and positive psychology expert Lisa Cypers KamenPaul Bloom PhD is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. Paul Bloom studies how children and adults make sense of the world, with a special focus on pleasure, morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of seven books, including PSYCH: The Story of the Human Mind, to be released on February 28, 2023.

Book: PSYCH: The Story of the Human Mind

Paul Bloom
@PaulBloomatYale on Twitter

This podcast 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 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.



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