Here’s my personal selection of some podcasts in the general area of understanding how people tick – ranging from neuroscience to management tips. The common denominator is that they all feature interviews, talks or contributions from leading researchers and practitioners – people who know what they are talking about.
If you haven’t tried podcasts before, this selection is a great way of expanding your world-view and triggering your own creativity as you apply new ideas and viewpoints to what you know already, and see what happens.
Brain Science podcast with Dr Ginger Campbell
Each month Dr Campbell interviews a leading neuroscience researcher or author. Dr Campbell is an MD rather than a scientist herself, so she asks questions which help the scientists share their insights in a way which is accessible to lay people like me. This is where to find leading-edge brain science discoveries and their implications shared in a way that is accessible to lay people like me. Lots of free stuff and transcripts to download.
iTunes page | RSS feed
RSA Events Audio
The Royal Society of Arts hosts free events on science, the arts, and society with internationally known speakers. These feature enough episodes on psychology to be worth including in this list.
My current favourite episode is the recent Daniel Goleman talk entitled ‘Do Rich People Just Care Less?‘ – notable for RSA chief executive Matthew Taylor’s massive overclaim in his introduction for both the field of Emotional Intelligence and Goleman’s role as the ‘inventor’ of it, which Goleman gracefully disclaims later in the talk.
Manager Tools DISC podcasts
The Manager Tools website has a huge library of podcasts on various topics – I have been enjoying those about the DISC profile, an easy way of understanding, working with and influencing people’s different behavioural styles. If you’ve been baffled or repelled by MBTI, or reject the whole notion of ‘putting people in boxes’, I recommend DISC as being more accessible and as only aspiring to predict behaviour, rather than personality as a whole. (More about DISC in future blog posts)
The Infinite Monkey Cage
This is a lighthearted discussion show from the BBC, featuring comedian Robin Ince and physics heartthrob Professor Brian Cox, that covers science in general, but again has the occasional psychology episode to justify its inclusion in this list (for example, the most recent episode is about Perception with psychologist Claudia Hammond, neuroscientist Beau Lotto and the great comic book writer and mystic Alan Moore, who is always worth listening to).
A final aside about podcasts as a way of learning. Sometimes I hear people say that podcasts are good for people who have an ‘auditory’ style of learning, which kind of implies that other people would not benefit from them. I think the situation is a little more nuanced than that.
For example, my preferred way of absorbing new ideas is from books, as I can read a lot faster than I can listen. But you can listen to podcasts while you’re doing something else – walking the dog, working out, chopping wood, washing the dishes – so you can get to learn while you’re doing mundane activities.
You may also be interested in this post on the best podcasts for leading-edge management thinking.