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Zachary Elwood Podcaster

I'm a former professional poker player who is most well known for my books on poker tells/behavior: my first book Reading Poker Tells has been translated into 8 languages. I'm also known for my psychology podcast People Who Read People, which is known for often focusing on political polarization-related topics.

Recent Content

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The Awe And Horror Of Existence: A Talk With Psychologist Kirk Schneider &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
The awe and horror of existence: a talk with psychologist Kirk Schneider

A reshare of a 2022 talk I had with existential psychologist Kirk Schneider. We talk about existential psychology and the power of being able to better understand and recognize the core anxieties we a…

A reshare of a 2022 …

A reshare of a 2022 talk I had with existential psychologist Kirk Schneider. We talk about existential psychology and the power of being able to better understand and recognize the core anxieties we all have about existence, such as our fear of death, meaninglessness, isolation, and freedom. Other topics: how existence can be awe-inspiring but also terrifying; what “existential psychology” and “humanistic psychology” are and how those forms of psychology/therapy differ from more well known and traditional forms of therapy (e.g., psychotherapy); the psychology behind political polarizat…

Listen · 57:01
The Strangeness Of Life And Existential Psychology &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
The strangeness of life and existential psychology

Thoughts about how an awareness of life's strangeness might impact us, both positively and negatively, and how that might relate to existential psychology concepts. Topics include: how an awareness of…

Thoughts about how a…

Thoughts about how an awareness of life's strangeness might impact us, both positively and negatively, and how that might relate to existential psychology concepts. Topics include: how an awareness of life's strangeness might be seen to be a core existential stressor (like the fear of death, or fear of isolation); how this might relate to religious/spiritual experience; how this might relate to traumatic experience and PTSD; how being aware of life's strangeness might make one more likely to embrace nonsensical, low-evidence beliefs of various sorts; how this might relate to mental illness (in…

Listen · 19:48
Psychology In Waiting Tables And Running A Restaurant, With Robin Dibble &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
Psychology in waiting tables and running a restaurant, with Robin Dibble

   A talk with Robin Dibble, an experienced Albuquerque-area service industry professional who’s worked in every aspect of the business, from waiting tables, to cooking, to managing restaurants an…

   A talk with Rob…

   A talk with Robin Dibble, an experienced Albuquerque-area service industry professional who’s worked in every aspect of the business, from waiting tables, to cooking, to managing restaurants and night clubs. Topics include: psychological strategies servers use to get more tips; how menu design can affect what people order; reading customer satisfaction as a restaurant manager; the factors in deciding to cut someone off from drinking; lighting and acoustics considerations when designing a comfortable space. This is a reshare of a 2019 talk.  Learn more and sign up for a premium subscrip…

Listen · 58:32
Two Former Congresspeople, A Democrat And A Republican, Discuss Toxic Polarization &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
Two former congresspeople, a Democrat and a Republican, discuss toxic polarization

I talk to former members of the House of Representatives Luke Messer (Republican) and Elizabeth Esty (Democrat). We talk about: political polarization; their experiences being in congress during such …

I talk to former mem…

I talk to former members of the House of Representatives Luke Messer (Republican) and Elizabeth Esty (Democrat). We talk about: political polarization; their experiences being in congress during such a highly polarized period of time; their ideas for reducing toxic polarization, and more.  Learn more and sign up for a premium subscription at PeopleWhoReadPeople.com.

Listen · 1:02:17
Aphantasia, Internal Monologue, And The Challenges Of Describing Thought, With Russell Hurlburt &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
Aphantasia, internal monologue, and the challenges of describing thought, with Russell Hurlburt

A talk with Russell Hurlburt, who’s researched inner experience for more than five decades. He is the author of 6 books and many articles on the topic of mental experience. Topics discussed include:…

A talk with Russell …

A talk with Russell Hurlburt, who’s researched inner experience for more than five decades. He is the author of 6 books and many articles on the topic of mental experience. Topics discussed include: The difficulty of describing inner experience; the ambiguities in the classification of “aphantasia” (reporting no visual qualities in one’s thought processes); the ambiguities in the “inner monologue” concept; thought on whether dreams are visual or not; and more.  Learn more and sign up for a premium subscription at PeopleWhoReadPeople.com.

Listen · 58:43
How A Bus Driver Predicts The Behavior Of Drivers And Passengers, With Brendan Bartholomew &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
How a bus driver predicts the behavior of drivers and passengers, with Brendan Bartholomew

A talk with Brendan Bartholomew, who's a professional bus driver in San Francisco. We talk about the role understanding and predicting human behavior can play when driving a city bus. Topics discussed…

A talk with Brendan …

A talk with Brendan Bartholomew, who's a professional bus driver in San Francisco. We talk about the role understanding and predicting human behavior can play when driving a city bus. Topics discussed include: the importance of thinking ahead about potential pedestrian/traffic dangers; how bus drivers know who’s waiting for a bus and who’s not; thoughts on handling unruly and/or mentally ill passengers; how modern rideshare and scooter traffic have changed things for bus drivers.  

Listen · 39:03
How A Bus Driver Predicts The Behavior Of Drivers And Passengers, With Brendan Bartholomew &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
How a bus driver predicts the behavior of drivers and passengers, with Brendan Bartholomew

A talk with Brendan Bartholomew, who's a professional bus driver in San Francisco. We talk about the role understanding and predicting human behavior can play when driving a city bus. Topics disc…

A talk with Brendan …

A talk with Brendan Bartholomew, who's a professional bus driver in San Francisco. We talk about the role understanding and predicting human behavior can play when driving a city bus. Topics discussed include: the importance of thinking ahead about potential pedestrian/traffic dangers; how bus drivers know who’s waiting for a bus and who’s not; thoughts on handling unruly and/or mentally ill passengers; how modern rideshare and scooter traffic have changed things for bus drivers. --------------Support the Show.To get ad-free episodes, and more, get a premium subscription. To learn mo…

Listen · 39:03
To Reduce Polarization, Is It Optimal To Work On Systemic Change Or Cultural Change?, With David Foster &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
To reduce polarization, is it optimal to work on systemic change or cultural change?, with David Foster

A talk with David Foster, who writes about polarization and media at knowthesystem.org and is the author of "Moderates of the World Unite!: Reworking the Political Media Complex." Topics discussed inc…

A talk with David Fo…

A talk with David Foster, who writes about polarization and media at knowthesystem.org and is the author of "Moderates of the World Unite!: Reworking the Political Media Complex." Topics discussed include: the optimal approach for reducing toxic political polarization (cultural change vs systemic changes); the difficulty of making any changes in a polarized, high-animosity environment; the ideas in David's book for improving the media environment and political discourse.Faith Based Mental HealthUnlock peace with our Christ-centered mental health podcast. Heal, hope, and thrive!Listen on: …

Listen · 58:58
On Social Power, The Oppressed/Oppressor Framework, And Empathy, With Elizaveta Friesem &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
On social power, the oppressed/oppressor framework, and empathy, with Elizaveta Friesem

Elizaveta Friesem writes about media and about social power (i.e., the power people exert over other people).  I first interviewed her about media and polarization in 2021 about her book "Media Is Us…

Elizaveta Friesem wr…

Elizaveta Friesem writes about media and about social power (i.e., the power people exert over other people).  I first interviewed her about media and polarization in 2021 about her book "Media Is Us." Topics we discuss here include: Michel Foucault’s ideas about power (often referenced in liberal academic world); the oppressed/oppressor framework (also often referenced); how simplistic views of social power can be divisive and result in a reduction in people's empathy; how the free will debate ties into these ideas; political polarization related to some of these ideas. Support the s…

Listen · 1:03:26
What'S Life Like When You Don'T Believe In Free Will?, With Physicist Daniel Whiteson &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
What's life like when you don't believe in free will?, with physicist Daniel Whiteson

A talk with Daniel Whiteson, a professor of physics and astronomy, about free will, with a focus on what the effects in one's life are when one doesn't believe in free will. Topics discussed…

A talk with Daniel W…

A talk with Daniel Whiteson, a professor of physics and astronomy, about free will, with a focus on what the effects in one's life are when one doesn't believe in free will. Topics discussed: Our thoughts on why we think free will is unlikely to exist; psychological and emotional aspects of living without a belief in free will; the anxiety and even anger that some people can have about the idea that we lack free will; the idea that a lack of belief in free will can be part of a spiritual, positive way of experiencing the world; and more. Support the showTo get ad-free episodes, and …

Listen · 55:52
News Media Tends To Deepen Our Divides. Does Isaac Saul Have A Solution? &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
News media tends to deepen our divides. Does Isaac Saul have a solution?

A talk with journalist Isaac Saul, founder of Tangle News (readtangle.com), which shares takes from across the political spectrum. I think Tangle is doing amazing work. I think the more Americans ther…

A talk with journali…

A talk with journalist Isaac Saul, founder of Tangle News (readtangle.com), which shares takes from across the political spectrum. I think Tangle is doing amazing work. I think the more Americans there are who read Tangle, the less toxically polarized we'll be. Topics we discuss include: aspects of Tangle News that make it depolarizing and anger-reducing; how Isaac conceives of the problem of political polarization; his work debunking "the election was stolen" narratives in 2020, and more.Support the showTo get ad-free episodes, and more, get a premium subscription. To learn more about th…

Listen · 29:47
The Allure Of Deciphering Behavior: A Talk With Rounders Screenwriter Brian Koppelman &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
The allure of deciphering behavior: a talk with Rounders screenwriter Brian Koppelman

A talk with screenwriter/producer Brian Koppelman, known for many TV and film projects, including the poker movie Rounders, the show Billions, and the series Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber. Topics …

A talk with screenwr…

A talk with screenwriter/producer Brian Koppelman, known for many TV and film projects, including the poker movie Rounders, the show Billions, and the series Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber. Topics discussed: poker tells in Rounders; the allure of figuring out what people's behavior means; the difficulty of reading behaviors in most real-world situations; and the anxiety-reducing benefits of transcendental meditation. Think like the EnemyA podcast that delves into the heart of the critical issues in our nation and the world.Listen on: Apple Podcasts   SpotifySupport the showTo get ad-…

Listen · 51:56
How A Pro Poker Player Makes Use Of Poker Tells, With Dara O'Kearney &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
How a pro poker player makes use of poker tells, with Dara O'Kearney

A talk with professional poker player Dara O’Kearney about poker tells (aka, physical and verbal behaviors in poker). Dara is the co-host of the popular poker podcast The Chip Race and the author of…

A talk with professi…

A talk with professional poker player Dara O’Kearney about poker tells (aka, physical and verbal behaviors in poker). Dara is the co-host of the popular poker podcast The Chip Race and the author of several books, including GTO Poker Simplified. We talk about: the importance of poker tells compared to strategy; how Dara’s views on tells have changed over time; some ways poker players can get info from opponents (e.g., insulting them or being nice to them); some poker hands where opponent behaviors played a role in a decision. Support the showTo get ad-free episodes, and more, get a premiu…

Listen · 1:04:43
Tips On Interrogating People For Information And Confessions, With David Zulawski &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
Tips on interrogating people for information and confessions, with David Zulawski

A reshare of a talk with David Zulawski from 2018. Zulawksi is an expert in interrogation and interview techniques and the cofounder of Wicklander Zulawski and Associates. Topics discussed include: Wh…

A reshare of a talk …

A reshare of a talk with David Zulawski from 2018. Zulawksi is an expert in interrogation and interview techniques and the cofounder of Wicklander Zulawski and Associates. Topics discussed include: Why is the non-confrontational, rapport-focused technique he recommends the best one? Why is it important to downplay the significance of a crime? Why is it important to try to prevent someone from denying the crime/accusation?  Why is it important to not tell a suspect all the evidence you have against them? What are some behavioral clues a suspect is lying or telling the truth?Support the showTo …

Listen · 1:13:10
Reading Behavior And Motivations In The Robbi Jade Lew Poker Hand, With Yakov Hirsch &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
Reading behavior and motivations in the Robbi Jade Lew poker hand, with Yakov Hirsch

A talk with professional poker player Yakov Hirsch about the well known high-stakes poker situation where amateur Robbi Jade Lew was accused of cheating by professional player Garrett Adelstein. We gi…

A talk with professi…

A talk with professional poker player Yakov Hirsch about the well known high-stakes poker situation where amateur Robbi Jade Lew was accused of cheating by professional player Garrett Adelstein. We give our takes on the hand, and the overall situation, and we talk about Robbi's possible motivations and thought processes during this hand, and about what her behavior might indicate about her thinking.Support the showTo get ad-free episodes, and more, get a premium subscription. To learn more about the show, go to behavior-podcast.com. I'm on Twitter at @apokerplayer. See a summary of m…

Listen · 0:42
The Case For Having Cognitive Empathy For Trump And His Voters, With Yakov Hirsch &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
The case for having cognitive empathy for Trump and his voters, with Yakov Hirsch

A talk about trying to understand Trump's anger at the American media and how that relates to American polarization. This is from a talk I had with Yakov Hirsch in late November 2023. Other topic…

A talk about trying …

A talk about trying to understand Trump's anger at the American media and how that relates to American polarization. This is from a talk I had with Yakov Hirsch in late November 2023. Other topics discussed include: Trump-Russia media coverage; Americans' polarized views of Trump; the importance of trying to understand even those people we perceive as dangerous and harmful; American polarization and conflict dynamics in general. This is from a video talk; you can find the video talk on my People Who Read People YouTube channel.Support the showTo get ad-free episodes, and more, get a …

Listen · 42:03
Yakov Hirsch On The Overstatement Of Antisemitism, And On Why We Must Try To Understand The &Quot;Other Side&Quot; &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
Yakov Hirsch on the overstatement of antisemitism, and on why we must try to understand the "other side"

A second talk with Yakov Hirsch, who writes about the Middle East conflict and about "Hasbara culture": what he sees as the tendency of some Israel-defending people to be overly antagonistic and us-vs…

A second talk with Y…

A second talk with Yakov Hirsch, who writes about the Middle East conflict and about "Hasbara culture": what he sees as the tendency of some Israel-defending people to be overly antagonistic and us-vs-them in their thinking (for example, unfairly framing criticism of Israel as "antisemitic"). If you haven't heard the first talk, I recommend that one. This talk is more generally about the nature of conflict, and about how conflict can make us perceive the world and the people around us in overly pessimistic and antagonistic ways, which in turn leads to more conflict. It's also about t…

Listen · 41:16
Why Do Some People Want To Watch The World Burn?, With Kevin Arceneaux &Raquo; 5Cfec01B44F3E29Fae1Fb88Ade93Fc4Aecd05B192Fbfbc2C2F1Daa412B7C1921 Scaled
Why do some people want to watch the world burn?, with Kevin Arceneaux

A talk with Kevin Arceneaux, whose research found that a surprising number of people (around 40%) either agreed with or did not disagree with statements like “When I think about our political and so…

A talk with Kevin Ar…

A talk with Kevin Arceneaux, whose research found that a surprising number of people (around 40%) either agreed with or did not disagree with statements like “When I think about our political and social institutions, I cannot help thinking 'just let them all burn'?” In their paper, they called this a "need for chaos." We talk about what the study entailed, what they found, and what the factors might be that help explain the finding. We also talk about its relation to toxic polarization, and to social media.  (This is a talk from 2021.)Transition DrillFirst responders and militar…

Listen · 58:58
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