The Science of Success Podcast

The Science of Success Podcast

Improve your decisions, hack your mind, and master the psychology of persuasion with The Science of Success Podcast.  This Podcast will teach you the tactics and strategies to understand how psychology rules the world around us and what you can do to use that information to make yourself smarter and achieve your goals.

Big News

The Science of Success has been a smash hit on iTunes and we recently made “New & Noteworthy” and have more than a MILLION downloads!Science of Success Podcast

On my website you will always be able to access the podcast via the Podcast link above or by clicking right here – but we won’t be posting an update on MattBodnar.com for each new episode any longer.

How To Organize and Remember EVERYTHING

I get listener comments and emails all the time asking me “Matt, how do you organize and remember all this incredible information?” A LOT of our listeners are curious about how I keep track of all the incredible knowledge I get from reading hundreds of books, interviewing amazing experts, listening to awesome podcasts and more.

Because of that we created an epic resource for just for you, a detailed guide called How To Organize and Remember Everything – and you can get it completely free by joining our email list below.

We will also be updating The Science of Success email list with each new episode and many extra goodies. You can sign up below to get access to everything.


Thanks again for all your support and to all of my awesome listeners!

Science of Success Podcast – Moving Through Setbacks

The Science of Success

Do you want to understand more about your own thoughts and motivations? Do you wish you had a better understanding of what motivates other people and drives their decisions? Has psychology always fascinated you, but you’ve been missing a way to apply those lessons practically in your day-to-day life?

The Science of Success is my new podcast and I have teamed up with RedOrbit.com to explore the mindset of success, the psychology of performance, and how to get the most out of your daily life.

With gripping examples, concrete explanations of psychological research, interviews with scientists and experts, and practical ways to apply these lessons in your own life, the Science of Success is a must listen for anyone interested in growth, learning, personal development, and psychology.

On this episode of “The Science of Success”, I delve into the debilitating affect of setbacks. You’ve got a goal. You’re working towards it, then BOOM: Something gets in your way. What do you do? Do you give up and try something else? Or do you brush yourself off and keep moving forward?

How you answer this question could make all the difference.

Listen Now!

Or download here (right click and save).

 

Science of Success Podcast – Embracing Discomfort

The Science of Success

Do you want to understand more about your own thoughts and motivations? Do you wish you had a better understanding of what motivates other people and drives their decisions? Has psychology always fascinated you, but you’ve been missing a way to apply those lessons practically in your day-to-day life?

The Science of Success is my new podcast and I have teamed up with RedOrbit.com to explore the mindset of success, the psychology of performance, and how to get the most out of your daily life.

With gripping examples, concrete explanations of psychological research, interviews with scientists and experts, and practical ways to apply these lessons in your own life, the Science of Success is a must listen for anyone interested in growth, learning, personal development, and psychology.

Listen Now!

Or download here (right click and save).

On this week’s “The Science of Success” I explore one of the most crucial elements of leading a successful life: moving through discomfort. It’s human tendency to want to avoid things that make us feel awkward, and most of us do. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing. We will discuss two tricks that can help you move through discomfort and, if practiced enough, actively cultivate the ability to seek and embrace discomfort.

Science of Success Podcast – The Biological Limits of the Mind

The Science of Success

Do you want to understand more about your own thoughts and motivations? Do you wish you had a better understanding of what motivates other people and drives their decisions? Has psychology always fascinated you, but you’ve been missing a way to apply those lessons practically in your day-to-day life?

The Science of Success is my new podcast and I have teamed up with RedOrbit.com to explore the mindset of success, the psychology of performance, and how to get the most out of your daily life.

With gripping examples, concrete explanations of psychological research, interviews with scientists and experts, and practical ways to apply these lessons in your own life, the Science of Success is a must listen for anyone interested in growth, learning, personal development, and psychology.

Listen To Episode One Now!

“The Biological Limits of the Human Mind” (right click and save to download)

On this inaugural episode of “The Science of Success” we explore one of the fundamental underpinnings of psychology: the brain itself.

As we discussed when we talked about Charlie Munger – your brain is a roughly million-year-old piece of hardware, designed to operate in the world of hunting and gathering, where dangerous animals and competing humans may lurk behind the nearest bush.

While our society has changed massively in the last 10,000 years (or even the last 500 years), our brains have not had time to catch up.

As a result, you and I are equipped with a tool that is riddled with shortcuts and processing errors, which can manifest themselves in mistakes, calamities, and all around terrible decisions.

To find out how you can get around these and make life a little easier, listen to this week’s episode “The Biological Limits of the Human Mind”.

 

Charlie Munger on Mental Models, Wisdom, and Human Psychology

charlie munger mental models

Your brain is a roughly million-year-old piece of hardware – designed and built to operate in the world of hunting and gathering – where a dangerous animal may lurk behind the nearest bush. While our society has changed massively in the last 10,000 years (or even the last 500 years) – our brains have not had time to catch up.

You and I are equipped with a tool that – while wonderfully sculpted by evolution to thrive and reproduce in the world of hunter-gatherers – is riddled with shortcuts and processing errors that can manifest in mistakes, calamities, and all around terrible decisions.

Over the last year or so I have spent much time studying Charlie Munger – the billionaire “right hand man” of Warren Buffett. Charlie developed a rather unique worldview on human behavior and problem solving (that he dubs “worldly wisdom”) rooted in the idea fundamentally that you need a wide range of tools (what he calls mental models) to solve the many problems that life throws at you.

Among one of Charlie’s greatest insights were the combined notions that  (1) all academic disciplines must respect each other in order to be true and (2) that psychology underpins nearly all of them because it impacts and shapes human decisions.

What this means is that to think more effectively and achieve your goals you need to both master psychology and understand the mental models that underpin reality.

One of the most powerful things that you must understand about everything that I’m sharing with you here – these are not anecdotal observations or opinions – the decisions, mistakes, and behavior patterns that human engage in again and again, to their own determinant, are rooted fundamentally in science and proven repeatedly by numerous psychological studies.

Learning More About Charlie Munger’s Mental Models

As a starting point for that journey, I wanted to share with you several resources that I have learned from along the way.

I would absolutely start by watching (or listening to) this Youtube Video of Charlie Munger on “The Psychology of Human Misjudgment.” The video is priceless and I’ve listened to it 10+ times. Some of the examples are a bit dated because the speech is from 1995, but the message is timeless.

From there, I would recommend digging into a few books. I’ve put these in a particular order and suggest sticking to it – this will slowly introduce you to the topic and layer in key pieces of knowledge to build a more comprehensive understanding of Charlie Munger’s Mental Models and the Psychology of Misjudgment. [Click the titles for a link to Amazon]

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely

Predictably Irrational is absolutely the best starting place to dip your toes into this subject. It’s a quick read that is easy to grasp and has some great examples that will stick with you. I would compare this to Freakonomics in the sense it’s aimed at a popular audience and does a great job making the subject very approachable.

Influence by Robert Cialdini

In many ways the “bible” of this school of thought – Charlie Munger even mentions it several times in his speech on the psychology of human misjudgment. More technical than Predictably Irrational but a critical next step to go deeper on the topic.

Poor Charlie’s Alamanc by Peter Kaufman

Once you’ve completed your necessary psychology prerequisites – now its time to dig into the meaty stuff. This is a big book, I’m not gonna lie to you. Read every word. This is where Charlie Munger really starts laying out his framework for Worldly Wisdom and explaining in detail how to use psychology as well as mental models to think about the world. This book will explain how and why “worldly wisdom” and “mental models” are important, but does not go deep into actually explaining every mental model that governs reality.

Seeking Wisdom by Peter Bevelin

WARNING: DO NOT READ THIS FIRST. That said, wow. This book. I have never in my life underlined more phrases in a single book. This is probably the most information dense book I have ever read. It’s a treasure trove of information and can serve as a vital reference book for the rest of your life. You absolutely have to read the other books first or this will be like reading something written in Mandarin. This fills out an extremely detailed checklist of both the “Psychology of Misjudgment” and the “Psychics and Mathematics of Misjudgment” – replete with pages and pages of detail, studies, and information on a huge array of mental models.

Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahneman

Kahneman is a titan among research psychologists and in many ways the godfather behind many of these concepts – including being one of the founders of Prospect Theory, which uncovered many of these mental models and how they shape the world. This book is BIG and full of tough and often counter-intuitive mental models and psychological concepts, but this is the book you want to read to really dig into the core research that underpins much of these other books.

Podcasts on Mental Models

I wanted to share a few links to two Science of Success Podcast episodes where we also dig into these topics.

The Psychology of Making Better Decisions with Michael Mauboussin

How to Build a Toolbox of Mental Models to Understand Reality with Shane Parrish

Blog Posts on Mental Models

I also wanted to share a few links to two blogs that I particularly enjoy that both have wonderful and deep sections focusing on mental models.  Each of these are filled with dozens of mental models as well as examples and explanations to help better understand them.

Farnam Street – Mental Models

Joshua Kennon – Mental Models

Mental Model Checklist – Human Misjudgement

As a bonus for you – I’ve also included Charlie Munger’s (updated as per Seeking Wisdom) checklist of the standard causes of human misjudgment.

1)     Bias from mere association

2)     Underestimating the power of rewards and punishment

3)     Underestimating bias from own self-interest and incentives

4)     Self-serving bias

5)     Self-deception and denial  – distortion of reality to reduce pain or increase pleasure.

6)     Bias from consistency tendency – includes confirmation bias – looking for evidence that confirms our actions and beliefs and ignoring or distorting disconfirming evidence.

7)     Bias from deprival syndrome

8)     Status quo bias and do-nothing syndrome

9)     Impatience

10)     Bias from envy and jealousy

11)     Distortion by contrast comparison – also underestimating the consequences over time of gradual changes.

12)     Bias from anchoring – over-weighing certain initial information

13)     Over-influence from vivid or most recent information

14)     Omission and abstract blindness

15)     Bias from reciprocation tendency

16)     Bias from over-influence by liking tendency – includes bias from over-desire for liking and social acceptance

17)     Bias from over-influence by social proof

18)     Bias from over-influence by authority

19)     Sense making – construction explanations that fit an outcome – being too quick to draw conclusion, also thinking events that have happened were more predictable than they were

20)     Reason-respecting – complying with requests merely because we’ve been given a reason. Includes underestimating the power of giving people reasons.

21)     Believing first and doubting later

22)     Memory limitations

23)     Do-something syndrome – acting without a sensible reason

24)     Mental confusion from say-something syndrome

25)     Emotional arousal – hasty judgments under the influence of intense emotions. Exaggerating the emotional impact of future events.

26)     Mental confusion from stress

27)     Mental confusion from physical or psychological pain

28)     Bias from over-influence by the combined effect of many psychological tendencies operating together [lollapalooza]

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