Why Do We Seek Comfort in the Familiar? (NSQ Ep. 30 Rebroadcast)

November 28, 2021 @ 5:00am


Also: is a little knowledge truly a dangerous thing?

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Relevant Research & References

Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:


Robert Zajonc (deceased), Polish-born American social psychologist.
Barbara Fredrickson, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Robert Sapolsky, professor of neurology and of neurosurgery at Stanford University.
Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Alexander Pope (deceased), eighteenth-century English poet.
David Dunning, professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.
Justin Kruger, professor of marketing at the New York University.
Daniel Kahneman, professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University.
Dan Kahan, professor of law and psychology at Yale University.


“Some of Us Have More Time to Sleep. So Why Are We So Tired?” by Jenna Jonaitis (The Washington Post, 2020).
“Tomlin on Comfort, Adjustments, Teaching,” by Bob Labriola (Steelers.com, 2020).
“Overconfidence among beginners: Is a little learning a dangerous thing?” by Carmen Sanchez and David Dunning (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2018).
“Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics,” by Caitlin Drummond and Baruch Fischhoff (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017).
“Rumsfeld’s Knowns and Unknowns: The Intellectual History of a Quip,” by David A. Graham (The Atlantic, 2014).
Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman (2013).
“The Broaden-and-Build Theory of Positive Emotions,” by Barbara Fredrickson (The Royal Society of Publishing: Philosophical Transactions, 2004).
Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping, by Robert Sapolsky (2004).
“Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments,” by Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1999).
“Attitudinal Effects of Mere Exposure,” by Robert Zajonc (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Monograph Supplement, 1968).
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith (1943).
“An Essay on Criticism,” by Alexander Pope (1711).
“Mere-exposure effect,” by the APA Dictionary of Psychology.


Tags: Angela Duckworth, Rebecca Lee Douglas, Stephen Dubner

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