Jul 14 • 48M

David Robson on expectation effects

How the brain plays clever games with us

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Interviews with the experts, entertainers and academics in the weird, wonderful and creative world of behavioural science.
Episode details

Introducing David Robson

This week I'm talking expectation effects with the man who's written the definitive book on the subject, scientist and writer David Robson. We're going to talk about his fascinating book The Expectation Effect and how our brain plays clever games with us.

David graduated with a degree in maths from Cambridge University then worked as a features editor at New Scientist before moving to the BBC. His writing has also appeared in the Guardian, the AtlanticMen’s Health amongst other.

Exciting news

I thought I'd alert you to a new series of mini-sodes with the best behavioural science practitioners in the business that I'm launching after the Summer. I'm doing this in collaboration with a great partner who I'll announce in the coming weeks. I have some amazing guests lined up; as I hope you’d imagine!

Show notes

  • The brain as prediction machine: how the brain uses experiences to predict our future outcomes and adapt our physiology

  • Seeing Jesus in a slice of toast

  • Why does the brain play games with us?

  • Expectation effects vs mindfulness and positive thinking

  • The consequences of the brain’s inner pharmacy

  • New research on ‘open label’ placebos

  • Nocebo effect: the evil twin of placebo

  • How emotions and mindsets affect our health

  • Ethical dilemmas of using placebos

  • Hysterical strength: releasing the brakes on our physical resources

  • Gender bias and entrenched expectations

  • How food labelling affects eating experiences

Next time with Bri Williams

Coming up, I'm talking to the wonderful and energetic Bri Williams. Bri is an Australian behavioural scientist who I loved talking to for her limitless enthusiasm; and because she's the first guest who actually asked me some questions! So that got me thinking. I think you're going to love her.

Keep enjoying the British weather for those of you in the UK, and till next time.

Daniel 😎☀️