Social Science Bites

Welcome to the blog for the Social Science Bites podcast: a series of interviews with leading social scientists. Each episode explores an aspect of our social world. You can access all audio and the transcripts from each interview here. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @socialscibites.

Olivier Sibony

Olivier Sibony on Decision-Making

In the context of human action, management professor at HEC Paris and former McKinsey senior partner Olivier Sibony defines “noise” as the unwanted variability in human judgment.

1 year ago
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Jim Scott

Jim Scott on Resistance

When Jim Scott mentions ‘resistance,’ this recovering political scientist isn’t usually talking about grand symbolic statements or large-scale synchronized actions by thousands or more battling an oppressive state. He’s often referring to daily actions by average people, often not acting in concert and perhaps not even seeing themselves as ‘resisting’ at all.

1 year ago
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MICHÈLE Lamont

Michèle Lamont on Stigma

The study of stigma, is, says Michèle Lamont, a “booming field.” That assessment can be both sad and hopeful, and in this Social Science Bites podcast the Harvard sociologist explains stigma’s manifestations and ways to combat it, as well as what it takes a for a researcher to actually study stigma.

1 year ago
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Diego Gambetta

Diego Gambetta on Signaling Theory

In this Social Science Bites podcast, Diego Gambetta, a professor of social theory at the European University Institute in Florence, discussing his research around signaling theory and the applications of his work, whether addressing courtship, organized crime of hailing a cab.

1 year ago
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Mike Tomasello

Mike Tomasello on Becoming Human

Psychologist Mike Tomasello details how, while higher primates may be quite like humans in many respects, the ability to work together on projects is not one of them.

1 year ago
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Belinda Winder

Belinda Winder on Pedophilia

Forensic psychologist Belinda Winder wants society to understand one key aspect things about pedophilia. “Many people understand pedophilia to be both a sexual attraction to children but also the act of committing abuse against children,” she explains. “And that’s wrong.”

1 year ago
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Salma Mousa

Salma Mousa on Contact Theory (and Football)

If differing groups could be brought together cooperatively – not competitively – in a manner endorsed by both groups and where each side met on an equal footing, perhaps we could, as Salma Mousa puts it in this Social Science Bites podcast, “unlock tolerance on both sides and reduce prejudice.”

2 years ago
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Alondra Nelson

Alondra Nelson on Genetic Testing

In this Social Science Bites podcast, sociologist Alondra Nelson describes her particular interest in those root seekers whose antecedents were “stolen from African” in the slave trade who make up so much of the African diaspora.

2 years ago
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Heidi Larson

Heidi Larson on Vaccine Skepticism

As the toll from the COVID-19 pandemic increased, polling suggests counter-intuitively that resistance to a future vaccine has also risen. Anthropologist Heidi J. Larson identified several likely drivers of this, including scientists themselves.

2 years ago
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Sherman James_Rectangle

Sherman James on John Henryism

Epidemiologist Sherman James outlines the hypothesis behind John Henryism – the idea that high-effort coping with expectations of achievement amid poverty or segregation can result in serious damage to the striver’s health.

2 years ago
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exceprt from implicit bias drawing

Seeing Social Science Bites Podcasts in a New Way​​

Since its debut in 2012, the Social Science Bites podcast series every month has brought the voices of the world’s top social and behavioral researchers to the wider world. Looking over that body of work, we realized that mating sound with vision made excellent sense, and so enlisted scientific illustrator Alex Cagan to bring a select number of our podcasts to life via his pen.

2 years ago
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