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No Stupid Questions

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Research psychologist Angela Duckworth (author of "Grit") and tech and sports executive Mike Maughan really like to ask people questions, and they believe there’s no such thing as a stupid one. So they have a podcast where they can ask each other as many “stupid questions” as they want. New episodes each week. "No Stupid Questions" is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network. Join the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program for weekly member-only episodes of Freakonomics Radio. You’ll also get every show in our network without ads. To sign up, visit our show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

Location:

United States

Description:

Research psychologist Angela Duckworth (author of "Grit") and tech and sports executive Mike Maughan really like to ask people questions, and they believe there’s no such thing as a stupid one. So they have a podcast where they can ask each other as many “stupid questions” as they want. New episodes each week. "No Stupid Questions" is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network. Join the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program for weekly member-only episodes of Freakonomics Radio. You’ll also get every show in our network without ads. To sign up, visit our show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

Language:

English


Episodes
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197. Is It Wrong to Lie to Children?

5/25/2024
Why do we tell kids that a fairy will give them cash in exchange for their teeth? How should we talk to them about scary things in the world? And is Mike one of the greatest operatic tenors of all time? SOURCES:Laura Wheatman HillGeorge LinMelinda Wenner MoyerLuciano PavarottiAmy StoeberJacqueline Woolley RESOURCES:Parenting by LyingCurrent Directions in Psychological Science, Should You Always Tell Your Kids the Truth? It DependsCNN, Parenting by Lying in Childhood Is Associated With Negative Developmental Outcomes in AdulthoodJournal of Experimental Child Psychology, The Santa Lie EXTRAS:When Is It OK to Tell a Lie?No Stupid Questions How to Raise Kids Who Aren't A*******: Science-Based Strategies for Better Parenting — from Tots to Teens, Life Is Beautiful, Love at the Five and DimeThe Hiding Place,

Duration:00:38:47

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Extra: Angela Duckworth on “Masters of Scale”

5/23/2024
WaitWhat C.E.O. Jeff Berman interviews Angela about “grit-scaling” and her unlikely path to academic celebrity.

Duration:00:33:55

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196. What’s Wrong With Being a Little Neurotic?

5/18/2024
Is there any upside to negative emotions? What can comedians teach us about dealing with pain? And why did Angela eat off of a stranger’s plate at a sushi bar? SOURCES:Ludwig van BeethovenJen ChristensenLauren Eskreis-WinklerSigmund FreudShirley MacLaineGeorge VaillantAli Wong RESOURCES:The Sad Clown: The Deep Emotions Behind Stand-Up ComedyCNN, NeuroticismThe Oxford handbook of the Five Factor Model, Thinking Too Much: Self-Generated Thought as the Engine of NeuroticismTrends in Cognitive Sciences, Survivor Mission: Do Those Who Survive Have a Drive to Thrive at Work?The Journal of Positive Psychology, Age Differences in Personality Traits From 10 to 65: Big Five Domains and Facets in a Large Cross-Sectional SampleJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, Adaptive Mental Mechanisms: Their Role in a Positive PsychologyAmerican Psychologist, The Harvard Study of Adult Development EXTRAS:Big Five Personality InventoryNo Stupid Questions Personality: The Big FiveNo Stupid Questions Terms of Endearment, Invictus

Duration:00:38:36

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195. Can You Be Too Nice?

5/11/2024
Where is the line between a good guy and a doormat? Do people with sharp elbows make more money? And why did Angela’s mother give away her birthday present? Take the Big Five inventory: freakonomics.com/bigfive SOURCES:Kristen BellJeff BezosHarry Connick Jr.Juli FragaAdam GrantAllison Sweet GrantTimothy JudgeFrank JacobsBig ThinkBeth LivingstonTopher PayneDax Shepard RESOURCES:Are You a Chronic People-Pleaser? Here’s How to Be Kinder to YourselfThe Washington Post, Geopsychology: Your Personality Depends on Where You LiveBig Think, We Need to Talk About ‘The Giving TreeThe New York Times, The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries, Do as You’re Told! Facets of Agreeableness and Early Adult Outcomes for Inner-City BoysJournal of Research in Personality, Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success, Do Nice Guys — and Gals — Really Finish Last? The Joint Effects of Sex and Agreeableness on IncomeJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, EXTRAS:Big Five Personality InventoryNo Stupid Questions Personality: The Big FiveNo Stupid Questions Are You Suffering From Burnout?No Stupid Questions

Duration:00:38:48

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194. Is It Okay to Be an Introvert?

5/4/2024
What’s the difference between being introverted and being shy? What are extroverts so cheerful about? And does Angela’s social battery ever run out? Take the Big Five inventory: freakonomics.com/bigfive SOURCES:Susan CainWill FleesonSigmund FreudAdam GrantCarl JungDonald KamentzSonja LyubomirskySeth Margolis RESOURCES:A Crucial Character Trait for HappinessThe Atlantic, Experimental Manipulation of Extraverted and Introverted Behavior and Its Effects on Well-BeingJournal of Experimental Psychology: General, Challenges to Capture the Big Five Personality Traits in Non-WEIRD PopulationsScience Advances, Rethinking the Extraverted Sales Ideal: The Ambivert AdvantagePsychological Science, The Power of IntrovertsTED Talk, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Personality Trait Change in AdulthoodCurrent Directions in Psychological Science, Toward a Structure- and Process-Integrated View of Personality: Traits as Density Distributions of StatesJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, EXTRAS:Big Five Personality InventoryNo Stupid Questions Personality: The Big FiveNo Stupid Questions

Duration:00:35:39

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193. Are You as Conscientious as You Think You Are?

4/27/2024
Is it really that important to make your bed? What’s the benefit of hiring a lazy person? And how many cups of spinach can Mike fit in a red Solo cup? Take the Big Five inventory: freakonomics.com/bigfive SOURCES:David BarackRandall BellJulia CameronCharles DuhiggGuy KawasakiWilliam McRaven RESOURCES:Large Studies Reveal How Reference Bias Limits Policy Applications of Self-Report MeasuresNature: Scientific Reports,Too Much of a Good Thing? Exploring the Inverted-U Relationship Between Self-Control and HappinessJournal of Personality, 7 ‘Rich Habits’ of Highly Successful People, From a Man Who Studied Them for 25 YearsCNBC, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Who Does Well in Life? Conscientious Adults Excel in Both Objective and Subjective SuccessFrontiers in Psychology, The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, EXTRAS:Big Five Personality InventoryNo Stupid Questions Personality: The Big FiveNo Stupid Questions Angela Duckworth: The Gritty Road to GrowthGuy Kawasaki's Remarkable People How to Have Great ConversationsPeople I (Mostly) Admire

Duration:00:39:28

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Should You Get Out of Your Comfort Zone?

4/20/2024
What do the most creative people have in common? How open-minded are you, really? And what’s wrong with ordering eggs Benedict? Take the Big Five inventory: freakonomics.com/bigfive SOURCES:Max BennettDavid EpsteinAyelet FishbachAlison GopnikSteve JobsOliver JohnDaniel KahnemanClaude ShannonJannik SinnerChristopher SotoDashun WangKaitlin Woolley RESOURCES:A Brief History of Intelligence: Evolution, AI, and the Five Breakthroughs That Made Our Brains, Exploration vs. Exploitation: Adults Are Learning (Once Again) From ChildrenObserver, Motivating Personal Growth by Seeking DiscomfortPsychological Science, Understanding the Onset of Hot Streaks Across Artistic, Cultural, and Scientific CareersNature Communications, Improv Experience Promotes Divergent Thinking, Uncertainty Tolerance, and Affective Well-BeingThinking Skills and Creativity, Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, Openness to ExperienceThe Wiley Handbook of Genius, EXTRAS:Big Five Personality InventoryNo Stupid Questions David Epstein Knows Something About Almost EverythingPeople I (Mostly) Admire

Duration:00:40:41

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191. Can You Change Your Personality?

4/13/2024
Are you the same person you were a decade ago? Do we get better as we age? And is your sixth-grade class clown still funny? SOURCES:Aaron (Tim) BeckDaniel GilbertOlga KhazanThe Atlantic. Brian LittleJordi QuoidbachCarl RogersMartin ShortRichard WisemanTimothy Wilson RESOURCES:I Gave Myself Three Months to Change My PersonalityThe Atlantic, You Can Be a Different Person After the PandemicThe New York Times, The Theory of Modes: Applications to Schizophrenia and Other Psychological ConditionsCognitive Therapy and Research, Brian Little: Are Human Personalities Hardwired?TED Radio Hour, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend, The End of History IllusionScience, Age Differences in Personality Traits From 10 to 65: Big Five Domains and Facets in a Large Cross-Sectional SampleJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, The Rank-Order Consistency of Personality Traits From Childhood to Old Age: A Guantitative Review of Longitudinal StudiesPsychological Bulletin, EXTRAS:Big Five Personality InventoryNo Stupid Questions Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,

Duration:00:39:03

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190. What’s the Point of Nostalgia?

4/6/2024
Is it dangerous to live in the past? Why is Disney remaking all of its classic movies? And why does Angela get sentimental over a cup of soup and a free roll? SOURCES:Julie BeckThe AtlanticDanielle CampoamorKyle ChaykaThe New Yorker.Amelia DennisErica HepperLucy HoneImran Rahman-JonesFlorence Saint-Jean RESOURCES:Pancultural Nostalgia in Action: Prevalence, Triggers, and Psychological Functions of Nostalgia Across CulturesJournal of Experimental Psychology: General, From Rosy Past to Happy and Flourishing Present: Nostalgia as a Resource for Hedonic and Eudaimonic WellbeingCurrent Opinion in Psychology, Locating Nostalgia Among the Emotions: A Bridge From Loss to LoveCurrent Opinion in Psychology, Hindsight is 2022: The Psychology Behind Our Cultural NostalgiaTown & Country, Why We Reach for Nostalgia in Times of CrisisThe New York Times, Mulan: Disney Remakes and the Power of Nostalgia During CoronavirusBBC, The Three Secrets of Resilient PeopleTEDxChristchurch, When Nostalgia Was a DiseaseThe Atlantic, EXTRAS:Big Five Personality InventoryNo Stupid Questions Zoom, Peter and Wendy,

Duration:00:35:21

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189. When Should You Trust Your Gut?

3/30/2024
Does instinct trump expertise? Can playing poker improve your intuition? And why did Angela jump off of a moving trolley car? SOURCES:Tom BradyDaniel KahnemanGary KleinBrock PurdyJosh Waitzkin RESOURCES:When and How To Sleep Train Your BabyThe ShadowBox Approach to Cognitive Skills Training: An Empirical EvaluationJournal of Cognitive Engineering and Decision Making, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Conditions for Intuitive Expertise: A Failure to DisagreeAmerican Psychologist, Dumb Ways to DieThe Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance, Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions, EXTRAS:Why Is It So Hard to Make Decisions?No Stupid Questions Daniel Kahneman on Why Our Judgment is Flawed — and What to Do About ItPeople I (Mostly) Admire How to Make a Bad DecisionFreakonomics Radio

Duration:00:40:06

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188. Why Do Kids Today Get So Many A’s?

3/23/2024
Is grade inflation on the rise? How much does your G.P.A. matter in the long run? And when did M.I.T., of all places, become “the cool university”? SOURCES:Scott HugoBob LadouceurJon MarcusThe Hechinger Report.Amelia NierenbergThe New York Times. James PennebakerStuart Rojstaczer RESOURCES:Making the (Letter) Grade: The Incentive Effects of Mandatory Pass/Fail CoursesEducation Finance and Policy, To Help New Students Adapt, Some Colleges Are Eliminating GradesHechinger Report, Grade Inflation Continues to Grow in the Past DecadeACT Research,Why Good Teaching Evaluations May Reward Bad Teaching: On Grade Inflation and Other Unintended Consequences of Student EvaluationsPerspectives on Psychological Science, Grade Inflation at American Colleges and UniversitiesGradeInflation.comChasing Perfection: The Principles Behind Winning Football the De La Salle Way, Daily Online Testing in Large Classes: Boosting College Performance while Reducing Achievement GapsPLOS One, EXTRAS:Higher Education Is Broken. Can It Be Fixed?People I (Mostly) Admire Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to SchoolFreakonomics Radio

Duration:00:41:41

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187. Is Fear Running Your Life?

3/16/2024
How can you summon courage when you’re terrified? Is hiking more dangerous than skiing? And what is the stupidest thing that Mike has ever done? SOURCES:Albert BanduraMarc BrackettLisa DamourChristopher PetersonStanley RachmanMikaela ShiffrinLindsey VonnShaun WhiteJoseph Wolpe RESOURCES:The Emotional Lives of Teenagers: Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents, What Scares the World’s Most Daring OlympiansThe New York Times, The Upside of AnxietyThe New York Times, Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive, World With No FearInvisibilia Abū Zayd Al-Balkhī''s Sustenance of the Soul: The Cognitive Behavior Therapy of a Ninth Century PhysicianSearching for the Source of a Fountain of CourageThe New York Times, Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification, Fear and Courage, Relative Efficacy of Desensitization and Modeling Approaches for Inducing Behavioral, Affective, and Attitudinal ChangesJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, EXTRAS:Fear No MortRick and Morty Can Fear Be Good Medicine?Freakonomics, M.D. How We Feel,

Duration:00:39:00

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186. Do You Need a Routine?

3/9/2024
Would you be more adventurous if you had more structure? Do you multitask while brushing your teeth? And what would Mike’s perfect brother Peter do? SOURCES:David BrooksThe New York Times.Colin CamererJames ClearMason CurreyDavid GogginsJesse ItzlerKaty MilkmanChoiceology Aneesh RaiTony RobbinsSydney ScottCass SunsteinElanor Williams RESOURCES:A Field Experiment on Subgoal Framing to Boost Volunteering: The Trade-Off Between Goal Granularity and FlexibilityJournal of Applied Psychology, What’s Next? Advances and Challenges in Understanding How Environmental Predictability Shapes the Development of Cognitive ControlCurrent Directions in Psychological Science, A Neural Autopilot Theory of Habit: Evidence From Consumer Purchases and Social Media UseJournal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, In Goal Pursuit, I Think Flexibility Is the Best Choice for Me but Not for YouJournal of Marketing Research, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet, The Good OrderThe New York Times, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work,

Duration:00:38:34

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185. Do You Need Closure?

3/2/2024
What’s the best way to carry out random acts of kindness? What’s wrong with making an “Irish exit”? And why is Mike secretly buying lottery tickets? SOURCES:Roy BaumeisterDaniel GilbertJohn GottmanKurt LewinE. J. MasicampoTimothy WilsonBluma Zeigarnik RESOURCES:Life and Work of the Psychologist Bluma ZeigarnikNeurosciences and History, Why We Need AnswersThe New Yorker, Consider It Done! Plan Making Can Eliminate the Cognitive Effects of Unfulfilled GoalsJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples'Let Me Dream On!' Anticipatory Emotions and Preference for Timing in LotteriesTinbergen Institute Discussion Paper, Explaining Away: A Model of Affective AdaptationPerspectives on Psychological Science, On Finished and Unfinished TasksA Source Book of Gestalt Psychology, EXTRAS:Big Five Personality InventoryNo Stupid Questions Can We Disagree Better?No Stupid Questions Would You Be Happier if You Were More Creative?No Stupid Questions How Can You Be Kinder to Yourself?No Stupid Questions What’s Wrong With Holding a Grudge?No Stupid Questions Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch,

Duration:00:38:08

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184. Are You Doing Too Much?

2/24/2024
How can you strive for excellence without overworking yourself? Why is perfectionism on the rise? And is Angela part of the problem? SOURCES:Kristin AndrusAaron (Tim) BeckThomas CurranJulia DiGangiZac EfronScott Hugo RESOURCES:For Happiness in the New Year, Stop Overdoing EverythingThe Wall Street Journal, Good EnoughCharacter Lab, The Perfection Trap: Embracing the Power of Good Enough, Perfectionism Is Not the Secret to Success (and Pursuing It May Guarantee the Opposite)Fast Company, Zac Efron Rides AgainMen's Health, Tim Beck’s Final BrainstormsThe Philadelphia Gazette, Perfectionism Is Increasing Over Time: A Meta-Analysis of Birth Cohort Differences From 1989 to 2016Psychological Bulletin, UCLA Senior From Alamo Among 32 Rhodes ScholarsSFGate, EXTRAS:What Does Success Look Like?No Stupid Questions Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Life?People I (Mostly) Admire Are You Suffering From Burnout?No Stupid Questions Happy Days, The Period Project

Duration:00:40:51

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183. Does Free Will Exist, and Does It Matter?

2/17/2024
Does anyone have any real agency? What do McDonald’s and Oxford University have in common? And why did Angela give up on philosophy? SOURCESSam HarrisBrian GallaRobert SapolskyHarry Emerson FosdickMartin E. P. SeligmanBrian KershisnikPlato RESOURCESFree WillDetermined: A Science of Life without Free WillFree Will Beliefs Predict Attitudes Toward Unethical Behavior and Criminal PunishmentPNASLearned Helplessness: Theory and EvidenceJournal of Experimental Psychology: GeneralFailure to Escape Traumatic ShockJournal of Experimental Psychology EXTRASFinal Thoughts on Free WillMaking Sense with Sam Harris Sam Harris: ‘Spirituality is a Loaded Term’People I Mostly Admire

Duration:00:41:09

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182. Is It Good or Bad to Keep Secrets?

2/10/2024
Should you shout your sins from the rooftops? How many skeletons are in the average person’s closet? And what has Angela been hiding? SOURCES:Maya AngelouStephen BaumClayton CritcherJohn LegendKareem Abdul JabbarMichael SlepianJason SudeikisChrissy TeigenVauhini VaraLindsey VonnJohn Wooden RESOURCES:The Bright Side of Secrecy: The Energizing Effect of Positive SecretsJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, Ghosts(The Believer,The Costs of Not DisclosingCurrent Opinion in Psychology, Why the Secrets You Keep Are Hurting YouScientific American, The Benefits and Burdens of Keeping Others' SecretsJournal of Experimental Social Psychology, The Experience of SecrecyJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court, Survey Says 1 In 5 People Are Keeping A Major Secret From Their SpouseHuffPost, EXTRAS:Ted Lasso, All of Me

Duration:00:40:06

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181. What’s So Great About Meritocracy?

2/3/2024
Do you really deserve the credit for your accomplishments? Should college admissions be determined by lottery? And how did Mike’s contribution to a charity auction change his life? SOURCES:Warren BuffettJames FlynnRobert FrankRogé KarmaThe AtlanticNicholas LemannDaniel MarkovitsCharles MungerJohn RawlsGuy RazHow I Built ThisWisdom from the TopMichael SandelMartin SeligmanRyan Smith RESOURCES:The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good? The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite, 'The Meritocracy Trap,' ExplainedVox, Reflections About Intelligence Over 40 YearsIntelligence, Here’s Why Warren Buffett Says That He and Charlie Munger Are SuccessfulCNBC, Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy, The Lottery, The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy, The Psychology of Human Misjudgment EXTRAS:What’s the Point of I.Q. Testing?No Stupid Questions What’s So Bad About Nepotism?No Stupid Questions

Duration:00:34:28

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180. What Makes Some Objects Feel Special?

1/27/2024
Where does sentimental value come from? Why did Angela throw out her childhood journals? And would Mike wear Hitler’s sweater? SOURCES:Jeffrey GalakJohn IrvingMarie KondoPaul RozinYang Yang RESOURCES:Experiences EndureCharacter Lab, Study Finds That THESE Are the Most Valued Family HeirloomsSWNS, Micro Wave: How 'Bout Dem Apple...SeedsShort Wave, Sentimental Value and Its Influence on Hedonic AdaptationJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, A Real-Life Version of the Hitler’s Sweater ExperimentBig Think, The Makings of the Magical Mind: The Nature and Function of Sympathetic Magical ThinkingImagining the Impossible: Magical, Scientific, and Religious Thinking in Children, Operation of the Laws of Sympathetic Magic in Disgust and Other DomainsJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, EXTRAS:How Do You Connect With Someone You Just Met?No Stupid Questions Do You Savor or Gobble?No Stupid Questions Why Do We Hoard?No Stupid Questions The Twilight SagaA Prayer for Owen Meany,

Duration:00:38:29

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179. Can You Really “Manifest” Success Through Positive Visualization?

1/21/2024
Is there any scientific basis for the law of attraction? Are people who believe in “cosmic collaboration” more successful? And what happens when you write yourself a check for $10 million? SOURCES:Rhonda ByrneJim CarreyChristopher ClareyPeter GollwitzerDave LevinGabriele OettingenWallace Wattles RESOURCES:'The Secret' to Success? The Psychology of Belief in ManifestationPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Making Dreams Come True: Inside the New Age World of ManifestingThe Guardian, TikTok's ‘Manifesting’ Craze, ExplainedGQ, From Feeling Good to Doing GoodThe Oxford Handbook of Positive Emotion and Psychopathology, Self-Regulation of Time Management: Mental Contrasting With Implementation IntentionsEuropean Journal of Social Psychology, Olympians Use Imagery as Mental TrainingThe New York Times, Self-Fulfilling ProphecyEncyclopedia of Human Behavior - Second EditionThe Secret, The Science of Getting Rich,

Duration:00:36:29