People Who Read People: A Behavior and Psychology Podcast

Zachary Elwood

This is a podcast about deciphering human behavior and understanding why people do the things they do. I, Zach Elwood, talk with people from a wide range of fields about how they make sense of human behavior and psychology. I've talked to jury consultants, interrogation professionals, behavior researchers, sports analysts, professional poker players, to name a few. There are more than 135 episodes, many of them quite good (although some say I'm biased). To learn more, go to read less

Our Editor's Take

People Who Read People: A Behavior and Psychology Podcast is a show about the human mind. The host of the show is Zach Elwood. He used to be a professional poker player and wrote a book about how to win by reading the players. He is also the author of Defusing American Anger, which examines "us-versus-them thinking."

Examining human behavior through a psychological lens can have dozens of uses. For Elwood, it started as a way of winning at poker. Reading "tells" is a subtle but lucrative skill. It's predicated on the idea that human behavior is sometimes predictable. This idea has applications in criminal justice, politics, scamming, and many other situations. In every podcast episode, Elwood chats with experts from many different fields. He aims to understand how the human mind and its actions play out in varying situations.

In a podcast interview with Yakov Hirsch, Elwood considers "Hasbara culture." This phenomenon combines a victim mindset and the belief that any criticism of Israeli policy is antisemitic. Hirsch also advocates for empathy toward ideological opponents.

In less serious episodes, John Hoefling describes "tells" in team sports. Hoefling is a sports analyst who reveals how some players give away their intentions. One football player's foot position at the beginning of a play indicates whether he will run or pass. In tennis, Andre Agassi liked to brag that he had a tell on Boris Becker. He thought Becker would flick his tongue before his legendary serve.

Elwood also talks to sales professionals who explain why door-to-door sales work. The people who work those jobs use specific strategies to win business. Another episode is about scams and why people succumb to them. Elwood examines the reasons people believe in conspiracy theories. The host also brings in guests who explain how lie detectors work (and whether they work at all). He warns people away from junk science in behavioral psychology as well.

People Who Read People: A Behavior and Psychology Podcast is a great choice for amateur psychologists. It might also appeal to listeners who seek to understand other's thoughts and their own.

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