Trust Your Gut? Only If The Data Supports It | Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

When making big decisions, people often go with what feels right - who we marry, where we live, what career we pursue. We base these decisions on our gut instinct. But what if our gut is biased, misinformed or quite simply wrong? 


Economist, former Google scientist, New York Times bestselling author and friend of the show Seth Stephens-Davidowitz has mined through thousands of data sets to prove that we are, in fact, frequently making ill-informed decisions when we only trust our gut. And we are delighted to be talking to Seth again about his fantastic new book, Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Life.


From the data, Seth has uncovered what activities make us most happy, which isn’t always the most comfortable activity.



“If you're on the fence, between walking with friends, and lying on the couch watching Netflix…go on that walk…it's been proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt that that's the more likely path to happiness.” 



But surprisingly there is one aspect of life that data cannot give us answers on. Listen to Seth’s entertaining interview to find out when exactly we should and shouldn’t trust our gut.


At Behavioral Grooves, the data tells us that our listeners are loving our recent episodes! Thank you to everyone who has recently left us a podcast review. We read each and every one of them! Some of our dedicated Behavioral Grooves, donate to our work through Patreon page. Please consider supporting our work in this way, many thanks.


 


Topics

(2:58) Welcome and speed round questions.


(10:04) Should we really not trust our gut?


(16:09) Relationships are as unpredictable as the weather forecast.


(20:16) Big data doesn’t apply to everything.


(22:51) Is skepticism underrated? 


(24:51) What is mappiness?


(27:48) Does supporting a winning team make you more happy?


(29:28) The #1 happy activity.


(32:29) Mistaking a comfortable activity for an enjoyable activity.


(37:28) What is dataism?


(44:20) The data behind hustling. 


(46:54) Would Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen make it today?


(52:37) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on trusting your gut.


 


© 2022 Behavioral Grooves


 


Links

Seth’s book: “Don't Trust Your Gut: Using Data to Get What You Really Want in Life”: https://amzn.to/3yICKwT 


Episode 246, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: Are You More Honest with Google or Your Friends? https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/are-you-more-honest-with-google/ 


Alexander Todorov, “Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions”: https://amzn.to/3Pi59kp 


Episode 211, AJ Jacobs: A Thousand Thanks: A Lifetime of Experiments and Gratitude: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/a-thousand-thanks-with-aj-jacobs/ 


Seth’s previous book: “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are”: https://amzn.to/32ULlgD


Episode 222, Shankar Vedantam “How Delusions Can Actually Be Useful: Shankar Vedantam Reveals How“: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/shankar-vedantam-useful-delusions/ 


Mappiness: http://www.mappiness.org.uk/ 


Krishnamurti T, Loewenstein G. The partner-specific sexual liking and sexual wanting scale: psychometric properties. Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Apr;41(2): https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21720917/ 


Episode 287, Nick Epley, Why Talking To Strangers Is Actually Good For Your Wellbeing: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/talking-to-strangers/ 


Episode 274: Paul Bloom, Why Finding Pleasure in Life is a Painful Journey: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/pleasure-is-a-painful-journey/ 


Episode 205: Logan Ury, The Myth of the “Relationship Spark”: https://behavioralgrooves.com/episode/relationship-spark-logan-ury/ 


1000 True Fans, Kevin Kelly: https://kk.org/thetechnium/1000-true-fans/ 


 


Musical Links

Rick Springfield “Jesse’s Girl”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYkbTyHXwbs 


Bruce Springsteen “Glory Days’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WccS8iFXgFI 


Bob Dylan “The Times Are A-Changin’”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90WD_ats6eE 23refvc 


Leonard Cohen “Hallelujah”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q 


Metallica “Nothing Else Matters”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAGnKpE4NCI 


Luther Ingram "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvJj7SN9EWI