Curated by Molly Schreiber and Larry Vincent, the creators of The Findings Report
Larry Vincent is the Chief Brand Officer of UTA and the author of BRAND REAL. Molly Schreiber is a comedy writer, actor, and director. Here, they present a collection of podcasts about the quirks of being human and the psychology of human behavior.
Like most podcasters, we are also avid listeners of many podcasts. We come at our subject matter from very different perspectives, so it should be no surprise that each of our lists don’t have a lot of crossover, but there are a few shows that have inspired The Findings Report and serve as our common ground when we’re planning a season.
We tried to apply the same filter to this list that we would use in developing an episode for the show. First, we look for a topic that has a strong backbone in research and data. All of the shows on this list are built around something more than the opinion of the host. Our second criteria is that a show should surprise the listener––to twist the narrative at times to make you pause and consider the question that drives the story. Lastly, we often talk about how much we’re engaging the “marketer’s mom.” We know we have a lot of experts from the business world listening to our podcast, but for us, a good show has to be capable of entertaining the expert’s non-expert mother.
Each show on this list will pique your interest, even if you have no familiarity with the underlying subject matter.
The Findings Report
The Findings Report is a podcast about the psychology of consumer behavior. Each 20-30 minute episode features interviews with leading researchers and thought-leaders, as well as real consumers. Its mission is to provide useful insights for marketers, entrepreneurs, and people who are curious about why we buy, like, and share. Start with our first and most popular episode on The Fyre Festival. We especially like it because it gave us an opportunity to look at a culture trend through the lens of a massive failure. If you prefer to skip around, we also recommend our two-part series on generational marketing, featuring an interview with bestselling author Neil Howe.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t lead with Radiolab. It was the model for our format with The Findings Report, and we love it because at its core it’s a science show, but you never feel like you’re in a lecture because the storytelling is amazing. In our humble opinion, Jad and Robert have created the gold standard for podcasts.
We are also big fans of Invisibila, which is always a spellbinding journey into the hidden forces that drive human behavior. One of our favorite episodes was a two-parter on Emotions, featuring unexpected insight on the nature of emotions and how we process them biologically. The way this story turns many commonly held beliefs on their head is very much in the spirit of what we hope to do on The Findings Report.
Here Be Monsters
On a darker note, we dig Here Be Monsters by our friends Jeff Emtman and Bethany Denton over at KCRW. It has a psychology bent, but with an emphasis on fears. The most recent episode Scrapheap Reactor is particularly compelling, taking the listeners to a garbage dump to reveal how a scientific entrepreneur is pursuing his dream of building a working fusion reactor from junk. In addition to being science junkies, we are also audiophiles and the sound design on this show is consistently a feast for the ears.
Stuff You Should Know
A classic! Stuff You Should Know is a show we love because, well, it talks about stuff you should know! We aim for every episode of our show to provide some useful insight, and this podcast never disappoints on that objective. It could have easily been titled RABBIT HOLE because once you start listening, you just want to dive deeper and deeper into the topic with their expert guests.
We have been long-time fans of Freakonomics. The show always includes so many perspectives on behavior and the data that describes it, voiced by some of the most influential researchers on the subjects they cover. We always feel smarter after we listen.
The Science of Happiness
There’s an old joke that the least funny topic is talking about comedy, but listening to The Science of Happiness doesn’t diminish the experience of feeling joy, awe, and compassion any less. Each episode’s Happiness Guinea Pig completes an exercise to increase their happiness, which sets the stage for explaining the science behind each practice.
Qualia examines truly human experiences with other-worldly sound design. Each trio of episodes examines a psychological concept through directed visualization (imagining the scene of the experience being explained so we grasp it physiologically) supported by interviews with researchers.
Choiceology with Katy Milkman
The hosts of Choiceology look at the ways in which we take risks, set goals, and how we win and lose–and how we manage the mistakes we make. Irrational decision making is present in most every choice we make, and we learn why and how we do so from both significant historical and everyday moments in this show.
Want to create your own collection of shows that dovetails with your area of interest? Add shows to your Smart Folder on RadioPublic, then inform the Podcast Librarian of your collection: firstname.lastname@example.org.