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Drew Birnie – Mark Manson

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# Episode 136


In Episode #136 Ari spends time speaking with [Drew Birnie](, Content Manager for Mark Manson. During their conversation, Drew and Ari cover what’s wrong in the science-media relationship and why a data-driven approach to self-improvement is the best way to bring about measurable results.

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**Time Stamped Show Notes:**

– 16:24 – Introduction of Drew Bernie, Content Manager of [Mark Manson](

– 16:40 – What Drew’s role is and what is all about

– 16:55 – A data-driven approach to the human condition, slanted towards self-development

– 18:45 – Evaluating good science from bad science is no easy task

– 19:15 – It starts with looking at Research Methods

– 20:15 – In the social sciences, a lot of creativity is required to build a solid control group

– 22:00 – It’s really hard to trick someone into thinking they’re getting neuro-feedback when they’re actually not

– 24:00 – Sometimes it’s not even about having a good control group—it’s about not having a _terrible_ one

– 26:20 – Defining why double-blind research is best—unconscious bias

– 28:10 – How are there so many poorly conducted studies and why does the media give them so much attention?

– 28:38 – There’s a lot of pressure in Academia to publish and publish high-profile studies

– 29:09 – People look to science for some modicum of certainty and, quite frankly, it can’t always provide that—science isn’t _always _black and white

– 31:00 – How Drew keeps his biases _out _of his work

– 31:05 – Awareness

– 31:24 – Refusing to be “certain” about anything

– 33:26 – Drew designed his own studies at the University of Nebraska and Iowa

– 34:05 – Drew has a particular affinity for articles on Nootropics and addiction

– 35:20 – [Carol Dweck]( and [Robert Cialdini]( are two of Drew’s favorite researchers in the —

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