The Psychology Podcast

Annie Murphy Paul || The Extended Mind

Episode Notes

Today it’s great to have Annie Murphy Paul on the podcast. Annie writes about how the findings of cognitive science and psychology could help us to think and act more intelligently. Annie contributes to the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times Book Review, Slate, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She’s also the author of a number of books including The Cult of Personality, Origins, and most recently, The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain. 

In this episode, I talk to Annie about the research and concepts in her new book The Extended Mind. We debunk the notion that intelligence is only in the brain by discussing how our bodies, spaces, and relationships all contribute to thought processes. Finally, we also touch on how to build knowledge and expertise through productive cognitive loops, cognitive unloading, and imitation. 



01:05 Thinking outside the brain 

03:54 Individual differences in interception 

09:51 Annie’s definition of intelligence 

13:30 Cognitive loops enhance intelligence 

15:31 Is the mind always extended? 

17:10 The brain’s dynamic role in thinking 

21:14 COVID-19 has turned us into “brains in front of screens” 

24:57 Information overload 

28:11 Using intuition to think rationally 

30:22 Expertise is not brain bound 

31:37 The best relationship hack: eat spicy food together 

33:50 The research behind The Extended Mind 

38:32 Cognitive unloading 

40:51 Mastery through imitation 

43:00 Scott’s theories about shared expertise 

45:39 Reminiscing about Annie’s first episode on The Psychology Podcast 

46:22 Embracing the extended heart

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