Annie Murphy Paul || The Extended Mind


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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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