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Podcast

A Look Into Psychopathy, Decision-Making, and Agency with Dr. Emily Bashah
01:04:56
The Optimistic American

A Look Into Psychopathy, Decision-Making, and Agency with Dr. Emily Bashah

In this video, Paul Johnson welcomes back Dr. Emily Bashah to discuss psychopathy, decision-making, and agency in the context of hierarchy. The two also discuss their book Addictive Ideologies, Stanley Milgram’s 1960s experiment and tyranny. Dr. Bashah explains that not all convicted killers are psychopaths, and that not all psychopaths are killers – there are CEOs, successful politicians, and companies that do share psychopathic traits and tendencies. Paul and Dr. Bashah talk about whether psychopathy has a genetic nature to it or not, and about the differences between narcissists and psychopaths. Paul shares his definition of power and his hypothesis about how it manifests in different contexts such as parenthood and politics. Paul and Dr. Bashah go over taking action, guilt, making decisions, and doing so as an informed person, as well as the tyranny and persecution that happened in Iraq with Saddam Hussein, during the Second World War, in the Bosnian War, and in Rwanda. They bring up the role that agency has in the context of hierarchy, and they go over the psychology of a con artist. Paul’s and Dr. Bashah’s new book is called Addictive Ideologies – they also focus on one of the key points they make in it. Addictive Ideologies: Finding Meaning and Agency When Politics Fail You - https://amzn.to/3WmWWip Dr. Philip Zimbardo - https://twitter.com/philzimbardo?lang=en How to Become a Tyrant (Netflix series) - https://www.netflix.com/title/80989772 Stanley Milgram - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Milgram We are The Optimistic American, and we are in the business of promoting what is going right in our country. Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism. This interview reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead. You can listen to this episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts! Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0mfMCiR0Jtqs8lr4JeuYwA Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-optimistic-american/id1615223090 Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL29wdGFtZXJpY2FuL2ZlZWQueG1s We post new content every week so make sure to subscribe, turn on notifications, and like our videos! Learn more about The Optimistic American by checking out our website! https://www.optamerican.com
The Dark Passenger, Finding Meaning in Life and the Hierarchy of Agency with Dr. Emily Bashah
01:20:14
The Optimistic American

The Dark Passenger, Finding Meaning in Life and the Hierarchy of Agency with Dr. Emily Bashah

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah address several questions they received from people in regards to the concern about the arising recession and how to navigate your way through it, as well as the hierarchy of agency, how to navigate difficult conversations and finding meaning in life. The conversation between Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah kicks off by addressing the biggest part of the problem related to the bad national economy: the concept of the ‘dark passenger’. Paul shares something he considers inarguable: the fact that we’re going through a period of Enlightenment where we have dramatically reduced poverty throughout the world, decreased child mortality, and increased literacy, as well as promoted trade and free market, and advanced both the human condition and the economy in the U.S. The concept of Enlightenment dates back to the 1800s where it was challenged by followers of the so-called End of the Century movement that promoted the idea of pessimism and the notion that how people felt was more important than optimism and rationality. The End of the Century “philosophy” came to an end in the 1930s when the stock market crashed in 1929. That was followed by the rise of “isms”, Communism, Fascism and other movements that began to blossom all around the world. When talking about contemporary Enlightenment, some people bring the concept of Dark Enlightenment into the conversation. Some people have a very pessimistic view of the world. They believe that democracy isn’t working and that the only way to solve the issues that are bothering them is by overthrowing democratic means. Paul believes that many people have the Dark Passenger within themselves, and that’s overpowering their ability to make decisions and move forward in life. Paul and Dr. Bashah touch upon the role that showing your own vulnerability can make in regards to agency, having conversations with others and how to approach – and diffuse – difficult situations, and showing that we care about other people. Paul and Dr. Bashah unpack four elements of the hierarchy of agency: ‘know the truth’, ‘be accountable to yourself’, ‘finding meaning’, and ‘we, not me’. Paul brings up Viktor Frankl’s roadmap for finding meaning in life – and he and Dr. Bashah share what their meaning and purpose are. We are The Optimistic American, and we are in the business of promoting what is going right in our country. Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism. This interview reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead. #optimism #hope #Optamerican You can listen to this episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts! Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0mfMCiR0Jtqs8lr4JeuYwA Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-optimistic-american/id1615223090 Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL29wdGFtZXJpY2FuL2ZlZWQueG1s Mentioned in This Episode: Previous episode featuring Prof. Pinker - Free Speech, Human Nature, and the New Wave of Enlightenment with Prof. Steven Pinker Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Joseph Grenny and Kerry Patterson The Hierarchy of Agency John D. Rockefeller Viktor Frankl Dr. Philip Zimbardo We post new content every week so make sure to subscribe, turn on notifications, and like our videos! Learn more about The Optimistic American by checking out our website! https://www.optamerican.com
Politically Correct Authoritarians: Studies, Principles, and Differences with Dr. Emily Bashah
52:17
The Optimistic American

Politically Correct Authoritarians: Studies, Principles, and Differences with Dr. Emily Bashah

In this episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson is joined by his co-author of the upcoming book Addictive Ideologies: Dr. Emily Bashah. They talk about the key principles and differences between the Alt-Right and Politically Correct Authoritarians, as well as studies that have covered human psychology in such areas. Paul Johnson sets the stage for the episode by discussing the fact that the alternative right and the politically correct authoritarians represent a minority of people but have a loud voice because of social media and the news focusing on them. Paul and Dr. Emily Bashah discuss the fact that what happens on college campuses is affecting the agency, and go over the potential repercussions of the term value. Dr. Bashah discusses a study that had been done on a couple hundred students, which identified a link between cognitive distortion and the need for safety. Moreover, she touches upon cognitive distortions, emotional reasoning, and the mental trap they represent. People in the so-called “dark triad” fall into one of these categories: Machiavellian, narcissist, and psychopath. Dr. Bashah and Paul Johnson break down each one and go over similarities and differences. Paul brings Dr. Ballinger’s study on Obsessive Ideologies into the conversation. He and Dr. Bashah shares the four key aspects of the study. Paul has a very clear opinion in regards to Stuart Rhodes, Donald Trump, and the January 6th Capitol Hill attacks: to Rhodes, Trump was just a tool. Dr. Bashah and Paul also share their thoughts on political correctness, cancel culture, and why some people may decide to remain quiet even when they witness something they don’t like. In their book Addictive Ideologies, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah talk about seven ideals people should focus on. During their conversation in today’s episode, Paul talks about those that fall into three categories: rationality, finding meaning in life, and the sense of belonging. We are The Optimistic American, and we are in the business of promoting what is going right in our country. Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism. This interview reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead. You can listen to this episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts! Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0mfMCiR0Jtqs8lr4JeuYwA Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-optimistic-american/id1615223090 Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL29wdGFtZXJpY2FuL2ZlZWQueG1s We post new content every week so make sure to subscribe, turn on notifications, and like our videos! Learn more about The Optimistic American by checking out our website! https://www.optamerican.com
Leadership Explained: Key Traits, Psychology and Tactics to Become a Better Leader
01:06:37
The Optimistic American

Leadership Explained: Key Traits, Psychology and Tactics to Become a Better Leader

In today’s episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah address those questions, as well as points around agency and authoritarianism related to leadership, cognitive behavioral therapy, and the concept of locus of control. * In today’s episode of The Optimistic American, Paul Johnson and Dr. Emily Bashah address questions around how agency and authoritarianism relate to leadership, the psychology behind leadership, and tactical things that can make you a better leader. * Dr. Emily Bashah shares that in her clinical practice she sees people wanting models that are going to inspire them, give them hope and something to look forward to. * Paul shares how he can be optimistic despite the threat of a potential new Cold War. * Paul and Dr. Bashah go over their definition of leadership and list the traits they believe a good leader should have. * Dr. Bashah praises Paul for the approach he has when talking about their book – this leads them into a conversation on ambition, leadership, and legacy. * Dr. Bashah unpacks the concept of locus of control and the impact it can have on leaders. * According to Paul Johnson, something “being your fault” isn’t a negative thing, quite the opposite. That’s because, as his father used to say, ‘If it’s your fault, you can fix it.’ * Paul and Dr. Bashah talk about taking ownership, the best place to find agency, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. * Paul believes that you should pick a different type of leadership – such as the servant leader, the coach, and the visionary – for different types of situations. * Dr. Bashah mentions a study that looked at the power position and shares her advice in regards to making presentations and the importance of listening. * Through his work, Paul employs and gets to interact with hundreds of millennials. He discusses how he translates some of his teachings to them. We are The Optimistic American, and we are in the business of promoting what is going right in our country. Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism. This interview reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead. You can listen to this episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts! Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0mfMCiR0Jtqs8lr4JeuYwA Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-optimistic-american/id1615223090 Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL29wdGFtZXJpY2FuL2ZlZWQueG1s We post new content every week so make sure to subscribe, turn on notifications, and like our videos! Learn more about The Optimistic American by checking out our website! https://www.optamerican.com
Idealists are Changing the World
01:07:29
The Optimistic American

Idealists are Changing the World

Join Dr. Bashah and Paul Johnson as they unearth the origins of idealism. The discussion begins with ancient philosophers describing the power of idealism. Idealism is a common trait of CEOs who create new and innovative products, our founders who used idealism to form a more perfect Union, and the secrets on how you can use idealism to create a better you. Imagine this: a life full of possibilities and optimism. One where you can find meaning, joy, love. A life where you find a better you, and create a better world in the process. This is not fantasy, this is a choice. This is the 7th podcast by Dr. Bashah and Paul Johnson regarding building a life of meaning and agency. The 7 dialogues are designed to help you structure a life of meaning, prosperity and opportunity. We are The Optimistic American, and we are in the business of promoting what is going right in our country. Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism. This interview reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead. You can listen to this episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts! Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0mfMCiR0Jtqs8lr4JeuYwA Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-optimistic-american/id1615223090 Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL29wdGFtZXJpY2FuL2ZlZWQueG1s We post new content every week so make sure to subscribe, turn on notifications, and like our videos! Learn more about The Optimistic American by checking out our website! https://www.optamerican.com
The Power of the Individual
01:04:35
The Optimistic American

The Power of the Individual

In an age when Americans seem to be divided, Paul Johnson and Dr. Basha, focus on the important idea that, “It’s we, not me.” Service and belonging are connected! They help answer the question, “with all the things I have going on, with everyone else seemingly looking out for themselves, why should I focus on giving anything back? What is it for me?” They examine what makes being an American special, and why owning who we are, being proud of our past, and giving back is a key part of your path to owning your own agency. The discussion starts with why the wealth and prosperity in the USA is second to none, then it goes to the individual vs the collective. The power created when our founders decided to break from the monarchy and to create a “more perfect union”, not promising to create a Utopia, but instead to prioritize the individual. This results in the benefit to the greater good over time. Individuals have the innate ability to determine their own destiny, however, so many Individuals put the collective over their own interest. Fire fighters, police officers, teachers, people who serve in our military, and ordinary people, who struggle to pay their bills, keep their kids in schools, but who work hard to make ends meet. Lastly, the entrepreneurs who test the standards, who challenge the status quo, who push the thinking to cure cancer, extend human life, and create cars that drive themselves. The idea of self made men is a myth. No one has made it alone. How do we repay these great debts? By being kind to other Americans! We pay it back through service in our jobs, to our friends, families, to our customers. We are The Optimistic American, and we are in the business of promoting what is going right in our country. Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism. This interview reflects the best themes of The Optimistic American, that our best days lie ahead. You can listen to this episode on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts! Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0mfMCiR0Jtqs8lr4JeuYwA Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-optimistic-american/id1615223090 Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkLnBvZGJlYW4uY29tL29wdGFtZXJpY2FuL2ZlZWQueG1s We post new content every week so make sure to subscribe, turn on notifications, and like our videos! Learn more about The Optimistic American by checking out our website! https://www.optamerican.com

The Optimistic American Show

Every day, there is tremendous progress being made in America — across technology, public policy, science and medicine, and much more — that will set current and future generations up for success. Our goal is to highlight these advancements, and tilt the scale of news and information from pessimism towards optimism.

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Addictive Ideologies

While the news media, politicians, both political parties and conspiracy theory groups are destabilizing America, we often lose sight of how we contribute to the hysteria as individuals, albeit unwittingly. In the process, we lose our ability to find optimism, opportunities, and meaning. Fortunately, it is still possible to learn from history and to regain one’s agency, self- empowerment, and life purpose.

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