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Peter McGraw_E25: Wrangling World Changing Ideas [04/01/2021]

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 25 everyone. Enjoy!


Peter McGraw, Author and Professor at University of Colorado Boulder [04/01/2021]

Note: References with links are listed at the end of the show notes.


2:00 Talks about teaching in Marketing and Psych, and training as a Behavioral Economist. Shares his interest in the question: “What makes things funny?”. Shares about the history of studying this question. Inspired him to crack the “Humor Code”. Discusses the power of science, using data rather than arguments.

SECTION1: What is Funny?

5:50 Shares the general theories of comedy, and how “benign violation” may be the unifying theory of comedy. He ties the value of experiments into the business environment.

SECTION2: The Humor Code

10:53 Shares his story about origination of the book. Talks about meeting a local journalist, which kicked off a world adventure in discovering the world of comedy. Was exposed to the experience of doing standup, and bombed! Talks about the trauma of failing, which led him and Joel Warner (the journalist). They went to the West Bank, and met Patch Adams in the Amazon.

14:53 Shares his experience of getting to know comics around the world. And talks about getting on stage in the world’s largest comedy festival. Talks about being inspired by Entrepreneurs because of their risk seeking behaviors.

22:14 Talks about selfishness and selflessness are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Talked about doing his post-doc advisors Kahneman on the study of wellbeing.

28:00 Talks about developing ideas, and how the critics. We also rap about the unconscious mind and comedy.

“You need the world to make something that betters the world.”

“We give too much credit to the individual, and not enough credit to the crowd”

SECTION3: The Shtick to Business

40:00 Talks about breaking out into helping companies and the risks of using comedy in the workplace, and the idea of thinking funny versus being funny. He uses the product of comedy to create an environment where new products can be inspired by comedic thinking.

48:00 Shares inspiration for his book, and how important it is to create an environment inspired by the supporting actor idea in improv.


-Peter McGraw: https://www.linkedin.com/in/petermcgraw/

-I’m Not Joking [podcast]: https://petermcgraw.org/podcasts/im-not-joking/

-Humor Research Lab: https://petermcgraw.org/humor-research/

-Solo [podcast]: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/solo-the-single-persons-guide-to-a-remarkable-life/id1493565823

-Sailboat Metaphor [Scott Barry Kaufman]: https://scottbarrykaufman.com/sailboat-metaphor/

-Caleb Warren Research: https://www.calebwarrenresearch.com/research

-Caleb Warren [What Makes Things Cool?]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z7hkfkCEno

-Social Identity Theory: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_identity_theory

-State or Trait: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/think-well/201710/do-you-confuse-peoples-states-their-traits

-Upright Citizen’s Brigade: https://ucbcomedy.com/

-Counter Factual Thinking: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Counterfactual_thinking

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Song Credit: The Croft — By Joakim Karud

[ No Copyright on Music and Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 ]



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