Being Social: A Conversation with Roy Baumeister

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Open Agenda Publishing, Oct 1, 2020 - Psychology - 54 pages
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This book is based on an in-depth filmed conversation between Howard Burton and Roy Baumeister, Professor of Psychology at the University of Queensland. This extensive conversation explores Roy Baumeister’s unique combination of biological and psychological thinking from recognizing essential energetic factors involved with willpower and decision-making, to framing free will in evolutionary biological terms to measuring the numbness associated with social rejection as a form of analgesic response, and more.  

This carefully-edited book includes an introduction, The Human Animal, and questions for discussion at the end of each chapter:

I. Psychology, Eventually - Third time lucky

II. A Discipline Evolves -  The changing fashions of social psychology

III. The Energetic Agent - Yet another reason to eat more ice cream

IV. A Philosophical Digression - Mind, brain, and the difference between them

V. Free Will - Incorporating cultural factors into our decision-making

VI. Cultural Distinctiveness - And its relevance

VII. Numbed By Rejection - More than just a metaphor

 About Ideas Roadshow Conversations Series: 

This book is part of an expanding series of 100+ Ideas Roadshow conversations, each one presenting a wealth of candid insights from a leading expert through a focused yet informal setting to give non-specialists a uniquely accessible window into frontline research and scholarship that wouldn't otherwise be encountered through standard lectures and textbooks. For other books in this series visit our website (


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The Conversation
Psychology Eventually
A Discipline Evolves
The Energetic Agent
A Philosophical Digression
Free Will
Cultural Distinctiveness
Numbed By Rejection
Continuing the Conversation

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About the author (2020)

Howard Burton, the founder and creator of Ideas Roadshow and Ideas on Film, holds a PhD in theoretical physics and an MA in philosophy. He was the Founding Executive Director of Canada’s Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (PI) from 1999-2007. During his time at PI, he also developed an extensive outreach programme for teachers, students and the general public. His experiences at developing the research and outreach mandates of the institute were described in the book, First Principles: Building Perimeter Institute, featuring a foreword by Nobel Laureate Roger Penrose.

Ideas Roadshow is an award-winning initiative, recipient of the London Book Fair International Excellence Award in 2018. Howard has hosted and filmed in-depth conversations with more than 100 of the world’s brightest thinkers, including 3 Nobel Laureates, across the arts, sciences, sports and games.