Psychology: Should Freud Still Be On The Syllabus? Paul Bloom, Part 1

Ask someone to name a famous psychologist and there’s a good chance they’ll say Sigmund Freud. Describing a person as “anal” or rebuking someone with “I’m not your mother”, are both references to Freud’s work. Since many of his outlandish theories have long been debunked, should he still be part of psychology teaching? Author Paul Bloom lays the case for why he has dedicated a whole chapter to Freud in his new book Psych.

Although Freud had some terrible ideas - he really did some of the dumbest ideas that have ever passed through somebody's mind - he had some brilliant ones as well. ~ Paul Bloom, episode 352 Click To Tweet

This is the first of two episodes with Paul Bloom, who we are warmly welcoming back to the Behavioral Grooves Podcast following his previous interview in episode 274 back in 2022. Paul joins us to discuss his new book, Psych: The Story of the Human Mind. And since we had such a fascinating (and long!) conversation with Paul, we decided to break it into two, more digestible, episodes.

In this first episode, we spend time discussing the history of psychology, delving into the importance of Freud, Skinner and Milgram and the impact that behaviorism had. We also jump to the hypothetical future of psychology and where the field may make seismic progress over the next 50 years.

I think neuroscience, in some important ways, has really failed to meet it's promise. Studies of the brain have given us surprisingly little about insight into how the mind works. ~ Paul Bloom, episode 352 Click To Tweet

By becoming a follower of Behavioral Grooves Podcast, you will automatically be notified when the second episode of Paul’s interview is released next week, on Monday, April 24th. In that interview, we will delve more into Paul’s book. We will talk about the impetus to write Psych, selfish vs altruistic behaviors, and what makes a good life.



(5:00) Welcome to Paul Bloom and speed round questions.

(9:33) Why Paul wrote the book Psych.

(12:15) Why Sigmund Freud had a whole chapter in the book.

(18:08) The reason Paul doesn’t have much love for B.F. Skinner.

(25:09) Milgram experiments during a wild west time in psychology.

(29:33) Do we have free will?

(33:42) How will the field of psychology change over the next 50 years?

(37:49) The failures of neuroscience.

(42:41) Grooving Session with Kurt and Tim on the history of psychology.


© 2023 Behavioral Grooves


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AIRDATE: April 17, 2023 EPISODE 352

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Psychology: Should Freud Still Be On The Syllabus? Paul Bloom, Part 1

Featured Guest

Paul Bloom