Entertainment / Psychology

Steven Pinker

“Are we just screwing things up? Or are we making things better?”

Science:

As an experimental psychologist, Steven Pinker studies human nature. And it turns out, we’re not so bad.

Secret:

Steven has been mercilessly heckled on "The Colbert Report" many times over.

If the World is a Safer Place, Why Can I Still Die?

Steven Pinker faces off with Stephen Colbert, and explains a surprising truth about human nature - we may actually be making things better.

30 Second Science with Steven Pinker

Renowned psychologist Steven Pinker explains the psychology of good and evil in less than thirty seconds.

Threats, Bribes, and Come-ons. Why We Speak In Euphemisms.

Steven Pinker explains why we pussy-foot around when we communicate about uncomfortable subjects.

The Colbert Training Guide

Steven Pinker offers tips on how to withstand the heckling of late night comedian Stephen Colbert.

My Cousins the Baboons

Experimental psychologist Steven Pinker (and some other primates) gaze at rainbows and Steven takes pictures.
Steven-sciencestill

About Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. Among many other subjects, he researches and explores cognition, language and the history of human violence. In his off-hours, he makes frequent appearances on “The Colbert Report” where he endures endless jokes about his hair from host Stephen Colbert.

  • Brian Hunt

    Would you ever consider writing a book about the state of education today as it relates (or doesn’t) to current knowledge in the cognitive sciences and evolutionary psychology? It seems to me to be a bastion of nonsensical thinking in light of much of your writing and areas of expertise.

  • Paul

    If rape is an adaptation shaped by natural selection, isn’t it likely that not just loser males, but also men with high status that are in a position to get away with it, should also be very likely to rape? There seems to be a lot of rape cases involving high status men like athletes, actors, musicians etc..

  • Pkius_Gracilens

    What kind of evidence or body of evidence would be sufficient to falsify Evolutionary Psychology’s broader hypothesis about human behavior being largely controlled by Evolutionary factors?

  • Demetri Belardinelli

    Dear Steven, Why are so many people seemingly addicted to the highly dramatic lives of the rich in popular culture? Why do we psychology love to hate (miley cyrus, kanye west, sports rivalries, etc.) More than we simply love to love? Is this problem rooted in the minds of the ones in power like vicom and Disney? Or does the problem lie within the ignorance of the masses? I long to see a day where the general public talks about what Steven Pinker and his collogues did to advance the understanding of the complex nature of the brain instead of whatever a wealthy 20 year old did with another wealthy 20 year old. Do you think science will ever trump sensationalism?

  • Chris Schneider

    I found Sam Harris’ “The Moral Landscape” to be a powerful outline for a scientific understanding of morality. What are your thoughts on a science of morality in the context of the well-being of conscious systems?

  • Michael

    What do you think is the role of the psychologist in today’s modern society? Has it changed in any aspects over the last few decades, in your opinion?

  • yurit

    If ‘brain cells fire in patterns’ where does the conscious I-identity come in? is it just a superimposed entity of the energy that fires the cells or is it something by itself? Thanks for your thoughts.