Episode 359

Getting Used to It

A Conversation with Cass R. Sunstein

March 19, 2024

Sam Harris speaks with Cass Sunstein about habituation and its consequences. They discuss habituation to positive and negative experiences, marriage, happiness, meaning, variety, doing good vs feeling good, midlife crises, kids, wealth and happiness, things vs experience, the “illusory truth effect,” misinformation and social media, echo chambers and extremism, what governments can do to respond to misinformation, free speech on college campuses, the 2024 Presidential election, and other topics.

Cass R. Sunstein is the Robert Walmsley University Professor at Harvard Law School, where he is the founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy. He is the most cited law professor in the United States. From 2009 to 2012 he served in the Obama administration as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He has testified before congressional committees, been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations, and written many articles and books, including Nudge (with Richard Thaler), #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media, Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide, Too Much Information, Noise (with Daniel Kahneman and Olivier Sibony), and most recently Look Again: The Power of Noticing What Was Always There (with Tali Sharot). He is now working on a variety of projects involving the regulatory state, fake news, and freedom of speech.

Website: https://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/cass-r-sunstein/

Twitter: @CassSunstein


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