No Stupid Questions

By Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher

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Category: Society & Culture

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Subscribers: 4045
Reviews: 15

 Dec 14, 2022

 Jul 24, 2022
love it

 Jul 22, 2022

 Jun 18, 2022
Interesting and fun psych podcast. Every podcast should have a fact checker at the end.

 May 29, 2022


Stephen Dubner (co-author of the Freakonomics book series) and research psychologist Angela Duckworth (author of Grit) really like to ask people questions, and came to believe there’s no such thing as a stupid one. So they made a podcast where they can ask each other as many “stupid questions” as they want. New episodes each week. No Stupid Questions is a production of the Freakonomics Radio Network.

Episode Date
133. Can You Really Work on an Airplane?

Are those travelers on their laptops just showing off? Why does V8 taste better at 35,000 feet? And why won't Angela chat with her seatmate? 

Feb 05, 2023
132. Is It Wrong to Enjoy Yourself While the World Is Burning?

Are things as dire as they seem? How big is your moral circle? And should Angela spend time with her kids or answer her emails?

Jan 29, 2023
131. Why Do We Cry?

Is sobbing a survival tactic? What happened when Angela wept in front of her boss? And what do sauerkraut and sadness have in common?

Jan 22, 2023
130. Why Is It So Hard to Resist Temptation?

Why are people so inconsistent? Is there such a thing as character? And did Stephen once have the world's longest chain of gum wrappers?

Jan 15, 2023
129. Why Do We Cheat, and Why Shouldn’t We?

Is there such a thing as a victimless crime? In an unfair system, is dishonesty okay? And are adolescent vandals out of ideas? 

Jan 08, 2023
What’s So Great About Retirement? (Ep. 87 Replay)

How do you know when it’s the right time to retire? What does a “good” retirement look like? And will Stephen and Angela ever really hang up their hats?

Jan 01, 2023
128. How Can You Give Better Gifts?

How many bottles of wine are regifted? What’s wrong with giving cash? And should Angela give her husband a subscription to the Sausage of the Month Club?

Dec 25, 2022
127. How Can You Be a Better Communicator?

How do you express yourself when you're not sure what you want to say? What’s the number one way to get people to listen to you? And why are letters to advice columns always well-written? Plus: An update to the NSQ drinking game.

Dec 18, 2022
126. Why Do People Love Horror Movies?

When are negative emotions enjoyable? Are we all a little masochistic? And do pigs like hot sauce?

Dec 11, 2022
125. Should We Replace Umpires With Robots?

What do gamblers and referees have in common? When do machines make better decisions than people? And has Stephen been replaced by a computer?

Dec 04, 2022
124. How Do You Stop Grinding Your Teeth?

How can you break a bad habit if you’re not aware that you’re doing it? Does Barack Obama grind his teeth? And is Angela’s dentist a crook? 

Nov 27, 2022
123. What’s Wrong With Coveting?

What’s the difference between schadenfreude and sadism? Can envy be put to good use? And how do you teach a kid to punch a clown?

Nov 20, 2022
When Is It OK to Tell a Lie? (Replay from Ep. 66)

Can a little dishonesty be a good thing? How many fibs does Angela tell every day? And why does Stephen have a forehead?

Nov 13, 2022
122. Is Family Overrated?

If you’re frustrated with your family, should you cut ties with them? Who’s more likely to break with relatives over politics, liberals or conservatives? And what would it take for Stephen to buy a baby elephant?

Nov 06, 2022
121. How Good Are Your Snap Judgments?

How much can you tell about someone from the first few seconds of a Zoom call? What did Stephen think of Angie when he first met her? And: a special message to babies from the future. 

Oct 30, 2022
120. Why Are Rich Countries So Unhappy?

How does comparing yourself to others affect your well-being? What do you do when there’s no one left to blame? And should we all just move to Finland? 

Oct 23, 2022
119. J***s C****t, Angela, Why Are You Such a F***ing Potty-Mouth?

What’s the purpose of profanity? Why is cursing on the rise? And will Angela finally swear off swearing?

Oct 16, 2022
118. How Do You Keep Winter From Getting You Down?

How should you treat Seasonal Affective Disorder? Would we all be happier if we hibernated? And why does Stephen think football fans have an easier time?

Oct 09, 2022
117. What’s Wrong With Holding a Grudge?

How do you let go of resentment? Do apologies even work? And what grievances have Stephen and Angela been nursing for years?

Oct 02, 2022
116. Do People Pay Attention to Signs?

Do highway warnings save lives or cost lives? How do you keep men from peeing on the floor? And what’s Angela’s plan to get more people washing their hands?

Sep 25, 2022
115. Are You Having a Midlife Crisis?

How is aging different today than it was in the past? What do young people get wrong about happiness? And what does it mean if you impulsively decide to get your ear pierced in an unusual place?

Sep 18, 2022
114. Can You Learn to Love Hard Work?

Can exercising your body boost your brain's stamina? Are some people just born lazy? And why did Angela stop reading “Us Weekly”?

Sep 11, 2022
113. How Can You Improve Your Mental Endurance?

Why do some activities tire your brain more than others? How exhausting is poverty? And could most of the world’s problems be solved with a sandwich?

Sep 04, 2022
112. Is It Okay to Hate Highbrow Culture?

Are Europeans more sophisticated than Americans? What’s wrong with preferring Taylor Swift to Puccini? And is Steve Levitt “Team Edward” or “Team Jacob”?

Aug 28, 2022
111. Would You Be Happier if You Lived Someplace Else?

Will Angela finally break up with Philadelphia? Is New York really the unhappiest city in the U.S.? And are there trash tornadoes in the metaverse?

Aug 21, 2022
110. Why Is Angela Stepping Down as C.E.O. of the Nonprofit She Founded?

Are you a problem solver or an opportunity seeker? Why is it so hard to find a good leader these days? And could you be Angela’s next boss?

Aug 14, 2022
What’s the Best Advice You’ve Ever Received? (Replay from Ep. 65)

What risks are worth taking? When should you ignore feedback and go with your gut? And what did Stephen learn on a fishing trip with the town barber?

Aug 07, 2022
109. What Is the Purpose of Embarrassment?

What’s worse: shame, guilt, or humiliation? Does Angela have psychopathic tendencies? And where’s the worst place to sit at a magic show? 

Jul 31, 2022
108. Should You Try to Be Less Angry?

What is the purpose of negative emotions? Why do we engage with things we know will upset us? And how does Angie deal with rejection?

Jul 24, 2022
107. Is It Worth It for Charities to Harass Their Donors?

Is it O.K. to bother people for a good cause? Why do people donate to charity in the first place? And do those personalized address labels actually make people get out their checkbooks?  

Jul 17, 2022
106. Did Your Early Childhood Determine the Course of Your Life?

Are we all either secure, avoidant, or anxious? How does your relationship with your parents shape your romantic partnerships? And what is Stephen’s attachment style? 

Jul 10, 2022
How Does Facing Death Change Your Life? (Replay from Ep. 49)

Are you more likely to experience post-traumatic stress or post-traumatic growth? How does belief in the afterlife affect how you view death? And why did Angela hike a deadly gorge with her ex-boyfriend? 

Jul 03, 2022
105. Should You Give Kids an Allowance or Make Them Get Jobs?

How do kids learn about money? What’s the big problem with education? And who made "Raiders of the Lost Ark?"

Jun 26, 2022
104. How Simple Is Too Simple?

Why are humans so eager for magic-bullet solutions? Can you explain how a pen works? And how does Angela feel about being forever branded “the grit lady”?

Jun 19, 2022
103. Should Toilets Be Free?

Why do Americans tip so much? What happened when Angie eliminated grading in a college course? And why did almost every pay toilet in the U.S.A. vanish between 1970 and 1980? 

Jun 12, 2022
102. What’s So Bad About Nepotism?

How does the profitability of family firms stack up against the rest? Has nepotism become more taboo over time? And why are 90 percent of adoptees in Japan not children but adults?

Jun 05, 2022
101. Are You Really "Addicted" to Diet Coke?

Where’s the line between an addiction and a bad habit? Why do definitions of mental illnesses change over time? And what’s the most addictive thing in the world?

May 29, 2022
100. Is It Weird for Adults to Have Imaginary Friends?

Why does listening to No Stupid Questions feel like you’re hanging out with your best friends? Why did the whole world take it personally when Princess Diana died? And how do “parasocial relationships” affect your mental health?

May 22, 2022
99. Do You Mind if I Borrow Your Personality?

Are there downsides to “personality plagiarism”? Why did no one buy the Crayola Crayon Carver? And should Stephen feel bad for copying Angela’s email signature?

May 15, 2022
98. Is Having Children Worth It?

Why have fertility rates dropped so dramatically? Do fathers or mothers get more happiness from parenting? And how does birth order affect a child’s future?

May 08, 2022
97. Are Women Really Less Happy Than Men?

Why are women unhappier than men? What can we do to move the needle? And is it better to be happy or to be good?

May 01, 2022
96. Why Is Chick-fil-A Such a Big Deal?

How did Chick-fil-A become the third-largest restaurant chain in the U.S.? Why does it serve salad? And can Angie’s moral compass override her craving for a chicken sandwich?

Apr 24, 2022
95. What’s So Bad About Denial?

Can denial be a healthy way of dealing with the death of a loved one? What do the five stages of grief misrepresent about mourning? And why does Angie cover her eyes when she watches the Rocky movies?

Apr 17, 2022
94. What to Do When Everything Looks Like a Catastrophe?

What is the relationship between “catastrophizing” and anxiety? How did Angela react when her mother came close to drowning? And how can you gain perspective when the worst-case scenario is all you can visualize?

Apr 10, 2022
93. Does the Early Bird Really Catch the Worm? Or Could the Night Owl Get There First?

How have Angie’s views on sleep changed since she wrote her Harvard application essay? Would starting high school later in the day be worth $8.6 billion? And what should you do if your chronotype doesn’t fit the way society is structured?

Apr 03, 2022
92. Is Poor Nutrition a Supply Problem or a Demand Problem?

Is evolution stacked against healthy eating? What policies could increase demand for nutritious food? And does Popeyes count as a cultural icon?

Mar 27, 2022
91. Do You Savor or Gobble?

What’s the difference between people who preserve special things and people who devour them right away? Why do we love to binge-watch? And did Adam really eat an apple?

Mar 20, 2022
90. If America Is a Train Wreck, Why Am I Doing Fine?

Why do so many Americans say they’re satisfied with their own lives but upset about the way the country is going? Why don’t other countries experience the same gap? And what do horror movies have in common with Coca-Cola enemas?

Mar 13, 2022
89. How Valuable Is Enthusiasm?

What’s the difference between willpower and eagerness? Is there a lifehack that can make you zestier? And could it help Stephen improve his golf game? 

Mar 06, 2022
88. Is Self-Improvement Too Selfish?

Is it more important to help society or to help yourself? Does the self-improvement movement do any good for the world? And which podcast episode does Stephen cling to as proof that he’s doing something valuable? 

Feb 27, 2022
87. What’s So Great About Retirement?

How do you know when it’s the right time to retire? What does a “good” retirement look like? And will Stephen and Angela ever really hang up their hats?

Feb 20, 2022
86. Should We All Be Taking More Long Shots?

What’s the difference between dispositional optimism and agentic hope? Are there benefits to taking a long shot, even if it turns out to be an air ball? And how is Angela like an N.F.L. quarterback?

Feb 13, 2022
85. Is Emotional Intelligence Really So Important?

Can you quantify emotional intelligence? Who should you hire — someone smart, or someone good with people? And how did Angie do on an online emotional intelligence test? 

Feb 06, 2022
84. Why Do We Find So Much Meaning in Meaningless Coincidences?

Why are humans so fascinated by coincidences? What do Carl Jung and an album by The Police have in common? And what did Stephen win in a bar mitzvah limbo contest? 

Jan 30, 2022
83. Can You Change Your Mind Without Losing Face?

What is the cost of admitting you’re wrong? How can intellectual humility make you more open minded? And will Stephen finally persuade Angela that rum-raisin is the best flavor of ice cream?

Jan 23, 2022
82. Which Is More Powerful: Reward or Punishment?

How is “negative reinforcement” different from punishment? Could positive reinforcement encourage prosocial behavior on a national scale? And what’s the deal with Taiwan’s dog-poop lottery?

Jan 16, 2022
81. Why Is It So Hard to Talk About Money?

What’s the connection between conversations about money and financial literacy? Could the taboo against talking about your salary be fading? And why did Angie’s teenage daughter call Vanguard to learn about I.R.A.s?

Jan 09, 2022
80. Is a “Success Hangover” Real?

Why are great accomplishments often followed by disappointment? Is it better to win and feel bummed out than to never have won at all? And where was ping-pong invented?

Jan 02, 2022
79. Why Do We Root for Underdogs?

Also: Angela proposes an upgrade to the show.  

Dec 26, 2021
78. Why Do We Put Things Off Until the Very Last Minute?

Also: what does your name say about who you are? 

Dec 19, 2021
77. How Can You Avoid Boredom?

Also: are we getting any better at assessing COVID risk?

Dec 12, 2021
76. Why Can’t Baby Boomers and Millennials Just Get Along?

Also: how do phone cameras affect the way we experience live events? 

Dec 05, 2021
Why Do We Seek Comfort in the Familiar? (NSQ Ep. 30 Replay)

Also: is a little knowledge truly a dangerous thing? 

Nov 28, 2021
75. How Do You Deal With Intrusive Thoughts?

Also: how much does confidence really matter?

Nov 21, 2021
74. Does Reverse Psychology Really Work?

Also: does knowing your family history affect your identity?

Nov 14, 2021
73. Is It Okay to Engage in “Social Loafing”?

Also: why is it so great to be part of a team, even when you lose?

Nov 07, 2021
72. If Everyone Hates Meetings, Why Do We Have So Many of Them?

Also: why do so many people feel lost in their 20s? 

Oct 31, 2021
71. Why Is Pig Milk the One Milk We Don’t Drink?

Also: what’s a food you love that seems disgusting to everyone else?

Oct 24, 2021
How Much Do Your Friends Affect Your Future? (NSQ Ep. 31 Replay)

Also: which professions have the happiest people?

Oct 17, 2021
70. In a Job Interview, How Much Does Timing Matter?

Also: why is it smart to ignore what your podcast hosts look like?

Oct 10, 2021
69. How Can You Convince Someone They’re Wrong?

Also: what’s the best way to handle rejection?

Oct 03, 2021
68. Why Do We Want What We Can’t Have?

Also: why are humans still so tribal?

Sep 26, 2021
67. How Can You Escape Binary Thinking?

Also: why is it so satisfying to find a bargain?

Sep 19, 2021
66. When Is It OK to Tell a Lie?

Also: is obsessing over your mental health bad for your mental health?

Sep 12, 2021
Why Do We Forget So Much of What We’ve Read? (Ep. 24 Rebroadcast)

Also: do we overestimate or underestimate our significance in other people’s lives?

Sep 05, 2021
65. What’s the Best Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Also: why don’t you need a license to become a parent?

Aug 29, 2021
Why Do We Buy Things We Never Use? (Rebroadcast From Ep.22)

Also: why do we hoard? (Rebroadcast From Ep. 28)

Aug 22, 2021
64. Are Women Required to Be Nicer Than Men?

Also: should you feel guilty if you don’t read books?

Aug 15, 2021
63. How Contagious Is Behavior? With Laurie Santos of “The Happiness Lab.”

Also: life is good — so why aren’t you happy?

Aug 08, 2021
62. How Can You Escape a Drama Triangle?

Also: how do awards affect motivation?

Aug 01, 2021
61. Should We Just Ignore Our Weaknesses?

Also: why do we like what we like?

Jul 25, 2021
60. Why Do We Complain?

Also: what do you really mean when you say you “don’t have time”?

Jul 18, 2021
59. Do Dreams Actually Mean Anything?

Also: why is music so memorable?

Jul 11, 2021
How Can You Stop Comparing Yourself With Other People? (Ep. 13 Rebroadcast)

Also: how can we stop confusing correlation with causation?

Jul 04, 2021
58. What’s So Gratifying About Gossip?

Also: why do people hate small talk?

Jun 27, 2021
57. Which Incentives Are Best at Boosting Vaccination, and Why?

Also: what does your desired superpower say about you?

Jun 20, 2021
56. Why Is Academic Writing So Bad?

Also: what does your perfect day look like?

Jun 13, 2021
55. What Changes Will Stick When the Pandemic Is Gone?

Also: would you take a confirmation-bias vaccine?

Jun 06, 2021
54. Do You Really Need a Muse to Be Creative?

Also: is shortsightedness part of human nature?

May 30, 2021
53. What’s the Secret to Making a Great Prediction?

Also: how do you recover from a bad day?

May 23, 2021
52. How Much Should We Be Able to Customize Our World?

Also: does multitasking actually increase productivity?

May 16, 2021
51. What Separates Humans From Other Animals?

Also: why do people pace while talking on the phone?

May 09, 2021
50. Are You as Observant as You Think?

Angela accidentally discovers the secret to a good night’s sleep

May 02, 2021
49. How Does Facing Death Change Your Life?

Also: why are we so bad at assessing risk?

Apr 25, 2021
48. Do Good Deeds Invite More Bad Ones?

Also: what is the most significant choice you will ever make?

Apr 18, 2021
47. Is Laziness Real?

Also: why do we dislike being alone in public?

Apr 11, 2021
46. How Can You Stop Feeling So Irritable?

Also: what’s wrong with being impatient?

Apr 04, 2021
45. How Much Better Do You Really Want to Be?

Also: why do we pad our speech with so much filler language?

Mar 28, 2021
44. Is Empathy in Fact Immoral?

Also: is it better to “go with the wind” or to “be the wind”?

Mar 21, 2021
43. What Do We Really Learn From Failure?

Also: what is teasing supposed to accomplish?

Mar 14, 2021
42. How Does When You Are Born Affect Who You Are?

Also: how did Angela do with her no-sugar challenge?

Mar 07, 2021
41. Why Are We So Attracted to Fame?

Also: do we subconsciously lie about our major influences?

Feb 28, 2021
40. Have We All Lost Our Ability to Compromise?

Also: is it better to be right or “not wrong”?

Feb 21, 2021
39. Is Everybody Cheating These Days?

Also, what's better: to learn new skills or go deep on what you're good at?

Feb 14, 2021
38. What Does It Mean to Be a “Good” Man?

Also: how can you stop ruminating?

Feb 07, 2021
37. How Do You Know if People Don’t Like You?

Also: do self-help books really help?

Jan 31, 2021
36. Which Matters More, a First or Last Impression?

Also: does wisdom really come with age?

Jan 24, 2021
35. Does Psychotherapy Actually Work?

Also: how many “selves” is it OK to have?

Jan 17, 2021
34. Are Humans Smarter or Stupider Than We Used to Be?

Also: how can you become a more curious person?

Jan 10, 2021
33. Is Optimism a Luxury Good?

Also: why is public speaking so terrifying?

Jan 03, 2021
How Much of Your Life Do You Actually Control? (Ep. 15 Rebroadcast)

Also: why do we procrastinate?

Dec 27, 2020
32. Which Gets You Further: Talent or Effort?

Also: where is the line between acronyms, initialisms, and gibberish?

Dec 20, 2020
31. How Much Do Your Friends Affect Your Future?

Also: which professions have the happiest people?

Dec 13, 2020
30. Why Do We Seek Comfort in the Familiar?

Also: is a little knowledge truly a dangerous thing?

Dec 06, 2020
29. How Do You Know When It’s Time to Quit?

Also: why is it so hard to predict success?

Nov 29, 2020
28. Why Do We Hoard?

Also: do you spend more time thinking about the past, the present, or the future?

Nov 22, 2020
27. How Should You Ask for Forgiveness?

Also: why is behavior change so darn hard?

Nov 15, 2020
26. Do Checklists Make People Stupid?

Also: what’s so great about New York City anyway?

Nov 08, 2020
25. Is Hedonism Better Than Self-Control?

Also: is it wrong to feel inured to the pandemic?

Nov 01, 2020
24. Why Do We Forget So Much of What We’ve Read?

Also: do we overestimate or underestimate our significance in other people’s lives?

Oct 25, 2020
23. Is It Wrong to Crave Praise?

Also: should everyone have their own trauma score?

Oct 18, 2020
22. Why Do We Buy Things We’ll Never Use?

Also: how is social media like a knife?

Oct 11, 2020
21. How Can You Identify Hidden Talent? With Eric Schmidt.

Also: is there a downside to billionaire philanthropy?

Oct 04, 2020
20. Should We Separate the Art From the Artist?

Also: what is the meaning of life?

Sep 27, 2020
19. Is There Such a Thing as Good Estrangement?

Also: how do you know if you have a “bad personality”?

Sep 20, 2020
18. How Do You Raise a “Likable” Kid?

Also: what’s so great about friendship?

Sep 13, 2020
17. How Can We Get More Virtue and Less ‘Virtue Signaling’?

Also: is it better to be a thinker, a doer, or a charmer?

Sep 06, 2020
16. What’s the Downside to Being Goal-Oriented?

Also: how does a cook become a chef? With Gabrielle Hamilton.

Aug 30, 2020
15. How Much of Your Life Do You Actually Control?

Also: why do we procrastinate?

Aug 23, 2020
14. Are You a Maximizer or a Satisficer?

Also: what is the best question you’ve ever been asked in a job interview?

Aug 16, 2020
13. How Can You Stop Comparing Yourself With Other People?

Also: how can we stop confusing correlation with causation?

Aug 09, 2020
12. Does “As If” Thinking Really Work?

Also: how effective is the placebo effect?

Aug 03, 2020
11. Are Ambitious People Inherently Selfish?

Also: why do we habituate to life’s greatest pleasures?

Jul 27, 2020
10. Why Are Stories Stickier Than Statistics?

Also: are the most memorable stories less likely to be true?

Jul 20, 2020
9. Why Is It So Hard to Be Alone With Our Thoughts?

Also: how do you avoid screwing up your kids?

Jul 13, 2020
8. Wouldn’t It Be Better to Hear Your Eulogy Before You’re Dead?

Also: how does a comedian cope with tragedy? With Eugene Mirman.

Jul 06, 2020
7. How Do You Handle Criticism?

Also: is it better to send a congratulatory note to someone who deserves it or a condolence note to someone who needs it?

Jun 29, 2020
6. Is Incompetence a Form of Dishonesty?

Also: should we all have personal mission statements?

Jun 22, 2020
5. What Do Tom Sawyer and the Founder of Duolingo Have in Common?

Also: is there such a thing as too much science? With special guest Luis von Ahn.

Jun 15, 2020
4. Does All Creativity Come From Pain?

Also: is life precious because it’s finite?

Jun 08, 2020
3. What Does It Mean to Be a “Hard Worker”?

Also: how does age affect happiness?

Jun 01, 2020
2. What is the Optimal Way to Be Angry?

Also: why do we treat pets better than people?

May 25, 2020
1. Did Covid-19 Kill the Handshake?

Also: why can't humans handle uncertainty already?

May 18, 2020
Introducing "No Stupid Questions"

Stephen Dubner, the host of Freakonomics Radio, and Angela Duckworth, the psychologist and author of Grit, explore the weird and wonderful ways in which humans behave. In each episode, they take turns asking each other questions, with conversations ranging from friendship and parenting to immortality and whether dogs are better than people. No Stupid Questions premieres May 18th.

Apr 24, 2020