The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish

#198 Maya Shankar: The Science of Identity

The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish

Shane Parrish and Maya Shankar dive into the complexities of identity and personal transformation. They explore how significant life changes can reshape one's sense of self and explain how to navigate these transitions. Maya shares her personal stories and tips on making proactive choices and keeping a flexible, layered sense of self. They also discuss the psychological and philosophical aspects of identity, offering practical advice on goal-setting and personal growth.
Maya Shankar is a cognitive scientist and the creator, executive producer, and host of the podcast, A Slight Change of Plans. Shankar was a Senior Advisor in the Obama White House, where she founded and served as Chair of the White House Behavioral Science Team. She holds a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from Oxford and a B.A from Yale.

(00:00) Intro

(02:40) Shankar's "almost unbelievable" story of getting into Julliard

(05:30) Why Shankar studied identity

(11:38) What is identity?

(14:52) Using your identity to accomplish your goals

(18:00) Using anti-identities to accomplish your goals

(18:51) What to do when your identity is "attacked"

(26:30) How to re-establish trust in institutions

(32:30) Use identity to start a positive habit

(35:35) How to debunk myths with stories and facts

(37:18) How does how we frame our goals help (or prevent) us from accomplishing them

(43:11) The one motivational technique Shankar uses every day

(45:15) On success

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