Episode 46: Paradoxical Outcomes – Causing the Exact Thing You Didn’t Want

In this episode, Phil introduces a homebrewed concept that he defines as “Any action taken to stop a particular outcome results in causing that outcome.”


  • Wells Effect: an empirical disconnect between people’s judgment of guilt in a trial setting, and both the mathematical and subjective probability involving guilt.
  • The Time Machine (HG Wells)
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; a form of psychotherapy, as well as a branch of clinical behavior analysis. It is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies along with commitment and behavior-change strategies to increase psychological flexibility.
    • 6 Pillars:
      • Defusion
      • Acceptance
      • Contact with the present moment
      • The Observing Self
      • Values
      • Committed action
  • Confirmation Bias: the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.
  • Logical Fallacy: Reasoning that is logically invalid, or that undermines the logical validity of an argument. All forms of human communication can contain fallacies.
  • SlateStar CodexThe Cowpox of Doubt
  • The Trolley Problem – a series of thought experiments in ethics and psychology, involving stylized ethical dilemmas of whether to sacrifice one person to save a larger number.
  • Episode 39: Motivational Interviewing
  • Episode 20: Self-Determination Theory
  • Perfectionism (Psychology): a broad personality style characterized by a person’s concern with striving for flawlessness and perfection and is accompanied by critical self-evaluations and concerns regarding others’ evaluations.
  • Gay Hendricks (Author)
  • Highly Recommended: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkeman (Shorter Sample Episode)
  • Instagram Reel Phil Mentioned
  • Black-Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling
  • Internal Family Systems Therapy – an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy developed by Richard C. Schwartz in the 1980s. It combines systems thinking with the view that the mind is made up of relatively discrete subpersonalities, each with its own unique viewpoint and qualities. IFS uses family systems theory to understand how these collections of subpersonalities are organized.
  • Anxious-Avoidant Attachment: An infant with an anxious-avoidant pattern of attachment will avoid or ignore the caregiver—showing little emotion when the caregiver departs or returns.
  • Push-Pull Technique (Social): Give a subtle insult or slight, then change it into a compliment. Emotionally pushing them away, then pulling them closer.
  • Episode 7: Survivorship Bias

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