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Is true altruism possible? life saving decisions and the psychology of heroism:
Elizabeth Svoboda is an award-winning science writer who has contributed to the Washington Post, Discover magazine, Psychology Today, and many other publications. Her first book is What Makes a Hero: The Surprising Science of Selflessness, and her most recent book, for children, is The Life Heroic: How to Unleash Your Most Amazing Self. She lives in San Jose, California with her husband and two young sons.

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What makes a hero?
The life Heroic book:

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01:44 – 83% of people suffer mental disorders – New Zealand study – 4 in 5 people
04:45 – Awareness and mental disorders
05:48 – Who are the 17% lucky ones? Personality traits
07:17 – The role of genetics and the process of training our emotional resilience
08:34 – Tweaking our mental state and emotional responses through medicine – next steps
09:58 – Lifestyle changes vs pills
12:18 – Becoming aware and planning towards improvement
14:22 – Never alone
15:20 – What makes a hero – Is true altruism possible?
17:35 – The roots of altruism
18:58 – Dave Hartsock – Skydiving and inspiring heroism – life or death situations
22:10 – Life or death Split second decisions – subconscious vs conscious
24:06 – Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow – System 1 and System 2 thinking – Behaviours that transition from conscious to subconscious
26:16 – “The helper’s high” – Benefits of Altruism and training to be more altruist
28:15 – Evolutionary roots of altruism/Heroism and what it tells us about pure altruism
30:42 – Altruism as a coping mechanism to deal with mental darkness – Pathological altruism – Intrinsic motivations behind altruism
32:21 – How to detect if our motivations to be altruistic are coming from the right place
34:44 – Graceanne Rumer – life saving heroism at a young age – 17 years old
38:25 – What would we do as adults in a life or death situation?
39:52 – Feedback and community as a driver and manager of good altruism
41:04 – Power/Money vs Poorness: correlations with degrees of altruism
43:35 – Dinosaurs & Detective work – Following the tracks
45:28 – What a track holds – a statement by an entire being
47:10 – Human tracks – what they tell us about our health and lives
48:29 – Intelligence and IQ tests – cultural weighting – Lewis Terman – Stanford-Binet Test
50:32 – Do we need IQ tests? Current trends
52:00 – What is intelligence? Is being very intelligent an advantage or a disadvantage? Impact of expectations raised by IQ tests
54:02 – “Failures” vs “Intelligence” – Consequences
55:05 – High IQ metrics impact on motivation and unconventional ground breaking behaviour – Intelligence vs risk
55:49 – The role of suffering vs empathy and altruism
59:08 – What makes a life fulfilling
01:57:06 – Conclusion

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Elizabeth Svoboda
Explorations Beyond

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