How Do You Know if People Don’t Like You? (NSQ Ep. 37)

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Also: do self-help books really help?

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Relevant Research & References

Here’s where you can learn more about the people and ideas in this episode:


  • Samuel Smiles, Scottish writer and author of Self-Help. 
  • E.B. White, author of Charlotte’s Web. 
  • Charles Baudelaire, 19th-century poet.
  • Dale Carnegie, author and leader in the field of public speaking.
  • Steven Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics and host of People I (Mostly) Admire.
  • Richard Thaler, Nobel Prize-winning economist.
  • Lee Ross, professor of psychology at Stanford University.
  • Seneca, philosophical figure of the Roman Imperial Period.
  • David Burns, adjunct clinical professor emeritus of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Stanford University.


  • Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics, by Richard Thaler (2015).
  • “Freeze for Action: Neurobiological Mechanisms in Animal and Human Freezing,” by Karin Roelofs (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 2017).
  • “Guided and Unguided Self-Help for Social Anxiety Disorder: Randomised Controlled Trial,” by Tomas Furmark, Per Carlbring, Erik Hedman, Annika Sonnenstein, Peder Clevberger, Benjamin Bohman, Anneli Eriksson, Agneta Hållén, Mandus Frykman, Annelie Holmström, Elisabeth Sparthan, Maria Tillfors, Elisabeth Nilsson Ihrfelt, Maria Spak, Anna Eriksson, Lisa Ekselius, and Gerhard Andersson (British Journal of Psychiatry, 2009).
  • Self-Help, Inc.: Makeover Culture in American Life, by Micki McGee (2005).
  • “Naive Realism in Everyday Life: Implications for Social Conflict and Misunderstanding,” by Lee Ross and Andrew Ward (The Jean Piaget Symposium Series, 1996).
  • The Millionaire Next Door, by William D. Danko (1996).
  • “Anomalies: The Endowment Effect, Loss Aversion, and Status Quo Bias,” by Daniel Kahneman, Jack L. Knetsch, and Richard H. Thaler (The Journal of Economic Perspective, 1991).
  • The Little Engine That Could, by Watty Piper (1991).
  • “Status Quo Bias in Decision Making,” by William Samuelson and Richard Zeckhauser (Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 1988).
  • Red: A Biography of Red Smith, by Ira Berkow (1986).
  • Backstreets: Prostitution, Money, and Love, by Liv Finstad and Cecilie Hoigard (1986).
  • Hemingway: A Biography, by Jeffrey Meyers (1985).
  • Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, by David D. Burns (1980).
  • Ring: A Biography of Ring Lardner, by Jonathan Yardley (1977)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein (1974).
  • “A Library is Many Things,” by E.B. White (1971).
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends, by Arnold Lobel (1970).
  • How To Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie (1936).
  • The Essays of Montaigne, Complete, by Michel de Montaigne and translated by Charles Cotton (1877) [originally published in 1580].
  • “Anywhere Out of the Word,” by Charles Baudelaire (1867).
  • Self-Help, by Samuel Smiles (1859).
  • The French Revolution: A History, by Thomas Carlyle (1837).
  • Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD).


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