Are You as Observant as You Think? (NSQ Ep. 50)

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

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Relevant Research & References

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


  • Ellen Langer, professor of psychology at Harvard University.
  • Wendy Wood, professor of psychology and business at the University of Southern California.
  • Colin Camerer, professor of behavioral economics at the California Institute of Technology.
  • William Dement (deceased), professor of sleep science and medicine at Stanford University.


  • “The Neuroeconomics of Habit,” by Colin Camerer, Peter Landry, and Ryan Webb (SSRN, 2021).
  • “Sleep Hygiene: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Revamp Your Habits to Get Better Nightly Sleep,” by Eric Suni and Nilong Vyas (Sleep Foundation, 2020).
  • “Mindfulness.” by Ellen Langer and Christelle Ngnoumen (Frontiers of Social Psychology – Positive Psychology: Established and Emerging Issues, 2018).
  • “Habit in Personality and Social Psychology,” by Wendy Wood (Personality and Social Psychology Review, 2017).
  • “The Sleepless Elite,” by Melinda Beck (The Wall Street Journal, 2011).
  • “The Management of Unwanted Pre-Sleep Thoughts in Insomnia: Distraction with Imagery versus General Distraction,” by Allison Harvey and Suzanna Payne (Behavior Research and Therapy, 2002).
  • Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep, by William Dement (1972).
  • Mindfulness, Ellen Langer (1989).
  • “A Sense of Where You Are,” by John McPhee (The New Yorker, 1965).


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