Who are we at the heart

Who are you? There are dozens of ways to answer this question, from your name and nationality, to your relationships and your job, to the nature of your soul. But the more we zoom in, the more the ego can feel like an impressionist painting – from a distance you see distinct shapes, but the closer you look the more it dissolves into a million little pieces. So what is the self really? What makes us who we are?

In this week’s episode, we explore what scientists are learning about the concept of ‘me’ and how deep it really extends. We hear stories about the eroding effects of Alzheimer’s disease – and if our memories make us who we are; what the diaries can tell us about our best and our worst selves; and what it really means to be self-aware.

Also heard in this week’s episode:

  • Tasha Eurich, an organizational psychologist and researcher, found that although 95 percent of people believe they are self-aware, only about 10 to 15 percent really are. We discuss with Eurich why self-awareness is beneficial and how to gain more of it.
  • Once a bully, always a bully – or maybe not. We chat with reformed bully Brittany Brady about how she realized she was a bully and how this ghost version of herself is affecting her life now.
  • We chat with Iris Berent, a cognitive psychologist at Northeastern University who studies human nature and the moral implications of our “real selves.”

Read the full transcript of the episode.

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