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Why it feels so good to be bad—the psychology of our mischievous impulses

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Shock Value.

We all experience it: the desire to do something mischievous just for the sake of it. Psychologist Paul Bloom invites us to see the clever, creative and beautiful side of our desire to be bad.

About Paul Bloom

Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. He studies how children and adults make sense of the world, with a special focus on pleasure, morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching.

He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of seven books, including his latest Psych: The Story of the Human Mind.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by James Delahoussaye and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHourand email us at TEDRadioHour@npr.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
James Delahoussaye
Sanaz Meshkinpour