The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Transform Your Life

David Robson

Our guest on today’s episode is someone that has undertaken some really interesting and quite unique work, culminating in his latest book ‘The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Transform Your Life’. David Robson hails from a background in scientific research and writing, but through two very different books he has delved into how expectations and our experiences in life generally are being unconsciously shaped by our brain. 

He describes how our own expectations and beliefs – however irrational – influence our health, happiness and our survival. He also speaks about how to revolutionise your thinking and make wiser decisions.

Drawing on the latest behavioral science and historical examples from Socrates to Benjamin Franklin, David demonstrates how we can apply our intelligence more wisely, identify bias and enhance our rationality.


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03:00 Why David wrote his latest book ‘The Expectation Effect’

04:34 The backstory to ‘The Expectation Effect’

09:26 The difference between the placebo effect and the nocebo effect

12:02 Why the nocebo effect hasn’t been researched as much as the placebo effect

17:19 What is the Expectation Effect?

20:40 What happens when the mind makes physiological changes in our body

23:54 The role of the prediction process in our brains

28:09 The link between conspiracy beliefs and the Expectation Effect

30:58 Is there a difference in brain activity between an experience that is real versus perceived?

32:54 The link between the Expectation Effect and people’s supernatural belief systems

38:03 Cognitive reframing

42:57 The impact of feeling more grounded when combatting stress

48:07 How to embrace winter

51:04 Strategies for practicing the Expectation Effect

56:48 On the pursuit of happiness

01:00:34 Our relationship with diet and nutrition

01:05:03 What inspired David to write ‘The Intelligence Trap’

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