Robert Epstein

ROBERT EPSTEIN is an author, editor, and longtime psychology researcher and professor—a distinguished scientist who is passionate about educating the public about advances in mental health and the behavioral sciences. The former editor-in-chief of Psychology Today, Dr. Epstein is currently Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. He is also the founder and Director Emeritus of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies in Massachusetts.

Through 2003, he served as University Research Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. He received his Ph.D. in psychology in 1981 from Harvard University.

He has hosted a number of psychology-related radio programs, most recently a show called Psyched!®, which aired throughout the U.S. and Canada on Sirius/XM Radio between 2005 and 2008. In connection with the magazine or his radio programs, Dr. Epstein has interviewed many notable people, including Laura Bush, Jimmy Carter, Tipper Gore, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, Christie Brinkley, Sally Field, Jamie Lee Curtis, Maria Shriver, Sarah Ferguson, and Steve Allen.

His research on creativity and innovation has been featured in Time magazine, the New York Times, and Discover, as well as on national and international radio and television. He has published more than 350 articles, including scientific articles in Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). His 2015 report on the discovery of the Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME) has been downloaded or accessed from PNAS’s website more then 200,000 times. He published a large-scale replication of the effect in 2017, and a team at one of Max Planck Institutes also reported a SEME replication that year. Although best known for his work on creativity, Dr. Epstein has also conducted research on adolescent and adult competence, voter manipulation, self-control, relationship skills, sexual orientation, and other topics, and a seminal article he wrote for The Washington Post helped stimulate a worldwide call for an armistice on January 1, 2000. He has also developed a number of unique online competency tests which are taken by more than a million people a year.

Epstein’s 15 books include Teen 2.0: Saving Our Children and Families from the Torment of Adolescence (cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2010 in the case Graham v. Florida); Parsing the Turing Test: Philosophical and Methodological Issues in the Quest for the Thinking Computer (with Grace Beber and Gary Roberts); The Big Book of Motivation Games (with Jessica Rogers); The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen(an earlier version of Teen 2.0); The Big Book of Stress-Relief Games; The Big Book of Creativity Games; Creativity Games for Trainers; Stress-Management and Relaxation Activities for Trainers; Cognition, Creativity, and Behavior: Selected Essays; The New Psychology Today Reader; Pure Fitness: Body Meets Mind (with Lori “Ice” Fetrick of the American Gladiators); Self-Help Without the Hype; and Irrelativity. He is also the editor of two books of writings by the eminent psychologist, B. F. SkinnerSkinner for the Classroom and Notebookswith whom Epstein collaborated at Harvard.

He has taught at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Boston University, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the University of California San Diego, the HAL College of Technology and Design (Japan), the University of the South Pacific, and other universities. Dr. Epstein also served as Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Psychology at National University, where he was subsequently appointed Research Professor. From 1990 to 1995, he directed the Loebner Prize Competition in Artificial Intelligence, an annual contest in which human intelligence is pitted against machine intelligence. The contest is currently held each year at Bletchley Park in the UK, where computer pioneer Alan Turing built the computing machine used to break the German Enigma code in World War II.

Dr. Epstein has been a commentator for NPR’s “Marketplace,” the Voice of America, and Disney Online, and his popular writings have appeared in Politico, TIME, U.S. News & World Report, Reader’s Digest, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Scientific American Mind, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, USA Today, The Hill, Aeon, and other magazines and newspapers.

His upcoming books include The New Mind Control, Making Love: How Couples Learn to Love and How You Can Too, and Finding the Inner Adult in Your Teen: A Guide for Parents. Dr. Epstein is the father of five children. An autobiographical essay about his life and work appeared in 2006 in Perspectives on Psychological Science and can be downloaded here. Dr. Epstein can be reached at

Episode Appearances

Episode 228: “Google’s Utopian Vision and the 2024 Election” with Dr. Robert Epstein and Jenny Beth Martin


Guest(s): Jenny Beth MartinRobert Epstein

Voter and ballot fraud may just be a small part of the problem that conservatives face in the upcoming 2024 elections compared to the power of Alphabet, the parent company of Google and YouTube.

Using its “total data collection” systems it can sway the opinions of millions of people and influence how they vote.

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