Self-Help Helps Those Who Self-Help Themselves

Go to the “Psychology” section in a bookstore and chances are it will be full of self-help books. In this episode we talk about self-help and its relationship to academic psychology. What is the difference between a scientist and a self-help guru? How do we feel about the ways that self-help books talk about empirical research, and do we think they should do more of that or less of it? What self-help books have we read, and what did we think of them? Plus: We answer a letter from a n00b assistant professor who wants grad students to respect their authoritah.

The Black Goat is hosted by Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire. Find us on the web at, on Twitter at @blackgoatpod, on Facebook at, and on instagram at @blackgoatpod. You can email us at You can subscribe to us on iTunes.

Our theme music is Peak Beak by Doctor Turtle, available on under a Creative Commons noncommercial attribution license. Our logo was created by Jude Weaver.

This is episode 50. It was recorded on January 4, 2019.