The Science of Reading People, Captivating A Conversation, Interpreting Body Language, Decoding Facial Expressions & Much More!

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Brain, Mind-Spirit, People, Podcast, Podcast-new, Relationships, Self-Development

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When I was attending University of Idaho, my roommate was one of the top vacuum cleaner salesman in the world. Believe it or not I've actually had him on the podcast in a separate episode which you can listen to here.

I remember being fascinated with this guy's personal library. It was chock-full of books about reading body language, how to tell if people were lying to you, how to tell if people were attracted to you, how to negotiate, how to argue, and how to successfully enchant people and engage in social situations.

So I read just about every book in his library and became incredibly interested in the science of human body language and human emotions. However, for the past several years I really haven't delved into much of the science behind understanding human connections and human interactions until my interest was recently re-sparked when reading a fascinating new book called Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People.

As I usually do when I find a book incredibly intriguing, I folded over an enormous number of pages and hunted down the author to interview her for today's podcast. If you ever feel awkward at networking events, wonder what your date really thinks of you, wish you could decode people, or want to learn more about the science of people, this episode is for you. As a human behavior hacker, my guest on today's podcast – Vanessa Van Edwards – created a research lab to study the hidden forces that drive us. And she’s definitely cracked the code.

In her new book Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, she shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on how to captivate anyone – and a completely new approach to building connections.
Just like knowing the formulas to use in a chemistry lab, or the right programming language to build an app, Captivate provides simple ways to solve people problems. You learn, for example…

-How to work a room: Every party, networking event, and social situation has a predictable map. Discover the sweet spot for making the most connections.

How to read faces: It’s easier than you think to speed-read facial expressions and use them to predict people’s emotions.

-How to talk to anyone: Every conversation can be memorable—once you learn how certain words generate the pleasure hormone dopamine in listeners.

When you understand the laws of human behavior, your influence, impact, and income will increase significantly. What’s more, you will improve your interpersonal intelligence, make a killer first impression, and build rapport quickly and authentically in any situation – negotiations, interviews, parties, and pitches. You’ll never interact the same way again.

Vanessa Van Edwards is the lead investigator at Science of People, a human behavior research lab. She is a Huffington Post columnist and published author. Her innovative work has been featured on NPR, Business Week and USA Today. She regularly gives keynotes and appears in the media to talk about her research. She has written for CNN, Fast Company and Forbes. Her latest book, Captivate, was chosen as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017.

During my discussion with Vanessa, you'll discover:

-How we can “smell” fear in people, why women on birth control pills may choose the wrong mate, and how our level of hormones can actually change our facial structure and compatibility with other people…[9:35]

-What a “PQ score” is and why it is so relevant to success…[14:27]

-The biggest mistake most people make at social events, and where successful “hyper-networkers” stand…[17:50]

-What you can learn from the most successful TED Talks based on the same three things that every TED presenter does…[23:20]

The “trust hormone” that Ben injected for several weeks that can also be released via eye contacts and handshakes…[26:35]

-Why Vanessa took a 7 day vow of silence, and the shocking lessons she learned by “not talking”…[37:15]

-One of the best hacks you can use to sync your brain to someone else you are talking to…[43:50]

-What is the process Vanessa describes in her book called “the nut job”? [49:30]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

-Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

Show Sponsors:

-Onnit – Go to and save 10% on your purchase.

-Four Sigmatic – Go to and use code code BENGREENFIELD for 15% off.

-Organifi – Go to Discount code BEN for 20% off your order!

-HealthGains – Text the word “GAIN” to 313131 to receive a $250 voucher toward your HealthGAINS treatment.

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Vanessa or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

8 thoughts on “The Science of Reading People, Captivating A Conversation, Interpreting Body Language, Decoding Facial Expressions & Much More!

  1. Letts says:

    Thank you. That was a really interesting episode.

  2. Michael says:

    Thank you. That was a really interesting episode.

    I couldn’t agree with you more that the best thing for an interviewer to do is to let a guest speak – and even if they’re wrong on something not necessarily challenge them. It puts me off whenever I hear a podcast host get a guest on and then spend a lot of time telling the guest what they think. If someone’s worth having on at all they’re worth listening to.

    I do value your input and rapport with the guests, though, Ben. It’s the conversational aspect and the back-and-forth that makes these episodes. There are also some guests around who won’t answer what’s been asked clearly and concisely and hand back to the interviewer, and that’s a pain, too. There’s someone in the Paleo Movement – no names – and he or she when being interviewed will not do that but just goes off into a steam of consciousness, jumping from one thing to another as it occurs to him or her and it drives me mad. It’s literally painful to listen to.

    But that was cooperative and relaxing and nice as well as informative.

  3. Des says:

    Ben would you still recommend FourSigmatic to someone with high yeast and fungal markers in an organic acids tests?

  4. Cory says:

    i take that back! it just worked for me :) thank you

  5. Cory says:

    The code for organifi doesnt work. i tried BEN and ben on there website and it doesnt work. I also followed the link and it takes me straight to a video

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