#31: Todd Kashdan, TEDx Speaker, Author, PHD

In this episode, Jeff Boss interviews TEDx Speaker and author Todd Kashdan on discovering the curiosity advantage and the benefits that come from taking risks and stepping outside of what is comfortable. 


Todd is a professor at George Mason University and holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology. He is also the scientific advisor for Time Inc., National Geographic, and Merck. Todd is the author of the book, Curious?, in which he provides cutting edge research on how to achieve a well-balanced and a well-lived life. He is also the author of his latest book, The Upside of Your Dark Side, which argues that emotional and social agility trumps positivity.  

Todd’s life is devoted to understanding how people can improve the quality of their lives and offering them the tools to do so. He uses cutting edge science to help people function optimally in both life and business. In the interview Todd shares his journey and motivation behind studying curiosity. We also dive into how as a society we have lost our true curiosity, the vulnerability to form those essential bonds and friendships, and much more.  


Key Points From This Episode: 


  • Hear Todd’s story of how he began his journey into psychology and the motivations behind his work.  
  • Learn how to break those micro-habits that are preventing you from pursuing your curiosity.   
  • Understand why vulnerability is the key ingredient to create the strongest bonds. 
  • Discover the “curiosity advantage” and the benefits that come from taking risks despite the presence of anxiety. 
  • Why curiosity, although it expends more energy, leaves individuals feeling more invigorated. 
  • Learn what leaders can implement in an organization to stimulate curiosity in idea generation. 
  • Understand why people today have lost the skill of communicating with those who are different from us. 
  • Discover the biggest myths of perspective held within organizations.  




“If the organizational climate itself does not make you feel psychologically safe, then you’re not going to be curious.” – @toddkashdan  [0:12:45.0] 


“Curiosity gives you the leg room and the energy to pursue things that require short-term pain for long-term gains.” – @toddkashdan [0:15:46.0] 


Todds Achievements: 

Todd is recognized by: 

  • The American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology (2013), Distinguished 
  • Research Fellow Award from the International Society for the Quality of Life (2012), 
  • Association for the Advancement of Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (2006). 
  • Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, 
  • Association for Contextual and Behavioral Science. 


Todd is a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the author of Curious?, which provides cutting edge research on how to achieve a well-lived life, and the author of the new book, The Upside of Your Dark Side, which argues that emotional and social agility trumps positivity. 


Links Mentioned in Todays Episode: 


Todd’s website ? http://toddkashdan.com/  

Todd on Twitter ? https://twitter.com/toddkashdan  

Todd’s book, Curious? ? http://toddkashdan.com/curious.php  

Todd’s book, The Upside of Your Dark Side ? http://toddkashdan.com/upside.php  

Sebastian Junger’s book, Tribe ? https://www.amazon.com/Tribe-Homecoming-Belonging-Sebastian-Junger/dp/1455566381  

Check out this new episode of The ChaosCast!