I’m trying to do something a little bit weird here.

I think science should be done out in the open, unfiltered, and reviewed by anyone who cares to comment. I think it should be exciting and funny. I think it takes things people care about and tries to understand them better. Sometimes that means gathering a bunch of original data, and other times that means thinking about an idea really hard until it cracks open like a walnut. That’s what Experimental History is all about.

I’m an experimental psychologist.

My job is to put people in situations and see what happens. The results, which I call experimental history, have been covered everywhere from The New York Times to Jimmy Kimmel. I got my PhD in psychology from Harvard in 2021.

In between, I got second place on a British reality show about cooking, and I was in a movie that currently has a 3% on Rotten Tomatoes. I also teach and perform improv comedy. I think it’s good to do a lot of weird stuff!

Praise for Experimental History

Experimental History has been covered on NPR, reprinted in Slate, quoted in The Atlantic, shouted out on Marginal Revolution (1, 2, 3), featured on Substack’s homepage, and upvoted to the top of Hacker News a couple times. Here are some additional nice things people have said:

Why should I sign up for a paid subscription?

Writing this blog takes most of my time, and I can only keep doing it if it pays enough to keep me alive. If I’ve written something that’s made you think, I hope you’ll consider supporting me.

I say thanks to paid subscribers with MYSTERY POSTS: peeks behind the the scenes, interviews, maybe even an excerpt from a very strange meditation podcast I made years ago.

If you can’t afford it, that’s okay. My big stuff will always be free.

Where’s a good place to start?

My most popular posts:

On science:

My other favorites:

Where do the pictures come from?

My dad took them in the 1980s when he was a photographer in rural northern Ohio. I think they’re great, and one of the joys of writing this newsletter is sharing them with you. I interviewed him here.

What should I do now?

If you like anything you’ve read here, stick your email in the box below and push the orange button. I publish every other Tuesday.


Adam Mastroianni 
I study people.