Week 13 Discussion: Sapolsky’s TED Talk

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Week 13 Discussion: Sapolsky’s TED Talk
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  • Initial post due Wednesday by 11:59pm.
  • Response to TWO classmates due Friday by 11:59pm.

To continue our work that we are developing for Essay 3, here is a TED Talk by Robert Sapolsky. IF you are using his interview on CNN’s GPS or his article from Foreign Affairs consider using this as well to support claims in your Essay 3. Even if you are not using Sapolsky in your essay so far, also consider using this as a source if you wish.

As you watch the TED Talk, you may want to follow along to the Transcript (or text) of the speech or refer to the transcript when you are answer the questions for this talk.

Click Here to read/download Sapolsky’s speech.Preview the document


  1. What is the speaker’s main argument? Or what is his thesis?
  2. Name at least 2 specific examples/pieces of evidence he uses to support his argument? What kind of stories/evidence is Sapolsky telling his audience in the speech?
  3. What was the biggest takeaway that you had from this video? What interested you the most?
  4. How does Sapolsky organize his speech? When do those stories show up in his speech? When does he give that evidence? Is there any pattern you can discern or figure out from where he places that specific evidence?
  5. What is Sapolsky’s purpose? What does he want from his audience?
  6. What is Sapolsky’s tone? Is his tone successful in connecting with his audience?
  7. What examples of ethos, pathos, or logos does Sapolsky use in his speech? Are these examples of ethos, pathos, logos effective or not?
  8. How does this TED talk add to what you have already learned during this Zootopia unit? Can you draw any parallels with Sapolsky’s TED Talk to any of the other sources from this unit?

Happy Watching and Writing!

“The Biology of Our Best and Worst Selves” | Robert Sapolsky


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