Jeremy Bailenson is the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab and a professor at Stanford University.

Jeremy studies the psychology of Virtual Reality (VR), in particular how virtual experiences lead to changes in perceptions of self and others.

When I was up at his lab, he ran me through a fear-inducing protocol that completely hijacked my thinking brain. Right up my alley!

In this conversation we discuss Jeremy’s path – why he was almost too early to VR over 20 years ago – and how he dealt with early rejection because of it.

Jeremy shares how he prevailed to run a lab at Stanford that is leading the way for technological advancements in virtual reality.

He is also the co-founder of STRIVR, a company that has integrated virtual reality into the way sports teams train their players.

This is a thought provoking discussion – Jeremy was able to see the future before many of his peers and was able to do the work to carve that path.

For those that are intrigued by the applications of VR, check out his new book, Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do.

“When I get in the zone and I’m at my best, there’s some fire and intensity.”

In This Episode:

  • Studied VR for 20 years.. did his first demo in 1994 in San Francisco
  • Worked at a lab studying VR at UCSB in 1999
  • Got his PHD in cognitive science but knowing it wasn’t meant for him
  • Transitioned from cognitive science to social psychology.. learning about people as opposed to brains
  • Being early to VR, facing a lot of rejection because of it, and how we was able to endure that rejection
  • Experiencing imposter syndrome when he first started teaching at Stanford
  • Creating positive VR experiences with imagery
  • Why he likes the pace that VR is growing at
  • How sports teams are utilizing VR technology
  • What it’s like when he’s at his best
  • What he’s most hungry for … creating pro-social uses for VR
  • The difference between VR and AR
  • Stanford football head coach David Shaw’s reaction when he first experienced VR
  • Why mastery is about repetition


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | Stitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS



“My strategy at Stanford is I surround myself with people smarter than me and I get out of their way.”

On accepting rules: “My high school yearbook, the caption under my picture said, ‘Things that have shattered, may not have mattered, take another point of view.’”

“In terms of my work, mastery is about repetitions. It’s about putting in the time.”


Please support our partners!!

We’re able to keep growing and creating content for YOU because of their support. We believe in their mission and would appreciate you supporting them in return!!

Click HERE for all links and codes to take advantage of deals from our partners.




  • Ivan Sutherland – Technologist from Berkeley who came up with concept of virtual reality
  • Jaron Lanier – Coined term “VR” in late 70s/ early 80s
  • Neuromanser by William Gibson. A science fiction novel that influenced him. Gibson coined the term “Cyberspace”
  • Jim Blascovich – Influential professor at UCSB




Founding Director at Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab |

Jeremy Bailenson is founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, Thomas More Storke Professor in the Department of Communication, Professor of Education, Professor Program in Symbolic Systems, a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment, and a Faculty Leader at Stanford’s Center for Longevity.