Share This Profile
Share this profile on Facebook.
Link to this profile on LinkedIn.
Tweet this profile on Twitter.
Email a link to this profile.
See other services through which you can share this profile.
This profile was last updated on 3/13/15  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Dr. Seth Roberts

Wrong Dr. Seth Roberts?


Local Address:  United States
Perfect Health Diet
8503 Rutgers Street
Westminster , Colorado 80031
United States


Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

  • Professor Emeritus
    University of California
  • Professor of Psychology and A Member of the Editorial Board
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board


  • low diet PhD.
  • PHD.
  • diet food PhD. Shit
  • PhD. Shit
  • doctorate degree
    University of California-Berkeley
197 Total References
Web References
Good People Archives - Perfect Health Diet | Perfect Health Diet, 13 Mar 2015 [cached]
Seth Roberts: An Appreciation
Seth Roberts died on April 26. He collapsed while hiking near his Berkeley home. The cause of death was occlusive coronary artery disease and cardiomegaly.
Seth was one of the leading figures in the ancestral health and quantified self movements, and one of the editors of the Journal of Evolution and Health. It is fitting, therefore, that the day following the Ancestral Health Symposium, there will be a memorial for Seth at UC Berkeley.
Seth was a special person - one of a kind. Few scholars can match his creativity. Anyone who loves ideas quickly became his fan.
Seth and I discovered each other at the same time - at the first Ancestral Health Symposium at UCLA in 2011. We began reading each others' blogs, and began an occasional correspondence. When Shou-Ching and I did a revised edition of our book for Scribner in 2012, he contributed this blurb:
"The sanest overview of what to eat I have ever seen. If you are going to read only one thing on the subject, read this."
It was characteristic of Seth that he sent me a private message, "I want you to know I really mean it. I've just now noticed, and am flattered, that PHD is the only ancestral community blog on Seth's blogroll.
He was a fascinating conversation partner, but generally demanded more information than he gave. Andrew Gelman in his reminiscence of Seth wrote: "Seth was always interested in what people had to say.
At AHS 2013 in Atlanta, Seth and I sat together at lunch and ended up staying an extra hour, missing talks, to discuss why that has been so.
I suppose he chose different topics of discussion with different people, and chose this topic with me because I brought a broad perspective to the issue, having been a physicist at MIT, Berkeley, and Harvard; a vicarious participant in my wife's biomedical research career; and a practitioner of personal science to fix my own health issues. I had also had practical business experience and knowledge in economics, so I had some ideas about what institutions and cultures enable work to get done effectively.
Seth and I were both fans of personal science, and were optimistic that the ancestral health and quantified self movements could generate scientific knowledge. However, Seth trusted and relied upon the personal science approach more than, perhaps, anyone ever has. Above all, Seth treasured his own experiments.
For example, Seth's "faces therapy" introduced me to the role of social interactions in entraining circadian rhythms. (See my blog posts here and here for more about faces therapy, including links to Seth's blog.) Here is some of Seth's data, as I present it in a talk at the Perfect Health Retreat:
Seth Roberts 01 - Faces and Mood
Notice that when Seth stops looking at human faces, his mood is worsened only on the second day, not the first. And then when he resumes, his mood does not improve on the first day, but only on the second.
Seth Roberts 02 - Circadian Decay
Almost every finding Seth made, sent me to the literature, and led to new discoveries. But the conclusions I drew from his experiments were often different from his own.
For Seth the lesson of his faces therapy was that he needed to look at human faces in the morning, and avoid them in the evening. A friend of Seth's, Ellen Rosenthal, wrote, "It was actually quite hard to see him face to face.
But most modern health problems take 60 years to develop. So there was no way for Seth to directly appraise whether his diet would generate good health or poor health; he had to appraise its effect on readily measurable, quick-adjusting biomarkers. But how do we know those biomarkers are reliable indicators of overall health?
It is because of these two problems that our book, Perfect Health Diet, rejected experimental approaches to dietary science, and relied upon novel approaches grounded in evolutionary biology, and molecular and cellular biology.
But Seth was wedded to experimentation as a scientific methodology. This worked well as long as he was using sleep quality as a biomarker, since sleep quality is close to 100% correlated with health. He entered riskier ground, I think, when he selected reaction time as a biomarker to optimize. I doubt this has a simple relationship to health; I suspect one can improve reaction time while damaging health. And when optimizing this biomarker led him to consume large amounts of butter on top of large amounts of flaxseed oil, I think he should have recalled the arguments of our book, and been more persuaded by them than he was.
We never had a chance to discuss this issue. There were always topics other than diet to interest us when we were together.
Ironically, had he lived we might have discussed this by now. Seth and Bryan Davis of the Ask Bryan Podcast were launching a podcast devoted to stories of personal science, and had selected me to be their first guest.
Perhaps the final recorded words from Seth? Alas, it will never be.
Seth had as much influence on this blog as any one. A Google search of this blog for his name yields 741 hits, more than almost any one else.
Seth was - and this is the highest praise I can give - a true scientist. He loved the truth, and worked ardently to discover it. He was creative and insightful. His death is a grievous loss.
Seth Roberts
Shangri-la Diet is a very low ..., 19 May 2014 [cached]
Shangri-la Diet is a very low calorie dietary system developed by Seth Roberts, an American Psychologist and professor of the University of California. He wrote a book of the same name where he mentioned about the diet and its benefits. He claimed that this system helps reduce weight in a very short time.
Seth Roberts, a psychologist ..., 26 Jan 2011 [cached]
Seth Roberts, a psychologist in Beijing and professor emeritus at the University of California, went so far as to write a blog post in defense of erroneously interpreting correlations. Roberts argues that no research method is capable of proving cause and effect beyond a shadow of doubt. Any given set of data is open to multiple interpretations. A variety of approaches is needed to close in on truths. Despite their inability to prove cause-and-effect, he implies, correlations can get people to start looking in the right direction.
"I shed an invisible tear whenever I hear 'correlation does not imply causation,'" Roberts writes.
KnoxNews: Health & Fitness, 29 May 2006 [cached]
Seth Roberts is a University of California psychology professor known for going his own way.
His latest publication is a diet book, which is something scholars at world-ranked universities don't write too often but which Roberts believes is an excellent way to get an important health message across to the general public.
Roberts, 52, is an experimenter with a penchant for the odd angle.He once taught a course on left-handedness and read each issue of Spy three times when that satirical magazine was at its peak - he says it had an analgesic effect.
He's interested in how animals learn and how successful businesses slip and fall because their leaders, like lab rats in a Skinnerian experiment, keep doing what worked in the past.
A unifying theme in his research is that the human brain was shaped to work well under Stone Age conditions and that modern life lacks crucial features enjoyed by our prehistoric ancestors such as being on one's feet a lot, seeing faces in the morning, not seeing faces late at night, sunlight exposure in the morning, variation in the flavors of one's food.
To test his ideas, Roberts turns time and again to the human subject he knows best: himself.Roberts believes downing unflavored foods upsets humans' built-in link between taste and calories.
"The Shangri-La Diet is based on the discovery that there are foods far more powerful than raw vegetables in lowering your set point," Roberts writes.
Mark Schrimsher, who runs the diet Web site, has looked at the diet closely and interviewed Roberts critically for a news article on his site.
As a young professor, Roberts struggled with his weight.He tried lots of things but never got the dramatic drop he was looking for.Then, six years ago, he lost 35 pounds in 17 weeks after chancing on fructose as an appetite inhibitor.He later switched to oil.
"Under normal circumstances, that amount of weight loss is incredibly difficult," Roberts said the other day."I found a way that was incredibly easy."
The eureka moment happened on a trip to Paris in 2000.Roberts was surprised when his usually robust appetite deserted him.Aware of other researchers' work on the theory of a metabolic set point, he found the answer: The sodas he was drinking to stay cool were knocking down his appetite because he'd never tasted French soft drinks before.
He theorized that familiar sugary soft drinks cause weight gain, but unfamiliar ones do the opposite because they lower the set point.
Roberts, who eats one meal a day plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil and small snacks, said at least 100 and possibly as many as 1,000 other people have tried the diet.He said all the reports have been neutral or positive - with the exception of one person who dropped it after six months because she had early signs of diabetes.
Genomera. Heal the world., 15 Nov 2011 [cached]
Genomera welcomes its newest Group Guides: Seth Roberts, Alaina Hardie, and Janet Chang.
Seth Roberts
Seth Roberts, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology at Tsinghua University in Beijing and a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of The Shangri-La Diet and an avid self-experimenter.
He is on the editorial board of the journal Nutrition and has published dozens of scientific articles on many topics, including health, nutrition, and weight control.
Other People with the name "Roberts":
Other ZoomInfo Searches
Accelerate your business with the industry's most comprehensive profiles on business people and companies.
Find business contacts by city, industry and title. Our B2B directory has just-verified and in-depth profiles, plus the market's top tools for searching, targeting and tracking.
Atlanta | Boston | Chicago | Houston | Los Angeles | New York
Browse ZoomInfo's business people directory. Our professional profiles include verified contact information, biography, work history, affiliations and more.
Browse ZoomInfo's company directory. Our company profiles include corporate background information, detailed descriptions, and links to comprehensive employee profiles with verified contact information.