My name is Rob Henderson, and I write about human nature, psychology, social class, TV shows, movies, political and social divisions, and more.

I am perhaps most known for pioneering the concept of "luxury beliefs," a term I coined to describe a new way of understanding the American status system.

I grew up in foster homes in California. After working as a busboy, a dishwasher, and supermarket bagger, I joined the Air Force at the age of 17. Most of my enlistment was spent abroad, stationed in Europe and deployed in the Middle East.

Once described as “self-made” by the New York Times, I then obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Yale (thanks to the G.I. Bill) and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Cambridge (St. Catharine’s College), where I studied as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. I am a columnist at The Free Press and The Boston Globe, and have written for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, among other outlets. I have also appeared on podcasts including Honestly with Bari Weiss, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, and Modern Wisdom with Chris Williamson.

You are welcome to learn more about my early life here and here.

My debut book Troubled: A Memoir of Foster Care, Family, and Social Class is a National Bestseller. You can order it here:

Amazon (US)

Barnes & Noble


Amazon (UK)

Audible (I narrated the audiobook myself)

Other book vendors

Why subscribe?

All subscribers receive a minimum of two posts per week, including substantive essays, book/article/movie/TV recommendations, and links to other interesting content.

As a paid subscriber you will have access to premium content. You will be able to post and read comments. You will also have full access to more than 100 premium archived posts and regular Ask Me Anything threads, where I’ll answer your questions.

Please subscribe. It’s $9/month or $79/year.

With that, I hope you’ll become a premium member. And be sure to tell your friends!


What readers say:

"Rob is a must-read. He unearths unpopular and nonobvious social truths, from data and personal experience, and created the ‘luxury beliefs’ framework."

-Naval Ravikant, entrepreneur, investor, and philosopher

“You have a very sharp mind. I’ve had many graduate students over the years and you are right among the best of them. I hypothetically speak with the smartest people in the world and you are right up there, I learned a lot from you. That’s not a compliment by the way, it’s just an observation.”

-Jordan B. Peterson, psychologist and author

“Rob is one of my favorite thinkers. He will challenge the way you think about dating, social status, and why certain people have the luxury of having certain beliefs. Go follow him on Twitter and Substack immediately.”

-Matthew Kobach, investor and former Manager of Digital and Social Media for the New York Stock Exchange

“If you like Rob's Twitter feed (which you should; it's full of fascinating research and ideas), you'll love his Substack newsletter. Check it out!”

-Steve Stewart-Williams, evolutionary psychologist and author

“My friend Rob has one of the most interesting newsletters related to ‘human nature,’ broadly construed, that you can find out there. His ‘lived experience’ is also one of the most unique you’ll find in the ‘chattering classes.’” 

-Razib Khan, geneticist and writer

“High quality newsletter.”

-Brian Norgard, investor and former Tinder Chief Product Officer

“I became aware of your newsletter and subscribed. Good stuff. I also enjoyed your WSJ article on luxury beliefs and the class bias in woke language. A very good essay.”

-Keith E. Stanovich, author and Professor Emeritus of Applied Psychology and Human Development

“If you are interested in learning more about status I recommend Rob Henderson’s newsletter, one of the leading thinkers in this space.”

-Nick Maggiulli, COO, data scientist, and author

“Rob Henderson is one of a few writers outside of the rationalist community that I follow obsessively, for his consistently high insight-to-length ratio, and his general writing style which appeals to me in some hard to articulate way.”

-Wen_Dai, Less Wrong

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Human nature, psychology, social class, luxury beliefs, and more.


Rob Henderson is the bestselling author of "Troubled: A Memoir of Family, Foster Care, and Social Class." A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he holds a B.S. from Yale and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Cambridge (St. Catharine's College).