DiscoverHidden Brain
Hidden Brain
Claim Ownership

Hidden Brain

Author: NPR

Subscribed: 880,095Played: 7,796,444
Share

Description

Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.
252 Episodes
Reverse
Secret Friends

Secret Friends

2020-01-2700:53:0815

Where is the line between what is real and what is imaginary? It seems like an easy question to answer: if you can see it, hear it, or touch it, then it's real, right? But what if this way of thinking is limiting one of the greatest gifts of the mind? This week, we meet people who experience the invisible as real, and learn how they hone their imaginations to see the world with new eyes.
Warnings, Warnings Everywhere

Warnings, Warnings Everywhere

2020-01-2000:35:3237

After a disaster happens, we want to know whether something could have been done to avoid it. Did anyone see this coming? Many times, the answer is yes. So why didn't the warnings lead to action? This week, we revisit a favorite 2018 episode about the psychology of warnings. We visit a smelly Alaskan tunnel, hear about a gory (and fictional) murder plot, and even listen to some ABBA.
Emotional Currency

Emotional Currency

2020-01-1300:38:0262

What's the point of money? The answer might seem obvious: we need it to get paid for our work, and to buy the things we need. But there's also a deeper way to look at the role of money in our lives. This week we explore an anthropologist's take on the origin story of money. What if the cash and coins we carry are not just tools for transactions, but manifestations of human relationships?
On The Knife's Edge

On The Knife's Edge

2020-01-0600:28:1445

What would drive someone to take another person's life? When researchers at the University of Chicago asked that question, the answer was a laundry list of slights: a stolen jacket, or a carelessly lobbed insult. It made them wonder whether crime rates could be driven down by teaching young men to pause, take a deep breath, and think before they act. In this 2017 episode, we go inside a program that teaches Chicago teens to do just that. We also explore what research has found about whether this approach actually works.
Creatures Of Habit

Creatures Of Habit

2019-12-3000:51:29208

At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions for the months to come. We resolve to work out more, procrastinate less, or save more money. Though some people stick with these aspirations, many of us fall short. This week, psychologist Wendy Wood shares what researchers have found about how to build good habits — and break bad ones.
Why We Love Surprises

Why We Love Surprises

2019-12-2300:30:2133

Why do we fall for surprise endings? It turns out that our capacity to be easily fooled in books and movies is made possible by a handful of predictable mental shortcuts. In this 2018 conversation, we talk with Vera Tobin, one of the world's first cognitive scientists to study plot twists. She says storytellers have been exploiting narrative twists and turns for millennia — and that studying these sleights of hand can give us a better understanding of the contours of the mind.
Did That Really Happen?

Did That Really Happen?

2019-12-1700:49:56126

Our memories are easily contaminated. We can be made to believe we rode in a hot air balloon or kissed a magnifying glass — even if those things never happened. So how do we know which of our memories are most accurate? This week, psychologist Ayanna Thomas explains how memory works, how it fails, and ways to make it better.
Zipcode Destiny

Zipcode Destiny

2019-12-0900:52:0679

There's a core belief embedded in the story of the United States — the American Dream. Today we look at the state of that dream as we revisit our 2018 conversation with economist Raj Chetty. We'll ask some questions that carry big implications: can you put an economic value on a great kindergarten teacher? How is it that two children living just a few blocks from each other can have radically different chances in life? And what gives Salt Lake City an edge over Cleveland when it comes to offering people better prospects than their parents?
In The Heat Of The Moment

In The Heat Of The Moment

2019-12-0300:56:48150

In a fit of anger or in the grip of fear, many of us make decisions that we never would have anticipated. This week, we look at situations that make us strangers to ourselves — and why it's so difficult to remember what these "hot states" feel like once the moment is over.
Envy is one of the most unpleasant of all human emotions. It also turns out to be one of the most difficult for researchers to study. And yet, there's mounting evidence that envy is a powerful motivator. This week, we explore an emotion that can inspire us to become better people — or to commit unspeakable acts.
The Ventilator

The Ventilator

2019-11-1900:55:1785

Many of us believe we know how we'd choose to die. We have a sense of how we'd respond to a diagnosis of an incurable illness. This week, we have the story of one family's decades-long conversation about dying. What they found is that the people we are when death is far in the distance may not be the people we become when death is near.
Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus

Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus

2019-11-1100:27:5278

Anyone who's tried (and failed) to follow a diet knows that food is more than fuel. This week, we revisit our 2018 episode about the psychology behind what we eat, what we spit out, and when we come back for more.
The Talk Market

The Talk Market

2019-11-0400:37:2268

Can we affect the rise and fall of the economy? This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller about the powerful ways in which stories and psychology shape our economic lives. He argues that narratives affect not just the purchases we make as individuals, but the fate of our entire economic system.
BS Jobs

BS Jobs

2019-10-2800:45:13111

Have you ever had a job where you had to stop and ask yourself: what am I doing here? If I quit tomorrow, would anyone even notice? This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit our 2018 conversation with anthropologist David Graeber about the rise of what he calls "bullsh*t jobs," and how these positions affect the people who hold them.
The Monkey Marketplace

The Monkey Marketplace

2019-10-2100:49:0458

What makes the mind of a human different from that of other animals? Psychologist Laurie Santos says we can't know the answer to that question if we only study humans. This week, we turn to Laurie's work with monkeys to understand which parts of human behavior are distinct, and which we share with other species.
The Lonely American Man

The Lonely American Man

2019-10-1400:49:01166

Boys get the message at a young age: don't show your feelings. Don't rely on anyone. This week, we bring you a favorite 2018 episode about misguided notions of masculinity in the United States. We explore how these notions create stressed-out romantic relationships, physical health problems, and a growing epidemic of loneliness. Plus, we consider how we might begin to tell a different story about what it means to be a man.
Screaming Into The Void

Screaming Into The Void

2019-10-0700:43:0994

Turn on the news or look at Twitter, and it's likely you'll be bombarded by outrage. Many people have come to believe that the only way to spark change is to incite anger. This week on Hidden Brain, how outrage is hijacking our conversations, our communities, and our minds.
Baby Talk

Baby Talk

2019-09-3000:30:5978

Babies are speaking to us all the time, but most of us have no clue what they're saying. To researchers, though, the babbling of babies is knowable, predictable, and best of all, teachable to us non-experts. This week, we revisit our May 2018 primer on how to decipher the secret language of babies and young children.
We're All Gonna Live Forever!

We're All Gonna Live Forever!

2019-09-2300:39:1992

Last week, we spoke with psychologist Sheldon Solomon about the fear of death and how it shapes our actions. This week, we pivot from psychology and politics to religion and history as we explore how people have tried to resolve these fears. We talk with philosopher Stephen Cave about the ways we assure ourselves that death is not really the end.
We're All Gonna Die!

We're All Gonna Die!

2019-09-1600:32:19106

Death may be inescapable, but we do our best to avoid thinking about it. Psychologist Sheldon Solomon says we're not very successful though. This week on Hidden Brain, we confront how death anxiety courses through our actions, even when we don't realize it.
loading
Comments (674)

L K

Oh look, delusional religious people again.

Jan 28th
Reply

Abi Marie Ainley

I feel like I need to balance out the other comment haha. This episode isn't directly science-based because science as yet knows very little about the imagination or these kinds of experiences, so it is more philosophical. It poses the interesting question of whether spirituality can be harnessed from a scientific/more rationalist perspective to provide a positive impact in someone's life. This isn't about mental illness but about consciously working the imagination and honing it to alter your subjective perspective. Very interesting, thanks!

Jan 28th
Reply

Michel Marques

The worst episode ever. Nothing to do with science or new perspectives. Just B.S.

Jan 28th
Reply

Michel Marques

These people need professional help.

Jan 28th
Reply (1)

Jennifer Siegle

absolutely wonderful episode. hearing about the parents losing their child and grandchildren made me cry.

Jan 26th
Reply (1)

Vesta

we do love u! I have recommended your podcast to several people after getting to know about it through "Romeo and Juliete in Kigali" episode. thanks a lot

Jan 22nd
Reply

Sarah

Interesting episode! The part about how we listen to in-groups left me wondering how we square issues of priveledge with who's warnings we actually listen to? Many times it's not the "in crowd" that is sounding the alarm

Jan 20th
Reply

yugbodh singh

It’s also about who is telling the story ..makes all the difference.

Jan 18th
Reply

Mo Ak

Wow it makes you want to bang your head against the wall

Jan 17th
Reply

Heather Boylen

Yes, it would be nice but it’s free

Jan 10th
Reply

Derek Welch

I absolutely love this show, but this episode was a bit of a dud. Skippable.

Jan 9th
Reply (1)

Tony Zac

this episode keep making my app crash. I listened to another station: it worked fine, listened to another station after this started to crash my app a few times: it worked fine. so it wasn't the app.... something is up with this episode. anyone else experienced the same?

Jan 8th
Reply

Oscar Obians

Interesting episode. Reminds me of Job 12:5 NIV Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.

Jan 7th
Reply (1)

Kurben Nnm

I havent heard a new episode in forever. Can we get something new?

Jan 7th
Reply (1)

Mohit Agarwal

interesting details of how to form a habit or how to achieve your goals. you have to make sure that you add the point of doing that into your routine like if you want to eat pulled before bedtime then many sure you kepp the pills next to your phone charger where every night you put your phone for charger or if you want to go to gym and have trouble walking up early in the morning then sleep with your gym clothes on.

Jan 6th
Reply

Mohit Agarwal

most of the top American companies I have come across perform Mayers Briggs in the name of personality improvement program and they portey it as you are privileged to receive this gift. in the second time when I was nominated by my employer for the personlity improvement/personal development program and was asked to conduct this HRBR/Mayers Briggs year I asked the institute about three confidentiality of result and they confirmed that it's complete confidential and no one knows about your score other then you but I have my own thought.

Jan 6th
Reply

Keith Betton

Those who are willing to be self critical or reflective, can benefit a lot from listening to this podcast episode. Don't be so hard on yourself. Train and prepare for the next time.

Jan 3rd
Reply

BC

wonderful

Jan 2nd
Reply (1)

Yolo Strider

so when women in a hot state. women can't control themselves. lol. sounds like a excuse to avoid responsibility.

Dec 30th
Reply (1)

Joan Kamm

Yep, 10 years later I find out "me too." And as feisty and strong as I thought I was, I was too mortified to speak up.

Dec 21st
Reply
loading
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store