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Hidden Brain

Author: NPR

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Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.
241 Episodes
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Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus

Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus

2019-11-1100:28:0414

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

2019-11-0400:37:2234

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

2019-10-2800:45:4666

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

2019-10-2100:49:4044

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

2019-10-1400:49:01132

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

2019-10-0700:43:0981

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

2019-09-3000:30:5964

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!

2019-09-2300:39:1979

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!

2019-09-1600:32:1995

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.
You Can't Hit Unsend

You Can't Hit Unsend

2019-09-1000:53:37104

Social media sites offer quick and easy ways to share ideas, crack jokes, find old friends. They can make us feel part of something big and wonderful and fast-moving. But the things we post don't go away. And they can come back to haunt us. This week, we explore how one teenager's social media posts destroyed a golden opportunity he'd worked for all his life.
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Comments (601)

Andrew Davies

To add on to the idea that being too efficient means you'll get work made up, I once had a job in which we worked ourselves out of a job for being too efficient. it was a temp agency job boxing clothes to be shipped at a warehouse. a coworker and I figured out a really fast and efficient way to scan and box items, much faster than our other coworkers. Little did we know, there was a limit to the orders and once they were finished and we cleaned up, that was it. After leaving early a few days and not getting paid for a full day, and our other co-workers getting pissed off at us, we realized there is no point in efficiency. We slowed down so that we would get paid for a full work day.

Nov 13th
Reply

bestdulce13

I'd like to add that TASK MASTERS are not only a waste of a salary, when there are task masters in the MEDICAL FIELDS(ESPECIALLY in ACUTE CARE ARENAS) those task master are causing an UNSAFE ENVIRONMENT by not only taking up a salary that could be used for example to hire another RN/MD/Tech to care for a person, but in addition to NOT HELPING their extra BS forms/task for the people actually working make less time to provide critical care to patients. hospitals would be much safer with more medical staff and less administrators hired soley to prove that hospitals cant afford more medical staff.

Nov 12th
Reply

Adrian 'Yobi' Blumberg (A.Yobi B.)

it is pointless to worry about what is after death. the one thing everyone agrees on is we are all going to die. fron the moment of birth, you are dying. it IS the point of life. DUH! So what does that mean? FACE IT NOW! We all die alone. Fact! So, in light of that incontrovertible truth, when you die, aling with your thoughts, you will realise WHAT YOU THOUGHT WAS ALL THAT EVER ACTUALLY MATTERED IN LIFE! Knowning that now, how do you ensure a peaceful death? I asked myself this. The answer is, as ling as i know i did my best, i can dir peacefully. The question then becomes, how do i know i did my best. The answer to that is INCREDIBLY SIMPLE! I am the only example of me that exists. By definition that means, I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO ME, IN FACT, I DO ME PERFECTLY! Armed with this fact, i know whatever i did. i did it perfectly the way I would. If I am perfectly me, and i did everything they way i would, of course, then how i felt about it at the time is irrelevant to the fact that I could have done NOTHING ELSE THAN WHAT WAS DONE and can ACCEPT my life as done perfectly. Cool! Life was done perfectly. AWESOME, I GOT A PERFECT SCORE! Commence walking through deaths door "enaged" i lived perfectly and can accept death. The Game of Life Accepted and Accomplished GAME OVER.

Nov 12th
Reply (1)

Cody Cook

one more repeat episode passed off as a new one

Nov 12th
Reply (2)

Charlie Bradley

I see men of all ages going through this and I see parents with good intentions forcing these robots stereotypes on to their children, sexism hurts everyone : I'd like to help our culture change!

Nov 11th
Reply

bestdulce13

I feel every wife should make her husband listen to this (ha ha ha . jk) all seriousness, I really needed to listen to this I'm a mom to son who I can see is suffering with issues that stem from lack of deep, positive connections :'(

Nov 11th
Reply

Andrew Stimpson Gee

all he says is pay everyone that's not a real solution. get rid of BS jobs and devide the labor up with those who don't have a BS job

Nov 10th
Reply

Emily O

It’s completely incorrect to say that the concept of paying for someone’s time is a new. It’s just so wrong wrong wrong. Over 2000 years ago Romans were building churches and stadiums and paying workers by the month. I’m loosing respect for this podcast.

Nov 10th
Reply

Mary Lou Langford

In the Narnia Cronicles they distinguish between Talking and non talking animals. With pets we are assuming responsibility for their welfare. With house mice they multiply like crazy and chew up your stuff

Nov 3rd
Reply

WatchDawg

another pondering podcast with no answer or answers. that is bullshit

Nov 2nd
Reply

WatchDawg

unenlightening

Nov 2nd
Reply

Danielle Grant

really such a brilliant episode. 'The Denial of Death' seems endemic to our species, often to our detriment I believe...

Nov 1st
Reply

Randy Lee

I want to add that in the perspective of economics, these BS jobs are not the same thing as getting something for nothing because the sacrifice is still time. People want "meaningful" jobs because either way their time is still being taken away. I would argue that someone getting paid more to do a BS job would be indifferent to someone getting paid less and doing a meaningful job. Thats why you have so many cases of people leaving higher paying jobs for a more meaningful, lower paying job.

Oct 31st
Reply (2)

Oscar Obians

34:30 I would argue that it is inaccurate to claim that work was some kind of punishment for rebelling against God according to the Genesis account of the story of Eden. Considering that in that story, long before the rebellion, God put Adam in the garden to tend/dress it. Sounds like work to me - and In this case, with the freedom to be creative while influencing the rest of the earth meaningfully as against having to till the ground for basic survival. #HiddenBrain

Oct 29th
Reply (1)

Judy Gordon

There may be BS jobs out there, but this episode offers nothing toward solution. I've had many jobs, including several office jobs and always found that what any job is about either grows over time depending on what the individual has to offer or it's the wrong job/worker fit so time to move on. Managing others I've found the same logic applies. Some jobs suck for sure and boredom is intolerable. Overall it sounds like a bit of imagination on the part of workers and management could improve circumstances for a lot of people. Your st

Oct 29th
Reply (1)

Elisa C

Could someone help me find the episode where they speak about child tantrums?

Oct 28th
Reply (1)

gimmeafreeknusername

meetup.com great place to make friends NOT a dating website. great for any gender toi find ppl who share similar interests as you. a great way just to make friends and if there's not a Gtoup that interests you in your area you can form your own. I live in a small town and there are a ton of groups even in my tiny little town so just get out there. I met some really cool people on this site

Oct 24th
Reply (4)

Hayden Jones

Elizabeth's views and opinions on the topic are somewhat naiive. She seems to have spent too much time inside her own little bubble and sees the world only from her own perspective.

Oct 23rd
Reply

Jefé de la Martens-Koop

Not much sympathy here- the kid spent more time defending the posts than taking responsibility: "the sloth represents ugly men" and "black and Jewish people posted the REALLY bad ones". Deflection and damage control.

Oct 22nd
Reply

Panda

Uhh. Link to vid?

Oct 22nd
Reply (4)
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