Featured

Free podcast player

Limited Time Offer

 

Loading…

Hidden Brain podcast

Hidden Brain

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

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

 

#357

My Unsung Hero: Rick Mangnall's Story

Today we're sharing another episode of our new podcast, My Unsung Hero. Subscribe, and enjoy! In 2008, while driving to work, Rick Mangnall crashes into a slab of granite rock. He's hanging upside down in his seatbelt when he sees an old Ford truck pull over across the road. ... Read more

22 Oct 2021

05 MINS

05:31

22 Oct 2021


#356

The Halo Effect

In 1978, Judy, Lyn and Donna Ulrich were driving to a volleyball game when their Ford Pinto was hit from behind by a van. The Pinto caught fire, and the three teenagers died. This week, we revisit a 2020 episode with a former Ford insider who played a key role in weighing the risks associated with the Pinto. And we consider what his story tells us about a question we all face: is it possible to fairly evaluate our past actions when we know how things turned out? If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter atnews.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

18 Oct 2021

53 MINS

53:11

18 Oct 2021


#355

Being Kind to Yourself

Self-criticism is often seen as a virtue. But psychologist Kristin Neff says there’s a better path to self-improvement — self-compassion. She says people who practice self-compassion are more conscientious and more likely to take responsibility for their mistakes. If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter atnews.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

11 Oct 2021

51 MINS

51:53

11 Oct 2021


#354

My Unsung Hero: Jackie Briggs' Story

My Unsung Hero is here! We're excited to share one of the first episodes of our new podcast. Episode one features listener Jackie Briggs from Portland, Oregon. In 2006, a stranger noticed an unusual mark on Jackie's arm, and realized something was wrong. You can subscribe to My Unsung Hero here. ... Read more

08 Oct 2021

05 MINS

05:53

08 Oct 2021


#353

When You Need It To Be True

When we want something very badly, it can be hard to see warning signs that might be obvious to other people. This week, we bring you two stories about how easy it can be to believe in a false reality — even when the facts don’t back us up.  If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help atsupport.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

04 Oct 2021

54 MINS

54:18

04 Oct 2021


#352

Passion Isn't Enough

Many Americans feel an obligation to keep up with political news. But maybe we should be focusing our energies elsewhere. In this episode from 2020, political scientist Eitan Hersh says there's been a rise in "political hobbyism" in the United States. We treat politics like entertainment, following the latest updates like we follow our favorite sports teams. Instead, he says, we should think of politics as a way to acquire power and persuade our neighbors to back the issues we support. ... Read more

27 Sep 2021

47 MINS

47:54

27 Sep 2021


#351

Introducing My Unsung Hero

Longtime Hidden Brain listeners know that for years, we've thanked an unsung hero at the end of every episode. Now, we're launching a new show inspired by that tradition. Each week, we'll share a short story about a moment when one person helped another in a time of need. And we'll show you how these acts of heroism — some big, some small — transformed someone's life. ... Read more

24 Sep 2021

02 MINS

02:50

24 Sep 2021


#350

Group Think

How do the groups you identify with shape your sense of self? Do they influence the beer you buy? The way you vote? Psychologist Jay Van Bavel says our group loyalties affect us more than we realize, and can even shape our basic senses of sight, taste and smell.  If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help atsupport.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

20 Sep 2021

50 MINS

50:02

20 Sep 2021


#349

Just Sex

Casual sex typically isn't about love. But what if it's not even about lust? Sociologist Lisa Wade studies "hookup culture," and believes the rules and expectations around sex and relationships are different for college students today than they were for previous generations. This week we revisit our 2017 conversation with Wade, and consider how the pandemic may be changing students' views on hookups and intimacy. ... Read more

13 Sep 2021

23 MINS

23:58

13 Sep 2021


#348

Where Happiness Hides

We all think we know what will make us happy: more money. A better job. Love. But psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky says happiness doesn't necessarily work like that. This week, we explore why happiness often slips through our fingers, and how to savor — and stretch out — our joys.  If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

06 Sep 2021

49 MINS

49:57

06 Sep 2021


#347

You 2.0: Regrets, I Have a Few...

We all have regrets. By some estimates, regret is one of the most common emotions we experience in our daily lives. In the final episode of our You 2.0 series, we bring you a favorite interview with Amy Summerville, the former head of the Regret Lab at Miami University in Ohio. After years of studying this emotion, she says she's learned something that may seem counterintuitive: regret doesn't always have to be a negative force in our lives.  If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

30 Aug 2021

28 MINS

28:47

30 Aug 2021


#346

You 2.0: Did That Really Happen?

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 we remember, why we forget, and the simple tools we all can use to sharpen our memories.  If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

23 Aug 2021

48 MINS

48:26

23 Aug 2021


#345

You 2.0: When Did Marriage Become So Hard?

Marriage is hard — and there are signs it's becoming even harder. In the third episode of our You 2.0 summer series, we examine how long-term relationships have changed over time, and whether we might be able to improve marriage by asking less of it.  If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

16 Aug 2021

50 MINS

50:09

16 Aug 2021


#344

You 2.0: In the Heat of the Moment

In a fit of anger or in the grip of fear, many of us make decisions that we never would have anticipated. As part of our You 2.0 summer series, 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. If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

09 Aug 2021

51 MINS

51:50

09 Aug 2021


#343

You 2.0: Cultivating Your Purpose

Having a sense of purpose can be a buffer against the challenges we all face at various stages of life. Purpose can also boost our health and longevity. In the kick-off to our annual You 2.0 series, Cornell University psychologist Anthony Burrow explains why purpose isn't something to be found — it's something we can develop from within. If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

02 Aug 2021

51 MINS

51:02

02 Aug 2021


#342

Losing Alaska

As floods, wildfires, and heatwaves hit many parts of the world, signs of climate change seem to be all around us. Scientists have been warning us for years about the looming threat of a warming planet. And yet it’s really hard for many of us to wrap our minds around this existential challenge. Why is that? This week, we bring you a favorite episode about why our brains struggle to grasp the dangers of global climate change.  If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

26 Jul 2021

24 MINS

24:23

26 Jul 2021


#341

Stage Fright

The pressure. The expectations. The anxiety. If there's one thing that connects the athletes gathering for the Olympic games with the rest of us, it's the stress that can come from performing in front of others. In this week’s episode, we talk with cognitive scientist Sian Beilock about why so many of us crumble under pressure –– and what we can do about it. If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org. ... Read more

19 Jul 2021

52 MINS

52:15

19 Jul 2021