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.

 

#493

US 2.0: Lincoln's Dilemma

Over the past few weeks, we've been exploring the psychology of partisanship, and how to effectively handle disagreements with those around us. This week, we conclude our US 2.0 series by turning to the past. We talk with journalist [Steve Inskeep] (https://www.npr.org/people/4080709/steve-inskeep) about how one of the most important leaders in American history — Abraham Lincoln — grappled with the pressing moral question of his time. When, if ever, is it worth compromising your own principles for the sake of greater progress? If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out our 2018 conversation about Thomas Jefferson with historian Annette Gordon-Reed. It's the episode called "A Founding Contradiction" in this podcast feed, or you can [listen on our website] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/the-founding-contradiction/) .   ... Read more

Yesterday

52 MINS

52:13

Yesterday


#492

US 2.0: Not at the Dinner Table

We typically divide the country into two distinct groups: Democrats and Republicans. But what if the real political divide in our country isn’t between “left” and “right”? What if it’s between those who care intensely about politics, and those who don’t? This week, we bring you a favorite 2020 conversation with political scientist [Yanna Krupnikov] (https://lsa.umich.edu/comm/people/regular-faculty/yanna.html) , who offers an alternative way to understand Americans’ political views. For more of our reporting on the intersection between politics and psychology, check out our episode about [political hobbyism] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/passion-isnt-enough/) . You might also like this [classic episode] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/our-politics-our-parenting/) about how we come to our political values and beliefs. Thanks for listening!  ... Read more

19 Feb 2024

49 MINS

49:29

19 Feb 2024


#491

US 2.0: Living With Our Differences

Conflicts are inevitable — both at a global scale and in our personal lives. This week, in the latest in our US 2.0 series, psychologist [Peter Coleman] (https://sps.columbia.edu/faculty/peter-t-coleman-phd) explains how minor disagreements turn into major rifts, and how we can defuse even the most salient of disputes in our lives. Interested in learning more? For additional ideas about how to keep conflict from spiraling, check out our conversation with researcher [Julia Minson] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/relationships-2-0-how-to-keep-conflict-from-spiraling/) . And for a look at how violence shapes political outcomes on a global scale, be sure to listen to our interview with political scientist [Erica Chenoweth. ] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/how-to-change-the-world/) ... Read more

12 Feb 2024

52 MINS

52:44

12 Feb 2024


#490

US 2.0: Win Hearts, Then Minds

There's a saying that's attributed to the Dalai Lama: in the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. It's a nice idea, but in reality, when people don't share our values, it's hard for us to tolerate theirs. This week, we talk with sociologist [Robb Willer] (https://sociology.stanford.edu/people/robb-willer) about the common mistakes we make in trying to persuade others of our point of view — and how we can break out of our echo chambers. Did you catch last week's kick-off to our US 2.0 series? You can find it in this podcast feed, [and here] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/us-2-0-what-we-have-in-common/) .    ... Read more

05 Feb 2024

48 MINS

48:32

05 Feb 2024


#489

US 2.0: What We Have In Common

The United States, we’re told, is increasingly a house divided. Conservatives and progressives are so alienated from each other that conversation is virtually impossible. But are we really as divided as we’re led to believe? As we begin what promises to be a pivotal election season, we're kicking off a new series about how we form our political beliefs. We're calling it "US 2.0." We begin with psychologist [Kurt Gray] (https://cchd.web.unc.edu/mentors/kurt-gray-phd/) , who studies how we think about our political allies and  opponents — and how these insights can help us to chart a new path forward.  Have you tried to talk with someone who disagrees with you about politics? Have you found effective ways to get through? If you’d be willing to share your stories with the Hidden Brain audience,  along with any questions you have for Kurt Gray, please record a voice memo and email it to us at ideas@hiddenbrain.org. Use the subject line “politics.”  And thanks! ... Read more

29 Jan 2024

50 MINS

50:35

29 Jan 2024


#488

Are Your Memories Real?

We rely on our memory to understand the world. But what if our memories aren't true? This week, we talk to psychologist [Elizabeth Loftus] (https://faculty.sites.uci.edu/eloftus/) about the malleability of memory — what we remember, and what we think we remember. For more on the science of memory, including how you can strengthen your own ability to recall information, check out our episodes [Remember More, Forget Less] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/remember-more-forget-less/) and [Did That Really Happen?] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/did-that-really-happen/)   ... Read more

22 Jan 2024

49 MINS

49:50

22 Jan 2024


#487

Finding Focus

We spend more and more of our lives staring at screens. Our cellphones, smartwatches and laptops allow us to communicate instantly with people across the globe, and quickly look up obscure facts. But our digital devices are also altering our brains in profound ways. This week, psychologist [Gloria Mark] (https://ics.uci.edu/~gmark/Home_page/Welcome.html) explores how our ability to focus is shrinking, and offers ways to protect our minds in a world filled with endless distractions. Want more suggestions on how to stay focused in a distracting world? Here are a few additional episodes to check out: [You 2.0: Deep Work] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/you-2-0-deep-work/) [Taking Control of Your Time] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/taking-control-of-your-time/) And if you love Hidden Brain, please consider joining Hidden Brain+, our podcast subscription! You can find it on Apple Podcasts, or by clicking   [here] (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hidden-brain/id1028908750?ign-itscg=30200S&ign-itsct=hiddenbrain_podcasts) .  ... Read more

15 Jan 2024

48 MINS

48:29

15 Jan 2024


#486

Where Do Feelings Come From?

Most of us feel that our emotions are reactions to those outside of us. Someone cuts us off in traffic, and we say that the other driver made us upset. A friend brings over food when we're sick, and we say the friend offered us comfort. But psychologist and neuroscientist [Lisa Feldman Barrett] (https://cos.northeastern.edu/people/lisa-barrett/) argues that our feelings are not, in fact, responses to the world — they're really predictions about the world. And she says we can exercise more control over those predictions than we realize. Did you know that Hidden Brain now has an app? You can download it and try out our first game — designed to help you sharpen your facial recognition skills — [here] (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hidden-brain-daily-challenge/id6470052868) .    ... Read more

08 Jan 2024

50 MINS

50:17

08 Jan 2024


#485

Making the Most of Your Mistakes

When we're learning, or trying new things, mistakes are inevitable. Some of these mistakes provide us with valuable information, while others are just harmful. This week, we kick off the new year with researcher Amy Edmondson, who explains the difference between constructive failures and those we should try to avoid.  If you know someone who would enjoy this episode, please share it with them. And thanks for listening! We look forward to bringing you many new Hidden Brain episodes in 2024.  ... Read more

01 Jan 2024

51 MINS

51:46

01 Jan 2024


#484

What Would Socrates Do?

Humans have wrestled with questions about identity and purpose for millennia. So it’s no surprise that the insights of people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago have stood the test of time. This week, philosopher Tamar Gendler explores how three great thinkers from ancient Greece understood the human psyche, and what we can still learn from their wisdom today. If you know someone who would enjoy this episode, please share it with them. And thanks for listening! We look forward to bringing you many new Hidden Brain episodes in 2024.  ... Read more

25 Dec 2023

50 MINS

50:27

25 Dec 2023


#483

How to Believe in Yourself

When was the last time you set a goal and struggled to reach it? Perhaps you're trying to write a novel but can't seem to get started. Or maybe you want to master a sport, but you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. This week, organizational psychologist [Adam Grant] (https://mgmt.wharton.upenn.edu/profile/grantad/) guides us through the science of human potential, and teaches us how to uncover our own abilities. If you love Hidden Brain, please consider joining Hidden Brain+, our podcast subscription! You can find it on Apple Podcasts, or by clicking   [here] (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/hidden-brain/id1028908750?ign-itscg=30200S&ign-itsct=hiddenbrain_podcasts) .    ... Read more

18 Dec 2023

49 MINS

49:43

18 Dec 2023


#482

The Ugly Side of Beauty

We like to tell kids, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But from a very early age, we humans are doing just that — judging others based on how they look. This week, we bring you the second part of our look at the science of beauty and talk with psychologists [Vivian Zayas] (https://psychology.cornell.edu/vivian-zayas) and [Stefanie Johnson] (https://www.colorado.edu/strategicrelations/stefanie-johnson) about how appearances can often lead us astray. If you haven't yet heard the first episode in this series, be sure to check it out! It's called "The Mystery of Beauty," and you can find it in this podcast feed, or on [our website] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/the-mystery-of-beauty/) .  ... Read more

11 Dec 2023

50 MINS

50:54

11 Dec 2023


#481

The Mystery of Beauty

Think about the last time you were struck by a gorgeous painting in a museum, or heard a song that brought you to tears. All of us know what it’s like to be stopped in our tracks by a beautiful sight. But scientists are still puzzling over why this is the case. What’s the point of beauty? Why is it seemingly so important to us? This week on the show, neuroscientist [Anjan Chatterjee] (https://www.med.upenn.edu/apps/faculty/index.php/g275/p15498) explains the function of beauty in our daily lives. Then, Nobel laureate [Frank Wilczek] (https://physics.mit.edu/faculty/frank-wilczek/) describes how beauty served a purpose in some of the biggest scientific breakthroughs of our time. In case you missed it, make sure to listen to the last installment of our Healing 2.0 series, [The Power of Apologies] (https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/the-power-of-apologies/) . Plus, if you're looking for a holiday gift for the Hidden Brain fan in your life, be sure to check out our [online shop] (https://www.podswag.com/collections/hidden-brain) for mugs, t-shirts, and more!   ... Read more

04 Dec 2023

49 MINS

49:04

04 Dec 2023