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Science Podcasts

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.

Location:

United States

Description:

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

Language:

English

Contact:

1111 North Capitol St NE Washington, DC 20002


Episodes

You 2.0: How To See Yourself Clearly

8/8/2022
How well do we know ourselves? Maybe the better question to ask is how well can we truly know ourselves? Psychologist Tim Wilson says introspection only gets us so far, and that we often make important decisions in life and love for reasons we don't even realize. But he says there are some simple ways to improve our self-knowledge. If you like this show, be sure to check out our other work, including our two recent episodes on how our mindsets shape our lives in subtle but profound ways....

Duration:00:50:04

You 2.0: Befriending Your Inner Voice

8/1/2022
You know that negative voice that goes round and round in your head, keeping you up at night? When that negative inner voice gets switched on, it's hard to think about anything else. Psychologist Ethan Kross has a name for it: chatter. He says it's part of the human condition, but there are ways to keep our negative emotions from morphing into chatter. If you like this show, be sure to check out our other work, including our two recent episodes on how our mindsets shape our lives in subtle...

Duration:00:53:25

Reframing Your Reality: Part 2

7/25/2022
We often assume that we see ourselves and the world around us accurately. But psychologist Alia Crum says that our perceptions are always filtered through our mindsets — and these mindsets shape our lives in subtle but profound ways. In the second of two episodes, Alia explains how our beliefs about food and exercise affect our bodies. If you haven't yet listened to our first episode about mindsets, you can find it here. And if you'd like to support our work, you can do so at...

Duration:00:52:00

Reframing Your Reality: Part 1

7/18/2022
We often assume that we see ourselves and the world around us accurately. But psychologist Alia Crum says that our perceptions are always filtered through our mindsets — and these mindsets shape our lives in subtle but profound ways. In the first of two episodes, Alia explains how mindsets affect our response to stress. If you like this show, be sure to check out our other work, including our recent episode about how group identities can affect our behavior. And if you'd like to support our...

Duration:00:49:08

Separating Yourself from the Pack

7/11/2022
Have you ever gotten into a heated argument about politics? Maybe you’ve said something you're not proud of during game night with friends, or booed the opposing team at a sporting event. Psychologist Mina Cikara studies what happens in these moments — when our mindset shifts from “you and me” to “us and them.” This week on the show, Mina shares the profound ways that becoming a part of a group shapes our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. If you like this show, be sure to check out our...

Duration:00:54:47

What We Gain from Pain

7/4/2022
We've all heard the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." But is there any truth to this idea? This week, we explore the concept of post-traumatic growth with psychologist Eranda Jayawickreme. He finds that suffering can have benefits — but not necessarily the ones we expect. If you like this show, be sure to check out our other work, including our recent episode about how we define intelligence. Also, check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support...

Duration:00:50:17

A Founding Contradiction

6/27/2022
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Those words, penned by Thomas Jefferson 246 years ago, continue to inspire many Americans. And yet they were written by a man who owned hundreds of enslaved people, and fathered six children by an enslaved woman. This week, as we prepare to mark Independence Day in the United States, we revisit our 2018 conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed. We talk about the contradictions in...

Duration:00:51:00

The Premonition

6/20/2022
When Paul Burnham was a teenager, he received what felt like a premonition: he would die at the age of 54. Now, he's 54. This week, what his story of confronting death reveals about life. If you like this show, be sure to check out our other work, including our recent episode about the power of doing less. Also, check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support our work, you can do so at support.hiddenbrain.org.

Duration:00:49:36

Why You're Smarter Than You Think

6/13/2022
From the time we are schoolchildren, we are ranked and sorted based on how smart we are. But what if our assumptions about intelligence limit our potential? This week, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman proposes a more expansive notion of what it means to be "smart." If you like this show, be sure to check out our other work, including our recent episode about the power of subtraction. Also, check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support our work, you can do so at...

Duration:00:53:57

Do Less

6/6/2022
The human drive to invent new things has led to pathbreaking achievements in medicine, science and society. But our desire for innovation can keep us from seeing one of the most powerful paths to progress: subtraction. Engineer Leidy Klotz says sometimes the best way forward involves removing, streamlining and simplifying things. If you like this show, be sure to check out our other work, including our recent episode about the psychological traps we fall into when it comes to money. Also,...

Duration:00:58:09

Money 2.0: Let's Go Shopping!

5/30/2022
What do the things you buy say about you? Many of us like to think of ourselves as immune to slick advertising and celebrity endorsements. But like it or not, we're communicating messages about ourselves every day with the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the products we use. In the final installment of our Money 2.0 series, we revisit favorite conversations with Americus Reed and Neeru Paharia. We'll consider how companies create a worldview around the products they sell, and then...

Duration:00:48:48

Money 2.0: The Rich and the Rest of Us

5/23/2022
Where do you stand on the income ladder? Do you think of yourself as rich, as poor, or as somewhere in between? Our perceptions of wealth — our own, and other people's — can affect us more profoundly than we realize. This week in our Money 2.0 series, we revisit two of our favorite conversations about wealth and inequality. Sociologist Brook Harrington takes us inside the lives of the über wealthy and the people who manage their fortunes. Then, psychologist Keith Payne shares surprising...

Duration:00:53:05

Money 2.0: Emotional Currency

5/16/2022
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 in our Money 2.0 series, we revisit a favorite 2020 episode for 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? If you like this show, be sure to listen to last...

Duration:00:39:53

Money 2.0: Why We Bust Our Budgets

5/9/2022
Have you had a recent surprise expense? You're not alone. More than half of American households report facing an unplanned financial shock in the last year. This week, in the second part of our new "Money 2.0" series, psychologist Abigail Sussman points out our blindspots around money, and how we can be smarter about spending and saving. If you like this show, be sure to listen to last week's episode on how our unconscious attitudes towards money influence how we manage our finances. Also,...

Duration:00:56:16

Money 2.0: Rewrite Your Money Story

5/2/2022
Money worries are one of the biggest sources of anxiety in the lives of Americans. This week, we kick off our new "Money 2.0" series with psychologist Brad Klontz. He says that while external economic forces often shape our financial well-being, our unconscious beliefs about money also contribute to how well we manage our money. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support our work, you can do so at support.hiddenbrain.org.

Duration:00:49:13

The Logic of Rage

4/25/2022
Neuroscientist Doug Fields was on a trip to Europe when a pickpocket stole his wallet. Doug, normally mild-mannered, became enraged — and his fury turned him into a stranger to himself. This week, we revisit a favorite 2020 episode about the secret logic of irrational anger. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support our work, you can do so at support.hiddenbrain.org.

Duration:00:51:26

When Doing Right Feels Wrong

4/18/2022
Have you ever been in a position where you had to choose between someone you care about and a value that you hold dear? Maybe you had to decide whether to report a friend who was cheating on an exam, or a co-worker who was stealing from the tip jar. This week, we tell the story of a Detroit police officer who found himself in this sort of dilemma, forced to choose between people he loved and the oath he swore to serve his community. What happens in our minds when we have to decide what is...

Duration:00:52:49

A Conspiracy of Silence

4/14/2022
We all self-censor at times. We keep quiet at dinner with our in-laws, or nod passively in a work meeting. But what happens when we take this deception a step further, and pretend we believe the opposite of what we really feel? In this favorite episode from 2020, economist and political scientist Timur Kuran explains how our personal, professional and political lives are shaped by the fear of what other people think. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero!...

Duration:00:56:58

How Rude!

4/11/2022
It’s not your imagination: rudeness appears to be on the rise. Witnessing rude behavior — whether it's coming from angry customers berating a store clerk or airline passengers getting into a fistfight — can have long-lasting effects on our minds. But behavioral scientist Christine Porath says there are ways to shield ourselves from the toxic effects of incivility. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support our work, you can do so at...

Duration:00:53:50

Healing Your Heart

4/4/2022
We’ve all heard about the five stages of grief. But what happens when your experience doesn’t follow that model at all? Resilience researcher Lucy Hone began to question how we think about grief after a devastating loss in her own life. She shares the techniques she learned to help her cope with tragedy. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support our work, you can do so at support.hiddenbrain.org.

Duration:00:52:28