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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

Both Things Can Be True

12/6/2021
It’s psychologically simpler to see the world in black and white. But reality often comes in shades of gray. This week, how our minds grapple with contradictions, especially those we see in other people. 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:00:52:05

Work 2.0: The One-Room Commute

11/29/2021
If you’re working from home, you might be reveling in your daily commute to the dining room table. Or you might be saying, “Get me out of here.” In the final episode of our Work 2.0 series, economist Nicholas Bloom joins us from his spare bedroom to ponder whether working from home is actually working. 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:00:50:31

My Unsung Hero: Tony Ludlow

11/24/2021
Tony is angry at his English teacher, Mrs. Holman, for making him stay after class. But on the last day of school, she takes his hand, and tells him something he'll never forget. To hear more stories like this, subscribe, and enjoy!

Duration:00:05:16

Work 2.0: Rebel with a Cause

11/22/2021
Francesca Gino studies rebels - people who practice "positive deviance" and achieve incredible feats of imagination. They know how and when to break rules that should be broken. So how can you activate your own inner non-conformist? This week, we ponder the traits of successful rebels as we revisit our 2018 conversation with Francesca. 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:00:52:33

Work 2.0: Life, Interrupted

11/15/2021
Many of us spend our workdays responding to a never-ending stream of emails and texts. We feel stressed out and perpetually behind on our to-do list. But what if there was a better way to work? This week, we revisit a favorite conversation about "deep work" with computer scientist Cal Newport. And we'll visit a lab that's studying whether brain stimulation can improve our ability to handle multitasking and interruptions. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung...

Duration:00:50:40

My Unsung Hero: Terri Powers' Story

11/12/2021
Today we're sharing another episode of our new podcast, My Unsung Hero. To hear more stories like this, subscribe, and enjoy! It's a few days after her mother's death, and Terri Powers is at the checkout line in a grocery store. As she turns to leave, the bagger stops her, and asks a question.

Duration:00:04:23

Work 2.0: Game On!

11/8/2021
The world of play and the world of work are often seen as opposites. But they may have more in common than we think. In the second installment of our new Work 2.0 series, Ethan Mollick makes the case that we can make our jobs more engaging by incorporating elements of games. 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...

Duration:00:57:03

Work 2.0: The Obstacles You Don't See

11/1/2021
Introducing new ideas is hard. Most of us think the best way to win people over is to push harder. But organizational psychologist Loran Nordgren says a more effective approach is to focus on the invisible obstacles to new ideas. 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.

Duration:00:53:39

We Broke the Planet. Now What?

10/25/2021
We’ve grown accustomed to viewing climate change as an enemy we must urgently defeat. But is that the right metaphor for the greatest existential problem of our time? This week, we consider how to reframe the way we think about life on a changing planet. 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.

Duration:00:50:10

My Unsung Hero: Rick Mangnall's Story

10/22/2021
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.

Duration:00:06:01

The Halo Effect

10/18/2021
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...

Duration:00:56:25

Being Kind to Yourself

10/11/2021
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 at...

Duration:00:55:02

My Unsung Hero: Jackie Briggs' Story

10/8/2021
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.

Duration:00:06:17

When You Need It To Be True

10/4/2021
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 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.

Duration:00:58:26

Passion Isn't Enough

9/27/2021
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.

Duration:00:49:59

Introducing My Unsung Hero

9/24/2021
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.

Duration:00:02:49

Group Think

9/20/2021
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 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.

Duration:00:51:52

Just Sex

9/13/2021
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.

Duration:00:26:26

Where Happiness Hides

9/6/2021
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...

Duration:00:55:17

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

8/30/2021
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...

Duration:00:29:49