137. Shankar Vedantam with Ross Reynolds: The Power & Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain
Town Hall Seattle Science Series
Have you ever asked someone, “How are you?” while not really caring about their actual response? And why would you need to, when we are conditioned to rarely respond to this question honestly? This is an example of deception and self-deception, and it happens in little and big ways around the world every single day. While this example may seem innocuous, self-deception has caused harm—to us, to our communities, to the planet. But if it is so bad for us, why is it so ubiquitous? The Hidden Brain’s Shankar Vedantam argues that, paradoxically, self-deception can also play a vital role in our success and well-being. Vedantam joined us in conversation with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds to explore how the lies we tell ourselves sustain our daily interactions with friends, lovers, and coworkers. On the Hidden Brain podcast, Vedantam peels back the layers of lies that keep us from seeing reality clearly and from becoming our best selves, which led to him uncovering and exploring this dichotomous impact of self-deception specifically. Drawing on powerful personal stories contained in his book Useful Delusions: The Power & Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain, he presented a correlation from self-deception to why some people live longer than others, why some couples remain in love and others don’t, why some nations hold together while others splinter. But how do we find the line between those lies we tell ourselves that are helpful and those that are harmful? Coupled with new insights in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, Vedantam offered a fascinating tour of what it really means to be human. Shankar Vedantam is host of the Hidden Brain podcast and public radio show and the author of The Hidden Brain, a New York Times national bestseller. He lives in Washington, DC. Ross Reynolds is KUOW’s Executive Producer for Community Engagement. Before that he was a KUOW program host for 16 years and has also been KUOW’s News Director, Program Director, and hosted the weekly KCTS-TV interview program Upon Reflection. Reynolds was previously news director at KBOO Radio in Portland, Oregon and News/Public Affairs Director at WCUW Radio in Worcester, Massachusetts. Buy the Book: https://www.elliottbaybook.com/book/9780393652208 Presented by Town Hall Seattle and KUOW.
Celebrate April Fool's Day by joining us for a virtual discussion with Shankar Vendantam about how useful fooling ourselves can actually be. It is of course clear that self-deception does terrible harm to ourselves, to our communities and to the planet. But if it is so irretrievably bad for us, why is it so ubiquitous?Paradoxically, Vedantam argues that self-deception also plays a vital role in our successes and our well-being. Most of us are at least vaguely aware that the lies we tell ourselves lubricate our daily interactions with our friends, lovers and co-workers. But those lies can also explain why some people live longer than others, why some couples remain in love and others don’t, and why some nations hold together while others splinter. Drawing on new insights in psychology, neuroscience and philosophy, Vendantam comes to the fascinating conclusion that, if we were just honest about our lies, we might begin to understand ourselves, and our human lives, much better.NOTESMLF: HumanitiesSPEAKERSShankar VedantamHost, "Hidden Brain" Podcast and Public Radio Show; Co-Author, Useful DelusionsIn Conversation with Dacher KeltnerPh.D, Founding Director, Greater Good Science Center; Professor of Psychology, University of California Berkeley; Host, "The Science of Happiness" PodcastIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are currently hosting all of our live programming via YouTube live stream. This program was recorded via video conference on April 1st, 2021 by the Commonwealth Club of California. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Can self-deception be beneficial? That’s one of the questions animating Shankar Vedantam’s new book “Useful Delusions,” which argues that holding false beliefs is not necessarily a sign of pathology or ignorance. We’ll talk to the Hidden Brain podcast host about the lies we tell ourselves — and each other — and the role some forms of deception play in sustaining relationships and advancing mental well-being.
On The Way Up | Episode 47 - November's New Releases + NPR's Shankar Vedantam on Music and the Brain
On The Way Up
WNCW’s new music podcast features songs from artists Marco Benevento, Kacy & Clayton, Billy Strings and Allah-Las. In the segment “DJ For A Day” host Joe Kendrick talks with NPR’s Shankar Vedantam about how our brains are so geared towards music, and in our “Segue Of The Show”, you get a goth classic from Siouxsie and the Banshees paired with the latest from Angel Olsen.
Shankar Vedantam (NPR's "Hidden Brain") retells an Indian folktale about a young girl whose generous heart takes her on a surprising adventure. Download a coloring page for this episode here: wbur.org/circleround/coloring-pages
50. Shankar Vedantam: How the Hidden Brain Impacts Treasury and Finance
Best-selling author and NPR correspondent Shankar Vedantam explains how hidden psychological factors shape the decisions made by corporate treasury and finance professionals every day. Vedantam is the keynote speaker at AFP2017.