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Rank #1 in Science category

Science
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences

Hidden Brain

Updated 2 days ago

Rank #1 in Science category

Science
Natural Sciences
Social Sciences
Read more

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

Read more

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

iTunes Ratings

25955 Ratings
Average Ratings
20567
2713
1181
692
802

Hidden Brain expanded my mind

By HelenTINGTING - May 26 2020
Read more
enjoy revisiting old episodes while looking forward for new ones.

Good to get embed with

By AuburnFriend - May 26 2020
Read more
Perfect for our time, it seems to me. I’m embedding it in an online ethics class for discussion.

iTunes Ratings

25955 Ratings
Average Ratings
20567
2713
1181
692
802

Hidden Brain expanded my mind

By HelenTINGTING - May 26 2020
Read more
enjoy revisiting old episodes while looking forward for new ones.

Good to get embed with

By AuburnFriend - May 26 2020
Read more
Perfect for our time, it seems to me. I’m embedding it in an online ethics class for discussion.
Cover image of Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain

Latest release on Jun 01, 2020

Read more

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

Rank #1: When Did Marriage Become So Hard?

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Marriage is hard — and there are signs it's becoming even harder. This week on Hidden Brain, we examine how long-term relationships have changed over time, and whether we might be able to improve marriage by asking less of it.

Feb 13 2018

51mins

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Rank #2: I Buy, Therefore I Am

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All of us are surrounded by brands. Designer brands. Bargain-shopper brands. Brands for seemingly every demographic slice among us. But have you ever stopped to ask yourself how brands influence you? This week, we look at how companies create a worldview around the products they sell, and then get us to make those products a part of who we are.

Jul 01 2019

33mins

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Rank #3: Facts Aren't Enough

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Sometimes when we believe something, we resist data that can change our minds. This week, we look at how we rely on the people we trust to shape what we believe, and why emotions can be more powerful than facts. This episode features new reporting and favorite conversations with neuroscientist Tali Sharot and philosopher of science Cailin O'Connor.

Jul 22 2019

51mins

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Rank #4: Episode 56: Getting Unstuck

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At one time or another, many of us feel stuck: in the wrong job, the wrong relationship, the wrong city – the wrong life. Psychologists and self-help gurus have all kinds of advice for us when we feel rudderless. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore a new idea, from an unlikely source: Silicon Valley.

Jan 03 2017

28mins

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Rank #5: Episode 61: Just Sex

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We all know casual sex isn't about love. But what if it's not even about lust? Sociologist Lisa Wade believes the pervasive hookup culture on campuses today is different from that faced by previous generations. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore what this culture means for those who choose to participate, and for those who opt out.

Feb 14 2017

24mins

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Rank #6: Episode 38: Me, Me, Me

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It doesn't take a psychologist to see narcissism in our culture of selfies. But we decided to talk to one anyway. Jean Twenge is a researcher and author of the books The Narcissism Epidemic, and Generation Me.

Jul 12 2016

24mins

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Rank #7: Creatures Of Habit

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At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions for the months to come. We resolve to work out more, procrastinate less, or save more money. Though some people stick with these aspirations, many of us fall short. This week, psychologist Wendy Wood shares what researchers have found about how to build good habits — and break bad ones.

Dec 30 2019

51mins

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Rank #8: Compassion

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The adage "be kind to others" is simple enough that even young children can understand it. But that doesn't mean adults always remember the importance of being kind or understand how compassion might affect them. This week, we look at the science of compassion, and why doing good things for others can make a big difference in your own life.

Dec 24 2018

19mins

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Rank #9: BS Jobs

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Have you ever had a job where you had to stop and ask yourself: what am I doing here? If I quit tomorrow, would anyone even notice? This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit our 2018 conversation with anthropologist David Graeber about the rise of what he calls "bullsh*t jobs," and how these positions affect the people who hold them.

Oct 28 2019

44mins

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Rank #10: Filthy Rich

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Several years ago, sociologist Brooke Harrington decided to explore the secret lives of billionaires. As she told us in this favorite episode from 2016, what she found shocked her.

Feb 20 2018

22mins

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Rank #11: Never Go To Vegas

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All social classes have unspoken rules. From A-list celebrities to teachers, doctors, lawyers, and journalists — there are social norms that govern us, whether we realize it or not. This week on Hidden Brain, we look celebrity culture, as well as another elite group: the yoga-loving, Whole Foods-shopping, highly-educated people whom one researcher calls the new "aspirational class." This episode is from December 2017.

Mar 18 2019

47mins

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Rank #12: Episode 19: Dating and Mating

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It's almost Valentine's Day, but this week we're not talking about love. Instead, we explore the other forces that drive our romantic relationships.

Feb 09 2016

23mins

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Rank #13: Episode 53: Embrace the Chaos

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Many of us spend lots of time and energy trying to get organized. We KonMari our closets, we strive for inbox zero, we tell our kids to clean their rooms, and our politicians to clean up Washington. But Economist Tim Harford says, maybe we should embrace the chaos. His new book is Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives.

Nov 29 2016

24mins

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Rank #14: Never Go To Vegas

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All social classes have unspoken rules. From A-list celebrities to teachers, doctors, lawyers, and journalists — there are social norms that govern our decisions, whether we realize it or not. This week on Hidden Brain, the invisible qualities that all celebrities have in common, and how our interest in them builds because of cues we get from one another. Later in the episode, we look at another elite group: the yoga-loving, Whole Foods-shopping, highly-educated group that researcher Elizabeth Currid-Halkett calls the "aspirational class."

Dec 19 2017

50mins

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Rank #15: The Edge Effect

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There is great comfort in the familiar. It's one reason humans often flock to other people who share the same interests, laugh at the same jokes, hold the same political views. But familiar ground may not be the best place to cultivate creativity. From science and business to music and the world of fashion, researchers have found that people with deep connections to people from other countries and cultures often see benefits in terms of their creative output. This week on Hidden Brain, we look at the powerful connection between the ideas we dream up and the people who surround us, and what it really takes to think outside the box.

Jul 03 2018

38mins

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Rank #16: Creating God

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If you've taken part in a religious service, have you ever stopped to think about how it all came to be? How did people become believers? Where did the rituals come from? And what purpose does it all serve? This week, we bring you a July 2018 episode with social psychologist Azim Shariff. He argues that we should consider religion from a Darwinian perspective, as an innovation that helped human societies to thrive and flourish.

May 06 2019

50mins

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Rank #17: You 2.0: Tunnel Vision

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When you're hungry, it can be hard to think of anything other than food. When you're desperately poor, you may constantly worry about making ends meet. When you're lonely, you might obsess about making friends. This week, as part of our You 2.0 series, we bring you a favorite 2017 episode about the psychological phenomenon of scarcity. Researchers say this form of tunnel vision can affect our ability to see the big picture and cope with problems in our lives.

Aug 05 2019

36mins

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Rank #18: Episode 3: Stereotype Threat

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Annie Duke was often the only woman at the poker table, which influenced the way people saw her, and the way she saw herself. Feeling like an outsider can come at a cost, but also can be an advantage.

Oct 06 2015

22mins

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Rank #19: You 2.0: Dream Jobs

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Why do you work? Are you mostly in it for the money, or do you have another purpose? Popular wisdom says your answer depends on the nature of your job. But psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski finds it may have more to do with how we think about our work. She finds we're about evenly split in whether we say we have a job, a career, or a calling. As part of our You 2.0 series, we bring you this March 2016 conversation with Amy about how we find meaning and purpose at work.

Aug 01 2017

23mins

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Rank #20: Buying Attention

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Have you ever opened your computer with the intention of sending one email — only to spend an hour scrolling through social media? Maybe two hours? In this episode, we examine the strategies media companies use to hijack our attention so they can sell it to advertisers.

Jan 02 2018

38mins

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Justifying The Means

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When we are asked to make a moral choice, many of us imagine it involves listening to our hearts. To that, philosopher Peter Singer says, "nonsense." Singer believes there are no moral absolutes, and that logic and calculation are better guides to moral behavior than feelings and intuitions. This week, we talk with Singer about why this approach is so hard to put into practice, and look at the hard moral choices presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jun 01 2020

54mins

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The Time Machine

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In recent months, many of us have looked back with longing at our lives before COVID-19. For many of us, that world was one of bustle and activity — marked by scenes of packed restaurants, crowded subway cars, and chaotic playgrounds. In this audio essay, Shankar discusses our wistfulness for the world before the pandemic, and why such nostalgia can actually help to orient us toward the future.

May 30 2020

5mins

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The People Like Us

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Far from being "the great equalizer," COVID-19 has disproportionately sickened and killed African Americans and Latinos in the U.S. Many of the reasons for these inequalities reach back to before the pandemic began. This week, we return to a 2019 episode that investigates a specific source of racial disparities in medicine and beyond—and considers an uncomfortable solution.

May 25 2020

36mins

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Our Better Angels

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In the months since the spread of the coronavirus, stories of selfishness and exploitation have become all too familiar: people ignoring social distancing guidelines, or even selling medical equipment at inflated prices. Most of our public and economic policies take aim at these sorts of people — the wrongdoers and the profiteers. But is there a hidden cost to the rest of us when we put bad actors at the center of our thinking? Do the measures we put in place to curtail the selfish inadvertently hurt our capacity to do right by others?

May 18 2020

41mins

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A Hidden Brain Commencement Address

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Commencement ceremonies allow us to take stock of what we've accomplished and where we're headed. This is one of the key opportunities that students and families have lost, as social distancing precautions lead schools to cancel in-person graduations. In this "commencement address," recorded at the request of the public radio program 1A, Shankar Vedantam offers thoughts on what it means to mark such a milestone at this moment, and how graduates can use the disruption caused by the pandemic to think about their lives in new ways.

May 13 2020

6mins

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The Dramatic Cure

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In recent months, many of us have become familiar with the sense of fear expressing itself in our bodies. We may feel restless or physically exhausted. At times, we may even have trouble catching our breath. The deep connection between mind and body that seems so salient now was also at the center of our episode about the placebo effect. This week, we return to this 2019 story that asks what placebos might teach us about the nature of healing.

May 11 2020

52mins

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The Choices Before Us

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An abundance of choices is a good thing, right? In the United States, where choice is often equated with freedom and control, the answer tends to be a resounding 'yes.' But researchers say the relationship between choice and happiness isn't always so clear-cut. This week, we talk with psychologist Sheena Iyengar about making better decisions, and how she's thinking about the relationship between choices and control during the coronavirus pandemic.

May 04 2020

50mins

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Starving The Watchdogs

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Amidst the confusion and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have sought out a long-trusted lifeline: the local newspaper. Though the value of local journalism is more apparent now than ever, newspapers are not thriving. They're collapsing. For many communities, this means fewer local stories and job losses. But new research suggests there's another consequence that's harder to spot — one that comes with a hefty price tag for residents. This week on Hidden Brain, we return to a 2018 episode that's acutely relevant today and ask, who bears the cost when nobody wants to pay?

Apr 27 2020

31mins

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A Social Prescription

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Confined to our homes, many of us are experiencing a newfound appreciation for our social relationships. What we may not realize — and what physicians and researchers have only recently started emphasizing — is the importance of these connections to our physical health. This week, we talk with former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about why he considers loneliness a matter of public health, and how we can all deepen our social ties.

Apr 20 2020

49mins

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Sex Machines

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From stone statues to silicone works of art, we have long sought solace and sex from inanimate objects. Time and technology have perfected the artificial lover: today we have life-size silicone love dolls so finely crafted they feel like works of art. Now, with the help of robotics and artificial intelligence, these dolls are becoming even more like humans. This week, we revisit our 2019 story about the history of the artificial lover, and consider what love and sex look like in the age of robots.

Apr 13 2020

28mins

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Playing Tight And Loose

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We all know people who prefer to follow the rules, and others who prefer to flout them. Psychologist Michele Gelfand defines these two ways of being as "tight" and "loose." She says the tight/loose framework can help us to better understand individuals, businesses, and even nations. This week, we look at the core traits of tight and loose worldviews, and how they may shape our lives — from interactions with our spouses to global efforts to fight the coronavirus.

Apr 06 2020

49mins

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Close Enough: Living Through Others

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A silver lining of social distancing: you may have more time and space to pursue the projects you've bookmarked on your web browser. Whether your goal is to build a barn door or to update your makeup routine, online tutorials have made it easier than ever to bring the world into your living room or kitchen or bedroom. But a curious thing can happen when we watch experts doing expert things. This week, we explore the dangers and the delights of vicarious living, with a favorite episode from 2019.

Mar 30 2020

49mins

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An Unfinished Lesson

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A virus is more than a biological organism. It's a social organism. It detects fissures in societies and fault lines between communities. Historian Nancy Bristow shares the lessons about human behavior that we can take away from a century-old pandemic.

Mar 23 2020

49mins

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Panic In The Street

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It sounds like a movie plot: police discover the body of a young man who's been murdered. The body tests positive for a deadly infectious disease. Authorities trace the killing to a gang. They race to find the gang members, who may also be incubating the virus. This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit our 2016 story about disease, panic, and how a public health team used psychology to confront an epidemic.

Mar 16 2020

26mins

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The Bomb That Didn't Explode

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We know that we live in an ever-changing world, but one thing we often overlook is demographic change. Whether the world's population is growing or shrinking can affect many aspects of our lives, from the number of kids we have to the likelihood that we'll live to old age. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore how our planet's population is changing, and what that means for us in the century to come.

Mar 10 2020

36mins

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The Tale of the Cowboy Philosopher

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In 2009, an old man died in a California nursing home. His obituary included not just his given name, but a long list of the pseudonyms he'd been known to use. In this episode, which we originally released in 2019, we trace the life of Riley Shepard, a hillbilly musician, writer, small-time con man and, perhaps, a genius.

Mar 03 2020

51mins

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The Influence You Have

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Think about the last time you asked someone for something. Maybe you were nervous or worried about what the person would think of you. Chances are that you didn't stop to think about the pressure you were exerting on that person. This week, we explore a phenomenon that psychologists refer to as "egocentric bias," and look at how this bias can lead us astray.

Feb 24 2020

50mins

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Liar, Liar, Liar

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We all lie. But what separates the average person from the infamous cheaters we see on the news? Dan Ariely says we like to think it's character — but in his research he's found it's more often opportunity. Dan Ariely is a professor at Duke University and the author of the book, The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone — Especially Ourselves. We spoke to him in March 2017.

Feb 17 2020

28mins

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Passion Isn't Enough

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Many Americans feel an obligation to keep up with political news. But maybe we should be focusing our energies elsewhere. 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.

Feb 10 2020

53mins

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When Things Click

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There can be a lot of psychological noise involved in teaching. But what if we replaced all that mental clutter...with a click? This week, we bring you a 2018 episode exploring an innovative idea about how we learn. It will take us from a dolphin exhibit in Hawaii to a top teaching hospital in New York. It's about a method to quiet the noise that can turn learning into a minefield of misery.

Feb 04 2020

50mins

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iTunes Ratings

25955 Ratings
Average Ratings
20567
2713
1181
692
802

Hidden Brain expanded my mind

By HelenTINGTING - May 26 2020
Read more
enjoy revisiting old episodes while looking forward for new ones.

Good to get embed with

By AuburnFriend - May 26 2020
Read more
Perfect for our time, it seems to me. I’m embedding it in an online ethics class for discussion.