433 episodes

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

Hidden Brain Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam

    • Science
    • 4.7 • 2.7K Ratings

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

    Happiness 2.0: The Path to Contentment

    Happiness 2.0: The Path to Contentment

    Many of us believe that hard work and persistence are the key to achieving our goals. But is that true when it comes to the pursuit of happiness? This week, we kick off a month-long series we're calling Happiness 2.0. We talk with psychologist Iris Mauss, who explains why happiness can seem more elusive the harder we chase it, and what we can do instead to build a lasting sense of contentment.

    • 54 min
    When You Need It To Be True

    When You Need It To Be True

    When we want something very badly, it can be hard to see warning signs that might be obvious to other people. This week, we revisit a favorite episode from 2021, bringing you two stories about how easy it can be to believe in a false reality — even when the facts don’t back us up.

    • 49 min
    Persuasion: Part 2

    Persuasion: Part 2

    Think back to the last time someone convinced you to do something you didn't want to do, or to spend money you didn't want to spend. What techniques did that person use to persuade you? This week, we continue our look at the science of influence with psychologist Robert Cialdini, and explore how these techniques can be used for both good and evil.

    • 50 min
    Persuasion: Part 1

    Persuasion: Part 1

    We all exert pressure on each other in ways small and profound. We recommend movies or books to a friend. We convince a colleague to take a different tactic at work. We lobby a neighbor to vote for our favored political candidate. This week, we launch the first of a two-part mini-series on the science of influence, and talk with psychologist Robert Cialdini about how we can all improve our techniques for persuading others.

    • 48 min
    Who's In Your Inner Circle?

    Who's In Your Inner Circle?

    If you think about the people in your life, it's likely that they share a lot in common with you. Maybe they like the same kinds of food, or enjoy the same hobbies. But, if you dig a little deeper, you may find that they share much more: they might make the same amount of money as you, or share the same race. This week, we talk with economists Luigi Pistaferri and Matthew Jackson about why we often surround ourselves with people who are just like us — and how we can transform our lives by pushing back against this phenomenon.

    • 53 min
    Who Do You Want To Be?

    Who Do You Want To Be?

    We all have to make certain choices in life, such as where to live and how to earn a living. Parents and peers influence our major life choices. But they can also steer us in directions that leave us deeply unsatisfied. Psychologist Ken Sheldon studies the science of figuring out what you want. He says there are things we can do to make sure our choices align with our deepest values.

    • 51 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
2.7K Ratings

2.7K Ratings

Ct-1048 ,

One of the absolute best

Shankar’s voice has been the soundtrack to so many hours of my life before — and especially during — the pandemic. It’s in my top three and I have recommended it to others.

He is a tremendously warm and insightful host and his interview guests are brilliant. Love it when a close friend and I are quoting the same gem we heard on THB!

Well done to everyone who makes this podcast.

adam.okhai ,

Shankar repeats his name far too many times

Good show. Would listen more often (also recommend to others) if Shankar would please not keep repeating who he is. No need, we get your FULL name, the fourth time you tell us. No need to repeat ANOTHER 6 times. PLEASE!

Anglophone Sylvia ,

Good for everyone

The Hidden Brain podcast is one that people from all backgrounds will find interesting. This most recent episode features scientist and science communicator Katy Milkman, and it’s just in time for the new year, since it discusses strategies on how to follow through on our goals.

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