321 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

    • Social Sciences
    • 4.7 • 783 Ratings

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

    An Unfinished Lesson

    An Unfinished Lesson

    More than a century ago, millions of people around the world died in a massive influenza pandemic. The so-called "Spanish flu" outbreak of 1918 revealed a truth about viruses: they don't just infect us biologically. They also detect fissures in societies and fault lines between communities. Historian Nancy Bristow says this remains true today, as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.This week, we revisit our 2020 conversation with Bristow, and consider what history can tell us about human behavior during public health crises. 

    • 49 min
    Useful Delusions

    Useful Delusions

    Podcast hosts are used to being the ones asking the questions. This week, though, we’re going to flip that script, and put Shankar in the guest seat. We’ll hear a recent interview he did with Krys Boyd of the public radio show Think from KERA in Dallas. The discussion revolves around Shankar's latest book, Useful Delusions, and how self-deceptions can bind together marriages, communities, and even entire nations.

    • 49 min
    Made of Honor

    Made of Honor

    Stories help us make sense of the world, and can even help us to heal from trauma. They also shape our cultural narratives, for better and for worse. This week on Hidden Brain, we conclude our three-part series on storytelling with a look at the phenomenon of "honor culture," and how it dictates the way we think and behave. 

     

    • 48 min
    The Story of Your Life

    The Story of Your Life

    We can’t go back and change the past. We can’t erase trauma and hardship. But what if there was a way to regain control of our personal narratives? In the second part of our series on storytelling, we look at how interpreting the stories of our lives — and rewriting them — can change us forever.

    Also, a note that this week's episode touches on themes of trauma and suicide. If you or someone you know may be having thoughts of suicide, please call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. 

     

    • 51 min
    The Story of Stories

    The Story of Stories

    Why is my friend late? How does nuclear fission work? What occurs when I sneeze? We all need to understand why certain things happen. Some researchers think the drive to explain the world is a basic human impulse, similar to thirst or hunger. This week on Hidden Brain, we begin a three part series on why we tell stories. Psychologist Tania Lombrozo discusses how explanations can lead to discovery, delight, and disaster.

    • 51 min
    Radically Normal

    Radically Normal

    For generations, it was difficult, even dangerous, to express a sexual orientation other than heterosexuality in the United States. But in recent years, much has changed. This week, we revisit our 2019 episode about one of the most striking transformations of public attitude ever recorded. And we consider whether the strategies used by the LGBTQ community hold lessons for other groups seeking change.

    • 50 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
783 Ratings

783 Ratings

Life in London 101 ,

Absolutely amazing

Love this

MrsMVKG ,

Love!

I absolutely love this podcast. The content of each episode is so interesting and the production is excellent.
There are so many podcasts available these days and it’s hard to find something that truly resonates and actually has some meaning relevant to our lives.
Thank you!

JulieInProvence ,

Human, insightful, a beautiful radio gem.

One of my favourite podcast ever.
Been listening since the very beginning and it really evolved well to become these really well produced pieces a bit radiolab-like.
Topics are always interesting, the approach is very sensible and sensitive. It’s such an important thing to get acquainted with our own brain, Shankar took on that mission with skill and grace .

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