Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.
If you've taken part in a religious service, have you ever stopped to think about how people become believers? Where do the rituals come from? And what purpose does it all serve? This week, we bring you a 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 grow and flourish.
Is It Better to Know?
Being able to see what’s happening around us can help us make smart decisions. But knowledge — especially knowledge of how others perceive us — can also hold us back, mire us in needless worry, and keep us from achieving our potential. This week, we look at the paradox of knowledge.
Love is Blind
Why do some relationships last, while others falter? In this bonus episode, Shankar looks at one thing successful couples do well.
How They See Us
Stereotypes are all around us, shaping how we see the world – and how the world sees us. On the surface, the stereotypes that other people hold shouldn’t affect the way we think or act. But our concerns about other people’s perceptions have a way of burrowing deep into our minds. This week, social psychologist Claude Steele explains the psychology of “stereotype threat.”
The Easiest Person to Fool
Physicist Richard Feynman once said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” One way we fool ourselves is by imagining we know more than we do; we think we are experts. This week on Hidden Brain, psychologist Adam Grant describes the magic that unfolds when we challenge our own deeply-held beliefs.
Afraid of the Wrong Things
Around the world, people are grappling with the risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. How do our minds process that risk, and why do some of us process it so differently? This week, we talk with psychologist Paul Slovic about the disconnect between our own assessments of risk and the dangers we face in our everyday lives.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Hidden Brain is easily one of my favorite podcasts. I have been listening for years and cannot get enough. Shankar hosts the show by engaging his guests and asking detailed questions. He’s a great listener who brings out the best in his guests and their stories / explanations. Every guest has been educational and I love the variety of lessons. I hope this podcast continues on forever.
I’m perceiving an increase of spoken ad testimonials. Shankar’s voice is so precious and these ads may be affecting the brand. Please be cautious about balancing the revenue opportunity with the cost of our enjoyment of this amazing podcast.
Not what it used to be
I love the nuance and different perspectives that this show and Vedantam usually bring, but recently the show has fallen more into a narrowed Overton window that seems more concerned with propping up unified voices and narratives than dialectic discourse and unique perspectives.
I suspect this change results from NPR-staffer ideological oversight.
The show has become predictable and repetitive with all themes merging onto a singular zeitgeist that is available everywhere. I am sad to see this show go.