307 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
    • 4.6 • 29.3K Ratings

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

    Our Brands, Our Selves

    Our Brands, Our Selves

    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 bring you our 2019 conversation with Americus Reed, who studies how companies create a worldview around the products they sell, and then get us to make those products a part of who we are. 

    • 34 min
    The Secret Life of Secrets

    The Secret Life of Secrets

    It’s human nature to hide parts of ourselves that produce shame or anxiety. We tend to skip over details that could change how others perceive us. But no matter how big or small our secret, it will often weigh on our minds, and not for the reasons you might expect. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with psychologist Michael Slepian about the costs of secret keeping.

    • 47 min
    The Double Standard

    The Double Standard

    It's easy to spot bias in other people, especially those with whom we disagree.  But it’s not so easy to recognize our own biases.  Psychologist Emily Pronin says it’s partly because of our brain architecture. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore what Pronin calls the introspection illusion.

    • 48 min
    A Creature of Habit

    A Creature of Habit

    At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions for the months to come. We resolve to work out more, to procrastinate less, or to save more money. Though some people stick with these aspirations, many of us fall short. This week, we revisit our 2019 conversation with psychologist Wendy Wood, who shares what researchers have found about how to build good habits — and break bad ones. 

    • 49 min
    Waiting Games

    Waiting Games

    For so many people across the globe, 2020 has been a year of waiting and uncertainty. Waiting to see friends and family in far-flung locales. Waiting to hear about unemployment aid, or job opportunities. Waiting to hear about loved ones in the hospital. And even though the end of 2020 does not mean the end of these hardships, many of us are letting out a sigh of relief as we say goodbye to this difficult year. This week on Hidden Brain, we look at the psychology of relief and waiting, and how we can make periods of limbo less painful.

    • 51 min
    Minimizing Pain, Maximizing Joy

    Minimizing Pain, Maximizing Joy

    Life is filled with hardships and tragedies — a fact that 2020 has made all too clear for people across the globe. For thousands of years, philosophers have come up with strategies to help us cope with such hardship. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with philosopher William Irvine about ancient ideas — backed by modern psychology — that can help us manage disappointment and misfortune.

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
29.3K Ratings

29.3K Ratings

levigoldman ,

One of the Best

Have to listen every week.

Woodbeificouldbe ,

I love this podcast!

Great information, it really makes you think.

ontalor ,

Pretty great

Really amazing show, it just annoys me how frequently Shankar reduces discussions to “both sides” cliches.

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