522 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

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 38.5K Ratings

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

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    What Is Normal?

    What Is Normal?

    Anthropologist Tom Pearson was devastated after his daughter Michaela was diagnosed with Down syndrome. When he began to examine that emotional response, he found himself wrestling with questions that have roiled his field for decades. Early anthropologists would often compare people of different backgrounds and abilities, asking questions like: How is one group different from another? Which one is stronger or smarter? And how do we understand people who don’t fit our expectations? This week, we talk with Pearson about his family’s story, and the evolution of our thinking on disability and difference.

    • 50 min
    Your Questions Answered: Gloria Mark on Distraction and Focus

    Your Questions Answered: Gloria Mark on Distraction and Focus

    The modern world is full of distractions, often created by the devices on which we rely. Fully unplugging isn’t an option for many of us. But psychologist Gloria Mark says there are still ways to claw back our attention without undertaking a full “digital detox.” This week, she returns to Hidden Brain to answer listeners’ questions about how to create space for the focus that we crave.

    Did you miss our original conversation with Gloria Mark? It’s the episode in this feed called “Finding Focus,” or you can also find it here: https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/finding-focus/

    The Transformative Ideas of Daniel Kahneman

    The Transformative Ideas of Daniel Kahneman

    If you've ever taken an economics class, you were probably taught that people are rational. But about 50 years ago, the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky began to chip away at this basic assumption. In doing so, they transformed our understanding of human behavior. This week, we remember Kahneman, who recently died at the age of 90, by revisiting our 2018 and 2021 conversations with him.

    • 1 hr 38 min
    How To Talk So People Will Listen

    How To Talk So People Will Listen

    In this follow up conversation with psychologist Guy Itzchakov, we dive deeper into one key element of effective communication.

    Are You Listening?

    Are You Listening?

    Have you ever sat across from your spouse, colleague or friend and realized that while they may be hearing what you're saying, they aren't actually listening? Poor listening can lead to arguments, hurt feelings, and fractured relationships. But the good news is that active, thoughtful listening can profoundly benefit both people in the conversation. This week on the show, psychologist Guy Itzchakov helps us understand where interactions go awry, and how to become a more attentive listener.

    • 49 min
    The Ventilator

    The Ventilator

    Many of us believe we know how we’d choose to die. We have a sense of how we’d respond to a diagnosis of an incurable illness. This week, we revisit a 2019 episode featuring one family’s decades-long conversation about dying. What they found is that the people we are when death is far in the distance may not be the people we become when death is near.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
38.5K Ratings

38.5K Ratings

CarolynMHOC ,

Quality programming!!!!

Thank you for your choice of topics. This is one of my favorite podcasts. I always know I will be challenged or informed. Yesterday’s message “What is Normal?” was over the top excellent, so I needed to finally review the show. Thank you, Shankar! I’m 61 years old and still learning!

MASSyogagirl ,

It really makes you think!

Shankar is such a great host and the guests are intellectually stimulating, from various backgrounds, who elucidate the subjects that are discussed. I feel I am always learning something! Never miss it!

OskarDon ,

Obtrusive Ads

The podcast is great but aggressive ads are killing it. It is really ridiculous that not even paid version is free from these extremely obtrusive ads. Please fix it!

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