358 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 Media

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 32.2K Ratings

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

    The Halo Effect

    The Halo Effect

    In 1978, Judy, Lyn and Donna Ulrich were driving to a volleyball game when their Ford Pinto was hit from behind by a van. The Pinto caught fire, and the three teenagers died. This week, we revisit a 2020 episode with a former Ford insider who played a key role in weighing the risks associated with the Pinto. And we consider what his story tells us about a question we all face: is it possible to fairly evaluate our past actions when we know how things turned out?

    If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter atnews.hiddenbrain.org.

    • 53 min
    Being Kind to Yourself

    Being Kind to Yourself

    Self-criticism is often seen as a virtue. But psychologist Kristin Neff says there’s a better path to self-improvement — self-compassion. She says people who practice self-compassion are more conscientious and more likely to take responsibility for their mistakes.

    If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter atnews.hiddenbrain.org.

    • 51 min
    My Unsung Hero: Jackie Briggs' Story

    My Unsung Hero: Jackie Briggs' Story

    My Unsung Hero is here! We're excited to share one of the first episodes of our new podcast. Episode one features listener Jackie Briggs from Portland, Oregon. In 2006, a stranger noticed an unusual mark on Jackie's arm, and realized something was wrong.

    You can subscribe to My Unsung Hero here.

    • 5 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 bring you two stories about how easy it can be to believe in a false reality — even when the facts don’t back us up. 

    If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help atsupport.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org.

     

    • 54 min
    Passion Isn't Enough

    Passion Isn't Enough

    Many Americans feel an obligation to keep up with political news. But maybe we should be focusing our energies elsewhere. In this episode from 2020, political scientist Eitan Hersh says there's been a rise in "political hobbyism" in the United States. We treat politics like entertainment, following the latest updates like we follow our favorite sports teams. Instead, he says, we should think of politics as a way to acquire power and persuade our neighbors to back the issues we support.

    • 47 min
    Introducing My Unsung Hero

    Introducing My Unsung Hero

    Longtime Hidden Brain listeners know that for years, we've thanked an unsung hero at the end of every episode. Now, we're launching a new show inspired by that tradition. Each week, we'll share a short story about a moment when one person helped another in a time of need. And we'll show you how these acts of heroism — some big, some small — transformed someone's life. 

    • 2 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
32.2K Ratings

32.2K Ratings

Family shared - Nik ,

Has become my favorite podcast

When I first heard the host do pieces on radio I got the impression he was kind of full of himself; I’m not sure if it was a tone of condescension or what. In this series he has definitely left that behind, and the guests and discussions are universally fascinating, the interviews extremely well done. I learn new things every time! Fantastic podcast!

Rdc20009a ,

Just excellent!

Love your podcasts! Thank you.

Walking & talking ,

Don’t know why…

but there are times when I don’t want to listen to this podcast. Then, it starts and I’m always fascinated by the subject matter and delivery. If you like challenging ideas, then I recommend you listen.

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