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 • 19 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
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

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never ceases to amaze me

I’ve been listening to Hidden Brain for the past few years, and you guys blow my mind every single episode with profound insights. In fact, I listen to every single episode at least a coupe of times and even make notes to make sure that I fully comprehend your ideas. Otherwise, I’d feel like I take your work for granted. Every single time that I share with my friends about what I’ve learned from the show, they are intrigued and amazed.
Thank you for the work and dedication that you guys have put into the show.

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