US 2.0: Living With Our Differences 12 February 2024 00:52:44
Conflicts are inevitable — both at a global scale and in our personal lives. This week, in the latest in our US 2.0 series, psychologist Peter Coleman explains how minor disagreements turn into major rifts, and how we can defuse even the most salient of disputes in our lives.
US 2.0: Living With Our Differences
Conflicts are inevitable — both at a global scale and in our personal lives. This week, in the latest in our US 2.0 series, psychologist Peter Coleman explains how minor disagreements turn into major rifts, and how we can defuse even the most salient of disputes in our lives.
US 2.0: Win Hearts, Then Minds 05 February 2024 00:48:32
There's a saying that's attributed to the Dalai Lama: in the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. It's a nice idea, but in reality, when people don't share our values, it's hard for us to tolerate theirs. This week, we talk with sociologist Robb Willer about the common mistakes we...
US 2.0: Win Hearts, Then Minds
There's a saying that's attributed to the Dalai Lama: in the practice of tolerance, one's enemy is the best teacher. It's a nice idea, but in reality, when people don't share our values, it's hard for us to tolerate theirs. This week, we talk with sociologist Robb Willer about the common mistakes we...
US 2.0: What We Have In Common 29 January 2024 00:50:35
The United States, we’re told, is increasingly a house divided. Conservatives and progressives are so alienated from each other that conversation is virtually impossible. But are we really as divided as we’re led to believe? As we begin what promises to be a pivotal election season, we're kicking of...
US 2.0: What We Have In Common
The United States, we’re told, is increasingly a house divided. Conservatives and progressives are so alienated from each other that conversation is virtually impossible. But are we really as divided as we’re led to believe? As we begin what promises to be a pivotal election season, we're kicking of...
Are Your Memories Real? 22 January 2024 00:49:50
We rely on our memory to understand the world. But what if our memories aren't true? This week, we talk to psychologist Elizabeth Loftus about the malleability of memory — what we remember, and what we think we remember.
Are Your Memories Real?
We rely on our memory to understand the world. But what if our memories aren't true? This week, we talk to psychologist Elizabeth Loftus about the malleability of memory — what we remember, and what we think we remember.
Finding Focus 15 January 2024 00:48:29
We spend more and more of our lives staring at screens. Our cellphones, smartwatches and laptops allow us to communicate instantly with people across the globe, and quickly look up obscure facts. But our digital devices are also altering our brains in profound ways. This week, psychologist Gloria Ma...
Finding Focus
We spend more and more of our lives staring at screens. Our cellphones, smartwatches and laptops allow us to communicate instantly with people across the globe, and quickly look up obscure facts. But our digital devices are also altering our brains in profound ways. This week, psychologist Gloria Ma...
Where Do Feelings Come From? 08 January 2024 00:50:17
Most of us feel that our emotions are reactions to those outside of us. Someone cuts us off in traffic, and we say that the other driver made us upset. A friend brings over food when we're sick, and we say the friend offered us comfort. But psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett argues...
Where Do Feelings Come From?
Most of us feel that our emotions are reactions to those outside of us. Someone cuts us off in traffic, and we say that the other driver made us upset. A friend brings over food when we're sick, and we say the friend offered us comfort. But psychologist and neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett argues...
Making the Most of Your Mistakes 01 January 2024 00:51:46
When we're learning, or trying new things, mistakes are inevitable. Some of these mistakes provide us with valuable information, while others are just harmful. This week, we kick off the new year with researcher Amy Edmondson, who explains the difference between constructive failures and those we sh...
Making the Most of Your Mistakes
When we're learning, or trying new things, mistakes are inevitable. Some of these mistakes provide us with valuable information, while others are just harmful. This week, we kick off the new year with researcher Amy Edmondson, who explains the difference between constructive failures and those we sh...
What Would Socrates Do? 25 December 2023 00:50:27
Humans have wrestled with questions about identity and purpose for millennia. So it’s no surprise that the insights of people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago have stood the test of time. This week, philosopher Tamar Gendler explores how three great thinkers from ancient Greece unde...
What Would Socrates Do?
Humans have wrestled with questions about identity and purpose for millennia. So it’s no surprise that the insights of people who lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago have stood the test of time. This week, philosopher Tamar Gendler explores how three great thinkers from ancient Greece unde...
How to Believe in Yourself 18 December 2023 00:49:43
When was the last time you set a goal and struggled to reach it? Perhaps you're trying to write a novel but can't seem to get started. Or maybe you want to master a sport, but you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. This week, organizational psychologist Adam Grant guides us through t...
How to Believe in Yourself
When was the last time you set a goal and struggled to reach it? Perhaps you're trying to write a novel but can't seem to get started. Or maybe you want to master a sport, but you keep making the same mistakes over and over again. This week, organizational psychologist Adam Grant guides us through t...
The Ugly Side of Beauty 11 December 2023 00:50:54
We like to tell kids, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But from a very early age, we humans are doing just that — judging others based on how they look. This week, we bring you the second part of our look at the science of beauty and talk with psychologists Vivian Zayas and Stefanie Johnson about ...
The Ugly Side of Beauty
We like to tell kids, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But from a very early age, we humans are doing just that — judging others based on how they look. This week, we bring you the second part of our look at the science of beauty and talk with psychologists Vivian Zayas and Stefanie Johnson about ...
The Mystery of Beauty 04 December 2023 00:49:04
Think about the last time you were struck by a gorgeous painting in a museum, or heard a song that brought you to tears. All of us know what it’s like to be stopped in our tracks by a beautiful sight. But scientists are still puzzling over why this is the case. What’s the point of beauty? Why is it ...
The Mystery of Beauty
Think about the last time you were struck by a gorgeous painting in a museum, or heard a song that brought you to tears. All of us know what it’s like to be stopped in our tracks by a beautiful sight. But scientists are still puzzling over why this is the case. What’s the point of beauty? Why is it ...
Healing 2.0: The Power of Apologies 27 November 2023 00:49:40
Why is it so hard to say 'I'm sorry?' In the final episode of our Healing 2.0 series, we talk with psychologist Tyler Okimoto about the mental barriers that keep us from admitting when we've done something wrong, as well as the transformative power of apologies
Healing 2.0: The Power of Apologies
Why is it so hard to say 'I'm sorry?' In the final episode of our Healing 2.0 series, we talk with psychologist Tyler Okimoto about the mental barriers that keep us from admitting when we've done something wrong, as well as the transformative power of apologies
Healing 2.0: Disrupting Death 20 November 2023 00:52:58
In 2019, Justin Harrison's mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. But by the time she died, he had figured out how to keep a part of her alive...forever. This week, the strange and provocative story of a man who believes that grief is not inevitable — that we can, in a way, cheat death.
Healing 2.0: Disrupting Death
In 2019, Justin Harrison's mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. But by the time she died, he had figured out how to keep a part of her alive...forever. This week, the strange and provocative story of a man who believes that grief is not inevitable — that we can, in a way, cheat death.
Healing 2.0: Life After Loss 13 November 2023 00:49:18
You've probably heard that people who lose a loved one may go through what are known as the "five stages" of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But many people find that their grief doesn't follow this model at all. In the latest installment of our Healing 2.0 series, we r...
Healing 2.0: Life After Loss
You've probably heard that people who lose a loved one may go through what are known as the "five stages" of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But many people find that their grief doesn't follow this model at all. In the latest installment of our Healing 2.0 series, we r...
Healing 2.0: What We Gain from Pain 06 November 2023 00:49:21
We’ve all heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But is there any truth to this idea? This week, we explore the concept of post-traumatic growth with psychologist Eranda Jayawickreme. He finds that pain can have benefits — but not necessarily the ones we expect.
Healing 2.0: What We Gain from Pain
We’ve all heard the saying, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” But is there any truth to this idea? This week, we explore the concept of post-traumatic growth with psychologist Eranda Jayawickreme. He finds that pain can have benefits — but not necessarily the ones we expect.
Healing 2.0: Change Your Story, Change Your Life 30 October 2023 00:55:07
We all tell stories about ourselves, often without realizing we’re doing so. How we frame those stories can profoundly shape our lives. In the kickoff episode to our month-long series on healing, psychologist Jonathan Adler shares how to tell our stories in ways that enhance our wellbeing.
Healing 2.0: Change Your Story, Change Your Life
We all tell stories about ourselves, often without realizing we’re doing so. How we frame those stories can profoundly shape our lives. In the kickoff episode to our month-long series on healing, psychologist Jonathan Adler shares how to tell our stories in ways that enhance our wellbeing.
The Enemies of Gratitude 23 October 2023 00:49:32
One of the mysteries of human behavior is that it’s often easier for us to focus on what’s going wrong than on what’s going right in our lives. Why is that? Psychologist Thomas Gilovich studies the barriers that prevent us from feeling gratitude, and how we can overcome them.
The Enemies of Gratitude
One of the mysteries of human behavior is that it’s often easier for us to focus on what’s going wrong than on what’s going right in our lives. Why is that? Psychologist Thomas Gilovich studies the barriers that prevent us from feeling gratitude, and how we can overcome them.
Follow the Anomalies 16 October 2023 00:48:51
As we move through our lives, we have to make decisions both big and small. Some are banal: What will I eat for breakfast today? Should I drive or bike to work? Others are more complicated: How much should I contribute to my 401k? What career should I pursue? Today on the show, behavioral economist ...
Follow the Anomalies
As we move through our lives, we have to make decisions both big and small. Some are banal: What will I eat for breakfast today? Should I drive or bike to work? Others are more complicated: How much should I contribute to my 401k? What career should I pursue? Today on the show, behavioral economist ...
How to Spot a Scam 09 October 2023 00:51:42
We like to think that con artists only prey upon the weak, or gullible. But psychologist Dan Simons says all of us can fall victim to scams, because the best scammers know how to take advantage of our biases and blindspots.
How to Spot a Scam
We like to think that con artists only prey upon the weak, or gullible. But psychologist Dan Simons says all of us can fall victim to scams, because the best scammers know how to take advantage of our biases and blindspots.
Escaping Perfectionism 02 October 2023 00:52:50
Perfectionism is everyone’s favorite flaw. It’s easy to assume that our push to be perfect is what leads to academic, athletic, and professional success. But psychologist Thomas Curran says perfectionism has a dark side, and that there are much healthier ways to strive for excellence.
Escaping Perfectionism
Perfectionism is everyone’s favorite flaw. It’s easy to assume that our push to be perfect is what leads to academic, athletic, and professional success. But psychologist Thomas Curran says perfectionism has a dark side, and that there are much healthier ways to strive for excellence.
The Secret to Great Teams 25 September 2023 00:50:02
It's easy to think that the best teams are collections of highly accomplished or talented individuals, working under a skilled leader. But that's no guarantee of success. Psychologist Anita Woolley says the best teams are far more than the sum of their parts, and they share certain basic characteris...
The Secret to Great Teams
It's easy to think that the best teams are collections of highly accomplished or talented individuals, working under a skilled leader. But that's no guarantee of success. Psychologist Anita Woolley says the best teams are far more than the sum of their parts, and they share certain basic characteris...
Outsmarting Yourself 18 September 2023 00:46:18
After we make a decision, we often tell ourselves a story about why our choice was the right one to make. It's a mental process that psychologist Elliot Aronson calls self-justification. These rationalizations can sometimes lead us to excuse bad behavior or talk ourselves out of a poor choice. But a...
Outsmarting Yourself
After we make a decision, we often tell ourselves a story about why our choice was the right one to make. It's a mental process that psychologist Elliot Aronson calls self-justification. These rationalizations can sometimes lead us to excuse bad behavior or talk ourselves out of a poor choice. But a...
How We Live With Contradictions 11 September 2023 00:53:53
Think about the last time you did something you knew was wrong. How did you explain your actions to yourself? All of us tell stories about why we do the things we do. We justify our failures, and come up with plausible explanations for our actions. This week, Elliot Aronson explains the mental proce...
How We Live With Contradictions
Think about the last time you did something you knew was wrong. How did you explain your actions to yourself? All of us tell stories about why we do the things we do. We justify our failures, and come up with plausible explanations for our actions. This week, Elliot Aronson explains the mental proce...
Being Kind to Yourself 04 September 2023 00:51:18
How often do you say something negative to yourself that you'd never utter to someone else? Self-criticism can often feel like a way to hold ourselves accountable. But psychologist Kristin Neff says there’s a better path to personal growth: self-compassion. In a favorite conversation from 2021, Kris...
Being Kind to Yourself
How often do you say something negative to yourself that you'd never utter to someone else? Self-criticism can often feel like a way to hold ourselves accountable. But psychologist Kristin Neff says there’s a better path to personal growth: self-compassion. In a favorite conversation from 2021, Kris...
You 2.0: Make the Good Times Last 28 August 2023 00:47:38
Sorrows have a way of finding us, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Joys, on the other hand, are often hard to notice and appreciate. This week, we continue our conversation with psychologist Fred Bryant about the science of savoring, and how to make the most of the good things in our lives.
You 2.0: Make the Good Times Last
Sorrows have a way of finding us, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Joys, on the other hand, are often hard to notice and appreciate. This week, we continue our conversation with psychologist Fred Bryant about the science of savoring, and how to make the most of the good things in our lives.
You 2.0: Slow Down! 21 August 2023 00:50:29
It’s understandable that we sometimes dwell on things that upset us. But our negative emotions can keep us from savoring the good things in our lives. This week, we continue our You 2.0 series with psychologist Fred Bryant. We’ll discuss the many benefits of savoring, and how we can turn even the sm...
You 2.0: Slow Down!
It’s understandable that we sometimes dwell on things that upset us. But our negative emotions can keep us from savoring the good things in our lives. This week, we continue our You 2.0 series with psychologist Fred Bryant. We’ll discuss the many benefits of savoring, and how we can turn even the sm...
You 2.0: Your Future Is Now 14 August 2023 00:51:25
Have you ever set a goal and had a really difficult time sticking to it? Maybe you decide you want to save more money, or go to the gym more often. This week on the show, psychologist Hal Hershfield explains why it can be difficult to set our "future selves" up for success. Plus, he shares tools to ...
You 2.0: Your Future Is Now
Have you ever set a goal and had a really difficult time sticking to it? Maybe you decide you want to save more money, or go to the gym more often. This week on the show, psychologist Hal Hershfield explains why it can be difficult to set our "future selves" up for success. Plus, he shares tools to ...
You 2.0: How to Break Out of a Rut 07 August 2023 00:50:00
There are times in life when the challenges we face feel insurmountable. Authors succumb to writer's block. Athletes and artists hit a plateau. People of a certain age fall into a midlife crisis. These are all different ways of saying: I'm stuck. This week, in the kickoff to our annual You 2.0 seri...
You 2.0: How to Break Out of a Rut
There are times in life when the challenges we face feel insurmountable. Authors succumb to writer's block. Athletes and artists hit a plateau. People of a certain age fall into a midlife crisis. These are all different ways of saying: I'm stuck. This week, in the kickoff to our annual You 2.0 seri...
The Truth About Honesty 31 July 2023 00:55:02
Think about how often you hold back honest opinions of someone else because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. But there are times when this well-intended restraint can be a mistake. This week, in the second part of our series on failure and feedback, psychologist Taya Cohen helps us understand ...
The Truth About Honesty
Think about how often you hold back honest opinions of someone else because you don’t want to hurt their feelings. But there are times when this well-intended restraint can be a mistake. This week, in the second part of our series on failure and feedback, psychologist Taya Cohen helps us understand ...
Learning From Your Mistakes 24 July 2023 00:49:20
No matter who you are, it's guaranteed that at some point in life you'll make a mistake. Many of us find failures to be uncomfortable — so we try our best to ignore them and move on. But what if there was a way to turn that discomfort into an opportunity? This week, we begin a two part mini-series o...
Learning From Your Mistakes
No matter who you are, it's guaranteed that at some point in life you'll make a mistake. Many of us find failures to be uncomfortable — so we try our best to ignore them and move on. But what if there was a way to turn that discomfort into an opportunity? This week, we begin a two part mini-series o...
The Path to Enough 17 July 2023 00:50:28
This week, we bring you the second part of our conversation on the perils of too much pleasure. Psychiatrist Anna Lembke explains the neuroscience behind compulsive consumption, and how it alters our brains. She also shares techniques she’s learned from her patients to overcome the lure of addictive...
The Path to Enough
This week, we bring you the second part of our conversation on the perils of too much pleasure. Psychiatrist Anna Lembke explains the neuroscience behind compulsive consumption, and how it alters our brains. She also shares techniques she’s learned from her patients to overcome the lure of addictive...
The Paradox of Pleasure 10 July 2023 00:49:47
All of us think we know what addiction looks like: it’s the compulsive consumption of drugs, alcohol, or nicotine. But psychiatrist Anna Lembke argues that this definition is far too narrow — and that a broader understanding of addiction might help us to understand why so many people are anxious and...
The Paradox of Pleasure
All of us think we know what addiction looks like: it’s the compulsive consumption of drugs, alcohol, or nicotine. But psychiatrist Anna Lembke argues that this definition is far too narrow — and that a broader understanding of addiction might help us to understand why so many people are anxious and...
How Others See You 03 July 2023 00:50:57
It's not easy to know how we come across to others, especially when we're meeting people for the first time. Psychologist Erica Boothby says many of us underestimate how much other people actually like us. This week, we revisit one of our most popular episodes to look at how certain social illusions...
How Others See You
It's not easy to know how we come across to others, especially when we're meeting people for the first time. Psychologist Erica Boothby says many of us underestimate how much other people actually like us. This week, we revisit one of our most popular episodes to look at how certain social illusions...
The Best Years of Your Life 26 June 2023 00:50:52
Aging isn’t just a biological process. Our outlooks and emotions also change as we age, often in ways that boost our well-being. Psychologist Laura Carstensen unpacks the science behind this surprising finding, and shares what all of us can learn from older people.
The Best Years of Your Life
Aging isn’t just a biological process. Our outlooks and emotions also change as we age, often in ways that boost our well-being. Psychologist Laura Carstensen unpacks the science behind this surprising finding, and shares what all of us can learn from older people.
When to Eat the Marshmallow 19 June 2023 00:51:48
Think about the last time you resisted watching yet another episode of your favorite TV show, or decided not to have a second piece of cake at a friend's birthday party. In many societies, self-discipline is seen as an invaluable trait. But we often overlook what makes it possible to hold back in th...
When to Eat the Marshmallow
Think about the last time you resisted watching yet another episode of your favorite TV show, or decided not to have a second piece of cake at a friend's birthday party. In many societies, self-discipline is seen as an invaluable trait. But we often overlook what makes it possible to hold back in th...
Between Two Worlds 12 June 2023 00:46:52
Determination, hard work and sacrifice are core ingredients in the story of the American dream. But philosopher Jennifer Morton argues there is another, more painful requirement to getting ahead: a willingness to leave family and friends behind. This week, we revisit a favorite 2020 conversation abo...
Between Two Worlds
Determination, hard work and sacrifice are core ingredients in the story of the American dream. But philosopher Jennifer Morton argues there is another, more painful requirement to getting ahead: a willingness to leave family and friends behind. This week, we revisit a favorite 2020 conversation abo...
Seeking Serenity: Part 2 08 June 2023 00:49:59
In the second part of our series on the science of meditation, Richard Davidson continues his endeavor to unite seemingly opposite ways of understanding the mind. Plus, he shares the latest research on mindfulness, and the unexpected ways it can benefit us.
Seeking Serenity: Part 2
In the second part of our series on the science of meditation, Richard Davidson continues his endeavor to unite seemingly opposite ways of understanding the mind. Plus, he shares the latest research on mindfulness, and the unexpected ways it can benefit us.
Seeking Serenity: Part 1 05 June 2023 00:49:09
In graduate school, neuroscientist Richard Davidson learned to use scientific tools as a way to examine the brain. At the same time, he also started studying under master meditators — who deeply contemplated their internal and external lives. This week, two ways of understanding the mind.
Seeking Serenity: Part 1
In graduate school, neuroscientist Richard Davidson learned to use scientific tools as a way to examine the brain. At the same time, he also started studying under master meditators — who deeply contemplated their internal and external lives. This week, two ways of understanding the mind.
Success 2.0: Getting to the Top and Staying There 29 May 2023 00:51:38
There are plenty of talented people in the world. So why do only a tiny percentage of us reach the highest peaks of achievement? This week, we conclude our "Success 2.0" series by talking with researcher Justin Berg about whether there's a secret recipe for finding — and sustaining — success.
Success 2.0: Getting to the Top and Staying There
There are plenty of talented people in the world. So why do only a tiny percentage of us reach the highest peaks of achievement? This week, we conclude our "Success 2.0" series by talking with researcher Justin Berg about whether there's a secret recipe for finding — and sustaining — success.
Success 2.0: The Psychology of Self-Doubt 22 May 2023 00:49:45
We all have times when we feel like a fraud. In the latest installment of our Success 2.0 series, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with psychologist Kevin Cokley. We'll explore the corrosive effects of self-doubt, and how we can turn that negative voice in our heads into an ally.
Success 2.0: The Psychology of Self-Doubt
We all have times when we feel like a fraud. In the latest installment of our Success 2.0 series, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with psychologist Kevin Cokley. We'll explore the corrosive effects of self-doubt, and how we can turn that negative voice in our heads into an ally.
Success 2.0: The Obstacles You Don't See 15 May 2023 00:48:15
Think about the last time you tried to bring up an idea at work, and it was shot down. What did you do? Most of us think the best way to win people over is to push harder. But organizational psychologist Loran Nordgren says a more effective approach is to focus on the invisible obstacles to new idea...
Success 2.0: The Obstacles You Don't See
Think about the last time you tried to bring up an idea at work, and it was shot down. What did you do? Most of us think the best way to win people over is to push harder. But organizational psychologist Loran Nordgren says a more effective approach is to focus on the invisible obstacles to new idea...
Introducing Hidden Brain+ 14 May 2023 00:02:11
Do you love the ideas we explore on Hidden Brain and want more of them? Then please join Hidden Brain+, our new podcast subscription. You’ll find new episodes not available anywhere else, plus the chance to have your questions answered by the researchers we feature on the show. Find Hidden Brain+ ex...
Introducing Hidden Brain+
Do you love the ideas we explore on Hidden Brain and want more of them? Then please join Hidden Brain+, our new podcast subscription. You’ll find new episodes not available anywhere else, plus the chance to have your questions answered by the researchers we feature on the show. Find Hidden Brain+ ex...
Success 2.0: Getting What You Want 08 May 2023 00:50:53
We all rely on incentives to get people to do things they might otherwise avoid. Parents reward kids for doing their homework. Companies offer bonuses to their high-performing employees. Charities send gifts to their donors. In the second episode in our "Success 2.0" series, economist Uri Gneezy sha...
Success 2.0: Getting What You Want
We all rely on incentives to get people to do things they might otherwise avoid. Parents reward kids for doing their homework. Companies offer bonuses to their high-performing employees. Charities send gifts to their donors. In the second episode in our "Success 2.0" series, economist Uri Gneezy sha...
Success 2.0: Taking the Leap 01 May 2023 00:49:01
American culture celebrates those who persevere in the face of adversity. So how do we know when to walk away from something that's not working? Today, we kick off our new "Success 2.0" series with economist John List. He says in every domain of our lives, it's important to know when to pivot to som...
Success 2.0: Taking the Leap
American culture celebrates those who persevere in the face of adversity. So how do we know when to walk away from something that's not working? Today, we kick off our new "Success 2.0" series with economist John List. He says in every domain of our lives, it's important to know when to pivot to som...
A Secret Source of Connection 24 April 2023 00:49:51
We all have moments in our lives when we see someone who could use a helping hand. It could be a friend who recently went through a breakup, an elderly person trying to load groceries into their car, or a stranger on the street who looks a little lost. We tell ourselves we should help, but then some...
A Secret Source of Connection
We all have moments in our lives when we see someone who could use a helping hand. It could be a friend who recently went through a breakup, an elderly person trying to load groceries into their car, or a stranger on the street who looks a little lost. We tell ourselves we should help, but then some...
Remember More, Forget Less 17 April 2023 00:49:51
It happens to the best of us — we blank on someone's name, or forget an important meeting, or bomb a test we thought we'd ace. Today on the show, we talk to cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham about the mysteries of memory: How it works, why it fails us, and how to build memories that stick.
Remember More, Forget Less
It happens to the best of us — we blank on someone's name, or forget an important meeting, or bomb a test we thought we'd ace. Today on the show, we talk to cognitive scientist Daniel Willingham about the mysteries of memory: How it works, why it fails us, and how to build memories that stick.
Crying Wolf 10 April 2023 00:50:23
It used to be that we tried our best to conceal disadvantages, hardships, and humiliations. But new research explores a curious shift: some people are flaunting limitations that don't exist. This week, we talk to psychologists Karl Aquino and Jillian Jordan about the strange phenomenon of wanting to...
Crying Wolf
It used to be that we tried our best to conceal disadvantages, hardships, and humiliations. But new research explores a curious shift: some people are flaunting limitations that don't exist. This week, we talk to psychologists Karl Aquino and Jillian Jordan about the strange phenomenon of wanting to...
The Snowball Effect 06 April 2023 00:48:58
Why do some companies become household names, while others flame out? How do certain memes go viral? And why do some social movements take off and spread, while others fizzle? Today on the show, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with sociologist Damon Centola, who studies social contagion and ...
The Snowball Effect
Why do some companies become household names, while others flame out? How do certain memes go viral? And why do some social movements take off and spread, while others fizzle? Today on the show, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with sociologist Damon Centola, who studies social contagion and ...
Less is More 03 April 2023 00:48:06
At every stage of life, there are moments when we need buy-in from other people. Yet most of us make a fundamental error when we try to persuade others to see things our way. This week, we talk with Niro Sivanathan of the London Business School about how to make a convincing argument. Then, we learn...
Less is More
At every stage of life, there are moments when we need buy-in from other people. Yet most of us make a fundamental error when we try to persuade others to see things our way. This week, we talk with Niro Sivanathan of the London Business School about how to make a convincing argument. Then, we learn...
How To Make Amends 27 March 2023 00:51:49
When James and Donovan first met, they knew little about each other, except that Donovan had stolen James' bike. Donovan got caught, and spent a month in jail. It was a story with a happy ending, as far as James was concerned. But then he found out, nearly a decade later, what happened to Donovan af...
How To Make Amends
When James and Donovan first met, they knew little about each other, except that Donovan had stolen James' bike. Donovan got caught, and spent a month in jail. It was a story with a happy ending, as far as James was concerned. But then he found out, nearly a decade later, what happened to Donovan af...
Made of Honor 20 March 2023 00:47:30
Stories help us make sense of the world, and can even help us heal from trauma. They also shape our cultural narratives, for better and for worse. This week, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with psychologist Ryan Brown, who explores the phenomenon of “honor culture” and how it dictates our b...
Made of Honor
Stories help us make sense of the world, and can even help us heal from trauma. They also shape our cultural narratives, for better and for worse. This week, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with psychologist Ryan Brown, who explores the phenomenon of “honor culture” and how it dictates our b...
Revealing Your Unconscious: Part 2 14 March 2023 00:52:15
In the second part of our series on implicit bias, we explore the relationship between beliefs and behaviors. We also talk with psychologist Mahzarin Banaji about whether research on implicit bias tells us more about groups than it does about individuals.
Revealing Your Unconscious: Part 2
In the second part of our series on implicit bias, we explore the relationship between beliefs and behaviors. We also talk with psychologist Mahzarin Banaji about whether research on implicit bias tells us more about groups than it does about individuals.
Revealing Your Unconscious: Part 1 13 March 2023 00:54:25
Would you consider yourself to be prejudiced against people who are different from you? Most of us would say no. But in the late 1990s, researchers created a test to measure biases that may be hidden from our conscious minds. Millions of people have taken it since, and not everyone likes what they'v...
Revealing Your Unconscious: Part 1
Would you consider yourself to be prejudiced against people who are different from you? Most of us would say no. But in the late 1990s, researchers created a test to measure biases that may be hidden from our conscious minds. Millions of people have taken it since, and not everyone likes what they'v...
How Your Beliefs Shape Reality 06 March 2023 00:49:20
As you move through the world, it's inevitable that your way of seeing things won't always align with the people around you. Maybe you disagree with the way your neighbor raises her kids, or find your brother's politics to be troubling. But you may not realize how much your core beliefs shape your p...
How Your Beliefs Shape Reality
As you move through the world, it's inevitable that your way of seeing things won't always align with the people around you. Maybe you disagree with the way your neighbor raises her kids, or find your brother's politics to be troubling. But you may not realize how much your core beliefs shape your p...
Happiness 2.0: The Reset Button 27 February 2023 00:55:27
Many of us rush through our lives, chasing goals and just trying to get everything done. But that can blind us to a very simple source of joy that's all around us. This week, in the final installment of our Happiness 2.0 series, psychologist Dacher Keltner describes what happens when we stop to savo...
Happiness 2.0: The Reset Button
Many of us rush through our lives, chasing goals and just trying to get everything done. But that can blind us to a very simple source of joy that's all around us. This week, in the final installment of our Happiness 2.0 series, psychologist Dacher Keltner describes what happens when we stop to savo...
Happiness 2.0: Surprising Sources of Joy 23 February 2023 00:45:31
Sometimes, life can feel like being stuck on a treadmill. No matter how hard you try to feel happier, you end up back where you started. What’s going on here? Today in our Happiness 2.0 series, we revisit a favorite episode from 2020. Researcher Elizabeth Dunn helps us map out the unexpected ways we...
Happiness 2.0: Surprising Sources of Joy
Sometimes, life can feel like being stuck on a treadmill. No matter how hard you try to feel happier, you end up back where you started. What’s going on here? Today in our Happiness 2.0 series, we revisit a favorite episode from 2020. Researcher Elizabeth Dunn helps us map out the unexpected ways we...
Happiness 2.0: Cultivating Your Purpose 20 February 2023 00:50:18
Having a sense of purpose can be a buffer against the challenges we all face at various stages of life. Purpose can also boost our health and longevity. In this favorite episode from 2021, Cornell University psychologist Anthony Burrow explains why purpose isn’t something to be found — it’s somethin...
Happiness 2.0: Cultivating Your Purpose
Having a sense of purpose can be a buffer against the challenges we all face at various stages of life. Purpose can also boost our health and longevity. In this favorite episode from 2021, Cornell University psychologist Anthony Burrow explains why purpose isn’t something to be found — it’s somethin...
Happiness 2.0: The Only Way Out Is Through 13 February 2023 00:48:14
It's natural to want to run away from difficult emotions such as grief, anger and fear. But what happens when these feelings catch up with us? This week, in the second installment of our Happiness 2.0 series, psychologist Todd Kashdan looks at the relationship between distress and happiness, and how...
Happiness 2.0: The Only Way Out Is Through
It's natural to want to run away from difficult emotions such as grief, anger and fear. But what happens when these feelings catch up with us? This week, in the second installment of our Happiness 2.0 series, psychologist Todd Kashdan looks at the relationship between distress and happiness, and how...
Happiness 2.0: The Path to Contentment 06 February 2023 00:54:31
Many of us believe that hard work and persistence are the key to achieving our goals. But is that true when it comes to the pursuit of happiness? This week, we kick off a month-long series we're calling Happiness 2.0. We talk with psychologist Iris Mauss, who explains why happiness can seem more elu...
Happiness 2.0: The Path to Contentment
Many of us believe that hard work and persistence are the key to achieving our goals. But is that true when it comes to the pursuit of happiness? This week, we kick off a month-long series we're calling Happiness 2.0. We talk with psychologist Iris Mauss, who explains why happiness can seem more elu...
When You Need It To Be True 30 January 2023 00:49:07
When we want something very badly, it can be hard to see warning signs that might be obvious to other people. This week, we revisit a favorite episode from 2021, bringing you two stories about how easy it can be to believe in a false reality — even when the facts don’t back us up.
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 revisit a favorite episode from 2021, bringing you two stories about how easy it can be to believe in a false reality — even when the facts don’t back us up.
Persuasion: Part 2 23 January 2023 00:50:21
Think back to the last time someone convinced you to do something you didn't want to do, or to spend money you didn't want to spend. What techniques did that person use to persuade you? This week, we continue our look at the science of influence with psychologist Robert Cialdini, and explore how the...
Persuasion: Part 2
Think back to the last time someone convinced you to do something you didn't want to do, or to spend money you didn't want to spend. What techniques did that person use to persuade you? This week, we continue our look at the science of influence with psychologist Robert Cialdini, and explore how the...
Persuasion: Part 1 16 January 2023 00:48:30
We all exert pressure on each other in ways small and profound. We recommend movies or books to a friend. We convince a colleague to take a different tactic at work. We lobby a neighbor to vote for our favored political candidate. This week, we launch the first of a two-part mini-series on the scien...
Persuasion: Part 1
We all exert pressure on each other in ways small and profound. We recommend movies or books to a friend. We convince a colleague to take a different tactic at work. We lobby a neighbor to vote for our favored political candidate. This week, we launch the first of a two-part mini-series on the scien...
Who's In Your Inner Circle? 09 January 2023 00:53:29
If you think about the people in your life, it's likely that they share a lot in common with you. Maybe they like the same kinds of food, or enjoy the same hobbies. But, if you dig a little deeper, you may find that they share much more: they might make the same amount of money as you, or share the ...
Who's In Your Inner Circle?
If you think about the people in your life, it's likely that they share a lot in common with you. Maybe they like the same kinds of food, or enjoy the same hobbies. But, if you dig a little deeper, you may find that they share much more: they might make the same amount of money as you, or share the ...
Who Do You Want To Be? 02 January 2023 00:51:58
We all have to make certain choices in life, such as where to live and how to earn a living. Parents and peers influence our major life choices. But they can also steer us in directions that leave us deeply unsatisfied. Psychologist Ken Sheldon studies the science of figuring out what you want. He ...
Who Do You Want To Be?
We all have to make certain choices in life, such as where to live and how to earn a living. Parents and peers influence our major life choices. But they can also steer us in directions that leave us deeply unsatisfied. Psychologist Ken Sheldon studies the science of figuring out what you want. He ...
You, But Better 26 December 2022 00:49:25
It's the time of year when many of us make resolutions for the year ahead. We pledge to quit smoking, eat better, or get more exercise. Then a few weeks go by, and we abandon our best-laid plans. That’s because change is hard. This week, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with behavioral scient...
You, But Better
It's the time of year when many of us make resolutions for the year ahead. We pledge to quit smoking, eat better, or get more exercise. Then a few weeks go by, and we abandon our best-laid plans. That’s because change is hard. This week, we revisit a favorite 2021 conversation with behavioral scient...
How to Complain Productively 19 December 2022 00:52:03
We often look down on people who complain a lot. Yet when something goes wrong in our own lives, many of us go straight to griping, grumbling and kvetching. This week. we talk with psychologist Robin Kowalski about how we can complain more effectively. We'll also hear from psychologist Mike Baer, wh...
How to Complain Productively
We often look down on people who complain a lot. Yet when something goes wrong in our own lives, many of us go straight to griping, grumbling and kvetching. This week. we talk with psychologist Robin Kowalski about how we can complain more effectively. We'll also hear from psychologist Mike Baer, wh...
An Ancient Solution to Modern Problems 12 December 2022 00:51:34
People in every country and culture mark important milestones, such as births, marriages and deaths, with intricately choreographed scripts. We even appeal to supernatural forces to give our favorite sports teams an extra advantage. This week on the show, anthropologist Dimitris Xygalatas explains t...
An Ancient Solution to Modern Problems
People in every country and culture mark important milestones, such as births, marriages and deaths, with intricately choreographed scripts. We even appeal to supernatural forces to give our favorite sports teams an extra advantage. This week on the show, anthropologist Dimitris Xygalatas explains t...
The Secret to Gift Giving 05 December 2022 00:48:54
With the holidays upon us, many of us are hunting for that special something for the special someones in our lives. It's how we show we care about them. So why is it so hard to find the right gift? This week, we talk with researcher Jeff Galak about why the presents we give for holidays and birth...
The Secret to Gift Giving
With the holidays upon us, many of us are hunting for that special something for the special someones in our lives. It's how we show we care about them. So why is it so hard to find the right gift? This week, we talk with researcher Jeff Galak about why the presents we give for holidays and birth...
Relationships 2.0: What Makes Relationships Thrive 28 November 2022 00:48:02
Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated. In the final episode of our Relationships 2.0 series, we revisit a conversation with psychologist Harry Reis, who says there’s another ingredient to successful relationships that’s every bit as important as love.
Relationships 2.0: What Makes Relationships Thrive
Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated. In the final episode of our Relationships 2.0 series, we revisit a conversation with psychologist Harry Reis, who says there’s another ingredient to successful relationships that’s every bit as important as love.
Relationships 2.0: When Did Marriage Become So Hard? 21 November 2022 00:52:20
No one will deny that marriage is hard. In fact, there's evidence it's getting even harder. This week on the show, we revisit a favorite episode from 2018 about the history of marriage and how it has evolved over time. We'll talk with historian Stephanie Coontz and psychologist Eli Finkel, and explo...
Relationships 2.0: When Did Marriage Become So Hard?
No one will deny that marriage is hard. In fact, there's evidence it's getting even harder. This week on the show, we revisit a favorite episode from 2018 about the history of marriage and how it has evolved over time. We'll talk with historian Stephanie Coontz and psychologist Eli Finkel, and explo...
Relationships 2.0: An Antidote to Loneliness 14 November 2022 00:49:54
When you go to a medical appointment, your doctor may ask you several questions. Do you smoke? Have you been getting exercise? Are you sleeping? But rarely do they ask: are you lonely? U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy believes we are suffering from an epidemic of loneliness. This week, we revisit o...
Relationships 2.0: An Antidote to Loneliness
When you go to a medical appointment, your doctor may ask you several questions. Do you smoke? Have you been getting exercise? Are you sleeping? But rarely do they ask: are you lonely? U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy believes we are suffering from an epidemic of loneliness. This week, we revisit o...
Relationships 2.0: The Power of Tiny Interactions 07 November 2022 00:49:40
As you're going about your day, you likely interact with family, friends and coworkers. These relationships can help you feel cared for and connected. But what if there's a whole category of people in your life whose impact is overlooked? In the second episode of our "Relationships 2.0" series, psyc...
Relationships 2.0: The Power of Tiny Interactions
As you're going about your day, you likely interact with family, friends and coworkers. These relationships can help you feel cared for and connected. But what if there's a whole category of people in your life whose impact is overlooked? In the second episode of our "Relationships 2.0" series, psyc...
Relationships 2.0: How To Keep Conflict From Spiraling 31 October 2022 00:53:58
When it comes to conflict, most of us just want to shut it down. But psychological research is increasingly taking a different approach to discord, with profound implications for disputes big and small. This week, we kick off our Relationships 2.0 series by asking: what if we stop trying to eliminat...
Relationships 2.0: How To Keep Conflict From Spiraling
When it comes to conflict, most of us just want to shut it down. But psychological research is increasingly taking a different approach to discord, with profound implications for disputes big and small. This week, we kick off our Relationships 2.0 series by asking: what if we stop trying to eliminat...
A Better Way to Worry 24 October 2022 00:52:33
Anxiety is an uncomfortable emotion, which is why most of us try to avoid it. But psychologist Tracy Dennis-Tiwary says our anxiety is also trying to tell us something. This week, we explore how we can interpret those messages and manage the intense discomfort these feelings can generate.
A Better Way to Worry
Anxiety is an uncomfortable emotion, which is why most of us try to avoid it. But psychologist Tracy Dennis-Tiwary says our anxiety is also trying to tell us something. This week, we explore how we can interpret those messages and manage the intense discomfort these feelings can generate.
Thriving in the Face of Contradiction 17 October 2022 00:53:38
We all face tough decisions in life, whether we're juggling the demands of work and family or deciding whether to take a new job. These situations often feel like either/or choices. But psychologist Wendy Smith says this binary way of confronting dilemmas contains a trap. She offers a different wa...
Thriving in the Face of Contradiction
We all face tough decisions in life, whether we're juggling the demands of work and family or deciding whether to take a new job. These situations often feel like either/or choices. But psychologist Wendy Smith says this binary way of confronting dilemmas contains a trap. She offers a different wa...
Did I Really Do That? 10 October 2022 00:52:04
Have you ever been falsely accused of something? Many of us think there’s only one way we’d act in such a situation: we’d defend ourselves. We’d do whatever it takes to clear our name — and above all else, we’d never, ever confess to something we didn’t do. But psychologist Saul Kassin says that’s a...
Did I Really Do That?
Have you ever been falsely accused of something? Many of us think there’s only one way we’d act in such a situation: we’d defend ourselves. We’d do whatever it takes to clear our name — and above all else, we’d never, ever confess to something we didn’t do. But psychologist Saul Kassin says that’s a...
Watch Your Mouth 03 October 2022 00:49:45
If you're bilingual or multilingual, you may have noticed that different languages make you stretch in different ways. This week, we revisit a favorite 2018 conversation with cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky. She studies how the structure of the languages we speak can change the way we see the wo...
Watch Your Mouth
If you're bilingual or multilingual, you may have noticed that different languages make you stretch in different ways. This week, we revisit a favorite 2018 conversation with cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky. She studies how the structure of the languages we speak can change the way we see the wo...
Taking Control of Your Time 26 September 2022 00:48:58
Many of us feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. We struggle to make time for all the competing demands at work and at home, and inevitably feel like we're letting someone down. But what if there were a way to reclaim our time and, as a result, get more joy out of our lives? This week, ps...
Taking Control of Your Time
Many of us feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. We struggle to make time for all the competing demands at work and at home, and inevitably feel like we're letting someone down. But what if there were a way to reclaim our time and, as a result, get more joy out of our lives? This week, ps...
How to Really Know Another Person 19 September 2022 00:55:05
So often, we think we know what other people are thinking. But researchers have found that our attempts at reading other people go wrong more often than we realize. This week, we talk with psychologist Tessa West about what we can all do to read people more accurately.
How to Really Know Another Person
So often, we think we know what other people are thinking. But researchers have found that our attempts at reading other people go wrong more often than we realize. This week, we talk with psychologist Tessa West about what we can all do to read people more accurately.
Decoding Emotions 12 September 2022 00:52:22
We like to think that all humans are born with the same core emotions: anger, fear, joy, sadness and disgust. But what if that's not true? This week, psychologist Batja Mesquita offers a different model of emotions — one that can help us to better understand our own feelings and those of the people...
Decoding Emotions
We like to think that all humans are born with the same core emotions: anger, fear, joy, sadness and disgust. But what if that's not true? This week, psychologist Batja Mesquita offers a different model of emotions — one that can help us to better understand our own feelings and those of the people...
Making the World a Safer Place 05 September 2022 00:49:04
All of us want to feel safe in our daily lives. Yet when we think about crime, our first response is often a blanket approach: find the bad guys, and punish them. But what if there were another way? This week on the show, researchers Sara Heller and Chris Blattman explore how technology and psycholo...
Making the World a Safer Place
All of us want to feel safe in our daily lives. Yet when we think about crime, our first response is often a blanket approach: find the bad guys, and punish them. But what if there were another way? This week on the show, researchers Sara Heller and Chris Blattman explore how technology and psycholo...
You 2.0: How to Open Your Mind 29 August 2022 00:52:21
In the United States, we often praise people with strong convictions, and look down on those who express doubt or hesitation.  In this favorite 2021 episode, psychologist Adam Grant pushes back against the benefits of certainty and describes the magic that unfolds when we challenge our own deeply-he...
You 2.0: How to Open Your Mind
In the United States, we often praise people with strong convictions, and look down on those who express doubt or hesitation.  In this favorite 2021 episode, psychologist Adam Grant pushes back against the benefits of certainty and describes the magic that unfolds when we challenge our own deeply-he...
You 2.0: Overcoming Stage Fright 22 August 2022 00:56:45
The pressure. The expectations. The anxiety. If there’s one thing that many of us have in common, it’s the stress that can come from performing in front of others. In this week’s episode, we revisit our 2021 conversation with cognitive scientist Sian Beilock about why so many of us crumble under pre...
You 2.0: Overcoming Stage Fright
The pressure. The expectations. The anxiety. If there’s one thing that many of us have in common, it’s the stress that can come from performing in front of others. In this week’s episode, we revisit our 2021 conversation with cognitive scientist Sian Beilock about why so many of us crumble under pre...
You 2.0: The Mind's Eye 15 August 2022 00:49:54
Some challenges can feel insurmountable. But psychologist Emily Balcetis says the solutions are often right in front of our eyes. This week, as part of our annual series on personal growth and reinvention, we revisit a favorite 2020 conversation about how we can harness our sight to achieve our goal...
You 2.0: The Mind's Eye
Some challenges can feel insurmountable. But psychologist Emily Balcetis says the solutions are often right in front of our eyes. This week, as part of our annual series on personal growth and reinvention, we revisit a favorite 2020 conversation about how we can harness our sight to achieve our goal...
You 2.0: How To See Yourself Clearly 08 August 2022 00:50:04
How well do we know ourselves? Maybe the better question to ask is how well can we truly know ourselves? Psychologist Tim Wilson says introspection only gets us so far, and that we often make important decisions in life and love for reasons we don't even realize. But he says there are some simple wa...
You 2.0: How To See Yourself Clearly
How well do we know ourselves? Maybe the better question to ask is how well can we truly know ourselves? Psychologist Tim Wilson says introspection only gets us so far, and that we often make important decisions in life and love for reasons we don't even realize. But he says there are some simple wa...
You 2.0: Befriending Your Inner Voice 01 August 2022 00:52:33
You know that negative voice that goes round and round in your head, keeping you up at night? When that negative inner voice gets switched on, it's hard to think about anything else. Psychologist Ethan Kross has a name for it: chatter. He says it's part of the human condition, but there are ways t...
You 2.0: Befriending Your Inner Voice
You know that negative voice that goes round and round in your head, keeping you up at night? When that negative inner voice gets switched on, it's hard to think about anything else. Psychologist Ethan Kross has a name for it: chatter. He says it's part of the human condition, but there are ways t...
Reframing Your Reality: Part 2 25 July 2022 00:50:56
We often assume that we see ourselves and the world around us accurately. But psychologist Alia Crum says that our perceptions are always filtered through our mindsets — and these mindsets shape our lives in subtle but profound ways. In the second of two episodes, Alia explains how our beliefs about...
Reframing Your Reality: Part 2
We often assume that we see ourselves and the world around us accurately. But psychologist Alia Crum says that our perceptions are always filtered through our mindsets — and these mindsets shape our lives in subtle but profound ways. In the second of two episodes, Alia explains how our beliefs about...
Reframing Your Reality: Part 1 18 July 2022 00:48:37
We often assume that we see ourselves and the world around us accurately. But psychologist Alia Crum says that our perceptions are always filtered through our mindsets — and these mindsets shape our lives in subtle but profound ways. In the first of two episodes, Alia explains how mindsets affect ou...
Reframing Your Reality: Part 1
We often assume that we see ourselves and the world around us accurately. But psychologist Alia Crum says that our perceptions are always filtered through our mindsets — and these mindsets shape our lives in subtle but profound ways. In the first of two episodes, Alia explains how mindsets affect ou...
Separating Yourself from the Pack 11 July 2022 00:54:56
Have you ever gotten into a heated argument about politics? Maybe you’ve said something you're not proud of during game night with friends, or booed the opposing team at a sporting event. Psychologist Mina Cikara studies what happens in these moments — when our mindset shifts from “you and me” to “u...
Separating Yourself from the Pack
Have you ever gotten into a heated argument about politics? Maybe you’ve said something you're not proud of during game night with friends, or booed the opposing team at a sporting event. Psychologist Mina Cikara studies what happens in these moments — when our mindset shifts from “you and me” to “u...
What We Gain from Pain 04 July 2022 00:50:21
We've all heard the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." But is there any truth to this idea? This week, we explore the concept of post-traumatic growth with psychologist Eranda Jayawickreme. He finds that suffering can have benefits — but not necessarily the ones we expect.
What We Gain from Pain
We've all heard the saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." But is there any truth to this idea? This week, we explore the concept of post-traumatic growth with psychologist Eranda Jayawickreme. He finds that suffering can have benefits — but not necessarily the ones we expect.
A Founding Contradiction 27 June 2022 00:49:32
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Those words, penned by Thomas Jefferson 246 years ago, continue to inspire many Americans. And yet they were written by a man who owned hundreds of enslaved people, and fathered six children by an enslaved woman. This week, a...
A Founding Contradiction
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Those words, penned by Thomas Jefferson 246 years ago, continue to inspire many Americans. And yet they were written by a man who owned hundreds of enslaved people, and fathered six children by an enslaved woman. This week, a...
The Premonition 20 June 2022 00:49:10
When Paul Burnham was a teenager, he received what felt like a premonition: he would die at the age of 54. Now, he's 54. This week, what his story of confronting death reveals about life.
The Premonition
When Paul Burnham was a teenager, he received what felt like a premonition: he would die at the age of 54. Now, he's 54. This week, what his story of confronting death reveals about life.
Why You're Smarter Than You Think 13 June 2022 00:48:53
From the time we are schoolchildren, we are ranked and sorted based on how smart we are. But what if our assumptions about intelligence limit our potential? This week, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman proposes a more expansive notion of what it means to be "smart."
Why You're Smarter Than You Think
From the time we are schoolchildren, we are ranked and sorted based on how smart we are. But what if our assumptions about intelligence limit our potential? This week, psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman proposes a more expansive notion of what it means to be "smart."
Do Less 06 June 2022 00:53:12
The human drive to invent new things has led to pathbreaking achievements in medicine, science and society. But our desire for innovation can keep us from seeing one of the most powerful paths to progress: subtraction. Engineer Leidy Klotz says sometimes the best way forward involves removing, strea...
Do Less
The human drive to invent new things has led to pathbreaking achievements in medicine, science and society. But our desire for innovation can keep us from seeing one of the most powerful paths to progress: subtraction. Engineer Leidy Klotz says sometimes the best way forward involves removing, strea...
Money 2.0: Let's Go Shopping! 30 May 2022 00:48:48
What do the things you buy say about you? Many of us like to think of ourselves as immune to slick advertising and celebrity endorsements. But like it or not, we're communicating messages about ourselves every day with the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the products we use. In the final ins...
Money 2.0: Let's Go Shopping!
What do the things you buy say about you? Many of us like to think of ourselves as immune to slick advertising and celebrity endorsements. But like it or not, we're communicating messages about ourselves every day with the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the products we use. In the final ins...
Money 2.0: The Rich and the Rest of Us 23 May 2022 00:48:47
Where do you stand on the income ladder? Do you think of yourself as rich, as poor, or as somewhere in between? Our perceptions of wealth — our own, and other people's — can affect us more profoundly than we realize. This week in our Money 2.0 series, we revisit two of our favorite conversations abo...
Money 2.0: The Rich and the Rest of Us
Where do you stand on the income ladder? Do you think of yourself as rich, as poor, or as somewhere in between? Our perceptions of wealth — our own, and other people's — can affect us more profoundly than we realize. This week in our Money 2.0 series, we revisit two of our favorite conversations abo...
Money 2.0: Emotional Currency 16 May 2022 00:35:49
What’s the point of money? The answer might seem obvious: we need it to get paid for our work and to buy the things we need. But there’s also a deeper way to look at the role of money in our lives. This week in our Money 2.0 series, we revisit a favorite 2020 episode for an anthropologist’s take on ...
Money 2.0: Emotional Currency
What’s the point of money? The answer might seem obvious: we need it to get paid for our work and to buy the things we need. But there’s also a deeper way to look at the role of money in our lives. This week in our Money 2.0 series, we revisit a favorite 2020 episode for an anthropologist’s take on ...
Money 2.0: Why We Bust Our Budgets 09 May 2022 00:52:12
Have you had a recent surprise expense? You're not alone. More than half of American households report facing an unplanned financial shock in the last year. This week, in the second part of our new "Money 2.0" series, psychologist Abigail Sussman points out our blindspots around money, and how we ca...
Money 2.0: Why We Bust Our Budgets
Have you had a recent surprise expense? You're not alone. More than half of American households report facing an unplanned financial shock in the last year. This week, in the second part of our new "Money 2.0" series, psychologist Abigail Sussman points out our blindspots around money, and how we ca...
Money 2.0: Rewrite Your Money Story 02 May 2022 00:49:16
Money worries are one of the biggest sources of anxiety in the lives of Americans. This week, we kick off our new "Money 2.0" series with psychologist Brad Klontz. He says that while external economic forces often shape our financial well-being, our unconscious beliefs about money also contribute to...
Money 2.0: Rewrite Your Money Story
Money worries are one of the biggest sources of anxiety in the lives of Americans. This week, we kick off our new "Money 2.0" series with psychologist Brad Klontz. He says that while external economic forces often shape our financial well-being, our unconscious beliefs about money also contribute to...
The Logic of Rage 25 April 2022 00:49:22
Neuroscientist Doug Fields was on a trip to Europe when a pickpocket stole his wallet. Doug, normally mild-mannered, became enraged — and his fury turned him into a stranger to himself. This week, we revisit a favorite 2020 episode about the secret logic of irrational anger.
The Logic of Rage
Neuroscientist Doug Fields was on a trip to Europe when a pickpocket stole his wallet. Doug, normally mild-mannered, became enraged — and his fury turned him into a stranger to himself. This week, we revisit a favorite 2020 episode about the secret logic of irrational anger.
When Doing Right Feels Wrong 18 April 2022 00:48:33
Have you ever been in a position where you had to choose between someone you care about and a value that you hold dear? This week, we tell the story of a Detroit police officer who found himself in this sort of dilemma, forced to choose between people he loved and the oath he swore to serve his comm...
When Doing Right Feels Wrong
Have you ever been in a position where you had to choose between someone you care about and a value that you hold dear? This week, we tell the story of a Detroit police officer who found himself in this sort of dilemma, forced to choose between people he loved and the oath he swore to serve his comm...
A Conspiracy of Silence 14 April 2022 00:56:07
We all self-censor at times. We keep quiet at dinner with our in-laws, or nod passively in a work meeting. But what happens when we take this deception a step further, and pretend we believe the opposite of what we really feel? In this favorite episode from 2020, economist and political scientist Ti...
A Conspiracy of Silence
We all self-censor at times. We keep quiet at dinner with our in-laws, or nod passively in a work meeting. But what happens when we take this deception a step further, and pretend we believe the opposite of what we really feel? In this favorite episode from 2020, economist and political scientist Ti...
How Rude! 11 April 2022 00:49:58
It’s not your imagination: rudeness appears to be on the rise. Witnessing rude behavior — whether it's coming from angry customers berating a store clerk or airline passengers getting into a fistfight — can have long-lasting effects on our minds. But behavioral scientist Christine Porath says there ...
How Rude!
It’s not your imagination: rudeness appears to be on the rise. Witnessing rude behavior — whether it's coming from angry customers berating a store clerk or airline passengers getting into a fistfight — can have long-lasting effects on our minds. But behavioral scientist Christine Porath says there ...
Healing Your Heart 04 April 2022 00:49:35
We’ve all heard about the five stages of grief. But what happens when your experience doesn’t follow that model at all? Resilience researcher Lucy Hone began to question how we think about grief after a devastating loss in her own life. She shares the techniques she learned to help her cope with tra...
Healing Your Heart
We’ve all heard about the five stages of grief. But what happens when your experience doesn’t follow that model at all? Resilience researcher Lucy Hone began to question how we think about grief after a devastating loss in her own life. She shares the techniques she learned to help her cope with tra...
You Don't Need a Crystal Ball 28 March 2022 00:49:28
When disaster strikes — from the explosion of a space shuttle to the spread of a deadly virus — we want to know whether we could have avoided catastrophe. Did anyone speak up with concerns about the situation? And if so, why didn’t someone listen? This week, we revisit a favorite episode about the p...
You Don't Need a Crystal Ball
When disaster strikes — from the explosion of a space shuttle to the spread of a deadly virus — we want to know whether we could have avoided catastrophe. Did anyone speak up with concerns about the situation? And if so, why didn’t someone listen? This week, we revisit a favorite episode about the p...
How to Change the World 21 March 2022 00:49:46
Does power truly flow from the barrel of a gun? Pop culture and conventional history often teach us that violence is the most effective way to produce change. But is that common assumption actually true? Political scientist Erica Chenoweth, who has studied more than 100 years of revolutions and insu...
How to Change the World
Does power truly flow from the barrel of a gun? Pop culture and conventional history often teach us that violence is the most effective way to produce change. But is that common assumption actually true? Political scientist Erica Chenoweth, who has studied more than 100 years of revolutions and insu...
You Can't Hit Unsend 17 March 2022 00:49:46
Social media sites offer quick and easy ways to share ideas, crack jokes, find old friends. They can make us feel part of something big and wonderful and fast-moving. But the things we post don’t go away. And they can come back to haunt us. Today, we revisit a 2019 episode about one teenager’s socia...
You Can't Hit Unsend
Social media sites offer quick and easy ways to share ideas, crack jokes, find old friends. They can make us feel part of something big and wonderful and fast-moving. But the things we post don’t go away. And they can come back to haunt us. Today, we revisit a 2019 episode about one teenager’s socia...
The Benefits of Mixed Emotions 14 March 2022 00:51:57
We've all been in situations where we experience mixed emotions. Maybe you've felt both joy and sadness during a big life decision, such as whether to purchase a home or accept a job offer. Or maybe you've experienced mixed feelings about the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped your life. Psycholo...
The Benefits of Mixed Emotions
We've all been in situations where we experience mixed emotions. Maybe you've felt both joy and sadness during a big life decision, such as whether to purchase a home or accept a job offer. Or maybe you've experienced mixed feelings about the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped your life. Psycholo...
Putting Our Assumptions to the Test 07 March 2022 00:52:14
Do you ever stop to wonder if the way you see the world is how the world really is? Economist Abhijit Banerjee has spent a lifetime asking himself this question. His answer: Our world views often don't reflect reality. The only way to get more accurate is to think like a scientist — even when you'r...
Putting Our Assumptions to the Test
Do you ever stop to wonder if the way you see the world is how the world really is? Economist Abhijit Banerjee has spent a lifetime asking himself this question. His answer: Our world views often don't reflect reality. The only way to get more accurate is to think like a scientist — even when you'r...
Mind Reading 2.0: Why Conversations Go Wrong 28 February 2022 00:51:56
Do you ever struggle to communicate with your mom? Or feel like you and your spouse sometimes speak different languages? In the final episode of our "Mind Reading 2.0" series, we bring back a favorite conversation with linguist Deborah Tannen. She shows how our conversational styles can cause uninte...
Mind Reading 2.0: Why Conversations Go Wrong
Do you ever struggle to communicate with your mom? Or feel like you and your spouse sometimes speak different languages? In the final episode of our "Mind Reading 2.0" series, we bring back a favorite conversation with linguist Deborah Tannen. She shows how our conversational styles can cause uninte...
Mind Reading 2.0: Our Better Angels 21 February 2022 00:44:48
Turn on the news, and you'll be bombarded with stories of people who lie, cheat, and kill. Most of our public and economic policies take aim at these sorts of people. But is there a hidden cost to doing so? In the latest in our "Mind Reading 2.0" series, we revisit a 2020 episode that explores how l...
Mind Reading 2.0: Our Better Angels
Turn on the news, and you'll be bombarded with stories of people who lie, cheat, and kill. Most of our public and economic policies take aim at these sorts of people. But is there a hidden cost to doing so? In the latest in our "Mind Reading 2.0" series, we revisit a 2020 episode that explores how l...
Mind Reading 2.0: The Double Standard 14 February 2022 00:48:22
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. In the latest in our "Mind Reading 2.0" series, we revisit a favorite conversation with psychologist Emily Pronin. We'll look at one of the most bewildering aspects of ...
Mind Reading 2.0: 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. In the latest in our "Mind Reading 2.0" series, we revisit a favorite conversation with psychologist Emily Pronin. We'll look at one of the most bewildering aspects of ...
Mind Reading 2.0: How others see you 07 February 2022 00:50:38
It's not easy to know how we come across to others, especially when we're meeting people for the first time. Psychologist Erica Boothby says many of us underestimate how much other people actually like us. In the second installment of our Mind Reading 2.0 series, we look at how certain social illusi...
Mind Reading 2.0: How others see you
It's not easy to know how we come across to others, especially when we're meeting people for the first time. Psychologist Erica Boothby says many of us underestimate how much other people actually like us. In the second installment of our Mind Reading 2.0 series, we look at how certain social illusi...
Mind Reading 2.0: Why did you do that? 31 January 2022 00:48:50
As we go through life, we’re constantly trying to figure out what other people are thinking and feeling. Psychologist Liane Young says this ability to assess other people's thoughts is an extraordinary feat of cognition. But this mental superpower can sometimes lead us astray. This week, we kick off...
Mind Reading 2.0: Why did you do that?
As we go through life, we’re constantly trying to figure out what other people are thinking and feeling. Psychologist Liane Young says this ability to assess other people's thoughts is an extraordinary feat of cognition. But this mental superpower can sometimes lead us astray. This week, we kick off...
My Unsung Hero: Sanaa Kerroumi's Story 28 January 2022 00:06:57
Sanaa is on her train ride home when an angry man begins threatening her. Before he gets too close, a stranger intervenes.
My Unsung Hero: Sanaa Kerroumi's Story
Sanaa is on her train ride home when an angry man begins threatening her. Before he gets too close, a stranger intervenes.
Minimizing Pain, Maximizing Joy 25 January 2022 00:52:22
Life is often filled with hardships and tragedies. For thousands of years, philosophers have come up with strategies to help us cope with such hardship. This week, we revisit a 2020 conversation with philosopher William Irvine about ancient ideas — backed by modern psychology — that can help us mana...
Minimizing Pain, Maximizing Joy
Life is often filled with hardships and tragedies. For thousands of years, philosophers have come up with strategies to help us cope with such hardship. This week, we revisit a 2020 conversation with philosopher William Irvine about ancient ideas — backed by modern psychology — that can help us mana...
What Makes Relationships Thrive 17 January 2022 00:48:40
Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated. But psychologist Harry Reis says there’s another ingredient to successful relationships that’s every bit as important as love.
What Makes Relationships Thrive
Everyone wants to be loved and appreciated. But psychologist Harry Reis says there’s another ingredient to successful relationships that’s every bit as important as love.
My Unsung Hero: Wendy McDowell's Story 14 January 2022 00:05:50
It's 1979, and Wendy is eight years old, crying alone in an airport. Then she sees a woman in white walking towards her.
My Unsung Hero: Wendy McDowell's Story
It's 1979, and Wendy is eight years old, crying alone in an airport. Then she sees a woman in white walking towards her.
Changing Behavior, Not Beliefs 10 January 2022 00:48:54
The rift between police and Black Americans can feel impossible to bridge. But in his work with police departments across the U.S., Yale psychologist Phillip Atiba Goff has found novel ways to address the problem.If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd l...
Changing Behavior, Not Beliefs
The rift between police and Black Americans can feel impossible to bridge. But in his work with police departments across the U.S., Yale psychologist Phillip Atiba Goff has found novel ways to address the problem.If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd l...
Choose Carefully 03 January 2022 00:48:41
All of us make choices all the time, and we may think we're making those choices freely. But psychologist Eric Johnson says there's an architecture behind the way choices are presented to us, and this invisible architecture can influence decisions both large and small. If you like this show, please ...
Choose Carefully
All of us make choices all the time, and we may think we're making those choices freely. But psychologist Eric Johnson says there's an architecture behind the way choices are presented to us, and this invisible architecture can influence decisions both large and small. If you like this show, please ...
Creatures of Habit 27 December 2021 00:48:54
With the new year close at hand, 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.
Creatures of Habit
With the new year close at hand, 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.
My Unsung Hero: Justin Horner's Story 24 December 2021 00:06:06
Justin is sitting on the side of the freeway, hoping someone will help him fix his busted wheel. Right around the time he’s about to give up, a van pulls over.
My Unsung Hero: Justin Horner's Story
Justin is sitting on the side of the freeway, hoping someone will help him fix his busted wheel. Right around the time he’s about to give up, a van pulls over.
Bringing Up Baby 20 December 2021 00:50:25
Bababa, dadada, ahgaga. Got that? Babies are speaking to us all the time, but most of us have no clue what they're saying. To us non-babies, it all sounds like charming, mysterious gobbledegook. To researchers, though, babbling conveys important information about a baby's readiness to learn. This we...
Bringing Up Baby
Bababa, dadada, ahgaga. Got that? Babies are speaking to us all the time, but most of us have no clue what they're saying. To us non-babies, it all sounds like charming, mysterious gobbledegook. To researchers, though, babbling conveys important information about a baby's readiness to learn. This we...
The Psychology of Self-Doubt 13 December 2021 00:49:09
We all have times when we feel like a fraud. Psychologist Kevin Cokley studies the corrosive effects of self-doubt, and how we can turn that negative voice in our heads into an ally. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support our work, you ...
The Psychology of Self-Doubt
We all have times when we feel like a fraud. Psychologist Kevin Cokley studies the corrosive effects of self-doubt, and how we can turn that negative voice in our heads into an ally. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to support our work, you ...
My Unsung Hero: Leah Bartell's Story 10 December 2021 00:03:41
It's 1994, and two men corner Leah on a dark street as she's walking home. Then she sees a car, and a glimmer of hope.
My Unsung Hero: Leah Bartell's Story
It's 1994, and two men corner Leah on a dark street as she's walking home. Then she sees a car, and a glimmer of hope.
Both Things Can Be True 06 December 2021 00:47:58
It’s psychologically simpler to see the world in black and white. But reality often comes in shades of gray. This week, how our minds grapple with contradictions, especially those we see in other people. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to su...
Both Things Can Be True
It’s psychologically simpler to see the world in black and white. But reality often comes in shades of gray. This week, how our minds grapple with contradictions, especially those we see in other people. If you like this show, please check out our new podcast, My Unsung Hero! And if you'd like to su...
Work 2.0: The One-Room Commute 29 November 2021 00:48:42
If you’re working from home, you might be reveling in your daily commute to the dining room table. Or you might be saying, “Get me out of here.” In the final episode of our Work 2.0 series, economist Nicholas Bloom joins us from his spare bedroom to ponder whether working from home is actually worki...
Work 2.0: The One-Room Commute
If you’re working from home, you might be reveling in your daily commute to the dining room table. Or you might be saying, “Get me out of here.” In the final episode of our Work 2.0 series, economist Nicholas Bloom joins us from his spare bedroom to ponder whether working from home is actually worki...
My Unsung Hero: Tony Ludlow's Story 24 November 2021 00:05:18
Tony is angry at his English teacher, Mrs. Holman, for making him stay after class. But on the last day of school, she takes his hand, and tells him something he'll never forget.
My Unsung Hero: Tony Ludlow's Story
Tony is angry at his English teacher, Mrs. Holman, for making him stay after class. But on the last day of school, she takes his hand, and tells him something he'll never forget.
Work 2.0: Rebel with a Cause 22 November 2021 00:48:45
Francesca Gino studies rebels — people who practice "positive deviance" and achieve incredible feats of imagination. So how can you activate your own inner non-conformist? This week, we ponder the traits of successful rebels as we revisit our 2018 conversation with Francesca. If you like this show,...
Work 2.0: Rebel with a Cause
Francesca Gino studies rebels — people who practice "positive deviance" and achieve incredible feats of imagination. So how can you activate your own inner non-conformist? This week, we ponder the traits of successful rebels as we revisit our 2018 conversation with Francesca. If you like this show,...
Work 2.0: Life, Interrupted 15 November 2021 00:50:16
Many of us spend our workdays responding to a never-ending stream of emails and texts. We feel stressed out and perpetually behind on our to-do list. But what if there was a better way to work? This week, we revisit a favorite conversation about "deep work" with computer scientist Cal Newport. And w...
Work 2.0: Life, Interrupted
Many of us spend our workdays responding to a never-ending stream of emails and texts. We feel stressed out and perpetually behind on our to-do list. But what if there was a better way to work? This week, we revisit a favorite conversation about "deep work" with computer scientist Cal Newport. And w...
My Unsung Hero: Terri Powers' Story 12 November 2021 00:04:23
Today we're sharing another episode of our new podcast, My Unsung Hero. To hear more stories like this, subscribe, and enjoy!It's a few days after her mother's death, and Terri Powers is at the checkout line in a grocery store. As she turns to leave, the bagger stops her, and asks a question.  
My Unsung Hero: Terri Powers' Story
Today we're sharing another episode of our new podcast, My Unsung Hero. To hear more stories like this, subscribe, and enjoy!It's a few days after her mother's death, and Terri Powers is at the checkout line in a grocery store. As she turns to leave, the bagger stops her, and asks a question.  
Work 2.0: Game On! 08 November 2021 00:53:17
The world of play and the world of work are often seen as opposites. But they may have more in common than we think. In the second installment of our new Work 2.0 series, Ethan Mollick makes the case that we can make our jobs more engaging by incorporating elements of games. If you like our work, pl...
Work 2.0: Game On!
The world of play and the world of work are often seen as opposites. But they may have more in common than we think. In the second installment of our new Work 2.0 series, Ethan Mollick makes the case that we can make our jobs more engaging by incorporating elements of games. If you like our work, pl...
Work 2.0: The Obstacles You Don't See 01 November 2021 00:50:15
Introducing new ideas is hard. Most of us think the best way to win people over is to push harder. But organizational psychologist Loran Nordgren says a more effective approach is to focus on the invisible obstacles to new ideas. If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can h...
Work 2.0: The Obstacles You Don't See
Introducing new ideas is hard. Most of us think the best way to win people over is to push harder. But organizational psychologist Loran Nordgren says a more effective approach is to focus on the invisible obstacles to new ideas. If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can h...
We Broke the Planet. Now What? 25 October 2021 00:48:34
We’ve grown accustomed to viewing climate change as an enemy we must urgently defeat. But is that the right metaphor for the greatest existential problem of our time? This week, we consider how to reframe the way we think about life on a changing planet. If you like our work, please consider support...
We Broke the Planet. Now What?
We’ve grown accustomed to viewing climate change as an enemy we must urgently defeat. But is that the right metaphor for the greatest existential problem of our time? This week, we consider how to reframe the way we think about life on a changing planet. If you like our work, please consider support...
My Unsung Hero: Rick Mangnall's Story 22 October 2021 00:05:30
Today we're sharing another episode of our new podcast, My Unsung Hero. Subscribe, and enjoy!In 2008, while driving to work, Rick Mangnall crashes into a slab of granite rock. He's hanging upside down in his seatbelt when he sees an old Ford truck pull over across the road.
My Unsung Hero: Rick Mangnall's Story
Today we're sharing another episode of our new podcast, My Unsung Hero. Subscribe, and enjoy!In 2008, while driving to work, Rick Mangnall crashes into a slab of granite rock. He's hanging upside down in his seatbelt when he sees an old Ford truck pull over across the road.
The Halo Effect 18 October 2021 00:53:10
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 t...
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 t...
Being Kind to Yourself 11 October 2021 00:51:52
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 conside...
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 conside...
My Unsung Hero: Jackie Briggs' Story 08 October 2021 00:05:53
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.
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.
When You Need It To Be True 04 October 2021 00:54:17
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 ho...
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 ho...
Passion Isn't Enough 27 September 2021 00:47:53
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 ...
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 ...
Introducing My Unsung Hero 24 September 2021 00:02:49
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 thes...
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 thes...
Group Think 20 September 2021 00:50:02
How do the groups you identify with shape your sense of self? Do they influence the beer you buy? The way you vote? Psychologist Jay Van Bavel says our group loyalties affect us more than we realize, and can even shape our basic senses of sight, taste and smell. If you like our work, please consider...
Group Think
How do the groups you identify with shape your sense of self? Do they influence the beer you buy? The way you vote? Psychologist Jay Van Bavel says our group loyalties affect us more than we realize, and can even shape our basic senses of sight, taste and smell. If you like our work, please consider...
Just Sex 13 September 2021 00:23:58
Casual sex typically isn't about love. But what if it's not even about lust? Sociologist Lisa Wade studies "hookup culture," and believes the rules and expectations around sex and relationships are different for college students today than they were for previous generations. This week we revisit our...
Just Sex
Casual sex typically isn't about love. But what if it's not even about lust? Sociologist Lisa Wade studies "hookup culture," and believes the rules and expectations around sex and relationships are different for college students today than they were for previous generations. This week we revisit our...
Where Happiness Hides 06 September 2021 00:49:56
We all think we know what will make us happy: more money. A better job. Love. But psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky says happiness doesn't necessarily work like that. This week, we explore why happiness often slips through our fingers, and how to savor — and stretch out — our joys. If you like our work...
Where Happiness Hides
We all think we know what will make us happy: more money. A better job. Love. But psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky says happiness doesn't necessarily work like that. This week, we explore why happiness often slips through our fingers, and how to savor — and stretch out — our joys. If you like our work...
You 2.0: Regrets, I Have a Few... 30 August 2021 00:28:46
We all have regrets. By some estimates, regret is one of the most common emotions we experience in our daily lives. In the final episode of our You 2.0 series, we bring you a favorite interview with Amy Summerville, the former head of the Regret Lab at Miami University in Ohio. After years of studyi...
You 2.0: Regrets, I Have a Few...
We all have regrets. By some estimates, regret is one of the most common emotions we experience in our daily lives. In the final episode of our You 2.0 series, we bring you a favorite interview with Amy Summerville, the former head of the Regret Lab at Miami University in Ohio. After years of studyi...
You 2.0: Did That Really Happen? 23 August 2021 00:48:25
Our memories are easily contaminated. We can be made to believe we rode in a hot air balloon or kissed a magnifying glass — even if those things never happened. So how do we know which of our memories are most accurate? This week, psychologist Ayanna Thomas explains how we remember, why we forget, a...
You 2.0: Did That Really Happen?
Our memories are easily contaminated. We can be made to believe we rode in a hot air balloon or kissed a magnifying glass — even if those things never happened. So how do we know which of our memories are most accurate? This week, psychologist Ayanna Thomas explains how we remember, why we forget, a...
You 2.0: When Did Marriage Become So Hard? 16 August 2021 00:50:08
Marriage is hard — and there are signs it's becoming even harder. In the third episode of our You 2.0 summer series, we examine how long-term relationships have changed over time, and whether we might be able to improve marriage by asking less of it. If you like our work, please consider supporting ...
You 2.0: When Did Marriage Become So Hard?
Marriage is hard — and there are signs it's becoming even harder. In the third episode of our You 2.0 summer series, we examine how long-term relationships have changed over time, and whether we might be able to improve marriage by asking less of it. If you like our work, please consider supporting ...
You 2.0: In the Heat of the Moment 09 August 2021 00:51:49
In a fit of anger or in the grip of fear, many of us make decisions that we never would have anticipated. As part of our You 2.0 summer series, we look at situations that make us strangers to ourselves — and why it's so difficult to remember what these "hot states" feel like once the moment is over....
You 2.0: In the Heat of the Moment
In a fit of anger or in the grip of fear, many of us make decisions that we never would have anticipated. As part of our You 2.0 summer series, we look at situations that make us strangers to ourselves — and why it's so difficult to remember what these "hot states" feel like once the moment is over....
You 2.0: Cultivating Your Purpose 02 August 2021 00:51:02
Having a sense of purpose can be a buffer against the challenges we all face at various stages of life. Purpose can also boost our health and longevity. In the kick-off to our annual You 2.0 series, Cornell University psychologist Anthony Burrow explains why purpose isn't something to be found — it'...
You 2.0: Cultivating Your Purpose
Having a sense of purpose can be a buffer against the challenges we all face at various stages of life. Purpose can also boost our health and longevity. In the kick-off to our annual You 2.0 series, Cornell University psychologist Anthony Burrow explains why purpose isn't something to be found — it'...
Losing Alaska 26 July 2021 00:24:23
As floods, wildfires, and heatwaves hit many parts of the world, signs of climate change seem to be all around us. Scientists have been warning us for years about the looming threat of a warming planet. And yet it’s really hard for many of us to wrap our minds around this existential challenge. Why ...
Losing Alaska
As floods, wildfires, and heatwaves hit many parts of the world, signs of climate change seem to be all around us. Scientists have been warning us for years about the looming threat of a warming planet. And yet it’s really hard for many of us to wrap our minds around this existential challenge. Why ...
Stage Fright 19 July 2021 00:52:15
The pressure. The expectations. The anxiety. If there's one thing that connects the athletes gathering for the Olympic games with the rest of us, it's the stress that can come from performing in front of others. In this week’s episode, we talk with cognitive scientist Sian Beilock about why so many ...
Stage Fright
The pressure. The expectations. The anxiety. If there's one thing that connects the athletes gathering for the Olympic games with the rest of us, it's the stress that can come from performing in front of others. In this week’s episode, we talk with cognitive scientist Sian Beilock about why so many ...
Playing the Gender Card 12 July 2021 00:49:47
What is it like to be the only woman at the (poker) table? Or a rare man in a supposedly "feminine" career? In this favorite episode from 2019, we tell the stories of two people who grappled with gender stereotypes on the job, and consider how such biases can shape our career choices. If you like ou...
Playing the Gender Card
What is it like to be the only woman at the (poker) table? Or a rare man in a supposedly "feminine" career? In this favorite episode from 2019, we tell the stories of two people who grappled with gender stereotypes on the job, and consider how such biases can shape our career choices. If you like ou...
You, But Better 05 July 2021 00:50:23
Think about the resolutions you made this year: to quit smoking, eat better, or get more exercise. If you're like most people, you probably abandoned those resolutions within a few weeks. That's because change is hard. Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman explains how we can use our minds to do what's ...
You, But Better
Think about the resolutions you made this year: to quit smoking, eat better, or get more exercise. If you're like most people, you probably abandoned those resolutions within a few weeks. That's because change is hard. Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman explains how we can use our minds to do what's ...
The Influence You Have 28 June 2021 00:50:33
Think about the last time you asked someone for something. Maybe you were nervous or worried about what the person would think of you. Chances are that you didn't stop to think about the pressure you were exerting on that person. This week, we revisit a favorite episode about a phenomenon known as "...
The Influence You Have
Think about the last time you asked someone for something. Maybe you were nervous or worried about what the person would think of you. Chances are that you didn't stop to think about the pressure you were exerting on that person. This week, we revisit a favorite episode about a phenomenon known as "...
What Twins Tell Us 24 June 2021 00:28:22
In December 1988, two sets of identical twins became test subjects in a study for which they had never volunteered. It was an experiment that could never be performed in a lab, and had never before been documented. This week, we revisit this fascinating story, told by psychologist Nancy Segal, about...
What Twins Tell Us
In December 1988, two sets of identical twins became test subjects in a study for which they had never volunteered. It was an experiment that could never be performed in a lab, and had never before been documented. This week, we revisit this fascinating story, told by psychologist Nancy Segal, about...
The Power of Apologies 21 June 2021 00:49:38
Why is it so hard to say 'I'm sorry?' In part two of our series on forgiveness and apologies, we talk with psychologist Tyler Okimoto about the mental barriers that keep us from admitting when we've done something wrong, as well as the transformative power of apologies.If you like our work, please c...
The Power of Apologies
Why is it so hard to say 'I'm sorry?' In part two of our series on forgiveness and apologies, we talk with psychologist Tyler Okimoto about the mental barriers that keep us from admitting when we've done something wrong, as well as the transformative power of apologies.If you like our work, please c...
The Power of Mercy 14 June 2021 00:48:55
Granting forgiveness for the wrongs done to us can be one of the hardest things we face in life. But forgiveness can also be transformative. In the first of a two-part series on apologies and mercy, we talk with psychologist Charlotte Witvliet about the benefits of forgiveness, for both the mind and...
The Power of Mercy
Granting forgiveness for the wrongs done to us can be one of the hardest things we face in life. But forgiveness can also be transformative. In the first of a two-part series on apologies and mercy, we talk with psychologist Charlotte Witvliet about the benefits of forgiveness, for both the mind and...
What are the Odds? 11 June 2021 00:29:26
Coincidences can feel like magic. When we realize that a co-worker shares our birthday or run into a college roommate while on vacation, it can give us a surge of delight. Today, we revisit a favorite episode about these moments of serendipity. Mathematician Joseph Mazur explains why coincidences ar...
What are the Odds?
Coincidences can feel like magic. When we realize that a co-worker shares our birthday or run into a college roommate while on vacation, it can give us a surge of delight. Today, we revisit a favorite episode about these moments of serendipity. Mathematician Joseph Mazur explains why coincidences ar...
This is Your Brain on Ads 07 June 2021 00:48:46
Have you ever opened your computer with the intention of sending one email — only to spend an hour scrolling through social media? Maybe two hours? In this favorite episode from our archives, we look at how media, tech, and entertainment companies hijack our attention. Plus, we consider how the comm...
This is Your Brain on Ads
Have you ever opened your computer with the intention of sending one email — only to spend an hour scrolling through social media? Maybe two hours? In this favorite episode from our archives, we look at how media, tech, and entertainment companies hijack our attention. Plus, we consider how the comm...
Why We Hold on to Things 31 May 2021 00:45:45
What do the things you own say about who you are? Psychologist Bruce Hood studies our relationship with our possessions – from beloved childhood objects to the everyday items we leave behind.If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to ...
Why We Hold on to Things
What do the things you own say about who you are? Psychologist Bruce Hood studies our relationship with our possessions – from beloved childhood objects to the everyday items we leave behind.If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to ...
Loss and Renewal 24 May 2021 00:26:06
No matter how hard we work, we won’t always achieve the goals we set for ourselves. When cognitive scientist Maya Shankar was a girl, she wanted to be a concert violinist. Then an injury forced her to imagine her life anew. This week, we revisit a favorite episode from 2015 with Maya. She’s now the ...
Loss and Renewal
No matter how hard we work, we won’t always achieve the goals we set for ourselves. When cognitive scientist Maya Shankar was a girl, she wanted to be a concert violinist. Then an injury forced her to imagine her life anew. This week, we revisit a favorite episode from 2015 with Maya. She’s now the ...
Tribes and Traitors 21 May 2021 00:31:06
In the past weeks, headlines around the world have focused on the violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. In this favorite episode from our archive, we hear from a former Israeli soldier and a Palestinian man who asked a radical question: what happens when you empathize with your enemy? ...
Tribes and Traitors
In the past weeks, headlines around the world have focused on the violent conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. In this favorite episode from our archive, we hear from a former Israeli soldier and a Palestinian man who asked a radical question: what happens when you empathize with your enemy? ...
Our Noisy Minds 17 May 2021 00:48:39
Psychologist Daniel Kahneman says there are invisible factors that distort our judgment. He calls these factors “noise.” The consequences can be found in everything from marriage proposals to medical diagnoses and prison sentences. This week on Hidden Brain, we consider how to identify noise in the ...
Our Noisy Minds
Psychologist Daniel Kahneman says there are invisible factors that distort our judgment. He calls these factors “noise.” The consequences can be found in everything from marriage proposals to medical diagnoses and prison sentences. This week on Hidden Brain, we consider how to identify noise in the ...
The Fake Bride 10 May 2021 00:53:35
Have you ever felt as if someone else was writing your personal narrative? Controlling what you do, shaping how you act? This week on Hidden Brain, we bring you a surreal tale about a woman who became a reluctant character in someone else’s love story.If you like our work, please consider supporting...
The Fake Bride
Have you ever felt as if someone else was writing your personal narrative? Controlling what you do, shaping how you act? This week on Hidden Brain, we bring you a surreal tale about a woman who became a reluctant character in someone else’s love story.If you like our work, please consider supporting...
Josh Gitelson: My Unsung Hero 07 May 2021 00:03:12
At the end of every episode, we take a moment to thank an Unsung Hero: someone who’s not on the staff of the show, but who went above and beyond in helping us out. In recent weeks, we've been asking you to share your own examples of someone who's made an impact on your life. This time, Josh Gitelson...
Josh Gitelson: My Unsung Hero
At the end of every episode, we take a moment to thank an Unsung Hero: someone who’s not on the staff of the show, but who went above and beyond in helping us out. In recent weeks, we've been asking you to share your own examples of someone who's made an impact on your life. This time, Josh Gitelson...
One Head, Two Brains 03 May 2021 00:49:30
Your brain is divided in two: a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere. In this 2019 episode of Hidden Brain, we dive into Iain McGilchrist's research on how the left and right hemispheres shape our perceptions. Iain argues that differences in the brain — and Western society's preference for what on...
One Head, Two Brains
Your brain is divided in two: a left hemisphere and a right hemisphere. In this 2019 episode of Hidden Brain, we dive into Iain McGilchrist's research on how the left and right hemispheres shape our perceptions. Iain argues that differences in the brain — and Western society's preference for what on...
Deb Pierce: My Unsung Hero 30 April 2021 00:04:33
In every episode of Hidden Brain, we thank an Unsung Hero — a colleague, a friend or a family member who has helped make our work possible from behind the scenes. Recently, we asked you to tell us about your own unsung heroes. This week, Deb Pierce remembers the nurse who showed up at one of the har...
Deb Pierce: My Unsung Hero
In every episode of Hidden Brain, we thank an Unsung Hero — a colleague, a friend or a family member who has helped make our work possible from behind the scenes. Recently, we asked you to tell us about your own unsung heroes. This week, Deb Pierce remembers the nurse who showed up at one of the har...
Why Conversations Go Wrong 26 April 2021 00:52:06
Do you ever struggle to communicate with your mom? Or feel like you and your spouse sometimes speak different languages? We talk with linguist Deborah Tannen about how our conversational styles can cause unintended conflicts, and what we can do to communicate more effectively with the people in our ...
Why Conversations Go Wrong
Do you ever struggle to communicate with your mom? Or feel like you and your spouse sometimes speak different languages? We talk with linguist Deborah Tannen about how our conversational styles can cause unintended conflicts, and what we can do to communicate more effectively with the people in our ...
Unsung Hero: A Cold Nevada Night 23 April 2021 00:04:21
In every episode of Hidden Brain, we thank an Unsung Hero. Many listeners have written to say they love this segment, even sharing their own Unsung Heroes. Today, we're sharing one of those stories with you. 
Unsung Hero: A Cold Nevada Night
In every episode of Hidden Brain, we thank an Unsung Hero. Many listeners have written to say they love this segment, even sharing their own Unsung Heroes. Today, we're sharing one of those stories with you. 
Humor Us 19 April 2021 00:52:03
Hahaha! The average four-year-old child laughs 300 times a day. By contrast, it takes more than two months for the average 40-year-old adult to laugh that many times. This week, we talk with behavioral scientist Jennifer Aaker of Stanford University about why so many of us fall off a “humor cliff” a...
Humor Us
Hahaha! The average four-year-old child laughs 300 times a day. By contrast, it takes more than two months for the average 40-year-old adult to laugh that many times. This week, we talk with behavioral scientist Jennifer Aaker of Stanford University about why so many of us fall off a “humor cliff” a...
An Unfinished Lesson 12 April 2021 00:49:26
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. Historia...
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. Historia...
Useful Delusions 05 April 2021 00:49:36
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 lates...
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 lates...
Made of Honor 29 March 2021 00:48:45
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...
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...
The Story of Your Life 22 March 2021 00:51:14
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...
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...
The Story of Stories 15 March 2021 00:51:15
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 o...
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 o...
Radically Normal 09 March 2021 00:50:05
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 co...
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 co...
The Snowball Effect 01 March 2021 00:54:35
Why do some companies become household names, while others flame out? How do certain memes go viral? And why do some social movements take off and spread, while others fizzle? Today on the show, we talk with sociologist Damon Centola about social contagion, and how it can be harnessed to build a bet...
The Snowball Effect
Why do some companies become household names, while others flame out? How do certain memes go viral? And why do some social movements take off and spread, while others fizzle? Today on the show, we talk with sociologist Damon Centola about social contagion, and how it can be harnessed to build a bet...
The Match 26 February 2021 00:19:34
We get messages all the time from listeners who say Hidden Brain has helped them to think differently about the world, and about themselves. As producers, nothing is more rewarding or gratifying. Today, we bring you a listener story that especially moved us. It’s a tale about two friends, and how ou...
The Match
We get messages all the time from listeners who say Hidden Brain has helped them to think differently about the world, and about themselves. As producers, nothing is more rewarding or gratifying. Today, we bring you a listener story that especially moved us. It’s a tale about two friends, and how ou...
Creating God 22 February 2021 00:51:56
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 ...
Creating God
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 ...
Is It Better to Know? 16 February 2021 00:52:28
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. 
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 13 February 2021 00:06:15
Why do some relationships last, while others falter? In this bonus episode, Shankar looks at one thing successful couples do well. 
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 08 February 2021 00:50:26
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 p...
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 p...
The Easiest Person to Fool 01 February 2021 00:53:51
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 th...
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 th...
Afraid of the Wrong Things 25 January 2021 00:50:14
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...
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...
Our Brands, Our Selves 18 January 2021 00:34:18
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...
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...
The Secret Life of Secrets 11 January 2021 00:47:59
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...
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...
The Double Standard 04 January 2021 00:48:08
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.
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.
A Creature of Habit 28 December 2020 00:49:47
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 Woo...
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 Woo...
Waiting Games 22 December 2020 00:51:12
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 ...
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 ...
Minimizing Pain, Maximizing Joy 14 December 2020 00:52:24
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 id...
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 id...
Screaming into a Void 07 December 2020 00:40:29
Turn on the news or look at Twitter, and it's likely you'll be bombarded by outrage. Many people have come to believe that the only way to spark change is to incite anger. This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit a favorite 2019 episode about how outrage is hijacking our conversations, our communities,...
Screaming into a Void
Turn on the news or look at Twitter, and it's likely you'll be bombarded by outrage. Many people have come to believe that the only way to spark change is to incite anger. This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit a favorite 2019 episode about how outrage is hijacking our conversations, our communities,...
A Conspiracy of Silence 30 November 2020 00:59:02
We all self-censor at times. We keep quiet at dinner with our in-laws, or nod passively in a work meeting. But what happens when we take this deception a step further, and pretend we believe the opposite of what we really feel? This week on Hidden Brain, economist and political scientist Timur Kuran...
A Conspiracy of Silence
We all self-censor at times. We keep quiet at dinner with our in-laws, or nod passively in a work meeting. But what happens when we take this deception a step further, and pretend we believe the opposite of what we really feel? This week on Hidden Brain, economist and political scientist Timur Kuran...
Where Gratitude Gets You 23 November 2020 00:51:45
Many of us struggle with self-control.  And we assume willpower is the key to achieving our goals. But there's a simple and often overlooked mental habit that can improve our health and well-being. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with psychologist David DeSteno about that habit — the practice of ...
Where Gratitude Gets You
Many of us struggle with self-control.  And we assume willpower is the key to achieving our goals. But there's a simple and often overlooked mental habit that can improve our health and well-being. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with psychologist David DeSteno about that habit — the practice of ...
When You Start to Miss Tony from Accounting 16 November 2020 00:48:50
If you're one of the 40 percent of Americans now working from home, you might be reveling in your daily commute to the dining room table. Or you might be saying, "Get me out of here." Economist Nicholas Bloom joins us from his spare bedroom to ponder whether working from home is actually working. 
When You Start to Miss Tony from Accounting
If you're one of the 40 percent of Americans now working from home, you might be reveling in your daily commute to the dining room table. Or you might be saying, "Get me out of here." Economist Nicholas Bloom joins us from his spare bedroom to ponder whether working from home is actually working. 
Between Two Worlds 09 November 2020 00:46:42
Determination, hard work and sacrifice are core ingredients in the story of the American dream. But philosopher Jennifer Morton argues there is another, more painful requirement to getting ahead: a willingness to leave family and friends behind. This week, we explore the ethical costs of upward mobi...
Between Two Worlds
Determination, hard work and sacrifice are core ingredients in the story of the American dream. But philosopher Jennifer Morton argues there is another, more painful requirement to getting ahead: a willingness to leave family and friends behind. This week, we explore the ethical costs of upward mobi...
From Pedestals to Guillotines 02 November 2020 00:22:13
As election season comes to a close, we explore our contradictory relationship with winners and losers. We tend to idolize the powerful, but we also enjoy seeing the high and mighty fall. Today we explore this paradox with a 2017 episode that takes us from Hollywood and the White House to the forest...
From Pedestals to Guillotines
As election season comes to a close, we explore our contradictory relationship with winners and losers. We tend to idolize the powerful, but we also enjoy seeing the high and mighty fall. Today we explore this paradox with a 2017 episode that takes us from Hollywood and the White House to the forest...
Not at the Dinner Table 26 October 2020 00:50:06
We typically divide the country into two distinct groups: Democrats and Republicans. But what if the real political divide in our country isn't between "left" and "right"? What if it's between those who care intensely about politics, and those who don’t? This week we talk to Yanna Krupnikov, a polit...
Not at the Dinner Table
We typically divide the country into two distinct groups: Democrats and Republicans. But what if the real political divide in our country isn't between "left" and "right"? What if it's between those who care intensely about politics, and those who don’t? This week we talk to Yanna Krupnikov, a polit...
Moral Combat 19 October 2020 00:51:44
Most of us have a clear sense of right and wrong. But what happens when we view politics through a moral lens? This week, we talk with psychologist Linda Skitka about how moral certainty can produce moral blinders — and endanger democracy. 
Moral Combat
Most of us have a clear sense of right and wrong. But what happens when we view politics through a moral lens? This week, we talk with psychologist Linda Skitka about how moral certainty can produce moral blinders — and endanger democracy. 
Beyond Doomscrolling 12 October 2020 00:52:14
There’s no question that 2020 has been a tough year. We're grappling with a global pandemic. A deep recession. Fresh reminders of racial injustice. But today — without minimizing the justifiable pain that 2020 has brought to so many people — we wanted to explore another way of seeing things. We talk...
Beyond Doomscrolling
There’s no question that 2020 has been a tough year. We're grappling with a global pandemic. A deep recession. Fresh reminders of racial injustice. But today — without minimizing the justifiable pain that 2020 has brought to so many people — we wanted to explore another way of seeing things. We talk...
The Logic of Rage 05 October 2020 00:50:13
Neuroscientist Doug Fields was on a trip to Europe when a pickpocket stole his wallet. Doug, normally mild-mannered, became enraged — and his fury turned him into a stranger to himself. Today on Hidden Brain, we explore the secret logic of irrational anger. 
The Logic of Rage
Neuroscientist Doug Fields was on a trip to Europe when a pickpocket stole his wallet. Doug, normally mild-mannered, became enraged — and his fury turned him into a stranger to himself. Today on Hidden Brain, we explore the secret logic of irrational anger. 
An Update from Shankar 02 October 2020 00:04:11
It’s been five years since we launched this podcast. Today, we want to take a moment to thank the many people who’ve helped us over the years. And we want to share some changes with you. 
An Update from Shankar
It’s been five years since we launched this podcast. Today, we want to take a moment to thank the many people who’ve helped us over the years. And we want to share some changes with you. 
Laughter: The Best Medicine 28 September 2020 00:46:19
If you listen closely to giggles, guffaws, and polite chuckles, you can discern a huge amount of information about people and their relationships with each other. This week, we talk with neuroscientist Sophie Scott about the many shades of laughter, from cackles of delight among close friends to the...
Laughter: The Best Medicine
If you listen closely to giggles, guffaws, and polite chuckles, you can discern a huge amount of information about people and their relationships with each other. This week, we talk with neuroscientist Sophie Scott about the many shades of laughter, from cackles of delight among close friends to the...
The Halo Effect 21 September 2020 00:53:05
Judy, Lyn and Donna Ulrich were driving to a volleyball game when their Ford Pinto was hit from behind by a Chevy van. The Pinto caught fire, and the three teenagers wereburned to death. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk to a former Ford insider who could have voted to recall the Pinto years before...
The Halo Effect
Judy, Lyn and Donna Ulrich were driving to a volleyball game when their Ford Pinto was hit from behind by a Chevy van. The Pinto caught fire, and the three teenagers wereburned to death. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk to a former Ford insider who could have voted to recall the Pinto years before...
Why Nobody Feels Rich 14 September 2020 00:31:51
If you've ever flown in economy class on a plane, you probably had to walk through the first class cabin to get to your seat. Maybe you noticed the extra leg room. The freshly-poured champagne. Maybe you were annoyed, or envious. Social psychologist Keith Payne says we tend to compare ourselves with...
Why Nobody Feels Rich
If you've ever flown in economy class on a plane, you probably had to walk through the first class cabin to get to your seat. Maybe you noticed the extra leg room. The freshly-poured champagne. Maybe you were annoyed, or envious. Social psychologist Keith Payne says we tend to compare ourselves with...
The Fee-for-Service Monster 07 September 2020 00:50:23
The United States spends trillions of dollars on healthcare every year, but our outcomes are worse than those of other countries that spend less money. Why? Physician and healthcare executive Vivian Lee explains the psychological and economic incentives embedded in the American model of medicine, an...
The Fee-for-Service Monster
The United States spends trillions of dollars on healthcare every year, but our outcomes are worse than those of other countries that spend less money. Why? Physician and healthcare executive Vivian Lee explains the psychological and economic incentives embedded in the American model of medicine, an...
You 2.0: Empathy Gym 31 August 2020 00:51:25
Some people are good at putting themselves in another person's shoes. Others may struggle to relate. But psychologist Jamil Zaki argues that empathy isn't a fixed trait. This week, in our final installment of You 2.0, we revisit a favorite episode about how to exercise our empathy muscles.
You 2.0: Empathy Gym
Some people are good at putting themselves in another person's shoes. Others may struggle to relate. But psychologist Jamil Zaki argues that empathy isn't a fixed trait. This week, in our final installment of You 2.0, we revisit a favorite episode about how to exercise our empathy muscles.
You 2.0: WOOP, WOOP! 24 August 2020 00:18:55
American culture is all about positive affirmations. Dream big! Shoot for the stars! But do positive fantasies actually help us achieve our goals? This week, as part of our You 2.0 summer series, we revisit a conversation with researcher Gabriele Oettingen about how we can make our goals more attain...
You 2.0: WOOP, WOOP!
American culture is all about positive affirmations. Dream big! Shoot for the stars! But do positive fantasies actually help us achieve our goals? This week, as part of our You 2.0 summer series, we revisit a conversation with researcher Gabriele Oettingen about how we can make our goals more attain...
You 2.0: Loss And Renewal 17 August 2020 00:24:15
Maya Shankar was well on her way to a career as a violinist when an injury closed that door. This week, as part of our annual You 2.0 series on personal growth and reinvention, we revisit our 2015 conversation with Maya, in which she shares how she found a new path forward after losing an identity s...
You 2.0: Loss And Renewal
Maya Shankar was well on her way to a career as a violinist when an injury closed that door. This week, as part of our annual You 2.0 series on personal growth and reinvention, we revisit our 2015 conversation with Maya, in which she shares how she found a new path forward after losing an identity s...
You 2.0: The Mind's Eye 10 August 2020 00:45:29
Some challenges feel insurmountable. But psychologist Emily Balcetis says the solutions are often right in front of our eyes. This week, as part of our annual series on personal growth and reinvention, Emily explains how we can harness our sight to affect our behavior.
You 2.0: The Mind's Eye
Some challenges feel insurmountable. But psychologist Emily Balcetis says the solutions are often right in front of our eyes. This week, as part of our annual series on personal growth and reinvention, Emily explains how we can harness our sight to affect our behavior.
You 2.0: Our Pursuit of Happiness 03 August 2020 00:45:28
Sometimes, life can feel like being stuck on a treadmill. No matter how hard you try to get happier, you end up back where you started. What's going on here? We kick off our annual You 2.0 summer series with happiness researcher Elizabeth Dunn, who explains how to fight the treadmill feeling.
You 2.0: Our Pursuit of Happiness
Sometimes, life can feel like being stuck on a treadmill. No matter how hard you try to get happier, you end up back where you started. What's going on here? We kick off our annual You 2.0 summer series with happiness researcher Elizabeth Dunn, who explains how to fight the treadmill feeling.
Edge Effect 27 July 2020 00:36:15
There is great comfort in the familiar. It's one reason humans often flock to other people who share the same interests, laugh at the same jokes, hold the same political views. But familiar ground may not be the best place to cultivate creativity. Researchers have found that people with deep connect...
Edge Effect
There is great comfort in the familiar. It's one reason humans often flock to other people who share the same interests, laugh at the same jokes, hold the same political views. But familiar ground may not be the best place to cultivate creativity. Researchers have found that people with deep connect...
The Untold Story Of Lyndie B. Hawkins 20 July 2020 00:50:04
In 2019, a novel by a new author, Gail Shepherd, arrived in bookstores. The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins tells the story of a young white girl growing up in the South. The book has been well received, but it is not the book Shepherd intended to write. In her original drafts, Shepherd, a white ...
The Untold Story Of Lyndie B. Hawkins
In 2019, a novel by a new author, Gail Shepherd, arrived in bookstores. The True History of Lyndie B. Hawkins tells the story of a young white girl growing up in the South. The book has been well received, but it is not the book Shepherd intended to write. In her original drafts, Shepherd, a white ...
Romeo & Juliet In Rwanda 13 July 2020 00:48:54
How do you change someone's behavior? Most of us would point to education or persuasion. But what if the answer lies elsewhere? This week, we revisit a 2018 story about human nature and behavior change — a story that will take us on a journey from Budapest to the hills of Rwanda.
Romeo & Juliet In Rwanda
How do you change someone's behavior? Most of us would point to education or persuasion. But what if the answer lies elsewhere? This week, we revisit a 2018 story about human nature and behavior change — a story that will take us on a journey from Budapest to the hills of Rwanda.
The Night That Lasted A Lifetime 06 July 2020 00:52:26
Not long after his sixteenth birthday, Fred Clay was arrested for the murder of a cab driver in Boston. Eventually, Fred was found guilty — but only after police and prosecutors used questionable psychological techniques to single him out as the killer. This week on Hidden Brain, we go back four dec...
The Night That Lasted A Lifetime
Not long after his sixteenth birthday, Fred Clay was arrested for the murder of a cab driver in Boston. Eventually, Fred was found guilty — but only after police and prosecutors used questionable psychological techniques to single him out as the killer. This week on Hidden Brain, we go back four dec...
The Founding Contradiction 29 June 2020 00:45:33
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." These words, penned by Thomas Jefferson more than 240 years ago, continue to inspire many Americans. And yet they were written by a man who owned hundreds of slaves, and fathered six children by an enslaved woman. As we mark...
The Founding Contradiction
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." These words, penned by Thomas Jefferson more than 240 years ago, continue to inspire many Americans. And yet they were written by a man who owned hundreds of slaves, and fathered six children by an enslaved woman. As we mark...
Buy, Borrow, Steal 22 June 2020 00:48:34
Policymakers have a tried-and-true game plan for jump-starting the economy in times of severe recession: Push stimulus packages and lower interest rates so Americans will borrow and spend. But economist Amir Sufi says the way we traditionally address a recession is deeply flawed. He argues that by e...
Buy, Borrow, Steal
Policymakers have a tried-and-true game plan for jump-starting the economy in times of severe recession: Push stimulus packages and lower interest rates so Americans will borrow and spend. But economist Amir Sufi says the way we traditionally address a recession is deeply flawed. He argues that by e...
A Rap on Trial 15 June 2020 00:54:26
In the past few weeks, the nation has been gripped by protests against police brutality toward black and brown Americans. The enormous number of demonstrators may be new, but the biases they're protesting are not. In 2017, we looked at research on an alleged form of bias in the justice system. This ...
A Rap on Trial
In the past few weeks, the nation has been gripped by protests against police brutality toward black and brown Americans. The enormous number of demonstrators may be new, but the biases they're protesting are not. In 2017, we looked at research on an alleged form of bias in the justice system. This ...
The Air We Breathe 12 June 2020 00:36:26
President Trump said this week that a few "bad apples" were to blame for police killings of black people. But research suggests that something more complicated is at play — a force that affects everyone in the culture, not just police officers. In this bonus episode, we revisit our 2017 look at impl...
The Air We Breathe
President Trump said this week that a few "bad apples" were to blame for police killings of black people. But research suggests that something more complicated is at play — a force that affects everyone in the culture, not just police officers. In this bonus episode, we revisit our 2017 look at impl...
Playing Favorites 08 June 2020 00:52:37
If we do a favor for someone we know, we think we've done a good deed. What we don't tend to ask is: Who have we harmed by treating this person withmore kindness than we show toward others? This week, in the second of our two-part series on moral decision-making, we consider how actions that come fr...
Playing Favorites
If we do a favor for someone we know, we think we've done a good deed. What we don't tend to ask is: Who have we harmed by treating this person withmore kindness than we show toward others? This week, in the second of our two-part series on moral decision-making, we consider how actions that come fr...
Justifying The Means 01 June 2020 00:53:30
When we are asked to make a moral choice, many of us imagine it involves listening to our hearts. To that, philosopher Peter Singer says, "nonsense." Singer believes there are no moral absolutes, and that logic and calculation are better guides to moral behavior than feelings and intuitions. This we...
Justifying The Means
When we are asked to make a moral choice, many of us imagine it involves listening to our hearts. To that, philosopher Peter Singer says, "nonsense." Singer believes there are no moral absolutes, and that logic and calculation are better guides to moral behavior than feelings and intuitions. This we...
The Time Machine 30 May 2020 00:05:28
In recent months, many of us have looked back with longing at our lives before COVID-19. For many of us, that world was one of bustle and activity — marked by scenes of packed restaurants, crowded subway cars, and chaotic playgrounds. In this audio essay, Shankar discusses our wistfulness for the wo...
The Time Machine
In recent months, many of us have looked back with longing at our lives before COVID-19. For many of us, that world was one of bustle and activity — marked by scenes of packed restaurants, crowded subway cars, and chaotic playgrounds. In this audio essay, Shankar discusses our wistfulness for the wo...
The People Like Us 25 May 2020 00:35:03
Far from being "the great equalizer," COVID-19 has disproportionately sickened and killed African Americans and Latinos in the U.S. Many of the reasons for these inequalities reach back to before the pandemic began. This week, we return to a 2019 episode that investigates a specific source of racial...
The People Like Us
Far from being "the great equalizer," COVID-19 has disproportionately sickened and killed African Americans and Latinos in the U.S. Many of the reasons for these inequalities reach back to before the pandemic began. This week, we return to a 2019 episode that investigates a specific source of racial...
Our Better Angels 18 May 2020 00:39:50
In the months since the spread of the coronavirus, stories of selfishness and exploitation have become all too familiar: people ignoring social distancing guidelines, or even selling medical equipment at inflated prices. Most of our public and economic policies take aim at these sorts of people — th...
Our Better Angels
In the months since the spread of the coronavirus, stories of selfishness and exploitation have become all too familiar: people ignoring social distancing guidelines, or even selling medical equipment at inflated prices. Most of our public and economic policies take aim at these sorts of people — th...
A Hidden Brain Commencement Address 13 May 2020 00:06:50
Commencement ceremonies allow us to take stock of what we've accomplished and where we're headed. This is one of the key opportunities that students and families have lost, as social distancing precautions lead schools to cancel in-person graduations. In this "commencement address," recorded at the ...
A Hidden Brain Commencement Address
Commencement ceremonies allow us to take stock of what we've accomplished and where we're headed. This is one of the key opportunities that students and families have lost, as social distancing precautions lead schools to cancel in-person graduations. In this "commencement address," recorded at the ...
The Dramatic Cure 11 May 2020 00:50:22
In recent months, many of us have become familiar with the sense of fear expressing itself in our bodies. We may feel restless or physically exhausted. At times, we may even have trouble catching our breath. The deep connection between mind and body that seems so salient now was also at the center o...
The Dramatic Cure
In recent months, many of us have become familiar with the sense of fear expressing itself in our bodies. We may feel restless or physically exhausted. At times, we may even have trouble catching our breath. The deep connection between mind and body that seems so salient now was also at the center o...
The Choices Before Us 04 May 2020 00:48:41
An abundance of choices is a good thing, right? In the United States, where choice is often equated with freedom and control, the answer tends to be a resounding 'yes.' But researchers say the relationship between choice and happiness isn't always so clear-cut. This week, we talk with psychologist S...
The Choices Before Us
An abundance of choices is a good thing, right? In the United States, where choice is often equated with freedom and control, the answer tends to be a resounding 'yes.' But researchers say the relationship between choice and happiness isn't always so clear-cut. This week, we talk with psychologist S...
Starving The Watchdogs 27 April 2020 00:29:53
Amidst the confusion and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have sought out a long-trusted lifeline: the local newspaper. Though the value of local journalism is more apparent now than ever, newspapers are not thriving. They're collapsing. For many communities, this means fewer local stories...
Starving The Watchdogs
Amidst the confusion and chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have sought out a long-trusted lifeline: the local newspaper. Though the value of local journalism is more apparent now than ever, newspapers are not thriving. They're collapsing. For many communities, this means fewer local stories...
A Social Prescription 20 April 2020 00:48:43
Confined to our homes, many of us are experiencing a newfound appreciation for our social relationships. What we may not realize — and what physicians and researchers have only recently started emphasizing — is the importance of these connections to our physical health. This week, we talk with forme...
A Social Prescription
Confined to our homes, many of us are experiencing a newfound appreciation for our social relationships. What we may not realize — and what physicians and researchers have only recently started emphasizing — is the importance of these connections to our physical health. This week, we talk with forme...
Sex Machines 13 April 2020 00:27:07
From stone statues to silicone works of art, we have long sought solace and sex from inanimate objects. Time and technology have perfected the artificial lover: today we have life-size silicone love dolls so finely crafted they feel like works of art. Now, with the help of robotics and artificial in...
Sex Machines
From stone statues to silicone works of art, we have long sought solace and sex from inanimate objects. Time and technology have perfected the artificial lover: today we have life-size silicone love dolls so finely crafted they feel like works of art. Now, with the help of robotics and artificial in...
Playing Tight And Loose 06 April 2020 00:49:39
We all know people who prefer to follow the rules, and others who prefer to flout them. Psychologist Michele Gelfand defines these two ways of being as "tight" and "loose." She says the tight/loose framework can help us to better understand individuals, businesses, and even nations. This week, we l...
Playing Tight And Loose
We all know people who prefer to follow the rules, and others who prefer to flout them. Psychologist Michele Gelfand defines these two ways of being as "tight" and "loose." She says the tight/loose framework can help us to better understand individuals, businesses, and even nations. This week, we l...
Close Enough: Living Through Others 30 March 2020 00:48:36
A silver lining of social distancing: you may have more time and space to pursue the projects you've bookmarked on your web browser. Whether your goal is to build a barn door or to update your makeup routine, online tutorials have made it easier than ever to bring the world into your living room or ...
Close Enough: Living Through Others
A silver lining of social distancing: you may have more time and space to pursue the projects you've bookmarked on your web browser. Whether your goal is to build a barn door or to update your makeup routine, online tutorials have made it easier than ever to bring the world into your living room or ...
An Unfinished Lesson 23 March 2020 00:48:08
A virus is more than a biological organism. It's a social organism. It detects fissures in societies and fault lines between communities. Historian Nancy Bristow shares the lessons about human behavior that we can take away from a century-old pandemic.
An Unfinished Lesson
A virus is more than a biological organism. It's a social organism. It detects fissures in societies and fault lines between communities. Historian Nancy Bristow shares the lessons about human behavior that we can take away from a century-old pandemic.
Panic In The Street 16 March 2020 00:24:42
It sounds like a movie plot: police discover the body of a young man who's been murdered. The body tests positive for a deadly infectious disease. Authorities trace the killing to a gang. They race to find the gang members, who may also be incubating the virus. This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit ...
Panic In The Street
It sounds like a movie plot: police discover the body of a young man who's been murdered. The body tests positive for a deadly infectious disease. Authorities trace the killing to a gang. They race to find the gang members, who may also be incubating the virus. This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit ...
The Bomb That Didn't Explode 10 March 2020 00:35:00
We know that we live in an ever-changing world, but one thing we often overlook is demographic change. Whether the world's population is growing or shrinking can affect many aspects of our lives, from the number of kids we have to the likelihood that we'll live to old age. This week on Hidden Brain,...
The Bomb That Didn't Explode
We know that we live in an ever-changing world, but one thing we often overlook is demographic change. Whether the world's population is growing or shrinking can affect many aspects of our lives, from the number of kids we have to the likelihood that we'll live to old age. This week on Hidden Brain,...
The Tale of the Cowboy Philosopher 03 March 2020 00:48:59
In 2009, an old man died in a California nursing home. His obituary included not just his given name, but a long list of the pseudonyms he'd been known to use. In this episode, which we originally released in 2019, we trace the life of Riley Shepard, a hillbilly musician, writer, small-time con man ...
The Tale of the Cowboy Philosopher
In 2009, an old man died in a California nursing home. His obituary included not just his given name, but a long list of the pseudonyms he'd been known to use. In this episode, which we originally released in 2019, we trace the life of Riley Shepard, a hillbilly musician, writer, small-time con man ...
The Influence You Have 24 February 2020 00:49:02
Think about the last time you asked someone for something. Maybe you were nervous or worried about what the person would think of you. Chances are that you didn't stop to think about the pressure you were exerting on that person. This week, we explore a phenomenon that psychologists refer to as "ego...
The Influence You Have
Think about the last time you asked someone for something. Maybe you were nervous or worried about what the person would think of you. Chances are that you didn't stop to think about the pressure you were exerting on that person. This week, we explore a phenomenon that psychologists refer to as "ego...
Liar, Liar, Liar 17 February 2020 00:28:23
We all lie. But what separates the average person from the infamous cheaters we see on the news? Dan Ariely says we like to think it's character — but in his research he's found it's more often opportunity. Dan Ariely is a professor at Duke University and the author of the book, The Honest Truth Abo...
Liar, Liar, Liar
We all lie. But what separates the average person from the infamous cheaters we see on the news? Dan Ariely says we like to think it's character — but in his research he's found it's more often opportunity. Dan Ariely is a professor at Duke University and the author of the book, The Honest Truth Abo...
Passion Isn't Enough 10 February 2020 00:50:54
Many Americans feel an obligation to keep up with political news. But maybe we should be focusing our energies elsewhere. 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 ...
Passion Isn't Enough
Many Americans feel an obligation to keep up with political news. But maybe we should be focusing our energies elsewhere. 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 ...
When Things Click 04 February 2020 00:49:29
There can be a lot of psychological noise involved in teaching. But what if we replaced all that mental clutter...with a click? This week, we bring you a 2018 episode exploring an innovative idea about how we learn. It will take us from a dolphin exhibit in Hawaii to a top teaching hospital in New Y...
When Things Click
There can be a lot of psychological noise involved in teaching. But what if we replaced all that mental clutter...with a click? This week, we bring you a 2018 episode exploring an innovative idea about how we learn. It will take us from a dolphin exhibit in Hawaii to a top teaching hospital in New Y...
Secret Friends 27 January 2020 00:50:06
Where is the line between what is real and what is imaginary? It seems like an easy question to answer: if you can see it, hear it, or touch it, then it's real, right? But what if this way of thinking is limiting one of the greatest gifts of the mind? This week, we meet people who experience the inv...
Secret Friends
Where is the line between what is real and what is imaginary? It seems like an easy question to answer: if you can see it, hear it, or touch it, then it's real, right? But what if this way of thinking is limiting one of the greatest gifts of the mind? This week, we meet people who experience the inv...
Warnings, Warnings Everywhere 20 January 2020 00:33:25
After a disaster happens, we want to know whether something could have been done to avoid it. Did anyone see this coming? Many times, the answer is yes. So why didn't the warnings lead to action? This week, we revisit a favorite 2018 episode about the psychology of warnings. We visit a smelly Alaska...
Warnings, Warnings Everywhere
After a disaster happens, we want to know whether something could have been done to avoid it. Did anyone see this coming? Many times, the answer is yes. So why didn't the warnings lead to action? This week, we revisit a favorite 2018 episode about the psychology of warnings. We visit a smelly Alaska...
Emotional Currency 13 January 2020 00:35:28
What's the point of money? The answer might seem obvious: we need it to get paid for our work, and to buy the things we need. But there's also a deeper way to look at the role of money in our lives. This week we explore an anthropologist's take on the origin story of money. What if the cash and coin...
Emotional Currency
What's the point of money? The answer might seem obvious: we need it to get paid for our work, and to buy the things we need. But there's also a deeper way to look at the role of money in our lives. This week we explore an anthropologist's take on the origin story of money. What if the cash and coin...
On The Knife's Edge 06 January 2020 00:26:49
What would drive someone to take another person's life? When researchers at the University of Chicago asked that question, the answer was a laundry list of slights: a stolen jacket, or a carelessly lobbed insult. It made them wonder whether crime rates could be driven down by teaching young men to p...
On The Knife's Edge
What would drive someone to take another person's life? When researchers at the University of Chicago asked that question, the answer was a laundry list of slights: a stolen jacket, or a carelessly lobbed insult. It made them wonder whether crime rates could be driven down by teaching young men to p...
Creatures Of Habit 30 December 2019 00:49:40
At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions for the months to come. We resolve to work out more, procrastinate less, or save more money. Though some people stick with these aspirations, many of us fall short. This week, psychologist Wendy Wood shares what researchers have found about h...
Creatures Of Habit
At the beginning of the year, many of us make resolutions for the months to come. We resolve to work out more, procrastinate less, or save more money. Though some people stick with these aspirations, many of us fall short. This week, psychologist Wendy Wood shares what researchers have found about h...
Why We Love Surprises 23 December 2019 00:28:24
Why do we fall for surprise endings? It turns out that our capacity to be easily fooled in books and movies is made possible by a handful of predictable mental shortcuts. In this 2018 conversation, we talk with Vera Tobin, one of the world's first cognitive scientists to study plot twists. She says ...
Why We Love Surprises
Why do we fall for surprise endings? It turns out that our capacity to be easily fooled in books and movies is made possible by a handful of predictable mental shortcuts. In this 2018 conversation, we talk with Vera Tobin, one of the world's first cognitive scientists to study plot twists. She says ...
Did That Really Happen? 17 December 2019 00:48:02
Our memories are easily contaminated. We can be made to believe we rode in a hot air balloon or kissed a magnifying glass — even if those things never happened. So how do we know which of our memories are most accurate? This week, psychologist Ayanna Thomas explains how memory works, how it fails, ...
Did That Really Happen?
Our memories are easily contaminated. We can be made to believe we rode in a hot air balloon or kissed a magnifying glass — even if those things never happened. So how do we know which of our memories are most accurate? This week, psychologist Ayanna Thomas explains how memory works, how it fails, ...
Zipcode Destiny 09 December 2019 00:49:59
There's a core belief embedded in the story of the United States — the American Dream. Today we look at the state of that dream as we revisit our 2018 conversation with economist Raj Chetty. We'll ask some questions that carry big implications: can you put an economic value on a great kindergarten t...
Zipcode Destiny
There's a core belief embedded in the story of the United States — the American Dream. Today we look at the state of that dream as we revisit our 2018 conversation with economist Raj Chetty. We'll ask some questions that carry big implications: can you put an economic value on a great kindergarten t...
In The Heat Of The Moment 03 December 2019 00:53:57
In a fit of anger or in the grip of fear, many of us make decisions that we never would have anticipated. This week, we look at situations that make us strangers to ourselves — and why it's so difficult to remember what these "hot states" feel like once the moment is over.
In The Heat Of The Moment
In a fit of anger or in the grip of fear, many of us make decisions that we never would have anticipated. This week, we look at situations that make us strangers to ourselves — and why it's so difficult to remember what these "hot states" feel like once the moment is over.
Counting Other People's Blessings 25 November 2019 00:49:02
Envy is one of the most unpleasant of all human emotions. It also turns out to be one of the most difficult for researchers to study. And yet, there's mounting evidence that envy is a powerful motivator. This week, we explore an emotion that can inspire us to become better people — or to commit unsp...
Counting Other People's Blessings
Envy is one of the most unpleasant of all human emotions. It also turns out to be one of the most difficult for researchers to study. And yet, there's mounting evidence that envy is a powerful motivator. This week, we explore an emotion that can inspire us to become better people — or to commit unsp...
The Ventilator 19 November 2019 00:52:14
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 have the story of 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 th...
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 have the story of 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 th...
Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus 11 November 2019 00:26:15
Anyone who's tried (and failed) to follow a diet knows that food is more than fuel. This week, we revisit our 2018 episode about the psychology behind what we eat, what we spit out, and when we come back for more.
Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus
Anyone who's tried (and failed) to follow a diet knows that food is more than fuel. This week, we revisit our 2018 episode about the psychology behind what we eat, what we spit out, and when we come back for more.
The Talk Market 04 November 2019 00:34:54
Can we affect the rise and fall of the economy? This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller about the powerful ways in which stories and psychology shape our economic lives. He argues that narratives affect not just the purchases we make as individuals, but t...
The Talk Market
Can we affect the rise and fall of the economy? This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller about the powerful ways in which stories and psychology shape our economic lives. He argues that narratives affect not just the purchases we make as individuals, but t...
BS Jobs 28 October 2019 00:42:54
Have you ever had a job where you had to stop and ask yourself: what am I doing here? If I quit tomorrow, would anyone even notice? This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit our 2018 conversation with anthropologist David Graeber about the rise of what he calls "bullsh*t jobs," and how these positions a...
BS Jobs
Have you ever had a job where you had to stop and ask yourself: what am I doing here? If I quit tomorrow, would anyone even notice? This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit our 2018 conversation with anthropologist David Graeber about the rise of what he calls "bullsh*t jobs," and how these positions a...
The Monkey Marketplace 21 October 2019 00:45:59
What makes the mind of a human different from that of other animals? Psychologist Laurie Santos says we can't know the answer to that question if we only study humans. This week, we turn to Laurie's work with monkeys to understand which parts of human behavior are distinct, and which we share with o...
The Monkey Marketplace
What makes the mind of a human different from that of other animals? Psychologist Laurie Santos says we can't know the answer to that question if we only study humans. This week, we turn to Laurie's work with monkeys to understand which parts of human behavior are distinct, and which we share with o...
The Lonely American Man 14 October 2019 00:46:10
Boys get the message at a young age: don't show your feelings. Don't rely on anyone. This week, we bring you a favorite 2018 episode about misguided notions of masculinity in the United States. We explore how these notions create stressed-out romantic relationships, physical health problems, and a g...
The Lonely American Man
Boys get the message at a young age: don't show your feelings. Don't rely on anyone. This week, we bring you a favorite 2018 episode about misguided notions of masculinity in the United States. We explore how these notions create stressed-out romantic relationships, physical health problems, and a g...
Screaming Into The Void 07 October 2019 00:39:54
Turn on the news or look at Twitter, and it's likely you'll be bombarded by outrage. Many people have come to believe that the only way to spark change is to incite anger. This week on Hidden Brain, how outrage is hijacking our conversations, our communities, and our minds.
Screaming Into The Void
Turn on the news or look at Twitter, and it's likely you'll be bombarded by outrage. Many people have come to believe that the only way to spark change is to incite anger. This week on Hidden Brain, how outrage is hijacking our conversations, our communities, and our minds.
Baby Talk 30 September 2019 00:29:16
Babies are speaking to us all the time, but most of us have no clue what they're saying. To researchers, though, the babbling of babies is knowable, predictable, and best of all, teachable to us non-experts. This week, we revisit our May 2018 primer on how to decipher the secret language of babies a...
Baby Talk
Babies are speaking to us all the time, but most of us have no clue what they're saying. To researchers, though, the babbling of babies is knowable, predictable, and best of all, teachable to us non-experts. This week, we revisit our May 2018 primer on how to decipher the secret language of babies a...
We're All Gonna Live Forever! 23 September 2019 00:37:27
Last week, we spoke with psychologist Sheldon Solomon about the fear of death and how it shapes our actions. This week, we pivot from psychology and politics to religion and history as we explore how people have tried to resolve these fears. We talk with philosopher Stephen Cave about the ways we as...
We're All Gonna Live Forever!
Last week, we spoke with psychologist Sheldon Solomon about the fear of death and how it shapes our actions. This week, we pivot from psychology and politics to religion and history as we explore how people have tried to resolve these fears. We talk with philosopher Stephen Cave about the ways we as...
We're All Gonna Die! 16 September 2019 00:30:43
Death may be inescapable, but we do our best to avoid thinking about it. Psychologist Sheldon Solomon says we're not very successful though. This week on Hidden Brain, we confront how death anxiety courses through our actions, even when we don't realize it.
We're All Gonna Die!
Death may be inescapable, but we do our best to avoid thinking about it. Psychologist Sheldon Solomon says we're not very successful though. This week on Hidden Brain, we confront how death anxiety courses through our actions, even when we don't realize it.
You Can't Hit Unsend 10 September 2019 00:51:06
Social media sites offer quick and easy ways to share ideas, crack jokes, find old friends. They can make us feel part of something big and wonderful and fast-moving. But the things we post don't go away. And they can come back to haunt us. This week, we explore how one teenager's social media post...
You Can't Hit Unsend
Social media sites offer quick and easy ways to share ideas, crack jokes, find old friends. They can make us feel part of something big and wonderful and fast-moving. But the things we post don't go away. And they can come back to haunt us. This week, we explore how one teenager's social media post...
You 2.0: Decide Already! 02 September 2019 00:23:28
For the last episode in our You 2.0 series, we bring you a favorite conversation with Harvard researcher Dan Gilbert. He explains why we're bad at predicting our future happiness, how that affects our decision making, and why we're actually happier after making a decision that feels irrevocable.
You 2.0: Decide Already!
For the last episode in our You 2.0 series, we bring you a favorite conversation with Harvard researcher Dan Gilbert. He explains why we're bad at predicting our future happiness, how that affects our decision making, and why we're actually happier after making a decision that feels irrevocable.
You 2.0: Deep Work 27 August 2019 00:32:17
When your phone buzzes or a notification pops up your screen, do you stop what you're doing to look and respond? That's what many of us are doing. Even though we think we should be less distracted by technology, we haven't admitted the true cost of these interruptions. This week, we revisit our 2017...
You 2.0: Deep Work
When your phone buzzes or a notification pops up your screen, do you stop what you're doing to look and respond? That's what many of us are doing. Even though we think we should be less distracted by technology, we haven't admitted the true cost of these interruptions. This week, we revisit our 2017...
You 2.0: Rebel With A Cause 19 August 2019 00:45:09
Francesca Gino studies rebels — people who practice "positive deviance" and achieve incredible feats of imagination. They know how, and when, to break the rules that should be broken. So how can you activate your own inner non-conformist? This week, we ponder the traits of successful rebels as we re...
You 2.0: Rebel With A Cause
Francesca Gino studies rebels — people who practice "positive deviance" and achieve incredible feats of imagination. They know how, and when, to break the rules that should be broken. So how can you activate your own inner non-conformist? This week, we ponder the traits of successful rebels as we re...
You 2.0: Our Better Nature 12 August 2019 00:25:00
If you live in a big city, you may have noticed new buildings popping up — a high-rise here, a skyscraper there. The concrete jungles that we've built over the past century have allowed millions of us to live in close proximity, and modern economies to flourish. But what have we given up by moving a...
You 2.0: Our Better Nature
If you live in a big city, you may have noticed new buildings popping up — a high-rise here, a skyscraper there. The concrete jungles that we've built over the past century have allowed millions of us to live in close proximity, and modern economies to flourish. But what have we given up by moving a...
You 2.0: Tunnel Vision 05 August 2019 00:35:08
When you're hungry, it can be hard to think of anything other than food. When you're desperately poor, you may constantly worry about making ends meet. When you're lonely, you might obsess about making friends. This week, as part of our You 2.0 series, we bring you a favorite 2017 episode about the ...
You 2.0: Tunnel Vision
When you're hungry, it can be hard to think of anything other than food. When you're desperately poor, you may constantly worry about making ends meet. When you're lonely, you might obsess about making friends. This week, as part of our You 2.0 series, we bring you a favorite 2017 episode about the ...
You 2.0: The Empathy Gym 29 July 2019 00:53:11
Some people are good at putting themselves in another person's shoes. Others may struggle to relate. But psychologist Jamil Zaki argues that empathy isn't a fixed trait. This week: how to exercise our empathetic muscles. It's the first episode in our You 2.0 summer series.
You 2.0: The Empathy Gym
Some people are good at putting themselves in another person's shoes. Others may struggle to relate. But psychologist Jamil Zaki argues that empathy isn't a fixed trait. This week: how to exercise our empathetic muscles. It's the first episode in our You 2.0 summer series.
Facts Aren't Enough 22 July 2019 00:48:58
Sometimes when we believe something, we resist data that can change our minds. This week, we look at how we rely on the people we trust to shape what we believe, and why emotions can be more powerful than facts. This episode features new reporting and favorite conversations with neuroscientist Tali ...
Facts Aren't Enough
Sometimes when we believe something, we resist data that can change our minds. This week, we look at how we rely on the people we trust to shape what we believe, and why emotions can be more powerful than facts. This episode features new reporting and favorite conversations with neuroscientist Tali ...
Finding Your Voice 15 July 2019 00:33:15
At some point in our lives, many of us realize that the way we hear our own voice isn't the way others hear us. This week on Hidden Brain, we look at the relationship between our voices and our identities. Plus, we hear how advances in technology might help people with vocal impairments, and conside...
Finding Your Voice
At some point in our lives, many of us realize that the way we hear our own voice isn't the way others hear us. This week on Hidden Brain, we look at the relationship between our voices and our identities. Plus, we hear how advances in technology might help people with vocal impairments, and conside...
The Fox And The Hedgehog 08 July 2019 00:36:22
The Greek poet Archilochus wrote that "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This week, we'll use the metaphor of the fox and the hedgehog as a way to understand the differences between tacticians and big-picture thinkers. We'll explore the story of a pioneering surgeon w...
The Fox And The Hedgehog
The Greek poet Archilochus wrote that "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing." This week, we'll use the metaphor of the fox and the hedgehog as a way to understand the differences between tacticians and big-picture thinkers. We'll explore the story of a pioneering surgeon w...
I Buy, Therefore I Am 01 July 2019 00:32:25
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 look at how companies create a worldview around the products they sell, and then get u...
I Buy, Therefore I Am
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 look at how companies create a worldview around the products they sell, and then get u...
The Lazarus Drug 24 June 2019 00:46:58
More than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2017 — many of them from heroin and other opioids. One of the most widely-used tools to confront this crisis is a drug called naloxone. It can reverse an opioid overdose within seconds, and has been hailed by first responders and public health resear...
The Lazarus Drug
More than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2017 — many of them from heroin and other opioids. One of the most widely-used tools to confront this crisis is a drug called naloxone. It can reverse an opioid overdose within seconds, and has been hailed by first responders and public health resear...
Our Animal Instincts 17 June 2019 00:48:52
Does living with animals really make us healthier? Why do we eat some animals and keep others as pets? This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with psychology professor Hal Herzog about the contradictions embedded in our relationships with animals.
Our Animal Instincts
Does living with animals really make us healthier? Why do we eat some animals and keep others as pets? This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with psychology professor Hal Herzog about the contradictions embedded in our relationships with animals.
Me, Myself, and IKEA 10 June 2019 00:23:24
Are women named Virginia more likely to move to Virginia? Are people with the last name of Carpenter more likely to be carpenters? This week on Hidden Brain, we bring you a favorite 2017 episode about our preference for things that remind us of ourselves, and why this tendency can have larger implic...
Me, Myself, and IKEA
Are women named Virginia more likely to move to Virginia? Are people with the last name of Carpenter more likely to be carpenters? This week on Hidden Brain, we bring you a favorite 2017 episode about our preference for things that remind us of ourselves, and why this tendency can have larger implic...
People Like Us 03 June 2019 00:33:37
Generations of Americans have struggled against segregation. Most of us believe in the ideal of a colorblind society. But what happens when that ideal come up against research that finds colorblindness sometimes leads to worse outcomes?
People Like Us
Generations of Americans have struggled against segregation. Most of us believe in the ideal of a colorblind society. But what happens when that ideal come up against research that finds colorblindness sometimes leads to worse outcomes?
More Divided Than Ever? 27 May 2019 00:50:21
Many of us intuitively feel that the bitter partisanship of American politics is bad for our nation. So should we be concerned about the health of our democracy? This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit two of our favorite conversations about U.S. politics. We start by talking with political scientist ...
More Divided Than Ever?
Many of us intuitively feel that the bitter partisanship of American politics is bad for our nation. So should we be concerned about the health of our democracy? This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit two of our favorite conversations about U.S. politics. We start by talking with political scientist ...
Losing Face 20 May 2019 00:22:34
It happens to all of us: someone recognizes you on the street, calls you by name, and says hello. You, meanwhile, have no idea who that person is. Researchers say this struggle to read other faces is common. This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit a favorite 2016 episode about "super-recognizers" and ...
Losing Face
It happens to all of us: someone recognizes you on the street, calls you by name, and says hello. You, meanwhile, have no idea who that person is. Researchers say this struggle to read other faces is common. This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit a favorite 2016 episode about "super-recognizers" and ...
What's Not On The Test 13 May 2019 00:48:47
Smarts matter. But other factors may play an even bigger role in whether someone succeeds. This week, we speak with Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman about the skills that predict how you'll fare in life. We'll also look at programs that build these skills in the neediest of children – and...
What's Not On The Test
Smarts matter. But other factors may play an even bigger role in whether someone succeeds. This week, we speak with Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman about the skills that predict how you'll fare in life. We'll also look at programs that build these skills in the neediest of children – and...
Creating God 06 May 2019 00:51:14
If you've taken part in a religious service, have you ever stopped to think about how it all came to be? How did people become believers? Where did the rituals come from? And what purpose does it all serve? This week, we bring you a July 2018 episode with social psychologist Azim Shariff. He argues ...
Creating God
If you've taken part in a religious service, have you ever stopped to think about how it all came to be? How did people become believers? Where did the rituals come from? And what purpose does it all serve? This week, we bring you a July 2018 episode with social psychologist Azim Shariff. He argues ...
A Dramatic Cure 29 April 2019 00:49:26
Placebos belong in clinical trials, not in the doctor's office. That's the conventional wisdom, anyway. This week, we ask what placebos might teach us about healing.
A Dramatic Cure
Placebos belong in clinical trials, not in the doctor's office. That's the conventional wisdom, anyway. This week, we ask what placebos might teach us about healing.
Why No One Feels Rich 22 April 2019 00:32:06
If you've ever flown in economy class on a plane, you probably had to walk through the first class cabin to get to your seat. Maybe you noticed the extra leg room. The freshly-poured champagne. Maybe you were annoyed, or envious. Social psychologist Keith Payne says we tend to compare ourselves with...
Why No One Feels Rich
If you've ever flown in economy class on a plane, you probably had to walk through the first class cabin to get to your seat. Maybe you noticed the extra leg room. The freshly-poured champagne. Maybe you were annoyed, or envious. Social psychologist Keith Payne says we tend to compare ourselves with...
The Sorting Hat 15 April 2019 00:48:26
The desire to find our tribe is universal. We like to know who we are and where we belong. This fascination has led to a thriving industry built on the marketing and sale of personality tests. These tests offer individuals – and, increasingly, employers – quick and easy insights that can be used to ...
The Sorting Hat
The desire to find our tribe is universal. We like to know who we are and where we belong. This fascination has led to a thriving industry built on the marketing and sale of personality tests. These tests offer individuals – and, increasingly, employers – quick and easy insights that can be used to ...
Radically Normal 08 April 2019 00:51:24
For generations, living openly as a gay person in the United States was difficult, and often dangerous. But there's been a dramatic change in public attitudes toward gay people. This week, we explore one of the most striking transformations of public attitude ever recorded. And we consider whether t...
Radically Normal
For generations, living openly as a gay person in the United States was difficult, and often dangerous. But there's been a dramatic change in public attitudes toward gay people. This week, we explore one of the most striking transformations of public attitude ever recorded. And we consider whether t...
Don't Panic! 01 April 2019 00:49:31
Chaos is a part of all of our lives. Sometimes we try to control it. And other times, we just have to live with it. On this week's Hidden Brain, we bring you two of our favorite stories about coping with chaos. They come from our 2016 episodes "Panic in the Streets" and "Embrace the Chaos."
Don't Panic!
Chaos is a part of all of our lives. Sometimes we try to control it. And other times, we just have to live with it. On this week's Hidden Brain, we bring you two of our favorite stories about coping with chaos. They come from our 2016 episodes "Panic in the Streets" and "Embrace the Chaos."
What Twins Tell Us 25 March 2019 00:29:10
Twin studies aren't just for twins. They're a paradigm for all of us, a way to explore an old question: how much are we shaped by our genes, and how much by our environment?
What Twins Tell Us
Twin studies aren't just for twins. They're a paradigm for all of us, a way to explore an old question: how much are we shaped by our genes, and how much by our environment?
Never Go To Vegas 18 March 2019 00:48:13
All social classes have unspoken rules. From A-list celebrities to teachers, doctors, lawyers, and journalists — there are social norms that govern us, whether we realize it or not. This week on Hidden Brain, we look celebrity culture, as well as another elite group: the yoga-loving, Whole Foods-sh...
Never Go To Vegas
All social classes have unspoken rules. From A-list celebrities to teachers, doctors, lawyers, and journalists — there are social norms that govern us, whether we realize it or not. This week on Hidden Brain, we look celebrity culture, as well as another elite group: the yoga-loving, Whole Foods-sh...
Unreal Sex 11 March 2019 00:27:06
From stone statues to silicone works of art, we have long sought solace and sex from inanimate objects. Time and technology have perfected the artificial lover: today we have life-size silicone love dolls so finely crafted they feel like works of art. Now, with the help of robotics and artificial i...
Unreal Sex
From stone statues to silicone works of art, we have long sought solace and sex from inanimate objects. Time and technology have perfected the artificial lover: today we have life-size silicone love dolls so finely crafted they feel like works of art. Now, with the help of robotics and artificial i...
For Sale, By Owner 04 March 2019 00:31:20
You own your body. So should you be able to sell parts of it? This week, we explore the concept of "repugnant transactions" with the man who coined the term, Nobel Prize- winning economist Al Roth. He says repugnant transactions can range from selling organs to poorly-planned gift exchanges — and wh...
For Sale, By Owner
You own your body. So should you be able to sell parts of it? This week, we explore the concept of "repugnant transactions" with the man who coined the term, Nobel Prize- winning economist Al Roth. He says repugnant transactions can range from selling organs to poorly-planned gift exchanges — and wh...
Radio Replay: Playing The Gender Card 01 March 2019 00:49:03
Annie Duke was about to win $2 million. It was 2004, and she was at the final hand of the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. But as a woman at a table full of men, she wasn't sure she deserved to be there. In this week's Radio Replay, we tell the stories of two people who grappled with g...
Radio Replay: Playing The Gender Card
Annie Duke was about to win $2 million. It was 2004, and she was at the final hand of the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions. But as a woman at a table full of men, she wasn't sure she deserved to be there. In this week's Radio Replay, we tell the stories of two people who grappled with g...
Better Than Cash 25 February 2019 00:26:55
Our modern world is saturated with awards. From elementary school classrooms to Hollywood to the hallways of academia, there's no shortage of prizes. But — do they work?
Better Than Cash
Our modern world is saturated with awards. From elementary school classrooms to Hollywood to the hallways of academia, there's no shortage of prizes. But — do they work?
Emma, Carrie, Vivian 18 February 2019 00:39:54
The eugenicists were utopians, convinced that they were doing hard but necessary things. And that included making decisions about who could have children.
Emma, Carrie, Vivian
The eugenicists were utopians, convinced that they were doing hard but necessary things. And that included making decisions about who could have children.
Close Enough 11 February 2019 00:48:36
Today, more and more of us are living through the people on our screens and in our headphones. It's not real, but for many of us, it's close enough.
Close Enough
Today, more and more of us are living through the people on our screens and in our headphones. It's not real, but for many of us, it's close enough.
One Head, Two Brains 04 February 2019 00:48:55
It's long been a mystery why the brain is divided. Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist explains why our brains are split, and how these divisions are reflected in Western society.
One Head, Two Brains
It's long been a mystery why the brain is divided. Psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist explains why our brains are split, and how these divisions are reflected in Western society.
Radio Replay: Creative Differences 01 February 2019 00:48:52
What happens when we connect with people whose view of the world is very different from our own? We look at the links between diversity, conflict, and creativity.
Radio Replay: Creative Differences
What happens when we connect with people whose view of the world is very different from our own? We look at the links between diversity, conflict, and creativity.
Rewinding & Rewriting 28 January 2019 00:29:27
All of us think back to turning points in our lives, and imagine how things could have unfolded differently. Why do we so often ask ourselves, "What if?"
Rewinding & Rewriting
All of us think back to turning points in our lives, and imagine how things could have unfolded differently. Why do we so often ask ourselves, "What if?"
The Vegetable Lamb 21 January 2019 00:35:55
We like to think that science evolves in a way that is...rational. But this isn't always the case. This week, we look at how information and misinformation spread in science.
The Vegetable Lamb
We like to think that science evolves in a way that is...rational. But this isn't always the case. This week, we look at how information and misinformation spread in science.
The Best Medicine 14 January 2019 00:46:09
This week, a scientific look at what makes us laugh. Here's a hint — a lot of it isn't funny. We talk to neuroscientist (and stand up comedian) Sophie Scott.
The Best Medicine
This week, a scientific look at what makes us laugh. Here's a hint — a lot of it isn't funny. We talk to neuroscientist (and stand up comedian) Sophie Scott.
The Cowboy Philosopher 07 January 2019 00:48:50
In 2009, an old man died in a California nursing home. His obituary included not just his given name, but a long list of the pseudonyms he'd been known to use. In this episode, we trace the life of Riley Shepard, a hillbilly musician, writer, small-time con man and, perhaps, a genius.
The Cowboy Philosopher
In 2009, an old man died in a California nursing home. His obituary included not just his given name, but a long list of the pseudonyms he'd been known to use. In this episode, we trace the life of Riley Shepard, a hillbilly musician, writer, small-time con man and, perhaps, a genius.
Loss and Renewal 31 December 2018 00:24:53
Maya Shankar was well on her way to an extraordinary career as a violinist when an injury closed that door. She eventually found a new path forward in a very different field.
Loss and Renewal
Maya Shankar was well on her way to an extraordinary career as a violinist when an injury closed that door. She eventually found a new path forward in a very different field.
Compassion 24 December 2018 00:16:24
This week, we look at the science of compassion, and why doing good things for others can make a big difference in your own life.
Compassion
This week, we look at the science of compassion, and why doing good things for others can make a big difference in your own life.
Radio Replay: Yum and Yuck 21 December 2018 00:48:52
We dig into the psychology that determines the foods that make us salivate and the scents that make us squirm.
Radio Replay: Yum and Yuck
We dig into the psychology that determines the foods that make us salivate and the scents that make us squirm.
Alan Alda Wants Us To Have Better Conversations 17 December 2018 00:40:37
We've all experienced miscommunications. Their consequences can range from hilarious... to disastrous. The actor Alan Alda — yes, that Alan Alda — wants to help us avoid them.
Alan Alda Wants Us To Have Better Conversations
We've all experienced miscommunications. Their consequences can range from hilarious... to disastrous. The actor Alan Alda — yes, that Alan Alda — wants to help us avoid them.
Starving the Watchdog 10 December 2018 00:28:47
When a newspaper shuts down, jobs are lost and local stories go untold. There's also a consequence that's harder to spot, and it has a hefty price tag for residents.
Starving the Watchdog
When a newspaper shuts down, jobs are lost and local stories go untold. There's also a consequence that's harder to spot, and it has a hefty price tag for residents.
Spoiler Alert! 03 December 2018 00:28:24
Why do we always fall for surprise endings? It turns out that our capacity to be easily fooled in books and movies is made possible by a handful of predictable mental shortcuts. We talk this week with Vera Tobin, one of the world's first cognitive scientists to study plot twists. She says storytelle...
Spoiler Alert!
Why do we always fall for surprise endings? It turns out that our capacity to be easily fooled in books and movies is made possible by a handful of predictable mental shortcuts. We talk this week with Vera Tobin, one of the world's first cognitive scientists to study plot twists. She says storytelle...
A Founding Contradiction 26 November 2018 00:48:53
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." These words, penned by Thomas Jefferson more than 240 years ago, continue to inspire many Americans. And yet they were written by a man who owned hundreds of slaves, and fathered six children by an enslaved woman. This week,...
A Founding Contradiction
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." These words, penned by Thomas Jefferson more than 240 years ago, continue to inspire many Americans. And yet they were written by a man who owned hundreds of slaves, and fathered six children by an enslaved woman. This week,...
Radio Replay: Bringing Up Baby 23 November 2018 00:48:54
We try to translate the mysterious language of babies. And we ask, when should we step back and just let our children be?
Radio Replay: Bringing Up Baby
We try to translate the mysterious language of babies. And we ask, when should we step back and just let our children be?
The Edge of Gender 19 November 2018 00:50:13
Gender is one of the first things we notice about the people around us. But where do our ideas about gender come from? Can gender differences be explained by genes and chromosomes, or are they the result of upbringing, culture and the environment? In this encore episode from October 2017, we delve i...
The Edge of Gender
Gender is one of the first things we notice about the people around us. But where do our ideas about gender come from? Can gender differences be explained by genes and chromosomes, or are they the result of upbringing, culture and the environment? In this encore episode from October 2017, we delve i...
Zipcode Destiny 12 November 2018 00:49:56
There's a core belief embedded in the story of the United States: the American Dream. This week we discuss the state of that dream with economist Raj Chetty.
Zipcode Destiny
There's a core belief embedded in the story of the United States: the American Dream. This week we discuss the state of that dream with economist Raj Chetty.
Sounds Like a Winner 05 November 2018 00:24:16
We're used to the idea that rhetoric sways voters. But what about another element of language: a candidate's voice?
Sounds Like a Winner
We're used to the idea that rhetoric sways voters. But what about another element of language: a candidate's voice?
The Lazarus Drug 29 October 2018 00:46:52
More than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses last year — many of them from heroin and other opioids. One of the most widely-used tools to confront this crisis is a drug called naloxone. It can reverse an opioid overdose within seconds, and has been hailed by first responders and public health rese...
The Lazarus Drug
More than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses last year — many of them from heroin and other opioids. One of the most widely-used tools to confront this crisis is a drug called naloxone. It can reverse an opioid overdose within seconds, and has been hailed by first responders and public health rese...