Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain

science, arts
Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.
Wondering where to start with Hidden Brain? Fans of the podcast have clipped their favorite moments: check out a list of the best episodes below. Want more podcast clips? Get the Shuffle app.

Best Episodes

Afraid of the Wrong Things

Jan 25, 2021

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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 weRead more

Episode 10: Thanksgiving

Nov 24, 2015

"The secret to a successful thanksgiving meal? "

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The holidays are all about generousity, gratitude, and spending time with the people we love. But we all know the whole "spending time with the people we love" part has its challenges. Hidden Brain is here to help — with science-based tips to give you a happier holiday.

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The Logic of Rage

Oct 5, 2020

"Would you confront an armed robber?"

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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. 

Beyond Doomscrolling

Oct 12, 2020

"sometimes the good news is no news"

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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. WeRead more

Laughter: The Best Medicine

Sep 28, 2020

"Some hope for us non- comedians"

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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 toRead more

The Double Standard

Jan 4, 2021

" Find the positive intentions in others as much as you do in yourself"

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.

Liar, Liar, Liar

Feb 17, 2020

"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 TruthRead more
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