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Hidden Brain

Author: NPR

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

Our Animal Instincts

2019-06-1700:48:1244

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

Me, Myself, and IKEA

2019-06-1000:25:1052

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 implications than we might at first imagine.
People Like Us

People Like Us

2019-06-0300:35:3258

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?

More Divided Than Ever?

2019-05-2700:52:5076

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 John Hibbing about the psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Then, we explore the role of conflict in democracy with historian David Moss.
Losing Face

Losing Face

2019-05-2000:24:2138

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 the rest of us.
What's Not On The Test

What's Not On The Test

2019-05-1300:45:2350

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 new research that suggests the benefits of investing in kids and families can last for generations.
Creating God

Creating God

2019-05-0600:51:0854

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 that we should consider religion from a Darwinian perspective, as an innovation that helped human societies to thrive and flourish.
A Dramatic Cure

A Dramatic Cure

2019-04-2900:51:5817

Placebos belong in clinical trials, not in the doctor's office. At least, that's been the conventional wisdom for decades. This week, we ask whether placebos have more to offer than we've realized, and what they might teach us about healing. For research related to this episode, please visit: https://n.pr/2B9v2B0
Why No One Feels Rich

Why No One Feels Rich

2019-04-2200:33:1124

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 those who have more than us, but rarely with those who have less. This week, we explore the psychology of income inequality, and how perceptions of our own wealth shape our lives.
The Sorting Hat

The Sorting Hat

2019-04-1500:50:5213

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 make some of life's biggest decisions. But most fail to stand up to scientific scrutiny. This week, we revisit our 2017 episode about the world of personality testing, and explore the many different ways we assess personality and potential – from the Chinese zodiac to Harry Potter houses to the Myers-Briggs test.
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Comments (384)

Angelo Di Meo

yet the custllpł omerlp 5p5 hl p⁰0 can youlearn to p0ll09p0ll you 0pt0 your 0childpllpllll909 got lost pkll0000l polypill lp plpp⁵550 opp0pog0 many 0 yep I'm at let5

Jun 22nd
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Jason Huntley

I love how this episode destroys the LGBTQ narrative when it addresses sexual binary. I also love how Shankar pressures the woman to accept the logical conclusion to her findings. The world needs more critical thinking like that.

Jun 21st
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Mae Lee Arant

I am furious with this episode. it only looks at one simple broad brush statement of "anthropormorphism" rather than the deep dive of how animals function with the myriad of communicative intent as well as emotions. man is an animal, the worse as we raise ourselves above the rest with hypocrisy and self centered blindness.

Jun 20th
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Sean Noonan

This was a stupid episode, I can't believe this guy has spent 30 years thinking about this, his reasoning and conclusions sound so simplistic.

Jun 19th
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Taylor Anne

-> Animalia, chordata, mammilia, primates, haplorhini, simiiformes, hominidae, homininae, hominini, homo, -> Homo sapiens..... maybe it’s not humans and animals, no more than it’s chimanzees and animals, or bunnies and animals, or birds and animals. There is an incessant tendency to separate humans from all other animals. One might argue it is a fundamental cognitive bias. If the statement was scientifically accurate what would we be; humans and animals, are we aliens?! A moral distinction at it’s core.

Jun 18th
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Cheryl Martin

what about the people in the middle

Jun 14th
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Jenny Gardner

If available I would love links to the studies mentioned in this podcast, I want to send them to my boyfriend in med school! Super interesting

Jun 12th
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dwmc102555

Jenny Gardner NY Times magazine Nov 7, 2018

Jun 14th
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dwmc102555

Jenny Gardner There was a NY Times article on Kaptchuk's research as well, around 2012?

Jun 14th
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Songkeys

06:10 I thought there’s a fly on my ear...

Jun 8th
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Annie

Songkeys Lol. Yes, the clippers totally sound like a fly trapped near the microphone.

Jun 19th
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Jerry Hampton

Well I'm white in my doctors are usually Indian or Asian what does this mean for me. If I go around saying I only want white teachers and I only want white doctors I'm racist. And I'm not being facetious that's what I would think of someone saying those things.

Jun 4th
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Jason Huntley

This was most likely one of Hidden Brain's most commented and discussed episodes. It now has 5 comments. My comments were censored on this episode as well as many others, so I'll try to reiterate my view again. There has been a dramatic decline in the moral fabric of our society. There are presumptions and statements made in this episode which are very biased and pushing the agenda even further. The episode starts off pitting religion, specifically Christianity, against the gay rights movement. They are in opposition to one another, but Christians don't hate homosexuals and they take soundbites from awful people to represent the religion. Christians recognize homosexuality to be a sin, however, that doesn't mean that Orthodox Christians do not tolerate homosexuals. The issue with the gay rights movement is that it doesn't just want equal rights, but wants everyone, regardless of their conscience, to celebrate their lifestyle. The gay rights movement wants to infringe on religious freedom. Christians and homosexuals do not hold to the same values. The gay rights movement has very little in common with the women's right and civil rights movements. It's a willful dismissal of biology to equate them, which the Left loves to do concerning all of the LGBTQ "community".

Jun 4th
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James Nishi

Is it me or am I the only one who can't get Hidden Brain on my Castbox account?

Jun 4th
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Janine White

isn't the solution more diverse hiring practices? what a strange idea, re-segregate an increasingly diverse world, when the obvious solution is so obvious

Jun 4th
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Cam

Repeat content from "Red Brain, Blue Brain".

Jun 1st
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Jeff B

be honest and state when rebroadcasts, this show frustrates with all the recasting...

Jun 1st
Reply

Jayme White

Funny enough I randomly remembered this episode a few days ago. Drive to work thinking. I actually thought the order was wrong on my app until I read the description. Great episode that obviously stuck with me!

May 30th
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Manjunatha Bhatta

shutter island

May 30th
Reply

Regina Magid

this is a rebroadcast

May 27th
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Reggie Smith

With mental growth and neural plasticity wouldn't it make sense that Myers Briggs types would change in people over time? Mine has fluctuated in minor ways over the years but they have always made sense to me at the time.

May 27th
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Paul Tupou-Vea

Reggie Smith Agree - it's problematic when people affix the result as a permanent descriptor of identity, rather than a snapshot of personality traits at a point in time.

May 29th
Reply

TransHaus

they had to throw that comment in there about sexism in the inanimate sex object industry. face palm. the dildo has been around long before any of these other devices. but hey, got to push a narrative. amirite????

May 26th
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TransHaus

TransHaus oh and it's just women who are portrayed unrealistically in the media? men are either supposed look like a pumped up Captain America or are expected to walk around at 7% body fat and chiseled abs like Zac Effron. the media's unrealistic expectations are for everyone, not just women... but again, narrative

May 26th
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Anna Kochetkova

I would highly recommend to do NO comparison at all and focus on what you want. I think it's horrible advice to exercise comparisons of any type. interesting story though thanks for making it.

May 26th
Reply

Paul Tupou-Vea

Anna Kochetkova I would disagree. The well-founded benefits of gratitude are largely influenced by downward comparison and past-present comparison. Do what works for you though!

May 29th
Reply
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