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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.
215 Episodes
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What's Not On The Test

What's Not On The Test

2019-05-1300:45:23

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

2019-05-0600:50:38

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

2019-04-2900:51:37

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

2019-04-2200:33:11

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

2019-04-1500:50:03

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.
Radically Normal

Radically Normal

2019-04-0800:53:1830

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 the strategies used by gay rights activists hold lessons for other groups seeking change.
Don't Panic!

Don't Panic!

2019-04-0100:51:2154

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

What Twins Tell Us

2019-03-2500:30:3059

In December 1988, two pairs of twin boys were born in Colombia. One twin from each pair was accidentally given to the wrong mother — a mistake that wasn't discovered for decades. The twins' story is a tragedy, a soap opera, and a science experiment, all rolled into one. It also gives us clues about the role that genes and the environment play in shaping our identities. We talk with psychologist Nancy Segal about her work with twins, and her encounters with these now-famous brothers. For research related to this episode, please visit https://n.pr/2uvpvPe
Never Go To Vegas

Never Go To Vegas

2019-03-1800:47:3971

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-shopping, highly-educated people whom one researcher calls the new "aspirational class." This episode is from December 2017.
Unreal Sex

Unreal Sex

2019-03-1100:28:4556

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 intelligence, these dolls are becoming even more like humans. This week we talk with researcher Kate Devlin about the history of the artificial lover, and consider what love and sex look like in the age of robots.
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Comments (359)

Oorvi Mathur

Loved it!

May 14th
Reply

Ehsan.translator

Loved this episode! Keep up the good work

May 8th
Reply

欧匹康

虽然听不太懂,但听着挺舒服的,声音很好听

May 8th
Reply

Silent D.

"Those who exalt themselves Will be humbled, those who humble themselves Will be exalted".

May 6th
Reply

Vicente Unicorn

Silent D. Is man merely a mistake of God's? Or God merely a mistake of man?

May 7th
Reply

chaqzza Njalaleh

short term answer is slavery and colonization for my people

May 6th
Reply

Kat

why middle name is about serial killer??

May 6th
Reply

Naika

We are going to be genderless 👋🏻

May 4th
Reply

Daniel Herzberg

inspiring

May 1st
Reply

Naika

I understand John. I find people relationships difficult too 🙄 It makes me feel better to focus on my carrier and self development

Apr 30th
Reply

Kamille Martin

ppl have been trying to sex rocks before man invented the wheel

Apr 29th
Reply

Laxmi Woodham

I have recently discovered this podcast and I enjoy it, somewhat to my surprise. The cool even voice of the host, Shankar Vendantam, differs from the lively, vivacious, banter, of the hosts I generally seek. I love the knowledge he shares and the clarity which he offers. I am left questioning if all the surprise cultural references come mostly from him or producers. Is his entertainment taste as eclectic as his voice is collected?

Apr 29th
Reply

‌‌Saeid Badamchizadeh

good but needs to get better

Apr 28th
Reply

Jason Huntley

To sum it all up, yes, there has been an extreme decline in the moral fabric of our society. There are presumptions and statements in this episode which are grossly misleading and some are outright false. NPRs's Leftist agenda is crystal clear and journalism is dead. And no, the civil rights movement is not like the gay rights movement and neither are like the women's rights movement. To try and equate them is abhorrent dishonesty about biology.

Apr 24th
Reply

Jason Huntley

Frida N I appreciate your willingness to better understand my argument, but let me be clear about a thing or two. I don't believe morality has to be based on religion or specifically the Bible because it's written and closed to moral interpretation. What I do believe is that the Christian God is Good and the standard by which morality is measured. We only know of good because God revealed himself to us and his law is written on our hearts. There is nothing outside a theistic worldview that can account for Objective Morality. I do believe the original manuscripts of the Bible to be inerrant, however an athiest would say the morals found there in are the subjective morals written by men. It all ultimately is grounded in God's moral objectivity. To be clear again on this point, God did not have subjective morals. God does good because God is goodness itself. It is His nature. Dr. William Lane Craig defends the moral argument decently enough in his debates which are on YouTube. I don't agree with all of his theology, but he is pretty solid in morality. I hope I was clearer and didn't misrepresent the argument from my worldview.

May 7th
Reply

Jason Huntley

Philly Burbs Do you want a lollipop or someone to kiss your boo boos? First, Christians are people who should pray for and support their president. Second, Christians don't approve of Trump's sins or actions. Third, you can't honestly say you would be happy with any Conservative in the White House. Fourth, Russia conspiracy is another episode or podcast. This one has to do with changes in cultural immoral normalcy. Way to go off topic and look like a child.

May 6th
Reply

임형규

can I get script?

Apr 18th
Reply

Ishwar H

I think she was talking mainly about the "rate of change" seen on these issues

Apr 17th
Reply

Angela Lowell

why have opinions about homosexuality changed so fast while other things (women's rights, racism, ageism, body size) haven't? I believe it's because it's easy for people to see gender and age and race and body size. it's easier to make a judgement about someone based on their appearance than about their lifestyle/choices (not saying homosexuality is a choice, although some think it is).

Apr 13th
Reply

Winds of the Magnetar

Angela Lowell Would you suggest there's been no progress on women's rights, race issues, perception of age, body shame, and a multitude of other causes? Is dismissing the progress made and the people who've made huge sacrifices beneficial in any way? We can acknowledge progress and continue forward at the same time. Thank you.

Apr 15th
Reply

Sean Noonan

Upwards of 75% of babies prenatally diagnosed with Downs Syndrome are aborted. Is eugenics really a thing of the past?

Apr 8th
Reply

unknown

lol for sure

Apr 7th
Reply

Gwendolen Jackson

Awesome episode about the physiological aspects of the brain and how they translate into meaning and our actions. Would love to see more content like this !

Apr 3rd
Reply

Meredith

This type of research has little positive influence on the society. Some people are striving to make zip codes not matter to children's future, but this researcher only cares about the 1%.

Apr 1st
Reply
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