Hidden Brain Study Guides - Beta At Hidden Brain, we're launching a new project providing study guides for select episodes of our show. If you're a teacher at the middle school, high school, or college levels, please check these out!
NPR logo Hidden Brain Study Guides - Beta

Hidden Brain Study Guides - Beta

At Hidden Brain, we've heard from many teachers who use our podcast in the classroom. It's gratifying to know that our show is a valuable teaching tool to so many in the educational community.

Young school boys on computer
Lisa Stirling/Getty Images

To foster even more learning, we've created a series of study guides based on selected episodes of Hidden Brain. These guides are designed to supplement teachers' existing curricula, and have been tailored to serve a range of different learning levels, from middle school to high school to college. Whether you're teaching a sixth grade social studies class or an undergraduate seminar in psychology, we hope you'll find the materials below to be topical and age-appropriate.

To get to the study guides, just jump to an age level and then click on the thumbnail picture next to the episode description. To make it easier for you to browse episodes, we've organized them by subject.

Jump to: Middle School - High School - College

We need your feedback to improve upon this beta project. If you're an educator who has already used our materials in the classroom – or think you might do so in the future — please complete this survey so that we can better understand your needs.

Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you!

-The Hidden Brain team


Middle School

Social Studies & History

  • Episode 57: Slanguage

    Renee Klahr/NPR
    Slanguage
    Renee Klahr/NPR

    Visit the Study Guide: Young people have always used language in new and different ways, and it has pretty much always driven older people crazy. But the linguist John McWhorter says all the "likes" and LOLs are part of a natural – and inevitable –evolution of language. This week on Hidden Brain, why language can't "sit still."

    Key questions:

    What can language tell us about ourselves?
    Why do we talk the way we talk?
    How does technology shape communication?

  • Episode 51: What Happened?

    John Locher/AP

    Visit the Study Guide: Pollsters across the ideological spectrum predicted Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election. They got it wrong. But one man did not: historian Allan Lichtman.

    Key questions:

    Where were the predictions for the 2016 election wrong?
    How do people predict elections?
    What can history tell us about current events?

  • Episode 47: "Give Me Your Tired..."

    Chad Riley/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. But historian Maria Cristina Garcia says many of us have lots of misconceptions about earlier waves of newcomers.

    Key questions:

    Is the U.S. a nation of immigrants?
    Does history repeat itself?
    What can history tell us about current events?

Science

  • Episode 54: Panic in the Streets

    John Moore/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: In Liberia, a team of epidemiologists have to delay a criminal investigation, look the other way on illegal drug use, and build trust to stop an outbreak of Ebola.

    Key questions:

    How do viruses spread?
    What do public health workers do?
    What challenges do governments and aid organizations face?

Soft Skills

  • Episode 53: Embrace the Chaos

    PeopleImages/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: A lot of times, we avoid chaos or focus on cleaning up our messes. But economist Tim Harford tells us that mess can actually help us.

    Key questions:

    What sparks creativity?
    How can we improve our problem solving skills?
    Why is individuality important?

  • Episode 56: Getting Unstuck

    Renee Klahr/NPR

    Visit the Study Guide: Many of us feel stuck at one point or another: in the wrong city, the wrong path. Self-help gurus have offered lots of advice — but here's a new idea, from the tech world.

    Key questions:

    How can I boost creativity?
    How do people come up with brand new ideas?
    How do you make important decisions?

Back to top


High School

Social Studies & History

  • Episode 51: What Happened?

    John Locher/AP

    Visit the Study Guide: Pollsters across the ideological spectrum predicted Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election. They got it wrong. But one man did not: historian Allan Lichtman.

    Key questions:

    Why were the polls for the 2016 election off?
    What can polls tell us, and what can't they tell us?
    What can history tell us about current events?
    How can we predict elections?

  • Episode 47: "Give Me Your Tired..."

    Chad Riley/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. But historian Maria Cristina Garcia says many of us have lots of misconceptions about earlier waves of newcomers.

    Key questions:

    Is the U.S. a nation of immigrants?
    Does history repeat itself?
    What can history tell us about current events?
    How has immigration changed over time?

  • Episode 57: Slanguage

    Renee Klahr/NPR
    Slanguage
    Renee Klahr/NPR

    Visit the Study Guide: Young people have always used language in new ways, and it has always driven older people crazy. But the linguist John McWhorter says this is part of an inevitable evolution of language.

    Key questions:

    What can language tell us about ourselves?
    How do languages evolve?
    How does technology shape communication?

Science

  • Episode 54: Panic in the Streets

    John Moore/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: In Liberia, a team of epidemiologists have to delay a criminal investigation, look the other way on illegal drug use, and build trust to stop an outbreak of Ebola.

    Key questions:

    What are health care professions students might want to pursue?
    What challenges do governments and aid organizations face?
    How do you curb an epidemic?
    Why do human connections matter in healthcare?

Soft Skills

  • Episode 53: Embrace the Chaos

    PeopleImages/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: A lot of times, we avoid chaos or focus on cleaning up our messes. But economist Tim Harford tells us that mess can actually help us.

    Key questions:

    How can we find novel ways to solve problems?
    What sparks creativity?
    Why is individuality important?

  • Episode 56: Getting Unstuck

    Renee Klahr/NPR

    Visit the Study Guide: Many of us feel stuck at one point or another: in the wrong city, the wrong path. Self-help gurus have offered lots of advice — but here's a new idea, from the tech world.

    Key questions:

    How can I get over creative blocks?
    How do innovators and inventors come up with novel ideas?
    What can I learn from failure?
    How do people make important decisions?

Back to top


College

Multiple subjects

  • Episode 57: Slanguage

    Renee Klahr/NPR

    Visit the Study Guide: Young people have always used language in new ways, and it has always driven older people crazy. But the linguist John McWhorter says this is part of an inevitable evolution of language.

    Key questions:

    How do languages evolve?
    How does cultural change happen?
    How does technology shape communication?
    What can language tell us about ourselves?

  • Episode 56: Getting Unstuck

    Renee Klahr/NPR

    Visit the Study Guide: Many of us feel stuck at one point or another: in the wrong city, the wrong path. Self-help gurus have offered lots of advice — but here's a new idea, from the tech world.

    Key questions:

    How do people figure out what to do with their lives?
    How do innovators and inventors come up with novel ideas?
    What can I learn from failure?
    How can I be more creative?

  • Episode 54: Panic in the Streets

    John Moore/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: In Liberia, a team of epidemiologists have to delay a criminal investigation, look the other way on illegal drug use, and build trust to stop an outbreak of Ebola.

    Key questions:

    What are health care professions students might want to pursue?
    What challenges do governments and aid organizations face?
    How do you curb an epidemic?
    Why do human connections matter in healthcare?

  • Episode 53: Embrace the Chaos

    PeopleImages/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: A lot of times, we avoid chaos or focus on cleaning up our messes. But economist Tim Harford tells us that mess can actually help us.

    Key questions:

    What sparks creativity?
    How can we find novel ways to solve problems?
    Why is it important to disrupt routines?

  • Episode 51: What Happened?

    John Locher/AP

    Visit the Study Guide: Pollsters across the ideological spectrum predicted Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election. They got it wrong. But one man did not: historian Allan Lichtman.

    Key questions:

    Why were the polls for the 2016 election off?
    What can polls tell us, and what can't they tell us?
    What can history tell us about current events?
    How can we predict elections?

  • Episode 47: "Give Me Your Tired..."

    Chad Riley/Getty Images

    Visit the Study Guide: The U.S. is a nation of immigrants. But historian Maria Cristina Garcia says many of us have lots of misconceptions about earlier waves of newcomers.

    Key questions:

    Does history repeat itself?
    What can history tell us about current events?
    How has immigration changed over time?
    How do groups assimilate?

Back to top