Shankar Vedantam Shankar Vedantam is NPR's social science correspondent and the host of Hidden Brain.
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Shankar Vedantam

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Shankar Vedantam 2017
Douglas Sonders/NPR

Shankar Vedantam

Host, Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam is NPR's social science correspondent and the host of Hidden Brain. The focus of his reporting is on human behavior and the social sciences, and how research in those fields can get listeners to think about the news in unusual and interesting ways. Hidden Brain is among the most popular podcasts in the world, with over two million downloads per week. The Hidden Brain radio show is featured on some 250 public radio stations across the United States.

Before joining NPR in 2011, Vedantam spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he also wrote the Department of Human Behavior column for the Post.

Vedantam and Hidden Brain have been recognized with the Edward R. Murrow Award, and honors from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the International Society of Political Psychology, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Austen Riggs Center, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Webby Awards, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the American Public Health Association, the Templeton-Cambridge Fellowship on Science and Religion and the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship.

From 2009 to 2010, Vedantam served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

Vedantam is the author of the non-fiction book The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives. The book, published in 2010, describes how unconscious biases influence people.

Outside of journalism, Vedantam has written fiction and plays. His short story-collection, The Ghosts of Kashmir, was published in 2005. The previous year, the Brick Playhouse in Philadelphia produced his full-length comedy, Tom, Dick and Harriet.

Vedantam has served as a part-time lecturer at Harvard University and Columbia University. He has also served as a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington.

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We're All Gonna Die! How Fear Of Death Drives Our Behavior

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Finding Meaning At Work: How We Shape And Think About Our Jobs

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A copy of the final edition of the Rocky Mountain News sits in a newspaper box on a street corner in Denver, Colorado.John Moore/Getty Images John Moore/Getty Images hide caption

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Stop The Presses! Newspapers Affect Us, Often In Ways We Don't Realize

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Dan Gilbert says we're not great at predicting how much we will enjoy an experience in part because we fail to consider all of the details. We think a visit to the dentist will be terrible, but we're forgetting about the free toothbrush, the nice chat with the dental hygienist and the magazines in the waiting room. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Every time you give in to your phone or computer that's buzzing with notifications, you pay a price: little by little, you lose your ability to focus. Veronica Grech/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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How We Hear Our Own Voice Shapes How We See Ourselves And How Others See Us

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Researchers say there's growing evidence that nature has a powerful effect on us, improving both our physical and psychological health. Angela Hsieh hide caption

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Angela Hsieh

Scarcity can make it difficult for us to focus on anything other than the problem right in front of us. Gary Waters /Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Dan Gilbert says we're not great at predicting how much we will enjoy an experience in part because we fail to consider all of the details. We think a visit to the dentist will be terrible — but we're forgetting about the free toothbrush, the nice chat with the dental hygienist, and the magazines in the waiting room. Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images hide caption

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Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Decisions, Decisions: Some We Struggle To Make, Others We Can't Forget

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When It Comes To Vaccines And Autism, Why Is It Hard To Refute Misinformation?

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The belief that vaccines cause autism has persisted, even though the facts paint an entirely different story. Renee Klahr hide caption

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Renee Klahr