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
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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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'Hidden Brain': How Psychology Was Misused In Teen's Murder Case

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Actors reading during the recording of an episode of the radio soap opera "Musekeweya" in Kigali, produced by the NGO Radio La Benevolencija. Twice a week, people all around Rwanda gather in groups to listen together. Stephanie Aglietti/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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At seventeen years old, Fred Clay was sentenced to prison for a crime he did not commit. Various flawed ideas in psychology were used to determine his guilt. Ken Richardson/Ken Richardson hide caption

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How Showing Special Kindness To Some Can Have Moral Consequences

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Thomas Jefferson owned hundreds of slaves, yet he also wrote that "all men are created equal." How did he square the contradictions between his values and his everyday life? ericfoltz/Getty Images hide caption

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Economist Amir Sufi says debt plays a bigger role in recessions than we typically recognize. erhui1979/Getty Images hide caption

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The Mind Of The Village: Understanding Our Implicit Biases

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Graduating High School During A Recession Could Be A Good Thing, Study Finds

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Olutosin Oduwole at his home in New Jersey in 2016. Shankar Vedantam /NPR hide caption

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Hannah Groch-Begley listens to Dylan Matthews play the ukulele at their home in Washington, D.C. Dylan had hesitated to buy the ukulele because it felt like too big of an indulgence. Shankar Vedantam/NPR hide caption

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