Hidden Brain Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.
Hidden Brain
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Hidden Brain

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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.More from Hidden Brain »

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Zipcode Destiny: The Persistent Power Of Place And Education

There's a core belief embedded in the story of the United States: the American Dream. The possibility of climbing the economic ladder is central to that dream. This week we speak with Raj Chetty, one of the most influential economists alive today, about the state of economic mobility in the U.S. and whether the notion of the American Dream is still useful. For more information about the research in this episode, visit https://n.pr/2z8cvSs.

Zipcode Destiny: The Persistent Power Of Place And Education

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Sounds Like A Winner: What Voices Have To Do With Politics

We're used to the idea that rhetoric sways voters. But what about another element of language: a candidate's voice? This week on Hidden Brain, what happens when our political system and ancient biological rules meet. For more information about the research in this episode, visit https://n.pr/2Pe1Fog.

Sounds Like A Winner: What Voices Have To Do With Politics

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Life, Death And The Lazarus Drug: Confronting America's Opioid Crisis

More than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses last year — many of them from heroin and other opioids. One of the most widely-used tools to confront this crisis is a drug called naloxone. It can reverse an opioid overdose within seconds, and has been hailed by first responders and public health researchers. But earlier this year, two economists released a study that suggested naloxone might be leading some users to engage in riskier behavior — and causing more deaths than it saves. This week, we talk with researchers, drug users, and families about the mental calculus of opioid use, and why there's still so much we're struggling to understand about addiction. For more information about the research in this episode, visit https://n.pr/2OZfuGQ.

Life, Death And The Lazarus Drug: Confronting America's Opioid Crisis

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Radio Replay: Too Little, Too Much

Have you ever noticed that when something important is missing in your life, your brain can only seem to focus on that missing thing? On this week's Radio Replay, we bring you a March 2017 story about the phenomenon of scarcity, and how it can blind us to the big picture. Then, we go to the opposite end of the spectrum to look at the perils of excess. We'll bring you an October 2016 conversation with Brooke Harrington, a sociologist who wanted to know what it's like to be one of the richest people on the planet. For more on these topics, visit us at https://n.pr/2O8DkdV.

Radio Replay: Too Little, Too Much

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Can A Child Be Raised Free Of Gender Stereotypes? This Family Tried

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." It's a popular quote that's made its way onto coffee mugs and bumper stickers — but it's not the easiest principle to live. On this week's Hidden Brain, we meet Royce and Jessica James, a couple who decided to raise their daughter in a gender-neutral way. It was far harder than they ever could have imagined. For further reading on children and gender norms, visit us at https://n.pr/2AmmiW1.

Can A Child Be Raised Free Of Gender Stereotypes? This Family Tried

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Voting With A Middle Finger: Two Views On The White Working Class

There is one truth that has endured through the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency: he has kept the support of the core voters who propelled him to the White House. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore two competing perspectives on the motivations of Trump supporters, and what they can tell us about the state of our union.

Voting With A Middle Finger: Two Views On The White Working Class

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What role does biology play in our politics? More than you might think, according to political scientist John Hibbing. Angela Hsieh hide caption

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Angela Hsieh

Nature, Nurture And Your Politics

When most of us think about how we came to our political views, we often give a straightforward answer. We believe our stances on taxes, immigration or national security are shaped by those around us — our friends, parents, teachers. We assume our life experiences are the root of our political ideologies. But what if there is something deeper in us that drives the music we listen to, the food we eat — even the politicians that we elect? This week, we explore the role of biology in shaping our political identities.

Nature, Nurture And Your Politics

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In a study conducted by psychologist Jennifer Bosson, some men reported that ordering a drink with a cocktail umbrella felt like a gender violation. Parth Shah hide caption

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Parth Shah

'Man Up': How A Fear Of Appearing Feminine Restricts Men, And Affects Us All

You've certainly heard some variation of the phrase "be a man." But what does that even mean? This week, we question our existing definitions of masculinity. We'll meet a man who works in a field traditionally considered "women's work." And we'll hear from a researcher who says manhood is "hard to earn and easy to lose."

'Man Up': How A Fear Of Appearing Feminine Restricts Men, And Affects Us All

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Jana Mestecky (left) poses for a cast photo during production of the play Des rats et des hommes, directed by Israel Horovitz (front, third from left). The photo appeared in the French magazine, L'Avant-Scène, Courtesy of Jana Mestecky hide caption

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Courtesy of Jana Mestecky

The Psychological Forces Behind A Cultural Reckoning: Understanding #MeToo

Nearly a quarter century ago, a group of women accused a prominent playwright of sexual misconduct. For the most part, the allegations went nowhere. In 2017, in the midst of the #MeToo movement, more women came forward to accuse the same playwright of misconduct. This time, everyone listened. On this episode — originally broadcast in February 2018 — we explore the story through the lens of social science research and ask, "Why Now?" What has changed in our minds and in our culture so that allegations of sexual harassment and assault are being taken more seriously than they were in the past? A note: This story includes descriptions of sexual harassment and assault. It may not be suitable for all listeners.

The Psychological Forces Behind A Cultural Reckoning: Understanding #MeToo

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Think you can get away with fewer than eight hours of sleep per night? Neuroscientist Matthew Walker says, think again. Sophie Blackall/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Sophie Blackall/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Radio Replay: Eyes Wide Open

When Randy Gardner was 17, he won a world record for going eleven days without sleeping. On this Radio Replay, Randy shares insights from that experience and warns others against copying his stunt. Later in the program, we speak with neuroscientist Matthew Walker about the mind and body benefits of eight full hours of sleep.

Radio Replay: Eyes Wide Open

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