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
NPR

Hidden Brain

From NPR

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

Most Recent Episodes

Camila Vargas-Restrepo

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. Today we look at the state of that dream as we revisit our 2018 conversation with economist Raj Chetty. We'll ask some questions that carry big implications: can you put an economic value on a great kindergarten teacher? How is it that two children living just a few blocks from each other can have radically different chances in life? And what gives Salt Lake City an edge over Cleveland when it comes to offering people better prospects than their parents?

Zipcode Destiny: The Persistent Power Of Place And Education

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/786469762/786497767" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Fanatic Studio/Gary Waters/SCIEN/Getty Images/Science Photo Libra

In The Heat Of The Moment: How Intense Emotions Transform Us

In a fit of anger or in the grip of fear, many of us make decisions that we never would have anticipated. This week, we look at situations that make us strangers to ourselves — and why it's so difficult to remember what these "hot states" feel like once the moment is over.

In The Heat Of The Moment: How Intense Emotions Transform Us

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/783495595/787283826" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Envy is a useful tool for social comparison. But sometimes, it can lead us to wicked places. Steve Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

toggle caption
Steve Scott/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Feeding the Green-Eyed Monster: What Happens When Envy Turns Ugly

Envy is one of the most unpleasant of all human emotions. It also turns out to be one of the most difficult for researchers to study. And yet, there's mounting evidence that envy is a powerful motivator. This week, we explore an emotion that can inspire us to become better people — or to commit unspeakable acts.

Feeding the Green-Eyed Monster: What Happens When Envy Turns Ugly

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/780687188/782109267" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Stephanie Rinka in her beach wheelchair at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, North Carolina. Courtesy of John Rinka hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of John Rinka

The Ventilator: Life, Death And The Choices We Make At The End

Many of us believe we know how we'd choose to die. We have a sense of how we'd respond to a diagnosis of an incurable illness. This week, we have the story of one family's decades-long conversation about dying. What they found is that the people we are when death is far in the distance may not be the people we become when death is near.

The Ventilator: Life, Death And The Choices We Make At The End

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/778933239/780591888" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus: The Psychology Of How We Eat

Anyone who's tried (and failed) to follow a diet knows that food is more than fuel. This week, we revisit our 2018 episode about the psychology behind what we eat, what we spit out, and when we come back for more.

Hungry, Hungry Hippocampus: The Psychology Of How We Eat

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/778266536/778302746" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
sesame/Getty Images

The Talk Market: How Stories and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives

Can we affect the rise and fall of the economy? This week on Hidden Brain, we talk with Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller about the powerful ways in which stories and psychology shape our economic lives. He argues that narratives affect not just the purchases we make as individuals, but the fate of our entire economic system.

The Talk Market: How Stories and Psychology Shape Our Economic Lives

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/776045835/776194933" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Anthropologist David Graeber says there's a perverse logic that has allowed pointless jobs to proliferate in many workplaces. Yang Liu/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Yang Liu/Getty Images

BS Jobs: How Meaningless Work Wears Us Down

Have you ever had a job where you had to stop and ask yourself: what am I doing here? If I quit tomorrow, would anyone even notice? This week on Hidden Brain, we revisit our 2018 conversation with anthropologist David Graeber about the rise of what he calls "bullsh*t jobs," and how these positions affect the people who hold them.

BS Jobs: How Meaningless Work Wears Us Down

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/774067928/774131454" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A rhesus macaque monkey grooms another on Cayo Santiago, off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. Brennan Linsley/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Brennan Linsley/AP

What Monkeys Can Teach Us About Being Human

What makes the mind of a human different from that of other animals? Psychologist Laurie Santos says we can't know the answer to that question if we only study humans. This week, we turn to Laurie's work with monkeys to understand which parts of human behavior are distinct, and which we share with other species.

What Monkeys Can Teach Us About Being Human

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/770430417/772003884" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Maciej Toporowicz/Getty Images

Guys, We Have A Problem: How American Masculinity Creates Lonely Men

Boys get the message at a young age: don't show your feelings. Don't rely on anyone. This week, we bring you a favorite 2018 episode about misguided notions of masculinity in the United States. We explore how these notions create stressed-out romantic relationships, physical health problems, and a growing epidemic of loneliness. Plus, we consider how we might begin to tell a different story about what it means to be a man.

Guys, We Have A Problem: How American Masculinity Creates Lonely Men

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/769538697/769552677" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jan Stromme/Getty Images

Screaming Into The Void: How Outrage Is Hijacking Our Culture, And Our Minds

Turn on the news or look at Twitter, and it's likely you'll be bombarded by outrage. Many people have come to believe that the only way to spark change is to incite anger. This week on Hidden Brain, how outrage is hijacking our conversations, our communities, and our minds.

Screaming Into The Void: How Outrage Is Hijacking Our Culture, And Our Minds

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/767186846/768053396" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Back To Top
or search npr.org