Hidden Brain The Hidden Brain helps curious people understand the world – and themselves. Using science and storytelling, Hidden Brain's host Shankar Vedantam reveals the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, the biases that shape our choices, and the triggers that direct the course of our relationships.

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A conversation about life's unseen patterns

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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Creative Differences: The Benefits Of Reaching Out To People Unlike Ourselves

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Stacya Shepard thought she knew her dad. But that changed one day with a phone call from a stranger. Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr /Photo courtesy of Stacya Shepard Silverman hide caption

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Photo Illustration by Renee Klahr /Photo courtesy of Stacya Shepard Silverman

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

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

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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

The only surviving photo of Vivian Buck, here with her adoptive mother in 1924. This is the moment Vivian is determined by a eugenics researcher to be "feeble-minded" for not looking at a coin held in front of her face. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University at Albany, SUNY hide caption

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M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University at Albany, SUNY

Whose Utopia? How Science Used The Bodies Of People Deemed 'Less Than'

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Our voices convey so much more than just information. They can tell other people something essential about who we are. Angela Hsieh hide caption

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Angela Hsieh
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The Best Medicine: Decoding The Hidden Meanings Of Laughter

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Psychologist Phil Tetlock thinks the parable of the fox and the hedgehog represents two different cognitive styles. "The hedgehogs are more the big idea people, more decisive," while the foxes are more accepting of nuance, more open to using different approaches with different problems. Renee Klahr hide caption

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Renee Klahr
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How Private Prisons Affect Sentencing

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Researchers say we often recognize peer pressure in the actions of others — but not in our own choices. xubingruo/Getty Images hide caption

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Fashion Statement: Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is

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Hal Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University, says the more we attribute humanlike qualities to animals, the more ethically problematic it may be to keep them as pets. Angela Hsieh/NPR hide caption

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Pets, Pests And Food: Our Complex, Contradictory Attitudes Toward Animals

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Mechanical Sex: The Relationship Between Intercourse And Intimacy

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Modern psychology shows that we all have a little bit of Narcissus in us. Most of us like people who remind us of ourselves — whether that is someone else with the same name or the same birthday. Renee Klahr/NPR hide caption

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Renee Klahr/NPR

A recent study found that black doctors were more effective than non-black doctors at convincing black men to use preventative health services. Angela Hsieh hide caption

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Angela Hsieh

People Like Us: How Our Identities Shape Health And Educational Success

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Why It's Time To Think About Self-Driving Cars In Regards To Parking

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