Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain
Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.
Relationships 2.0: When Did Marriage Become So Hard?
No one will deny that marriage is hard. In fact, there's evidence it's getting even harder. This week on the show, we revisit a favorite episode from 2018 about the history of marriage and how it has evolved over time. We'll talk with historian Stephanie Coontz and psychologist Eli Finkel, and explore ways we can improve our love lives — including by asking less of our partners.
Nov 21
52 min
Relationships 2.0: An Antidote to Loneliness
When you go to a medical appointment, your doctor may ask you several questions. Do you smoke? Have you been getting exercise? Are you sleeping? But rarely do they ask: are you lonely? U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy believes we are suffering from an epidemic of loneliness. This week, we revisit our 2020 conversation with Murthy about the importance of human connection to our physical and mental health, and how we can all strengthen our social ties.
Nov 14
49 min
Relationships 2.0: The Power of Tiny Interactions
As you're going about your day, you likely interact with family, friends and coworkers. These relationships can help you feel cared for and connected. But what if there's a whole category of people in your life whose impact is overlooked? In the second episode of our "Relationships 2.0" series, psychologist Gillian Sandstrom reveals some simple ways to make your life a little more joyful and maybe even a little less lonely.
Nov 7
49 min
Relationships 2.0: How To Keep Conflict From Spiraling
When it comes to conflict, most of us just want to shut it down. But psychological research is increasingly taking a different approach to discord, with profound implications for disputes big and small. This week, we kick off our Relationships 2.0 series by asking: what if we stop trying to eliminate conflict and instead ask, how can we do conflict better?
Oct 31
53 min
A Better Way to Worry
Anxiety is an uncomfortable emotion, which is why most of us try to avoid it. But psychologist Tracy Dennis-Tiwary says our anxiety is also trying to tell us something. This week, we explore how we can interpret those messages and manage the intense discomfort these feelings can generate.
Oct 24
52 min
Thriving in the Face of Contradiction
We all face tough decisions in life, whether we're juggling the demands of work and family or deciding whether to take a new job. These situations often feel like either/or choices. But psychologist Wendy Smith says this binary way of confronting dilemmas contains a trap. She offers a different way to think about difficult choices, one that opens up unexpected possibilities.
Oct 17
53 min
Did I Really Do That?
Have you ever been falsely accused of something? Many of us think there’s only one way we’d act in such a situation: we’d defend ourselves. We’d do whatever it takes to clear our name — and above all else, we’d never, ever confess to something we didn’t do. But psychologist Saul Kassin says that’s a myth. This week, why we sometimes act against our own self-interest — even when the stakes are at their highest.
Oct 10
52 min
Watch Your Mouth
If you're bilingual or multilingual, you may have noticed that different languages make you stretch in different ways. This week, we revisit a favorite 2018 conversation with cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky. She studies how the structure of the languages we speak can change the way we see the world. Then, a 2017 conversation with linguist and author John McWhorter, who shares how languages evolve, and why we're sometimes resistant to those changes.
Oct 3
49 min
Taking Control of Your Time
Many of us feel like there aren't enough hours in the day. We struggle to make time for all the competing demands at work and at home, and inevitably feel like we're letting someone down. But what if there were a way to reclaim our time and, as a result, get more joy out of our lives? This week, psychologist Cassie Mogilner Holmes explains how we've fallen victim to the illusion of time scarcity, and what we can do to spend our time more wisely.
Sep 26
48 min
How to Really Know Another Person
So often, we think we know what other people are thinking. But researchers have found that our attempts at reading other people go wrong more often than we realize. This week, we talk with psychologist Tessa West about what we can all do to read people more accurately.
Sep 19
55 min
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