Jonah Lehrer

Jonah Lehrer appears in the following:

The Lowdown on High Self-Esteem

Friday, July 03, 2009

Stuart Smalley’s famous words of self love: "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me" could be hazardous to your mental health. A new study out of the University of Waterloo suggests that people with low-self esteem actually sink into a darker state of mind when they articulate self-affirmations. This is just the latest from a new batch of self-esteem studies. Joining us for a look at how the self-esteem movement has morphed since it burst onto the scene nearly 30 years ago is Takeaway science contributor Jonah Lehrer. Jonah is author of How We Decide and Proust Was a Neuroscientist.

"American kids feel better about themselves than kids all across the world, but achievement hasn't gone up. So now we have this nagging disconnect where our kids feel great about themselves— they think they're doing great in math and reading, but they're actually not."
—Science contributor Jonah Lehrer on the negative side effects of positive affirmations

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Monday, June 15, 2009

How stochasticity -- a wonderfully smarty-pants word for randomness -- drives our lives, and the patterns we see around us.

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Journey to the Center of a Baby's Brain

Monday, May 25, 2009

New scientific research suggests that the mind of a baby is a humming, buzzing, supercharged learning machine, capable of taking in and processing enormous amounts of information. Now that we know this, how should we interact with babies and support their developing minds? We talk to our science contributor Jonah Lehrer. He is the author of Proust was a Neuroscientist. He latest book is How We Decide.
"For so long we've seen babies just as unconscious, basically just as these lumps that just want to eat and cry and sleep, and now we think babies are actually more conscious than us."
—Writer Jonah Lehrer on new research revealing the active learning of a baby's brain


Decisions, Decisions

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jonah Lehrer, editor at large for Seed Magazine, contributor to Radio Lab and the author of How We Decide, explains how humans make decisions using the latest insights from behavioral economics and neuroscience. What's the most rational or irrational decision you've ever made? What's your decision-making approach ...

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Empire State Forecast

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The federal stimulus money is on its way to New York. Gov. David Paterson (D-NY) talks about how he’ll spend it. Plus, Jonah Lehrer on the intersection between behavioral economics and neuroscience; and DJ Kool Herc and the West Indian origins of hip hop.

Post your ideas for great ...

The decider: How your brain makes up its mind

Monday, February 02, 2009

It seems like there are two kinds of people: the ones who agonize over every decision and the ones who go with their gut. There’s the guy on line at the coffee house who takes ten minutes to decide on a latte and there’s the pilot who makes a split second decision to land a plane in the Hudson River. Neuroscientist Jonah Lehrer is the author of the new book, How We Decide, which explores what goes on in the brain when we make a decision.


The science behind keeping (and breaking) New Year's resolutions

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Gained five pounds when you wanted to lose ten? Started smoking again after swearing you wouldn't? Not eat vegetables at every meal? Forget to not watch television? Who hasn’t had a New Year's resolution fail? The Takeaway’s science contributor Jonah Lehrer joins the show to tell us why our brain actually prevents us from changing everything at once.

Want more Jonah Lehrer? Read his book Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Guaranteed to make you smarter!


The science of gift giving

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Feeling a little sheepish because you got your sister socks, and she got you a new purple iPod? Evolution can be blamed for the guilt — if not your poor taste in gifts. Jonah Lehrer, author of "Proust Was a Neuroscientist," gives us the dirt on why we feel the need to give as much as we receive.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

We turn up the volume on the voices in our heads, and try to get to the bottom of what really steers our decisions.

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Walking makes you smart

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Just looking at a picture of nature was relaxing enough to actually produce some cognitive benefits." -- Jonah Lehrer

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The "Aha!" Moment

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The very moment when a perfect solution arrives in the brain may now be boiled down to a series of synapses. New Yorker contributor Jonah Lehrer breaks down the science of insight.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The fifth taste, umami, is now at the forefront of modern cuisine. Gourmet magazine’s Ruth Reichl and Jonah Lehrer, author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist, tell us more about what umami is and why it has such a powerful effect on taste.

The ...

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Body of War

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Phil Donahue has directed a new documentary about Tomas Young, who was paralyzed after serving in Iraq for just 5 days. Also: the history of the harpsichord. Find out how home cooks can move beyond just “following the recipe.” And Ruth Reichl and Jonah Lehrer on why the fifth taste, ...


Proust Got There First

Monday, December 24, 2007

In his new book Proust Was a Neuroscientist (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) Jonah Lehrer writes about how novelists and other artists intuited knowledge about the brain that scientists are only now figuring out.

Proust Was a Neuroscientist is available for purchase at

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Proust Got There First

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In his new book Proust Was a Neuroscientist (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) Jonah Lehrer writes about how novelists and other artists intuited knowledge about the brain that scientists are only now figuring out.

Proust Was a Neuroscientist is available for purchase at

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Musical Language

Monday, September 24, 2007

We explore the line between music and language, and turn to physics and biochemistry to ask how sound becomes feeling.

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Rat

Thursday, June 07, 2007

What is a memory? Science writer Jonah Lehrer tells us is it’s a physical thing in the brain… not some ephemeral flash. It’s a concrete thing made of matter. And NYU neuroscientist Joe LeDoux, who studies fear memories in rats, tells us how with a one shock, one tone, and ...

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Memory and Forgetting

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Remembering is a tricky, unstable business. This hour: a look behind the curtain of how memories are made...and forgotten.

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