Shankar Vedantam

Shankar Vedantam appears in the following:

Researchers Examine When People Are More Susceptible To Fake News

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Whether people consume news in a social setting or alone can affect how likely they are to fact-check. Research suggests people let their guard down when they're in groups and become less skeptical.


Why Aren't Students Showing Up For College?

Monday, July 17, 2017

According to research, between 10 and 40% of kids who intend to go to college at high school graduation don't show up in the fall. This phenomenon, known as "summer melt," has puzzled universities.


Can Robots Teach Us What It Means To Be Human?

Monday, July 10, 2017

If you've ever shouted at Siri or rolled your eyes at your Roomba, you know that artificial intelligence isn't always that smart. But there's still a lot that robots can tell us about ourselves.


Pain Before Pleasure Makes The Pleasure Even Better, Study Finds

Monday, July 10, 2017

A study from the University of Kentucky shows that doing something virtuous can make indulging later even more pleasurable.


Research Shows Birth Order Really Does Matter

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Compared to older siblings, second-born boys are more likely to go to prison, get suspended in school and enter juvenile delinquency. Why? Parents of first-borns are more invested in their upbringing.


Child Care Centers Often Don't Hire The Most Qualified Teachers, Study Shows

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Child care centers don't necessarily hire the most qualified teachers. A new study shows that child care centers pick applicants who are in the middle of the pack.


Degrees of Maybe: How We Can All Make Better Predictions

Monday, June 26, 2017

Pundits and prognosticators make predictions all the time: about everything from elections, to sports, to global affairs. This week, we explore why they're often wrong, and how we can all do better.


Hidden Brain: Terror Strikes And An Attacker's Identity

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Research shows people are more likely to label an attack as terrorism if the perpetrator is Muslim. Terrorist attacks committed by Muslims receive more coverage than those not committed by Muslims.


When Is It 'Terrorism'? How The Media Cover Attacks By Muslim Perpetrators

Monday, June 19, 2017

In the last five years, 12 percent of terrorist attacks in the U.S. were carried out by Muslims and more than 50 percent by far right extremists. So why the media focus on "Islamic terrorism"?


Police Shootings: How A Culture Of Racism Can Infect Us All

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

In a shooting involving a police officer, there's often a familiar blame game: Was the cop was racist? Was the person shot threatening? Or maybe, the bias that leads cops to shoot affects us all.


Rap on Trial: How An Aspiring Musician's Words Led To Prison Time

Monday, June 12, 2017

Olutosin Oduwole was a college student and aspiring rapper when he was charged with "attempting to make a terrorist threat." We explore how perceptions of rap music may have played a role.


The Triumphs And Perils Of 'Going Big'

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Don Laub was a pioneering surgeon — one of the first in the U.S. to perform gender reassignment surgeries, but tragedy came when he traveled to Mexico to provide free surgeries to children.


Researchers Ferret Out Information From White House Visitor Logs

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

President Trump has decided to change President Obama's policy of making the White House visitor log public. A new study explores what kind of information is contained in the White House visitor log.


The 'Thumbprint Of The Culture': Implicit Bias And Police Shootings

Monday, June 05, 2017

After a police shooting, there's often a familiar blame game: Maybe the cop was racist. Maybe the person who was shot really was threatening. Or maybe the bias that leads cops to shoot affects us all.


Why Recycling Options Lead People To Waste More

Friday, June 02, 2017

People used more cups and paper when recycling was an option versus when they had to put them in the trash. Researchers say people's guilt for wasting is overridden by the good feelings for recycling.


How A Theory Of Crime And Policing Was Born, And Went Terribly Wrong

Monday, May 29, 2017

Decades ago, researchers introduced a new theory of policing. It's called "broken windows" and is seen by many as a cure-all for crime. But the idea is often used in ways its creators never intended.


How Elections Influence Judges

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Social science research looks at the relationship between how judges rule and how they are influenced by election campaigns.


Me, Myself, and IKEA: What Our Love For Swedish Furniture Says About Narcissism

Monday, May 22, 2017

In general, people show a subtle bias toward the self. This is why we love the IKEA furniture we've built, and gravitate toward others with the same name. But there are much larger implications, too.


Advice For Your Dinner Party Stories: Keep It Familiar

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

There's a difference between the stories we tell and the stories we like to hear. New social science research finds most of us like to listen to stories about familiar things.


The Fox And The Hedgehog: The Triumphs And Perils Of Going Big

Monday, May 15, 2017

The parable of the fox and the hedgehog tells us that there are some who are guided by one big idea. That's the story of Don Laub, a surgeon whose single-mindedness was his triumph, and his downfall.