Shankar Vedantam

Shankar Vedantam appears in the following:

Coronations, Coups, And Keeping Up With The Kardashians

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

It's in our nature to idolize the rich and famous. But this week on Hidden Brain, we explore the other side of our nature: the part of us that wants to see the rich and powerful fall from grace.


Researchers Unravel Strange And Contradictory Feelings About Power

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's inauguration season in Washington, D.C. Many of us revel in the pomp and circumstance — yet we have another side to our psychology that enjoys seeing the powerful fall from grace.


Humans Worry About Self-Driving Cars. Maybe It Should Be The Reverse

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Self-driving cars will perform rationally. For example: stop when someone is in their way. Research suggests humans will take advantage, and step into an intersection when they know they shouldn't.


How Silicon Valley Can Help You Get Unstuck

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Many of us feel stuck at one point or another: in the wrong city, the wrong job, or the wrong relationship. Self help gurus have offered lots of advice — but here's a new idea, from the tech world.


Design Thinking Could Help Those Who Want To Get Unstuck

Monday, January 02, 2017

Psychologists and self help gurus have advice for people who feel stuck. If you're looking for new ways to reboot your life as you enter the new year, you could also turn to the tech world.


How Do You Keep From Getting Bored? Researchers Have An Answer

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Social science research suggests that boredom, or satiety, has a lot to do with the mind. When we imagine variety in the future, it turns out we can tolerate a lot more boredom in the present.


Twist Of Fate Leads Musical Prodigy To Pursue Social Sciences

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Maya Shankar was on her way to being an accomplished concert violinist, but a twist of fate led her to the social sciences instead.


Researchers Examine Whether First Impressions Are Lasting

Thursday, December 22, 2016

When you look at a photograph of someone, researchers say it's remarkably difficult to dislodge that first impression — even after we have had a chance to meet the person we initially saw in a photo.


A Gang Killed A Guy With Ebola. Will They Agree To Be Quarantined?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

In 2015, health workers in Liberia faced a challenge. They had to figure out how to quarantine a street gang that could be spreading Ebola at the height of the epidemic.


The Gender Wage Gap In The Arts

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

New social science research shows that women in the arts earn significantly less than men across the board.


A Stabbing, A Possible Ebola Outbreak, And A 'Time Bomb'

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

In Liberia, a team of epidemiologists have to delay a criminal investigation, look the other way on illegal drug use and build trust to stop an outbreak of Ebola.


What Food Stamps And Drunk Driving Stats Have To Do With Each Other

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Researchers have discovered that there are fewer drunk driving fatalities on days of the month when millions of Americans receive food stamps. Figures show the deaths go down significantly.


In Praise Of Mess: Why Disorder May Be Good For Us

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

To many of us, the desire to bring order to chaos can be irresistible. But writer Tim Harford thinks many of us could use a bit more messiness in our lives.


Researchers Explore The Struggle Of Recognizing Faces

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Being able to recognize faces is a crucial part of life. But why are some of us so good or bad at it, and how skilled at it are we on average? The answers might surprise you.


Senior Citizens Study: How Money Makes For Better Brain Functioning

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Research indicates that people who got more in social security payments — as a result of a congressional formula glitch in the 1970s — appear to have lower risks of developing Alzheimer's disease.


Some People Are Great At Recognizing Faces. Others...Not So Much

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It happens to all of us: Someone recognizes you on the street, calls you by name, and says hello. And you have no idea who that person is. Researchers say this struggle to read other faces is common.


Feelings Toward A Partner Affect Brand Buying Decisions, Study Says

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Here's news that could be of interest to marketers: Research shows people frustrated in a relationship sometimes deal with their feelings by buying and consuming brands their partners hate.


How 'Broken Windows' Helped Shape Tensions Between Police And Communities

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

As the mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani was a proponent of a controversial policing philosophy that calls for police to go after small crimes in hopes of preventing bigger problems.


What Happened? How Pollsters, Pundits And Politics Got It Wrong

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Pollsters across the ideological spectrum predicted Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 presidential election. They got it wrong. But one man did not: historian Allan Lichtman.


How Contestants' Social Security Numbers Could Affect 'Jeopardy' Wagers

Friday, November 11, 2016

Researchers have found an unconscious bias in the way contestants play the game show Jeopardy.