Shankar Vedantam

Shankar Vedantam appears in the following:

How TV Show Finales Affect The Stock Market

Monday, May 18, 2015

An economist in the United Kingdom looked at how 150 TV series finales affected the U.S. stock market. He observed a decrease in stock returns on the following trading day.


What Might Make Young People Practice Safe Sex? Lottery Tickets!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Researchers working in Lesotho found that offering lottery tickets to volunteers who test negative for sexually transmitted infections is a powerful motivator for safe sex.


Blame Cognitive Biases When Efforts To Conserve Water Aren't Effective

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

As California's drought draws national headlines, we look at what a psychology-minded engineer has discovered when it comes to conserving water at home.


Does Reading Harry Potter Have An Effect On Your Behavior?

Friday, May 01, 2015

New research suggests that school kids who read and identify with Harry Potter display more positive attitudes toward people from disadvantaged groups.


Why Handsome Men May Be At A Disadvantage When It Comes To Hiring

Monday, April 20, 2015

Researchers have known that beautiful people have advantages. But experiments find that in many hiring and evaluation decisions, being a good looking man can be a distinct disadvantage.


Students' Work Ethic Affected By Peer Groups, Desire To Be Popular

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Teachers can become frustrated when students don't seem to try hard when it comes to schoolwork. There's a surprising explanation of why some students might not be putting their best effort forward.


Why Is Condom-Use Suddenly Dropping Among College Sophomores?

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Research at multiple universities shows the decline in safe sex is concentrated among students from low-income families. But why are these students less likely to practice safe sex?


How Money Managers' Personal Lives Affect Your Investments

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

For some people who discover a sudden drop in their investments, social science research offers a surprising explanation. When a hedge fund manager gets divorced, they underperform by 7.4 percent.


The Dangerous Distractions Of Spring Break

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Does Spring Break cause an increase in traffic fatalities? There's new research that may give parents and students pause.


How Do You Get People To Work Harder? Keep The Reward A Secret

Monday, March 09, 2015

When we're asked to do something, we often ask, "What's in it for me?" or "What am I going to get out of it?" Research suggests not knowing what you will get can sometimes be a strong motivator.


Health Experts Don't Always Sanitize Their Hands, Data Show

Monday, March 02, 2015

A massive analysis of hospital data finds doctors and nurses are not following guidelines on washing their hands before and after they come into contact with patients.

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How Peer Pressure May Encourage Tax Delinquents To Pay Up

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A field experiment in Kentucky, Kansas and Wisconsin finds that shaming tax cheats is a more effective way to get scofflaws to pay up rather than threatening them with fines.


In What Do We Trust?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

NPR's science correspondent Shankar Vedantam examines who or what we decide to trust - algorithms, humans or evidence?                       

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Angry Tweets Predict Patterns Of Heart Disease, Researchers Say

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Can tweets be analyzed to predict heart disease? New research suggests the answer is yes.


Examining The Entourage Effect

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New psychological research explores a phenomenon known as the entourage effect. We hear why people like to create their own entourages.


How Removing Checkpoints Could Make Israelis More Secure

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Social scientists recently analyzed the effects of removing Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank. They found it markedly reduced anti-Israel sentiment, and actual acts of violence against Israel.


The Psychology Behind Why Some Kids Go Unvaccinated

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

As the country grapples with a growing outbreak of measles, we delve into what works and what doesn't — and what might get people to vaccinate their kids.

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Companies Wanting Immediate Sales Should Pass On Super Bowl Ads

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Researchers asked this question: Is a company better off spending big money for a Super Bowl ad or buying several spots for that same amount of money at a less expensive time of the year?


Why NFL Teams Should Reconsider Giving Coaches The Heave-Ho

Friday, January 23, 2015

Research finds the systematic elimination of losing coaches by NFL teams generally leads to weaker performance among those teams in the following few years.


Why Our Feelings Toward Some African-Americans Change On MLK Day

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Martin Luther King Day honors a great African-American leader — so you might think it's a day many Americans would also honor prominent African-Americans in our lives today. But you'd be wrong.