Behavioral Sciences

The Takeaway

Why Bad Habits Come Back to Bite Us

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A new study finds that giving up one bad habit often leads to picking up another. For example, people switching from plastic to reusable grocery bags will start buying more junk food.

Comments [11]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Clive Davis, Why Things Catch On, Inside the Westboro Baptist Church

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Legendary music producer Clive Davis talks about working with some of music’s biggest names over the last five decades, including Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Kelly Clarkson.  Marketing professor Jonah Berger helps us understand why some products and ideas catch on while others don’t. Carlene Bauer talks about her latest novel, Frances and Bernard. Plus, one woman’s experience growing up in the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its high-profile protests and extreme beliefs.

The Leonard Lopate Show

February’s Book: The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Our habits—good and bad—shape our lives, and understanding how habits work is key to losing weight, being more productive, exercising regularly, and achieving success.

More Leonard Lopate Show book club

Comments [34]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Roll with It

Thursday, January 10, 2013

On today’s show: Alicia Menendez fills in for Leonard Lopate. Jesse Prinz examines nature versus nurture in human development and tells us why our DNA is not necessarily our destiny. Massimo Montanari on his new book Let the Meatballs Rest, about food culture, cooking methods, and eating habits throughout history. Dena Kaye talks about the centenary celebration of her father, the award-winning entertainer Danny Kaye. And Cali Williams Yost tells us how small, consistent, everyday changes can help us all find a better fit between work and life.

The Leonard Lopate Show

Making Habits, Breaking Habits

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Psychologist Jeremy Dean tells us how habits are formed and broken. In Making Habits, Breaking Habits he explains that while people like to think that they are in control, much of human behavior occurs without any decision-making or conscious thought. He draws on hundreds of studies to show how to make any change stick.

Comments [5]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Teams and Teamwork

Friday, August 10, 2012

This week’s Please Explain takes a look at the art and science of teamwork. We’re joined by Scott Wiltermuth, Assistant Professor of Management and Organization, at USC’s Marshall School of Business, and Dr. John Krakauer, Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience, Director, Center for the Study of Motor Learning and Brain Repair, the Johns Hopkins Hospital Department of Neurology.

Comments [6]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Joseph LeDoux on the Emotional Brain

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Neuroscientist Joseph LeDoux describes the underlying brain mechanisms that make us feel emotions. He's the author of The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional Life, which investigates the origins of human emotions such as fear, love, hate, anger, and joy, and explains that many exist as part of complex neural systems that evolved to enable us to survive. He is also the singer and song writer in The Amygdaloids, a rock band that sings about mind and brain, and with which  Rosanne Cash has recorded.

Comments [9]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Money-Empathy Gap

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lisa Miller, contributing editor at New York magazine, discusses whether having more money makes people less kind. Her article "The Money-Empathy Gap" appeared in the July 1 issue of New York magazine.

Comments [27]

The Leonard Lopate Show

How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

Friday, April 27, 2012

Leonard Mlodinow explores how we misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and colleagues; how we misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions; and how we misremember important events. Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior explains how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world.

Comments [10]

The Brian Lehrer Show

The Power of Habits

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Charles Duhigg, New York Times staff writer and author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, joins us to talk about the importance of habitual behavior and the role it plays in our lives both on and offline.

Comments [13]

The Leonard Lopate Show

The Art and Science of Waiting on Line

Monday, December 12, 2011

The holidays involve a lot of standing on line—in museums, at the movies, and, of course, at stores. Wall Street Journal reporter Ray Smith discusses the science of lines, looking at what’s really happening at checkout. His article “Find the Best Checkout Line” appeared in the Wall Street Journal December 8. He’s joined by Narayan Janakiraman an assistant professor of marketing at Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona who has researched how impatient shoppers get while waiting on line.

Comments [24]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Free Will and the Science of the Brain

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga argues against the common belief that physical laws govern our behavior and that there’s no such thing as free will. In Who’s in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain shows how determinism weakens human responsibility, and he shows that the latest insights into the mind reveal that we are responsible for our actions, not our brains.

Comments [13]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Daniel Kahneman on Thinking, Fast and Slow

Monday, November 21, 2011

Daniel Kahneman, who received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology that challenged the rational model of judgment and decision making, talks about how we think. In Thinking, Fast and Slow, he looks at how intuitive and emotional thinking and slower, more deliberative, and more logical thinking shape our behaviors, judgments, and decisions.

Comments [9]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Children's Brains

Friday, October 14, 2011

Neuroscientists Sandra Aamodt and Sam Wang discuss how a child’s brain develops, from conception to college, looking at language learning, sleep problems, gender differences, and behavior issues. They debunk myths and look at the factors that matter—and those that don’t—in children’s brain development. They’re the co-authors of Welcome to Your Child's Brain: How the Mind Grows from Conception to College.

How well do you know your child's brain? Take this quiz to find out!

Comments [25]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Please Explain: Common Sense

Friday, September 16, 2011

Common sense seems simple enough, but it can be more complicated and less helpful that you would expect. Duncan J. Watts, sociologist and Yahoo! Principal Researcher, explains the benefits and limitations of common sense and looks closely at how common-sense reasoning can be misleading. His book Everything You Know Is Obvious once You Know the Answer draws on the latest scientific research and real-life examples to show how common sense attempts to predict, manage, and manipulate social and economic systems often fail, and looks at the implications in politics, business and everyday life.

If you have a question about common sense, or some examples of when it works and when it fails, call us at 646-829-3985, or leave a comment.

Comments [5]

The Leonard Lopate Show

Ants and Warfare

Monday, July 04, 2011

Entomologist and National Geographic photographer Mark Moffett looks at the similarities between ants and humans, specifically our use of warfare.


The Leonard Lopate Show

Humans and Ants

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Entomologist and National Geographic photographer Mark Moffett looks at the similarities between ants and humans, specifically our use of warfare.

Comments [10]

The Takeaway

Chilean Miners Remain Trapped; How Would You Survive Underground?

Monday, August 30, 2010

It is still unclear when the 33 Chilean miners trapped 700 meters below ground will be rescued. The Chilean mining minister says it will before Christmas, a shorter timeline than originally anticipated. The group received its first solid food from the surface today: ham sandwiches. Even if the miners are trapped for 60 days, rather than the previously announced 120 days, it is still a very long time to be trapped in a confined space with the same people. We've been asking our listeners: What would happen if you were trapped underground with your coworkers?

Comments [4]