Shankar Vedantam

Shankar Vedantam appears in the following:

You 2.0: Fresh Starts

Friday, August 21, 2020

Unpredictable things happen to us all the time. As part of our annual You 2.0 series on personal growth and reinvention, we revisit two of our favorite stories of loss and the change it brings.


'Hidden Brain': How Psychology Was Misused In Teen's Murder Case

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

In 1979, dubious psychological techniques were used to put a teenager behind bars for life. These flawed ideas may still be at play in other criminal cases.


How Showing Special Kindness To Some Can Have Moral Consequences

Friday, July 03, 2020

A type of discrimination is overlooked because it's rooted, not in hate, but in love. Our Hidden Brain team asks why good deeds, those we do for spouses or neighbors, can sometimes lead to injustice.


The Mind Of The Village: Understanding Our Implicit Biases

Saturday, June 20, 2020

This week on Hidden Brain, research about prejudices so deeply buried, we often doubt their existence. We'll begin with police shootings of unarmed Black men. We also look at how biases affect judges.


Graduating High School During A Recession Could Be A Good Thing, Study Finds

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Recessions typically damage workers' long-term earnings. NPR's Hidden Brain podcast explains how a study found that students graduating from high school during a recession may be an exception.


Hidden Brain: Heat And Learning. What's The Connection?

Friday, May 29, 2020

As the planet gets warmer students around the globe are dealing with hotter days. A study finds that heat stands in the way of learning, and contributes to the racial achievement gap.


Theory Vs. Reality: Why Our Economic Behavior Isn't Always Rational

Thursday, May 28, 2020

We don't always behave the way economic models say we will. We don't save enough for retirement. We give money to charity. This week, why we act in ways that go against our "rational" self-interest.


Stop The Presses! Newspapers Affect Us, Often In Ways We Don't Realize

Thursday, April 30, 2020

On this week's radio show, we trace the history of fake news. Plus, in a time when accurate information is so important, we ask who ultimately bears the cost when no one wants to pay for local news.


Study Links Racial Prejudices And Disease Outbreaks

Monday, April 20, 2020

How might a pandemic affect racial prejudice? A new study finds that living in a region with higher infectious disease rates is linked to greater racial prejudice.


Hidden Brain: How Trust May Help To Limit A Disease Outbreak

Thursday, March 26, 2020

What helps to contain an epidemic? A study of the Ebola crisis suggests that patients' trust in health workers can encourage patients to report illnesses and receive treatment.


Looking Back: Reflecting On The Past To Understand The Present

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Why are we so often pulled into memories of the past? This week, we bring you a 2018 episode about our ruminations on what we could have done differently, and what we wish we could do again.


'Hidden Brain': How 'Egocentric Bias' Can Lead Us Astray

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Asking a stranger for help can be stressful. But research shows that people are more likely to say yes than you may think. Researchers are studying our understated ability to influence others.


How To See The Future (No Crystal Ball Needed)

Thursday, January 23, 2020

When disaster strikes, we want to know, who screwed up? This week we explore the psychology of warnings: Why some warnings get heard, and why some of us are better at seeing what lies ahead.


The Story Of Money: How Human Behavior Shapes Economies — And Vice Versa

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

What's the point of money? The answer might seem obvious: we need it to get paid for our work, and to buy the things we need. But there's also a deeper way to look at the role of money in our lives.


Tell Me A Story: What Narratives Reveal About The Mind

Thursday, January 09, 2020

We live in a world of stories. They're in movies, books, and plays. They're even in the things that we buy.


How Does The Way You Feel Shape The Way You Think About Your Life?

Thursday, January 02, 2020

A recent study found students may inadvertently choose their college major, in part, based on how tired they were in the subject's introductory course — especially if it was an early morning class.


The Psychology Behind When Emotions Turn Us Into Different People

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

In a fit of anger or in the grip of fear, many of us make decisions that we never would have anticipated. Researchers say it is very hard to understand how we'll act in certain situations.


Hidden Brain: Does Going To Church Improve Your Mental Health?

Tuesday, November 05, 2019

It's been debated a long time: Does being part of organized religion improve your mental health? A new study finds that religion can buffer adolescents against depression.


How Outrage Is Hijacking Our Culture And Our Minds

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

It can feel impossible to escape outrage nowadays. Anger is present across our screens — from TV news to social media. New social science research asks: What's the effect of all this outrage?


I, Robot: Our Changing Relationship With Technology

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Do you ever catch yourself yelling at your Alexa? Or typing questions into Google that you would never ask aloud? This week, we explore our changing relationship with technology.