Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain

United States

A conversation about life's unseen patterns.

Episodes

Episode 54: Panic in the Streets  

It sounds like the plot of a movie: police discover the body of a young man who's been murdered. The body tests positive for a deadly infectious disease. Authorities trace the killing to a gang. They race to find gang members linked to the murder... who may also be incubating the virus. This week on Hidden Brain... disease, panic, and how a public health team used psychology to confront an epidemic.

Episode 53: Embrace the Chaos  

Many of us spend lots of time and energy trying to get organized. We KonMari our closets, we strive for inbox zero, we tell our kids to clean their rooms, and our politicians to clean up Washington. But Economist Tim Harford says, maybe we should embrace the chaos. His new book is Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives.

Episode 52: Losing Face  

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. This week on Hidden Brain, super-recognizers, and the rest of us.

Episode 51: What Happened?  

On the morning after election day, pundits, pollsters, politicians, and citizens woke up feeling stunned. All signs, all year, had been pointing towards a victory for Democrat Hillary Clinton. So, what happened? We ask one of the few people who didn't get it wrong: the historian Allan Lichtman.

Encore of Episode 27: Losing Alaska  

We didn't hear very much about climate change during this election cycle — and social science research might give us some insight as to why not. This week, an encore of one of our favorite episodes about why it's so hard for us to wrap our heads around climate change.

Episode 50: Broken Windows  

In the early 1980s, a couple of researchers wrote an article in The Atlantic that would have far reaching consequences. The article introduced a new idea about crime and policing. It was called Broken Windows. The idea was simple: A broken window is a sign of a neglected community, and a neglected community is a place where crime can thrive. The researchers said, if police fixed the small problems that created visible signs of disorder, the big ones would disappear. Today, we explore how ideas sometimes get away from those who invented them.. And then are taken to places that were never intended.

Episode 49: Filthy Rich  

Several years ago, sociologist Brooke Harrington decided to explore the secret lives of billionaires. What she found, she said, shocked her.

Episode 48: Men: 44, Women: 0  

A century after women won the vote in the US, we still see very few of them in leadership roles. Researchers say women are trapped in a catch-22 known as "the double bind." Note: an early version of this episode incorrectly stated that Carol Moseley Braun was the first African-American U.S. Senator. She was in fact the first female African-American Senator.

Episode 47: Give Me Your Tired...  

Our airwaves are filled with debates about migrants, refugees, and undocumented immigrants... Who should be in the United States, who shouldn't, and who should decide? Immigration is, without question, a flash point in this year's political debates. It's an issue that seems to get to the core of who we are, who we want to be, and where we're headed as a nation. Today we're going to take a fresh look at the issue by exploring what history can teach us about the patterns and paradoxes of immigration in a nation of immigrants. It's one of a series of shows in the next few weeks that will speak to issues that have bubbled to the surface in politics this year, that reveal something about us — and human nature. Historian Maria Cristina Garcia joins us.

Episode 46: Blessings in Disguise?  

We have lots of ways to describe the good that can come from bad: a blessing in disguise, a silver lining — but what if the bad thing was truly awful? This week on Hidden Brain, framing and re-framing a tragedy.

Episode 45: What Are The Odds?  

This week on Hidden Brain, coincidences. Why they're not quite as magical as they seem... and the reasons we can't help but search for meaning in them anyway.

Trailer: Hidden Brain 2.0  

We have an anniversary to celebrate. We've been bringing you Hidden Brain for a year now, and we are so glad and thankful you've come along with us. We've learned a lot about what you like, and what we like. Specifically, deep dives into stories or topics that reveal something true about human behavior. Now, it's time to double down on that with a string of ambitious new episodes. Here's a sneak peek.

Update: #AirbnbWhileBlack  

A few months ago, Hidden Brain investigated claims that Airbnb users were facing discrimination on the platform. Now, we bring you an update on the company's response.

Episode 44: Our Politics, Our Parenting  

In the midst of a rancorous election, we present a new theory to explain why the two sides of the aisle seem irreconcilable sometimes.

Episode 43: The Perils of Power  

We've all heard the old adage that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely," but psychologist Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley has found evidence to prove it. His book is The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence.

Encore of Episode 21: Stroke of Genius  

Derek Amato wasn't born a musical savant. He became one—almost instantly—after hitting his head on the bottom of a swimming pool.

Episode 42: Decide Already!  

This week, Harvard researcher Dan Gilbert tells us why we're bad at predicting our future happiness, how that affects our decision making, and why we are actually happier after making a decision that feels irrevocable.

Encore of Episode 11: Forgery  

This week on Hidden Brain, we explore real and fake, from fine art to fine wine. Shankar speaks with Noah Charney, author of The Art of Forgery, about why art forgers are compelled to spend their lives copying the great masters, and why so many of them want to get caught. Also this week: why we love studies that prove wine connoisseurs wrong.

Episode 41: Defeated  

While everyone is focused on the Olympic winners in Rio, we're zooming in on loss. We have the story of how a world-champion judo player reacted to a devastating defeat, plus a Stopwatch Science on how losing affects us all.

Episode 40: Silver and Gold  

The rush of victory or crush of defeat in the Olympics can flash by very quickly. But if you slow those moments down, there's a lot to learn about human behavior.

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