Invisibilia

Invisibilia

United States

Invisibilia (Latin for all the invisible things) is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.

Episodes

True You  

What happens when you discover a part of yourself that is so different from who you think you are? Do you hold on to your original self tightly? Do you explore this other self? Or do you just panic?

Future Self  

We all have a future self, a version of us that is better, more successful. It can inspire us to achieve our dreams, or mock us for everything we have failed to become. A note to listeners: this episode contains some disturbing content related to teen suicide and grieving parents.

The Culture Inside  

Is there a part of ourselves that we don't acknowledge, that we don't even have access to and that might make us ashamed if we encountered it?

Reality Part One  

How is it that two neighbors can look out their window at the exact same thing, and see something completely different? This is a question many people in America are asking now. We explore it by visiting a small community in Minnesota, called Eagle's Nest Township, that has a unique experience with the reality divide: some of the people in the town believe that wild black bears are gentle animals you can feed with your hands, and others think they are dangerous killers. This divide leads to conflict and, ultimately, a tragic death. So, is there a "real" truth about the bear, or is each side constructing its own reality?

Reality Part Two  

The concept of bubbles (social bubbles, media bubbles, political bubbles) has become popular lately as people grapple with the outcome of the 2016 election. We talk to two people who are making attempts to break out of their bubbles, and expose themselves to new points of view. We start with a woman seeking to break out of the confines of the human bubble altogether, by teaching herself to experience the world more like a dog. Then we meet a young man named Max, who has made a life out of hopping from bubble to bubble.

Emotions Part One  

We offer you a truly mind-blowing alternative explanation for how an emotion gets made. And we do it through a bizarre lawsuit, in which a child dies in a car accident, and the child's parents get sued by the man driving the other car.

Emotions Part Two  

An anthropologist discovers an emotion, and after a tragic event, comes to understand it. And a young woman does the one thing guaranteed to ruin a date, and learns something about her emotional life.

Season 3 Trailer  

On June 1, Invisibilia is back for Season 3! Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior – thoughts, emotions, assumptions, expectations. Check out the trailer for the upcoming season!

Outside In  

There's a popular idea out there that you can change from the outside in. Power posing. Fake it 'til you make it. If you just assume the pose, inner transformation will follow. We examine to what extent this is true, by following the first all-female debate team in Rwanda, a country that has legislated gender equality. We also see how an app reshaped the relationship of twin sisters. And we end our season at the beach, with a man whose life was transformed by a seagull named Mac Daddy.

The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes  

Do clothes have the power to transform us? Lulu and Hanna bring us seven stories that explore how clothes can change us in quiet but surprising ways. We have help from Yowei Shaw, Chenjerai Kumanyika and Colin Dwyer.

Flip the Script  

Psychology has a golden rule: If I am warm, you are usually warm. If I am hostile, you are too. But what happens if you flip the script and meet hostility with warmth? It's called "noncomplementary behavior" — a mouthful, but a powerful concept, and very hard to execute. Alix and Hanna examine three attempts to pull it off: during a robbery, a terrorism crisis and a dating dry spell.

Frame of Reference  

What shapes the way we perceive the world around us? A lot of it has to do with invisible frames of reference that filter our experiences and determine how we feel. Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin interview a woman who gets a glimpse of what she's been missing all her life – and then loses it. And they talk to Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj about which frame of reference is better – his or his dad's.

Bonus: Mr. Kitt  

In this special podcast bonus, Lulu Miller tells the story of William Kitt, a resident of the Broadway Housing Communities, featured in our episode "The Problem with the Solution". William Kitt was insane, by his own definition. But he no longer believes he is, because of what he calls the Greatest Scheme of All.

The Problem with the Solution  

We are naturally drawn to finding solutions. But are there ever problems we shouldn't try to solve? Lulu Miller visits a town in Belgium with a completely different approach to dealing with mental illness. Families in the town board people – strangers - with severe mental illnesses in their homes, sometimes for decades. And it works, because they are not looking to cure them.

Bonus: Four-Minute Mile  

In a special podcast bonus, Lulu Miller tells the story about a young runner who always thought he had it in him to break the four-minute mile, until a potential change in personality made him question if he was the same runner.

The Personality Myth  

We like to think of our own personalities - and those of our spouses, children and friends - as predictable and constant over time. But what if they aren't? In this episode, Alix Spiegel visits a prison to explore whether there is such a thing as a stable personality. And Lulu Miller asks whether scientists can point to a single thing about a person that doesn't change over time. The answer might surprise you.

The New Norm  

You probably don't even notice them, but social norms determine so much of your behavior - how you dress, talk, eat and even what you allow yourself to feel. These norms are so entrenched we never imagine they can shift. But Alix Spiegel and new co-host, Hanna Rosin, examine two grand social experiments that attempt to do just that: teach McDonald's employees in Russia to smile, and workers on an oil rig how to cry.

Season 2 Trailer  

On June 17th Invisibilia is back for Season 2! Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior – thoughts, emotions, assumptions, expectations. Check out the trailer for the upcoming season!

Invisibilia Update  

Been hungry for more Invisibilia? Alix and Lulu pop in to tell you a bit about what they are working on for Season 2 — and a way you can hear a brand new Invisibilia story. On Tuesday, July 28, Lulu will be premiering a new story at an event called Cast Party. She'll be joined by Radiolab, Reply All, The Truth, dancers and comedians, and more. Best part? The night will be simulcast to MOVIE THEATERS all over the country! You can learn more and find out where it's playing near you at castparty.org.

See You Soon  

Thanks for listening to the first season of Invisibilia! Here's a message from Alix and Lulu about what's happening next.

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