Hidden Brain Podcast

Hidden Brain explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior and questions that lie at the heart of our complex and changing world.

Hidden Brain
Hidden Brain explores the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior and questions that lie at the heart of our complex and changing world. Our work, led by Host and Executive Editor Shankar Vedantam, is marked by a commitment to scientific and journalistic rigor, and a deep empathy for our guests and audience.
Group Think
by Hidden Brain Media

How do the groups you identify with shape your sense of self? Do they influence the beer you buy? The way you vote? Psychologist Jay Van Bavel says our group loyalties affect us more than we realize, and can even shape our basic senses of sight, taste and smell. 

If you like our work, please consider supporting it! See how you can help at support.hiddenbrain.org. And to learn more about human behavior and ideas that can improve your life, subscribe to our newsletter at news.hiddenbrain.org.

Group Think
Just Sex
Where Happiness Hides
You 2.0: Regrets, I Have a Few…


Hidden Brain on the radio

September 15: Passion Isn’t Enough — Many Americans feel an obligation to keep up with political news. But maybe we should be focusing our energies elsewhere. Political scientist Eitan Hersh says there’s been a rise in “political hobbyism” in the United States. We treat politics like entertainment, following the latest updates like we follow our favorite sports teams. Instead, he says, we should think of politics as a way to acquire power and persuade our neighbors to back the issues we support.

September 7: The Ventilator — Many of us believe we know how we’d choose to die. We have a sense of how we’d respond to a diagnosis of an incurable illness. This week, we have the story of one family’s decades-long conversation about dying. What they found is that the people we are when death is far in the distance may not be the people we become when death is near.

September 2: Yum and Yuck — We dig into the psychology that determines the foods that make us salivate and the scents that make us squirm.

August 26: You 2.0: Did That Really Happen? — Our memories are easily contaminated. We can be made to believe we rode in a hot air balloon or kissed a magnifying glass — even if those things never happened. So how do we know which of our memories are most accurate? This week, psychologist Ayanna Thomas explains how we remember, why we forget, and the simple tools we all can use to sharpen our memories.

browse archive


Go behind the scenes, see what Shankar is reading and find more useful resources and links.