Stories

On the podcast

Sept. 21: The Halo Effect — Judy, Lyn and Donna Ulrich were driving to a volleyball game when their Ford Pinto was hit from behind by a Chevy van. The Pinto caught fire, and the three teenagers were burned to death. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk to a former Ford insider who could have voted to recall the Pinto years before the Ulrich girls were killed — but didn’t. And we ask, is it possible to fairly evaluate our past actions when we know how things turned out? 

Sept. 14: Why Nobody Feels Rich — If you’ve ever flown in economy class on a plane, you probably had to walk through the first class cabin to get to your seat. Maybe you noticed the extra leg room. The freshly-poured champagne. Maybe you were annoyed, or envious. Social psychologist Keith Payne says we tend to compare ourselves with those who have more than us, but rarely with those who have less. This week, we revisit our 2019 episode on the psychology of income inequality, and how perceptions of our own wealth shape our lives.

Sept. 7: The Fee-For-Service Monster  — Physician Vivian Lee says that in our healthcare model, we’re rewarding how many services we provide to patients, not whether we’re improving their health. As a result, Americans increasingly have among the worst health outcomes of all developed nations. So how can we fix our broken system?

August 31: You 2.0: Empathy Gym — Jamil Zaki argues that empathy is like a muscle — it can grow stronger with exercise and atrophy when idle. This week, he tells us how to cultivate one of our most precious human abilities.

August 24: You 2.0: Woop, Woop! — American culture is all about positive affirmations. Dream big! Shoot for the stars! But do positive fantasies actually help us achieve our goals? This week, as part of our You 2.0 summer series, we revisit a conversation with researcher Gabriele Oettingen about how we can make our goals more attainable.
On the radio: 

On the radio

Sept. 24: The Halo Effect — Judy, Lyn and Donna Ulrich were driving to a volleyball game when their Ford Pinto was hit from behind by a Chevy van. The Pinto caught fire, and the three teenagers were burned to death. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk to a former Ford insider who could have voted to recall the Pinto years before the Ulrich girls were killed — but didn’t. And we ask, is it possible to fairly evaluate our past actions when we know how things turned out?

Sept. 17: Secret Friends — Where is the line between what is real and what is imaginary? It seems like an easy question to answer: if you can see it, hear it, or touch it, then it’s real, right? But what if this way of thinking is limiting one of the greatest gifts of the mind? This week, we meet people who experience the invisible as real, and learn how they hone their imaginations to see the world with new eyes.

Sept. 10: The Fee-For-Service Monster  — Physician Vivian Lee says that in our healthcare model, we’re rewarding how many services we provide to patients, not whether we’re improving their health. As a result, Americans increasingly have among the worst health outcomes of all developed nations. So how can we fix our broken system?  

Sept. 3: Finding Meaning at Work  — Finding a new job may be the solution to your woes at work. But there may also be other ways to get more out of your daily grind.  This week, we talk with psychologist Amy Wrzesniewski of Yale University about how we can find meaning and purpose in our jobs. Plus, we talk to economist Bruno Frey about the unexpected benefits of giving people awards instead of cash bonuses at work.  

August 27: You 2.0: Empathy Gym — Jamil Zaki argues that empathy is like a muscle — it can grow stronger with exercise and atrophy when idle. This week, he tells us how to cultivate one of our most precious human abilities.