Featured Podcast: Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain podcast by NPR

I have rediscovered podcasts which in turn has helped rebirth my love for the spoken word. It’s radio but better because I get to choose who and what I listen to. One man should not have such power…

Anyway, I want to feature a few of the podcasts I’m currently listening to one at a time. It’s going to take a while because I currently have about 27 of them!

Hidden Brain

This was the podcast that reignited my interest in the medium. Yeah yeah, it’s by NPR (ohmygodhowhipster) but I get a huge kick from learning about the brain and its effects human behaviour. In 30 minutes this podcast manages to inform and entertain doing so in a way that’s accessible to lay people.

Hosted by Shankar Vedantam, each episode puts one social behaviour phenomenon under the microscope and explains the science behind it leaving you with just enough to ponder how your life could benefit from these findings. Hidden Brain is constantly experimenting with new ways to deliver the material; you have your usual segments involving interviews and a summary of research but the crew gets creative. The segment Stopwatch Science for example has Shanker and Daniel Pink deliver scientific findings in one minute. Musically-inclined guests are invited to summarize all the scientific findings in song. There was an on-going experiment involving one of the crew member’s journey to stop smoking.

If you want to get started give Episode 3 on Annie Duke & stereotype threat a shot. This one got me thinking about how to use stereotype threats to my advantage. Another one, Episode 15 with Maya Shankar, was simply inspiring.