Shankar Vedantam is the host and creator of Hidden Brain. The Hidden Brain podcast receives more than three million downloads per week. The Hidden Brain radio show is distributed by NPR and featured on nearly 400 public radio stations around the United States.
Vedantam was NPR's social science correspondent between 2011 and 2020, and spent 10 years as a reporter at The Washington Post. From 2007 to 2009, he was also a columnist, and wrote the Department of Human Behavior column for the Post.
Vedantam and Hidden Brain have been recognized with the Edward R Murrow Award, and honors from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the International Society of Political Psychology, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Austen Riggs Center, the American Psychoanalytic Association, the Webby Awards, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors, the South Asian Journalists Association, the Asian American Journalists Association, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the American Public Health Association, the Templeton-Cambridge Fellowship on Science and Religion, and the Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowship.
In 2009-2010, Vedantam served as a fellow at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.
Vedantam is the author of the non-fiction book, The Hidden Brain: How our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars and Save Our Lives. The book, published in 2010, described how unconscious biases influence people. He is also co-author, with Bill Mesler, of the 2021 book Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain.
We don't always behave the way economic models say we will. We don't save enough for retirement. We give money to charity. This week, why we act in ways that go against our "rational" self-interest.
On this week's radio show, we trace the history of fake news. Plus, in a time when accurate information is so important, we ask who ultimately bears the cost when no one wants to pay for local news.
Sometimes, when we believe something, no amount of data can change our minds. This week, why we cling to our beliefs — even when they're wrong.
This week, the Hidden Brain podcast explores the science of fear — traveling to a haunted house curated by a scientist to investigate what scares us, and why some people enjoy feeling fear.
The latest polls indicate 58 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage. In 1977, that number was 13 percent. One researcher says that jump in support isn't the result of a generational gap — it's that many who once opposed gay marriage have changed their minds or softened their opposition.