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Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain

Hidden Brain, Shankar Vedantam

Shankar Vedantam uses science and storytelling to reveal the unconscious patterns that drive human behavior, shape our choices and direct our relationships.

663 - Outsmarting Yourself
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  • 663 - Outsmarting Yourself

    After we make a decision, we often tell ourselves a story about why our choice was the right one to make. It's a mental process that psychologist Elliot Aronson calls self-justification. These rationalizations can sometimes lead us to excuse bad behavior or talk ourselves out of a poor choice. But are there also times when self-justification can be used for good?

    Mon, 18 Sep 2023 - 46min
  • 662 - How We Live With Contradictions

    Think about the last time you did something you knew was wrong. How did you explain your actions to yourself? All of us tell stories about why we do the things we do. We justify our failures, and come up with plausible explanations for our actions. This week, Elliot Aronson explains the mental processes behind this type of self-justification, and shares how he helped develop one of the most widely-known concepts in psychology: cognitive dissonance. Humans are full of contradictions. We want to stay healthy, yet we smoke and loathe to exercise. We want to be honest, but we cheat and tell lies. In other words, we want to think of ourselves as good people, yet sometimes we don't act like it. Why is that? This week, psychologist Elliot Aronson shares his research on how we figure out those contradictions.

    Mon, 11 Sep 2023 - 53min
  • 661 - Being Kind to Yourself

    How often do you say something negative to yourself that you'd never utter to someone else? Self-criticism can often feel like a way to hold ourselves accountable. But psychologist Kristin Neff says there’s a better path to personal growth: self-compassion. In a favorite conversation from 2021, Kristin remembers the painful moment when she learned to show herself self-compassion, and shares how being kind to ourselves can improve our wellbeing and relationships with others.

    Mon, 4 Sep 2023 - 51min
  • 660 - You 2.0: Make the Good Times Last

    Sorrows have a way of finding us, no matter how hard we try to avoid them. Joys, on the other hand, are often hard to notice and appreciate. This week, we continue our conversation with psychologist Fred Bryant about the science of savoring, and how to make the most of the good things in our lives.

    Mon, 28 Aug 2023 - 47min
  • 659 - You 2.0: Slow Down!

    It’s understandable that we sometimes dwell on things that upset us. But our negative emotions can keep us from savoring the good things in our lives. This week, we continue our You 2.0 series with psychologist Fred Bryant. We’ll discuss the many benefits of savoring, and how we can turn even the smallest of moments into an opportunity for pleasure.

    Mon, 21 Aug 2023 - 50min
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