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How the Hidden Brain Controls Our Lives

We like to think of ourselves as conscious, rational beings.

But human behavior is largely driven by unconscious attitudes.

These attitudes reside in the deep recesses of the brain, and we ignore them at our own peril.

So says Washington Post journalist Shankar Vedantam.

Vedantam is the author of a new book, The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives.

Vedantam explores how the workings of the unconscious mind explain everything from genocide and injustice to the rise of suicide bombers.

The World’s science reporter Rhitu Chatterjee spoke with Vedantam about the role of the hidden brain in our lives and actions. Listen to that interview here.

Download MP3

Now it’s your turn to ask the questions. Join the conversation. It’s just to the right.

* Have you ever regretted a decision you made, realizing later that it was impulsive and ill-informed?
* Do you think it’s possible to change our unconscious biases by better understanding our hidden brains?
* Or does understanding our hidden brains makes us more confused, less sure of our decisions?

Comments

  1. #1 Bob Carlson
    February 26, 2010

    Hidden brain? Maybe folks need to consider the possibility that free will is just a delusion. A starting point is The Myth of Free Will by Chris Evatt.