We’ve compiled a list of the behavioral science podcasts we’re listening to this summer.
Are there others we should consider for the list? Let us know on Twitter (@behscientist) or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Building off the bestselling book of the same name, Freakonomics Radio features conversations that explore everything from the Koch brothers and our Google search histories to elections and the Super Bowl. On the podcast, host Stephen Dubner continues what he and Steven Levitt began with their book by lending a critical and scientific eye to our society and culture.
Host: Stephen Dubner
As its name implies, Invisibilia examines the unseen forces that influence the way we behave. Hosts Alix Spiegel, Hanna Rosin, and Lulu Miller cover topics that include grief, dreams, and self-discovery. Their mix of scientific reporting and good story-telling makes for a show that will touch your head and heart. The NPR podcast just finished its third season.
Hosts: Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin, and Alix Spiegel
Frequency: Seasonal (7 episodes released weekly)
Hidden Brain is for inquisitive minds interested in exploring the aspects of human thinking and behavior that shape who we are. Since launching in 2015, Hidden Brain has covered narcissism, the minds of terrorists, and discrimination in the sharing economy. It’s geared toward helping listeners better understand themselves and others. Podcast trivia: Our editor Max Nesterak quit smoking using the insights from behavioral science when he was a producer on the show.
Host: Shankar Vedantam
Malcolm Gladwell takes a red pen to the history books in his podcast Revisionist History. He’s drawn question marks next to the Brown v. Board of Education decision, golf’s privileged status in Los Angeles, and the CIA’s treatment of a reformed terrorist. Gladwell, often through the lens of behavioral science, has a way of asking the questions and finding the answers everyone else seems to miss. Revisionist History is in its second season.
Host: Malcolm Gladwell
Frequency: Seasonal (10 episodes released weekly)
Economist Russ Robert’s EconTalk takes you out of the theoretical world and into the practical side of economic thinking. The podcast features conversations with diverse academics, entrepreneurs, and reporters, as well as Nobel laureates like Angus Deaton and Alvin Roth. The podcast covers a wide range of topics, with Roberts demonstrating how economic thinking is more versatile than you might have guessed.
Host: Russ Roberts
Very Bad Wizards
Listening to Very Bad Wizards is a strange and enlightening experience. Every couple of weeks, philosopher Tamler Sommers and psychologist David Pizarro engage in candid and irreverent conversations on topics including Rachel Dolezal, the replication crisis, hip-hop, and morality. Their conversations have a fair share of banter and four-letter words and they win our award for the best lead-in music.
Hosts: Tamler Sommers and David Pizarro
Frequency: 2-3 episodes per month
Two Guys on Your Head
Professors Art Markman and Bob Duke like thinking about human behavior. In partnership with KUT in Austin, they are Two Guys on Your Head. In brief, eight-minute segments they discuss topics like emotional contagion, parenting, and how to influence behavior at work. It’s kind of like if your favorite professors held office hours at a pub during happy hour. Fun, relaxed, engaging, and that feeling that it’s never quite long enough.
Hosts: Art Markman and Bob Duke
The Psychology Podcast
Psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman is curious. He’s also incredibly knowledgeable and not afraid to be himself. Those qualities make his conversations with leading scientists and writers on The Psychology Podcast far-ranging, personal, and playful. Kaufman often focuses on creativity, well-being, and personal development, through the breadth of what he covers is so wide it makes any attempt to define his show feel a bit artificial.
Host: Scott Barry Kaufman
The Black Goat
Hosted by three psychologists, The Black Goat is a new podcast that explores the good, the bad, and the ugly of being a scientist. So far, they’ve tackled topics like the publishing process, the open science movement, and life in the academy.
Hosts: Sanjay Srivastava, Alexa Tullett, and Simine Vazire
Frequency: Every other week