We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives | [Shankar Vedantam]

The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives

The "hidden brain" is Shankar Vedantam's shorthand for a host of brain functions, emotional responses, and cognitive processes that happen outside of our conscious awareness, but that have a decisive effect on how we behave. The hidden brain has its finger on the scale when we make all of our most complex and important decisions - it decides who we fall in love with, whether we should convict someone of murder, or which way to run when someone yells "fire!"
Regular Price:$31.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

The "hidden brain" is Shankar Vedantam's shorthand for a host of brain functions, emotional responses, and cognitive processes that happen outside of our conscious awareness, but that have a decisive effect on how we behave.

The hidden brain has its finger on the scale when we make all of our most complex and important decisions - it decides who we fall in love with, whether we should convict someone of murder, or which way to run when someone yells "fire!" It explains why we can become riveted by the story of a single puppy adrift on an ocean but are quickly bored by a story of genocide. The hidden brain can also be deliberately manipulated to vote against someone's interest, or even to become a suicidal terrorist. But the most disturbing thing is that it can do all of this without our knowing.

Shankar Vedantam, longtime author of the Washington Post's popular Department of Human Behavior column, takes us on a tour of this phenomenon and explores its consequences. Using original reporting that combines the latest scientific research with fascinating narratives that take listeners from the American campaign trail to terrorist indoctrination camps, from the World Trade Center on 9/11 to, yes, a puppy adrift in the Pacific Ocean, Vedantam illuminates the dark recesses of our minds while making an original argument about how we can compensate for our mental blindness - and what happens when we don't.

©2010 Shankar Vedantam; (P)2010 Random House Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (108 )
5 star
 (45)
4 star
 (25)
3 star
 (22)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (9)
Overall
3.9 (22 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.0 (18 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (5)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Anne Hilton Head Island, SC, USA 02-16-10
    Anne Hilton Head Island, SC, USA 02-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Adjunct Instructor of Psychology"

    This is a fascinating look at behavior. I use it to strengthen my classes in Psychology and Human Development. I would highly recommend it for anyone interested in human behavior and the brain.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    michael EAST PEORIA, IL, United States 01-25-11
    michael EAST PEORIA, IL, United States 01-25-11 Member Since 2005

    vancholland77

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    499
    32
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    3
    Overall
    "It's a fairly good book, all things considered"

    I bought this book in a buying binge of what I like to call "Pop Psychology". I figured this would be another knock off of Malcolm Gladwell's books or Dan Ariely's books, but it wasn't. This fellow went fairly deep into similar subjects as the above mentioned authors, he leaned a bit more into the neurological side, but he did it in an interesting and original way. So, in my opinion you won't be wasting your money if you pick this book up and take a good listen.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Caroline Elkins, AR, USA 03-16-10
    Caroline Elkins, AR, USA 03-16-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    I loved it! Intriguing, well-written, and well-researched.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joni Sebastopol, CA, United States 12-07-12
    joni Sebastopol, CA, United States 12-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "rated R: some disturbingly violent content"
    What would have made The Hidden Brain better?

    The violence in this book was distasteful. There are so many examples the author could have used other than the one he picked, which was used to sensationalize for what seemed like a lack of talent or imagination.


    What could Shankar Vedantam have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    a book without violent examples


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Steve West?

    the narrator was fine


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Hidden Brain?

    the violent ones, especially when the guy beats the woman to her death with all the people watching.


    Any additional comments?

    Audio books with explicit violent content should have warnings. Violence is not the kind of thing one wants to introduce into a relaxed psyche falling asleep. It was so disturbing that I don't even want to hear the rest of the book. I'm just glad my 12-year-old didn't hear that part because we started listening to the book together as we usually do, but I listened ahead even though there were no indications it would suddenly get so violent.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 05-02-14
    Jennifer 05-02-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worthwhile & thought provoking book"
    If you could sum up The Hidden Brain in three words, what would they be?

    Fascinating, well-researched, engaging


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hidden Brain?

    When he explained that when children are read stories about race relations in which the hero is African American, they still end up thinking that the white characters did the admirable things. This effect is somewhat offset if their teachers explicitly tell them otherwise.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, but I definitely looked for occasions to keep reading more - like finding housework to do or go for a walk.


    Any additional comments?

    The case studies are remarkably interesting and well-researched. I learned unexpected concepts that alter they way I process situations now. Shankar Vedantam also shows incredible sensitivity to his interview subjects, which makes me think he is a good person. I highly recommend this book - Vedantam deserves more attention as a journalist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kip Aitkin, MN, United States 02-16-12
    Kip Aitkin, MN, United States 02-16-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A highly biased look at hidden bias."
    Any additional comments?

    The first third of the book was interesting and thought provoking. The rest of the book was very difficult to get through. In a book written to help people understand hidden biases it was impossible to overlook the authors obvious far left bias. This book is full unending gushing praise toward the 2008 Obama campaign and how the republicans use hidden racial bias to win elections. The authors personal distrust of the police along with the claim he received a speeding ticket because he was a person of color had me wondering if he had digested anything he wrote in the first third of the book. To top it off near the end of the book you are treated to an unbearable anti gun diatribe backed up by questionable facts cherry picked to make his preconceived argument.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda A. Wright Tallahassee, FL United States 11-11-10
    Linda A. Wright Tallahassee, FL United States 11-11-10 Member Since 2009

    I'm a recovering librarian. Since I had a stroke in 2002 I have found reading print difficult. I am so grateful for audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    96
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    "Does your mind really make decisions?"

    Interesting research explained in an easy to understand manner. I recommend this book to anyone who believes that their decisions are based in logic.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    peter Houten, Netherlands 07-12-11
    peter Houten, Netherlands 07-12-11 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    228
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    259
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    "take your own advice"

    An interesting start about the motivation of suicide terrorists and the hidden motivation that is in control. Interesting part about tests that reveal hidden biases.The author emphasizes that you can correlate the wearing of rain boots with the wearing of umbrellas, but that this does not mean wearing of rain boots causes you to wear an umbrella. So when he argues for gun control, he states that the correlation between gun owner ship and murders unequivocally proves that gun control saves lives. He claims that the day after you buy a gun, your risk of getting killed by a gun, increases 4 fold. He forgets that this correlation does not mean cause and effect. It could be that people who know they are in trouble eventually by a gun and are right they were in trouble and get killed. This does not mean the buying of the gun increases her risk. He also forgets that the way to control guns is... with guns. Laws always need to be backed up with violence against perpetrators. Furthermore jews were under gun control by the nazis before they were slaughtered by the millions. Maybe you should add the 200 million people that died by gvt guns last century, as victims of gun control. The author has no fear of tirannical government and no problem dissing the constitution to give the elites more power.

    He also investigates why so many policemen and military kill themselves and claims this is because of availability of weapons. It could however also be that in order to take the job of rented killer, something had a loose wire before they chose to think that hitman was a respectable profession, causing later suicide.
    The part about politics is terrible. At some point he defends Obama by saying he is a christian like you and me, later he defends evolution. Maybe one of those evolution christians. Then he claims Obama is someone he stands up for the little man. That must be when he sends the little man to war or steals his money to hand out military contracts or sends the TSA brown shi

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan indianapolis, IN, USA 02-23-10
    Dan indianapolis, IN, USA 02-23-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    145
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Starts out good - then becomes negative"

    This book started out really good, until you are about half way through the first portion, then it turns real negative, with the author explaining events like 9/11 or a brutal murder in great detail (as to make you relive the horror of the event) and then doesn't really explain how it is relevant to his overall theory or idea of "the hidden brain". It got to the point where I just had to shut it off and not listen to it any more - I would not purchase this book again and/or recommend it to friends or family..

    6 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mitch Buena Park, CA, United States 02-26-12
    Mitch Buena Park, CA, United States 02-26-12

    I am a documentary film producer from Los Angeles.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    314
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    164
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very unconscious writer"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I commend the effort he makes on this topic, but be warned the book is very partial. Entire chapters are devoted to the


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 10 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.