The excellent RadioLab has returned with a new series and the first is a programme on the psychology of how we make choices, and what can go wrong when brain damage prevents us from making decisions.
The RadioLab team talk to psychologist Barry Schwartz, author of the ‘Paradox of Choice’ on why more choice means people tend to be less happy with their decision, to neuropsychologist Antoine Bechara on how a famous case of frontal lobe damage helped us understand why emotion plays a role in even the most mundane of choices, and to the ubiquitous Malcom Gladwell on the role of the unconscious.
As usual, it sounds beautiful and discusses some great research (the cake and working memory study is one of my favourites).
Interestingly, the programme lets slip that science-writer Jonah Lehrer’s fortchoming book is on choice and perhaps it’s no accident that Lehrer is a contributor to the programme so perhaps we can consider this a preview of some of the material he’ll cover.
Let’s hope so as it’s another great edition of RadioLab.
Link to programme webpage with streaming audio and mp3.