human behavior

BrianAJackson/iStock / Thinkstock

Politics plays a role in all sorts of things in life: dating partners, how we think about the economy, and, according to Eitan Hersh, the choices doctors make.

Red, White, and Black Eyes Forever / Flickr Creative Commons

Three guests, Peter Sagal of WWDTM, Maria Konnikova of The New Yorker, and Robert Evans of Cracked, take you on a tour of vice. They talk everything from casual sex to marijuana to greed and ostentation to coffee to beer to pornography. Peter and Colin also discuss what the next declared vice will be. Possibly sitting.

Cali / flickr creative commons

The participants are average citizens: school teachers, waiters, pharmacists, perhaps even your neighbor. By day they work and pay their bills, but when they return home, things change. These elite individuals go to work forecasting the outcomes of global events (sometimes years into the future), all at the direction of a little-known government intelligence agency called IARPA.

There's a reason Jose Luis Vilson's students learn in groups: He wants them to feel comfortable working with anyone in the classroom, something he's realized in his 11 years of teaching doesn't always come naturally.

"I don't really give students a chance to self-select until later on, when I feel like they can pretty much group with anybody," he says.

When I first heard the news after midnight Thursday that a sniper had killed police officers in Dallas, my first thought was, "Oh, no."

"Oh, no" for the officers and their families, for those trying to peacefully protest recent police shootings. But that "Oh, no" was also for what could come next and a fear for our country, for race relations, for an American people in the midst of a dark presidential campaign that is threatening to tear at the seams of the fabric of our quilted country.

How Parents Can Help Their Underage Kids Resist Alcohol

Jul 6, 2016

While a sense of inevitability often surrounds the topic of teen drinking, adults can play an important role in preventing underage alcohol use.

Two recent studies provide guidance for parents. One finds that parents who set limits in a warm and supportive environment reduced the risk that their adolescent children would binge drink. The other study reports on the potential of a home-based program that educates parents and children about alcohol prevention.

Betty Wants In / flickr creative commons

Since its discovery in 1900, adrenaline and pop-culture have gone hand-in-hand. From extreme sports, to the latest energy drinks, to pulse pounding Hollywood blockbusters, the rush of this hormone is portrayed in countless ways.

But these portrayals seldom tell the whole story. So what exactly is adrenaline, and why does our society seem so keen on celebrating it?


It's 5:00 pm. You're at the Quinnipiack Club in New Haven, where you've been shut up in the library. A big, red, digital clock sits in the corner, counting down from 90 minutes.

You and 14 other people sit around a table. In the middle of the table sits $300. An audience looks on as you and the others try to figure out what to do with this stack of cash before the time runs out.

mark biddle / Creative Commons


Before she started work at New Haven’s Columbus House as senior manager of housing services, Cathleen Meaden’s job was housing people whose crimes were seemingly unforgivable.


Work isn't what it used to be as organizations make a cultural shift. We can't count on jobs for life, and it can even be hard to tell what the rules are for making a living.

A victim and his doctors described a "war zone" following the deadliest mass public shooting in modern United States history.

Dr. Chadwick Smith, a surgeon at the Orlando Regional Medical Center in Orlando, Fla.,, said that a little after 2 a.m. ET on Sunday, patients began arriving into the emergency room. It was quickly filled to capacity with people suffering with wounds to the extremities, the chest, the pelvis and the abdomen. Some had small wounds others had large-caliber wounds.

Vice / Flickr

Between orthodoxy and cultism exists a narrow divide; a proving ground of public opinion where spirited groups vie for entry into the hallowed halls of true religion. Few are more firmly planted in this place than the Jehovah's Witnesses.

"The way kids speak today, I'm here to tell you." Over the course of history, every aging generation has made that complaint, and it has always turned out to be overblown. That's just as well. If the language really had been deteriorating all this time, we'd all be grunting like bears by now.

Smoakandarrow / Flickr

Flash fiction goes by many names: micro-fiction, nano-fiction, short-shorts, and with the emergence of Twitter-fiction; twiction and twisters have also entered the fray. Whatever you choose to call it one thing's for sure: these pint-sized tales often punch way above their weight.

Photonesta / Flickr Creative Commons

Okay, this show comes with a trigger warning.

We talk about things people eat, and some of those things are not for the squeamish. This is a conversation about disgust, and specifically, how our reflexive response of disgust may get in the way of things we probably need to think about doing.

Ugly Dolls / Flickr Creative Commons

What does it mean to say that someone, or something, is ugly? For a label that gets tossed around so often, its meaning is hard to pin down. Perhaps that's because, throughout history and around the world, our notions of ugliness have shifted considerably.

Is failure a positive opportunity to learn and grow, or is it a negative experience that hinders success? How parents answer that question has a big influence on how much children think they can improve their intelligence through hard work, a study says.

A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine says medical errors should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States — and highlights how shortcomings in tracking vital statistics may hinder research and keep the problem out of the public eye.

Spoiler Alert! It's a Discussion About Spoilers

Apr 14, 2016
Josh Engroff / www.flickr.com/photos/engroff/

Do you like spoilers? Hate them? Whether it involves sports, television, books or movies, has a spoiler ruined something for you? Enhanced it? Do you practice spoiler etiquette?

Javier Delgado / Flickr Creative Commons

It's hard to improve on the poet, Rilke, who wrote, "Love consists of this, that two solitudes meet, protect, and greet each other." But did Rilke have to deal with Angry Birds and Snap Chat?

The Placebo Effect

Apr 6, 2016

Placebo treatments have been making people feel better for a long time. They've been working since long before Franz Mesmer was run out of 18th-century Vienna for "mesmerizing" a young pianist into regaining her eyesight, after all hope for a medical cure had been lost.  

Doctors have long dismissed the placebo effect as inferior to conventional medical treatments that sometimes fail where placebo works well, including in surgical procedures like arthroscopy, a popular procedure that relieves the pain of arthritic knees. 

epSos .de / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s national distracted driving awareness month again, which means police will be out on the state’s roads and highways checking to see if you’re using your phone while you're driving. But it’s a targeted effort and not all police departments participate. 

WNPR Voicemail Project: Spoiler Alert!

Apr 5, 2016
Josh Engroff / www.flickr.com/photos/engroff/

Do you like spoilers? Hate them? We want to know your experience with them. 

North Country Public Radio

Reporters describe Donald Trump events as frightening and unsettling for those in the media. Trump relegates the media  to rectangular pens they're not allowed to leave, singles out reporters with personal insults and refuses entry to those he doesn't like, and whips up his crowds against reporters he says are "very dishonest people." Will there be a free press under a President Trump?

Betty Wants In / Creative Commons

Since its discovery in 1900, adrenaline and pop-culture have gone hand-in-hand. From extreme sports, to the latest energy drinks, to pulse pounding Hollywood blockbusters, the rush of this hormone is portrayed in countless ways.

But these portrayals seldom tell the whole story. So what exactly is adrenaline, and why does our society seem so keen on celebrating it?