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Science

Invisibilia

NPR

+610 FANS
Unseeable forces control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions. Invisibilia—Latin for invisible things—fuses narrative storytelling with science that will make you see your own life differently.
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The End of Empathy

52:13 | Apr 12th

Invisibilia is a show that runs on empathy. We believe in it. But are we right? In this episode, we'll let you decide. We tell the same story twice in order to examine the questions: who deserves our empathy? And is there a wrong way to empathize? If...Show More
The Fifth Vital Sign

1:00:45 | Mar 8th

We look at how our culture's massive effort to address pain has paradoxically increased it. And we follow one young girl as she struggles through a bizarre and extreme treatment program. NOTE: The treatment in this episode is administered by trained ...Show More
The Secret History of Thoughts

57:26 | Jan 9th, 2015

Co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller ask the question, "Are my thoughts related to my inner wishes, do they reveal who I really am?" The answer can have profound consequences for your life.
A Very Offensive Rom-Com

1:01:00 | Apr 5th

A young woman discovers a pattern in her dating habits that disturbs her - a pattern that challenges her very conception of who she is and what she believes in. The realization sets her off on a quest to change her attractions. But is this even possi...Show More
The Weatherman

43:11 | Mar 22nd

In this episode of Invisibilia, we explore our relationship with uncertainty through the eyes of a chief meteorologist. We wonder: what do you do when you don't know what to do? And how do we handle it when that question has no answer?
The Pattern Problem

57:48 | Mar 30th, 2018

Are we destined to repeat our patterns or do we generally stray in surprising directions? CONTENT WARNING: This episode contains descriptions of sexual abuse.
The Callout

55:03 | Apr 13th, 2018

When someone in your community transgresses, do you banish them in an attempt to make the community safer for everyone? WARNING: This episode contains obscenities and descriptions of sex and violence.
Emotions

55:48 | Jun 22nd, 2017

It feels like emotions just come at us, and there is nothing we can do. But we might have it backwards. We look at an unusual legal case and examine a provocative new theory about emotions.
Entanglement

57:47 | Jan 30th, 2015

In Entanglement, you'll meet a woman with Mirror Touch Synesthesia who can physically feel what she sees others feeling. And an exploration of the ways in which all of us are connected — more literally than you might realize. The hour will start with...Show More
The Remote Control Brain

46:50 | Mar 29th

What would it be like if you could control your mood with a hand held device? Literally turn the device to different settings and make yourself happier and sadder? Alix Spiegel talks to a woman who has that power. If you or somebody you know might ne...Show More
BONUS: Invisibilia Live with Story District

47:46 | Jun 14th, 2018

On April 19, 2018 Invisibilia co-hosted our first-ever live event with our friends at Story District.
What Was Not Said

48:04 | Mar 22nd, 2018

We examine how leaving things unsaid with our intimates can lead to misunderstandings and missed connections.
The Culture Inside

56:22 | Jun 8th, 2017

Is there a part of ourselves that we don't acknowledge, that we don't even have access to and that might make us ashamed if we encountered it?
The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes

1:01:12 | Jul 22nd, 2016

Do clothes have the power to transform us? Seven stories that explore how clothes can change us in quiet but surprising ways with help from Yowei Shaw, Chenjerai Kumanyika and Colin Dwyer.
The Problem with the Solution

59:30 | Jul 1st, 2016

Americans LOVE solutions. But are there problems we shouldn't try to solve? Lulu visits a town in Belgium with a completely different approach to dealing with mental illness.
The Personality Myth

57:28 | Jun 24th, 2016

We like to think of our own personalities, and those of our family and friends as predictable, constant over time. But what if they aren't? What if nothing stays constant over a lifetime?
Invisibilia Presents: Embedded

33:33 | May 17th

What do you do when someone you love makes a terrible mistake? Hanna presents one of her favorite episodes from the latest season of Embedded, that explores how far one woman will go to save her brother's life.
BONUS: Leave A Message

11:35 | Sep 14th, 2018

Why would you leave a message when you can just send a text?
Reality

44:01 | Jun 15th, 2017

What happens when we can't agree on reality? In Eagle's Nest Township, Minnesota, residents have been grappling with that question since long before the polarizing presidential election of 2016.
Bubble-Hopping (Reality Part 2)

29:52 | Jun 15th, 2017

The concept of social bubbles has become popular lately as people grapple with the unexpected outcomes of the 2016 election. We meet two people making radical attempts to break out of their bubbles.
Future Self

46:15 | Jun 1st, 2017

We all have a better self, a version of us that is better, more successful. It can inspire us to achieve our dreams, or mock us for everything we have failed to become.
Frame of Reference

59:27 | Jul 8th, 2016

We all carry an invisible frame of reference in our heads that filters our experience. Alix and Hanna talk to a woman who gets a glimpse of what she's been missing – and then loses it.
Our Computers, Ourselves

57:50 | Feb 13th, 2015

In Our Computers, Ourselves, a look at the ways technology affects us, and the main question is : Are computers changing human character? You'll hear from cyborgs, bullies, neuroscientists and police chiefs about whether our closeness with computers ...Show More
The Power Of Categories

56:30 | Feb 6th, 2015

The Power Of Categories examines how categories define us — how, if given a chance, humans will jump into one category or another. People need them, want them. The show looks at what categories provide for us, and you'll hear about a person caught be...Show More
Invisibilia Presents: Rough Translation

36:46 | Jul 26th

Hanna presents an episode from one of our favorite NPR podcasts, Rough Translation, which tells the story of two people on a mission to help Evangelicals and environmentalists find common ground.
Things That Serve Webs

01:17 | May 3rd

Tech Genii Alix and Hanna expose the unseen forces behind the extra downloads that may have mysteriously appeared in your feed this week.
Post, Shoot

52:02 | Mar 15th

What is the relationship between the version of you that lives online and the one that walks around the earth? We think of our online selves as shadow versions of us which we can control. But in this age when facts are malleable, something strange is...Show More
Season 5 Trailer

01:21 | Mar 4th

This moment in our culture can feel fraught. From 'fake news' to the opioid crisis, there's a lot of uncertainty about the future. So this season, Invisibilia helps you discern truth from fiction, cure your pain, and find your true love with convicti...Show More
BONUS: Who Do You Let In?

24:36 | Oct 16th, 2018

Who do you let in and who do you keep out?
Everything Good

48:44 | Apr 6th, 2018

We're living in a polarized world, where picking a side is almost a requirement. But what happens in the space in between?
The Other Real World

50:23 | Mar 16th, 2018

Can a reality show - and telling a certain kind of story - call a different kind of reality into being?
I, I, I. Him

40:50 | Mar 9th, 2018

What happens when you lose something so central to your life that you no longer understand who you are? How do you find yourself again?
Season 4 Trailer

02:12 | Feb 23rd, 2018

We're living in a black and white world, where the stories we tell ourselves lock us into one side or the other. These stories define us – imprison or liberate us. In their fourth season, co-hosts Hanna Rosin and Alix Spiegel map the grey areas.
BONUS: Catch-Up with Max Hawkins

12:28 | Dec 22nd, 2017

What happens when you have to choose between having an open mind, or a moral backbone? Listen to the original episode here: http://apple.co/2DoRC5X
BONUS: Catch-Up with Bill Millar

10:44 | Sep 12th, 2017

In a special podcast bonus, co-host Hanna Rosin checks in with Bill Millar, who we met in Season 2's "Flip the Script." They talk about dating, cats, and how love can look different for everyone. Listen to the original episode here: http://apple.co/2...Show More
High Voltage (Emotions Part 2)

37:00 | Jun 22nd, 2017

An anthropologist discovers an emotion, and after a tragic event, comes to understand it. And a young woman does the one thing guaranteed to ruin a date, and learns something about her emotional life.
True You

35:59 | Jun 1st, 2017

What happens when you discover a part of yourself that is so different from who you think you are? Do you hold on to your original self tightly? Do you explore this other self? Or do you just panic?
Rules for Road Tripping

04:08 | May 30th, 2017

Season 3 has ended but we're hard at work on Season 4! We'll see you soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share Invisibilia's tips for a successful road trip.
Season 3 Trailer

02:30 | May 18th, 2017

On June 1, Invisibilia is back for Season 3! Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior – thoughts, emotions, assumptions, expectations. Check out the trailer for the upcoming season!
Outside In

1:04:26 | Jul 29th, 2016

There's a popular idea out there that you can change from the outside in. Power posing. Fake it 'til you make it. If you just assume the pose, inner transformation will follow. Is it true?
Flip the Script

1:00:19 | Jul 15th, 2016

Psychology has a golden rule too: If I am warm, you are usually warm. If I am hostile, you are too. But what happens if you flip the script and meet hostility with warmth?
Bonus: Mr. Kitt

12:42 | Jul 5th, 2016

In this special podcast bonus, Lulu Miller tells the story of William Kitt, a resident of the Broadway Housing Communities, featured in our episode "The Problem with the Solution". William Kitt was insane, by his own definition. But he no longer beli...Show More
Bonus: Four-Minute Mile

06:06 | Jun 28th, 2016

In a special podcast bonus, Lulu Miller tells the story about a young runner who always thought he had it in him to break the four-minute mile, until a potential change in personality made him question if he was the same runner.
The New Norm

1:01:30 | Jun 17th, 2016

Social norms determine much of your behavior - how you dress, talk, eat and even what you feel. Alix and new co-host, Hanna Rosin, examine two experiments that attempt to shift these norms.
Season 2 Trailer

03:36 | May 20th, 2016

On June 17th Invisibilia is back for Season 2! Invisibilia explores the invisible forces that shape human behavior – thoughts, emotions, assumptions, expectations. Check out the trailer for the upcoming season!
Invisibilia Update

01:17 | Jul 15th, 2015

Been hungry for more Invisibilia? Alix and Lulu pop in to tell you a bit about what they are working on for Season 2 — and a way you can hear a brand new Invisibilia story. On Tuesday, July 28, Lulu will be premiering a new story at an event called C...Show More
See You Soon

01:42 | Feb 18th, 2015

Thanks for listening to the first season of Invisibilia! Here's a message from Alix and Lulu about what's happening next.
BONUS: Inside Out!

04:53 | Feb 14th, 2015

Alix and Lulu present a bonus podcast about why "Inside Out" was considered as a possible name for the show, but ultimately wasn't chosen.
BONUS: Falling Off a Cliff

0:00 | Jan 23rd, 2015

A podcast BONUS for you today. We didn't have enough room in our Batman show for this lovely story about Julee-anne Bell, one of the many people who have learned Daniel Kish's echolocation technique. Enjoy!
How to Become Batman

57:44 | Jan 23rd, 2015

In "How to Become Batman," Alix and Lulu examine the surprising effect that our expectations can have on the people around us. You'll hear how people's expectations can influence how well a rat runs a maze. Plus, the story of a man who is blind and s...Show More
Fearless

58:25 | Jan 16th, 2015

In "Fearless," co-hosts Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller explore what would happen if you could disappear fear. A group of scientists believe that people no longer need fear — at least not the kind we live with — to navigate the modern world. We'll hear ...Show More
Invisibilia Preview

0:00 | Dec 18th, 2014

Invisibilia, a show about the invisible forces that shape human behavior, weaves personal stories with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.