Thomas Lu

Stories

  • Hidden Brain

    Voting With A Middle Finger: Two Views On The White Working Class

    There is one truth that has endured through the first two years of Donald Trump's presidency: he has kept the support of the core voters who propelled him to the White House. This week on Hidden Brain, we explore two competing perspectives on the motivations of Trump supporters, and what they can tell us about the state of our union.

  • What role does biology play in our politics? More than you might think, according to political scientist John Hibbing.
    Hidden Brain

    Nature, Nurture And Your Politics

    When most of us think about how we came to our political views, we often give a straightforward answer. We believe our stances on taxes, immigration or national security are shaped by those around us — our friends, parents, teachers. We assume our life experiences are the root of our political ideologies. But what if there is something deeper in us that drives the music we listen to, the food we eat — even the politicians that we elect? This week, we explore the role of biology in shaping our political identities.

  • Why are some warnings heard, while others are ignored?
    Hidden Brain

    The Cassandra Curse: Why We Heed Some Warnings, And Ignore Others

    After a disaster happens, we want to know whether something could have been done to avoid it. Did anyone see this coming? Many times, the answer is yes. So why didn't the warnings lead to action? This week, we explore the psychology of warnings with a visit to a smelly Alaskan tunnel, a gory (and fictional) murder plot, and even some ABBA.

  • Researchers say there's growing evidence that nature has a powerful effect on us, improving both our physical and psychological health.
    Hidden Brain

    Our Better Nature: How The Great Outdoors Can Improve Your Life

    If you live in a big city, you may have noticed new buildings popping up — a high-rise here, a skyscraper there. The concrete jungles that we've built over the past century have allowed millions of us to live in close proximity, and modern economies to flourish. But what have we given up by moving away from the forest environments in which humans first evolved? This week, we discuss this topic with psychologist Ming Kuo, who has studied the effects of nature for more than 30 years.