KERA's Think podcast

From the archives: How to become more open-minded

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Be honest: How often do you seek out information that challenges your view of the world? Wharton School organizational psychologist Adam Grant joins host Krys Boyd to talk about how sometimes growth comes through unlearning ideas we’ve always thought to be true. His new book is “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.”

This podcast originally aired on February 25, 2021.

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    From the archives: What it’s like to grow up undocumented


    Being an undocumented immigrant often means living in the shadows, hidden to the rest of the world. Author Qian Julie Wang joins host Krys Boyd to tell the story of her childhood in an undocumented family, how the experience shaped her life, and how she now views the American Dream. Her book is called “Beautiful Country: A Memoir.” This show originally aired September 8, 2021. 
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    Ronald Reagan’s daughter on Alzheimer’s and caregiving


    When her father, President Ronald Reagan, announced he had Alzheimer’s, Patti Davis and her family began a very public journey to cope with the disease. Davis joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the support group she founded and the struggle with prolonged grief that comes with the illness. Her book is “Floating in the Deep End: How Caregivers can See Beyond Alzheimer’s.”
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    Why we find pleasure in pain


    Some of us look for a movie to give us a good cry — is that actually a sign of strength? Paul Bloom is professor of psychology at University of Toronto and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. He joins host Krys Boyd to discuss why we sometimes seek out pain, the search for moral satisfaction and how sometimes this pursuit can go awry. His book is called “The Sweet Spot: The Pleasures of Suffering and the Search for Meaning.”
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    Anxious all the time? Here’s how to free your mind


    Sometimes being alone with your thoughts leads to obsessive overthinking. Nancy Colier is a psychotherapist and regular contributor to Psychology Today, and she joins host Krys Boyd to explain how excessive thinking to the point of stress is an addiction and offer tips on how practices like mindfulness can calm an overactive mind. Her book is called “Can’t Stop Thinking: How to Let Go of Anxiety and Free Yourself from Obsessive Rumination.”
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    The tailor-made healthcare of the future


    Right now, our bodies might be trying to tell us about our future health. Daniel M. Davis is professor of immunology at the University of Manchester, and he joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the newest science that is striving to understand the ways our bodies talk to us, revealing secrets of disease and how we might protect ourselves from illness far into the future. His book is “The Secret Body: How the New Science of the Human Body Is Changing the Way We Live.”
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    When you’re bipolar, chaos is always lurking


    When the mind breaks down, plans for the future are thrown into chaos. Naomi Jackson is an assistant professor of English at Rutgers University–Newark, and she joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the series of events that led to her diagnosis of bipolar disorder and the things she almost lost as she battled her way back to health. Her essay “Her Kind” was published in Harper’s Magazine.
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    Want to help the planet? Stop buying so much


    It’s Cyber Monday, so that means a spending spree for holiday gifts — which might be fun for you but is rough on the planet. Journalist J. B. MacKinnon joins host Krys Boyd to talk about the push-pull between the supposed economic harm of less shopping with the environmental impacts of buying too much. His book is called “The Day the World Stops Shopping: How Ending Consumerism Saves the Environment and Ourselves.”
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    The limitless human imagination


    One of the things that separates us from our animal brethren is that we can imagine wild ideas while their minds are confined to reality. Science writer Philip Ball joins host Krys Boyd to discuss new research about imagination, often overlooked in science, and why the ability to understand the world in multi-dimensional ways is more surprising than even our ability to dream. His article “Homo imaginatus” was published by Aeon.
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    How bad ideas spread


    As families gather this holiday season – many for the first time in nearly two years – we may learn that some of our loved ones have developed a few ideas they didn’t have the last time we saw them. Today, host Krys Boyd looks at how disinformation spreads so easily. We’ll be joined by a journalist who writes about the changing media landscape, a linguist who explains how cults use very specific language to recruit new members, and a researcher who says bad ideas are parasites that infect our brains.
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    From the archives: Why people obsess over Pakistani mangoes


    Pakistani mangoes are prized for their taste and texture, but you have to be very internet savvy to find one. Food writer Ahmed Ali Akbar joins host Krys Boyd to discuss the backchannels of importing fruit, the lengths people will go to, and the customs bureaucracy that keeps foods from reaching American shores. His article “Inside the Secretive, Semi-Illicit, High Stakes World of WhatsApp Mango Importing” was published by Eater. This show originally aired on Sept. 16, 2021.

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