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Word of Mouth Presents Invisibilia Season 2


NPR's Invisibilia is a show about the invisible forces that control human behavior which first debuted in 2015. All this week we're airing episodes from the second season of the show in our time slot, and next week we'll be airing the third season. Catch up below if you miss the broadcast.

Tuesday - The New Norm

You probably don’t even notice them, but social norms determine so much of your behavior - how you dress, talk, eat, and even what you allow yourself to feel. These emotional norms are so entrenched we never imagine they can shift. But hosts Alix Spiegel, Hanna Rosin and Lulu Miller examine two social experiments that attempted to do just that: teach McDonald’s employees in Russia to smile, and workers on an oil rig how to cry.

Wednesday - The Personality Myth

We like to think of our own personalities and those of our family and friends as predictable and constant over time. But what if they aren’t? In this episode, Alix Spiegel visits a prison to explore whether there is such a thing as a stable personality. And Lulu Miller asks a neuroscientist how much humans actually change throughout their lives. The answer might surprise you.

Thursday - The Problem with the Solution

We are naturally drawn to finding solutions. But are there ever problems we shouldn’t try to solve? Invisibilia co-host Lulu Miller visits a town in Belgium with a completely different approach to dealing with mental illness. Families in the town board people – strangers – with severe mental illnesses in their homes, sometimes for decades. And it works, because they are not looking to cure them. Could this radical approach work in the United States?

Sunday - Flip the Script

Psychology has a golden rule: 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? It’s called “non-complimentary behavior” - a mouthful, but a powerful concept, and very hard to execute. Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin examine three attempts to pull it off: during a robbery, a terrorism crisis and a dating dry spell.

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