Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Investigating Belief on NPR's To the Best of Our Knowledge (TTBOOK)


This week's episode of To the Best of Our Knowledge on NPR focused on investigating how and why we believe, the psychology and brain chemistry behind our beliefs.

Investigating Belief

To the Best of Our Knowledge | 06.01.2014


You know the earth is round, the sky is up, and your dog loves you. But HOW do you know those things? This week, how we form opinions – the psychology and brain chemistry behind our beliefs.


You & Your Brain - Julian Keenan
It turns out that even the most basic things we believe about ourselves are often wrong. Neuroscientist Julian Keenan says it has to do with how the brain works. He’s the author of the “Face in the Mirror: How We Know Who We Are.”

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Sonic Sidebar: The Political Divide
Social psychologist Jonathan Haidt says despite what we believe, our political beliefs aren't always as well reasoned as we think.

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Irrational Beliefs - Will Storr
Ever wonder how we form beliefs in the first place? Journalist Will Storr tried to find out in his book, “The Unpersuadables.” In it, he follows Holocaust deniers, climate change skeptics, and conspiracy theorists to find out how seemingly intelligent people can hold unconventional, even irrational beliefs.

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Charting Religious Traditions - Karen Armstrong
Karen Armstrong is the author of nearly 20 books on religion. She tells Steve Paulson that traditions from Confucianism to Judaism emerged as responses to the rampant violence of their time. And she says our own time has a lot in common with that age.

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Dangerous Idea: American Exceptionalism
Harvey Kaye's Dangerous Idea? Re-discovering the true meaning of American Exceptionalism.

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On Our Minds: Tiananmen Square
June 4 marks the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown. To find out how Chinese dissidents have fared since then, we’re revisiting an interview with historian Ian Buruma. He’s the author of "Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing."

 Related Books:



The Face in the Mirror: How We Know Who We Are
(Julian Keenan, Gordon G. Gallup, Dean Falk)


The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion
(Jonathan Haidt)


The Unpersuadables: Adventures with the Enemies of Science
(Will Storr)


The Great Transformation: The Beginning of Our Religious Traditions
(Karen Armstrong)


The Fight for the Four Freedoms: What Made FDR and the Greatest Generation Truly Great
(Harvey J. Kaye)


Bad Elements: Chinese Rebels from Los Angeles to Beijing
(Ian Buruma)

Incidental Music:

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