June 22, 2017

Your brain lobes you! Credit: Rosario Lizana / Flickr Creative Commons

Our brains are extraordinary, complicated, and definitely susceptible to influence from the world around us. But how much can we consciously harness our brains’ power? This week on Innovation Hub, we explore our minds, and what they’re capable of.

First, what do Mark Zuckerberg and Lady Gaga have in common? They were both considered brilliant kids - and identified as such. But what makes a child brilliant? Camilla Benbow and David Lubinski, who run the Study for Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), say parents can’t force their children to be gifted; instead, they should focus on nurturing young people’s intrinsic interests. Plus, we have a shocking story about what happened to a young genius who was overlooked by a similar study.

Then, in recent years, it seems as though conspiracy theories have skyrocketed. But why? Is it because of the 2016 election, the internet or something else entirely? Psychologist Rob Brotherton, author of, Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories explains why conspiracy theories have affected politics for thousands of years. Plus, he debunks myths about such theories, including who believes in them and how they ingrain themselves into our culture.

Finally, on this week’s show: what’s the difference between being smart and being wise? Thomas Gilovich, author of, The Wisest One in the Room: How You Can Benefit from Social Psychology's Most Powerful Insights says the contrast between the two can be found in how people solve problems, and how they choose to spend their time.

WGBH, Sci and Tech, Rob Brotherton, Thomas Gilovich, David Lubinski, Camilla Benbow, pri

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