On-Air Highlights

Invisibilia Marathon on Labor Day

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | Aug 15, 2016 9:41 AM
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Get a second chance to hear the latest season of Invisibilia on WITF with an all-day marathon Monday September 5 on WITF. 

Invisibilia is Latin for "invisible things." The program explores the unseen forces that shape human behavior -- things like ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions -- interweaving narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently. The show is co-hosted by a trio of NPR's award-winning journalists, Alix Spiegel, Lulu Miller and Hanna Rosin, who have roots at This American Life, Radiolab and The Atlantic.

In the first season, Invisibilia showed us how science sheds light on what we individually experience; the second season will delve more often into how our lives are entwined, sometimes invisibly, with each other and the larger world.  Hear episodes from season 1...

The season 2 marathon begins at 9:00am on Monday September 5:

Episode 1 - 9:00am - 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 norms are so entrenched we never imagine they can shift. But sometimes they do, and the impacts can be profound, far-reaching, and long-lasting. On this episode, Alix Spiegel and new co-host Hanna Rosin examine two experiments that set out to do just that.

Episode 2 - 10:00am - We like to think of our own personalities, and those of our spouses and children and friends as predictable, constant over time. This belief comforts us and gives us confidence in passing judgements on all sorts of people: from our life partners (who we tend to think of as inherently good) to violent criminals (who we tend to think of as inherently bad). But what if they aren't? What if in fact we can't point to a single thing about a person that doesn't change over time?

Episode 3 - 11:00am - Americans LOVE solutions, to political conflicts, social ills, clogged drains. But are there ever problems we shouldn't try to solve? It seems like the height of irony, but in this episode, we examine a problem, one that many of us privately face on a daily basis, that actually gets worse the more you try to solve it.

Episode 4: Frame of Reference - Noon - Are you rich? Well married? Successful? You may think the answer has to do with your objective situation. But in fact, it has more to do with how you measure up to the people around you. All of us carry an invisible frame of reference in our heads that filters our experience and determines how we feel. Alix Spiegel and Hanna Rosin interview a woman who gets a glimpse of what she's been missing all her life -- and then loses it. And they talk to Daily Show correspondent Hasan Minhaj about which frame of reference is better -- his or his dad's.

Episode 5: Flip the Script - 1:00pm - Psychology has a golden rule too: 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, Lulu, and Hanna examine three attempts to pull it off, during a robbery, a terrorism crisis and a dating dry spell.

Episode 6: The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes - 2:00pm - Do clothes have the power to transform us? We hear stories about sunglasses that ward off bullies, a doctor's lab coat that makes you smarter, and a pair of pink converse sneakers that might not work for a man in the way he was hoping. An show featuring seven separate stories about how the clothes we wear affect us more than we think (though perhaps less than we hope). Featuring stories from producers Yowei Shaw, Chenjerai Kumanyika, Lulu Miller, Hanna Rosin, Colin Dwyer, and comedian Will Franken.

Episode 7: Outside In - 3:00pm - Power Pose. Fake it til you make it. There's a popular notion out there that you can change from the outside in, that if you just assume the pose, inner transformation will follow. We examine to what extent this is true, by following the first all-female debate team in Rwanda, a country that legislated gender equality. We also see how an app reshaped the relationship of twin sisters. And we end our season on the beach, with a man whose life was transformed by a Seagull named Mac Daddy.

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