November 10, 2014

EP. 53 — Decisions Your Brain Makes Behind Your Back

Hollywood never fails to remind us that we only use 10% of our brains. That statistic is bullshit, but it’s true that around 90% of the activity in our brains is completely unconscious. We make most of our decisions without even knowing it. Our brains are constantly making decisions for us before we even know it, and it’s our conscious mind that fills in the rest of the details, crafting this decision into a narrative. That’s how a guy like Dennis Rodman could know where every ball was going to go as soon as it left a player’s hand — it’s also how most racism happens, and the reason why “when the judge ate last” is the best predictor of how he’ll rule.


This week on the podcast, Cracked editors Jack O’Brien and Jason Pargin (aka David Wong) discuss the conscious and unconscious sides of human decision-making, how they’re tied together, and the unexpected biases they produce. They’ll also talk with writer and improvisational comedian Ali Farahnakian to learn how these theories can be applied to comedy.


Listen now to get some solid advice on improvisational humor — and to learn why your political preferences might be less the result of your own decisions than of how your brain is hardwired.

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