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Past Event

Shankar Vedantam: Useful Delusions

Celebrate April Fool's Day by joining us for a virtual discussion with Shankar Vendantam about how useful fooling ourselves can actually be. It is of course clear that self-deception does terrible harm to ourselves, to our communities and to the planet. But if it is so irretrievably bad for us, why is it so ubiquitous?

Paradoxically, Vedantam argues that self-deception also plays a vital role in our successes and our well-being. Most of us are at least vaguely aware that the lies we tell ourselves lubricate our daily interactions with our friends, lovers and co-workers. But those lies can also explain why some people live longer than others, why some couples remain in love and others don’t, and why some nations hold together while others splinter. Drawing on new insights in psychology, neuroscience and philosophy, Vendantam comes to the fascinating conclusion that, if we were just honest about our lies, we might begin to understand ourselves, and our human lives, much better.


MLF: Humanities

This is a free-for-members program. Members: Click on the "Buy Tickets" button above to order your tickets, and select the members link on the left side of the page. Your username is the email you used to sign up as a member. You can also request a password reset if needed. Discount will automatically be applied at checkout.

This is an online-only program; you must pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Vendantam photo by Douglas Sonders/NPR

April 1, 2021

United States

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Shankar Vedantam
Host, "Hidden Brain" Podcast and Public Radio Show; Co-Author, Useful Delusions
Image - Dacher Keltner
In Conversation with Dacher Keltner
Ph.D, Founding Director, Greater Good Science Center; Professor of Psychology, University of California Berkeley; Host, "The Science of Happiness" Podcast

3–4 p.m. (Pacific Time) program