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A Slight Change of Plans

iHeart Podcast Network

You can follow the show at @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year 2021 Editor's Note: Maya Shankar blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to help us understand who we are and who we become in the face of a big change. Maya is no stranger to change. “My whole childhood revolved around the violin, but that changed in a moment when I injured my hand playing a single note,” says Shankar, who was studying under Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School at the time. “I was forced to try and figure out who I was, and who I could be, without the violin." Maya soon discovered a new path in the field of cognitive science, where she earned her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar studying how and why we change. Her insights into human behavior ultimately led her to create A Slight Change of Plans—Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year in 2021. You’ll hear intimate conversations with people like Tiffany Haddish, Kacey Musgraves, and Riz Ahmed, as well as real-life inspirations, like John Elder Robison, who undergoes experimental brain stimulation to deepen his emotional intelligence, Daryl Davis, a Black jazz musician who inspires hundreds of KKK members to leave the Klan, and Shankar herself, who had her own “slight change of plans” earlier this year. The show also explores the science of change with experts like Adam Grant and Angela Duckworth. "What I love most about this show is that the content is evergreen," says Shankar. "You can listen to episodes in any order and at any time."

Location:

United States

Description:

You can follow the show at @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year 2021 Editor's Note: Maya Shankar blends compassionate storytelling with the science of human behavior to help us understand who we are and who we become in the face of a big change. Maya is no stranger to change. “My whole childhood revolved around the violin, but that changed in a moment when I injured my hand playing a single note,” says Shankar, who was studying under Itzhak Perlman at the Juilliard School at the time. “I was forced to try and figure out who I was, and who I could be, without the violin." Maya soon discovered a new path in the field of cognitive science, where she earned her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar studying how and why we change. Her insights into human behavior ultimately led her to create A Slight Change of Plans—Apple Podcasts’ Best Show of the Year in 2021. You’ll hear intimate conversations with people like Tiffany Haddish, Kacey Musgraves, and Riz Ahmed, as well as real-life inspirations, like John Elder Robison, who undergoes experimental brain stimulation to deepen his emotional intelligence, Daryl Davis, a Black jazz musician who inspires hundreds of KKK members to leave the Klan, and Shankar herself, who had her own “slight change of plans” earlier this year. The show also explores the science of change with experts like Adam Grant and Angela Duckworth. "What I love most about this show is that the content is evergreen," says Shankar. "You can listen to episodes in any order and at any time."

Language:

English


Episodes

Let’s Agree to Disagree More

6/5/2023
World champion debater Bo Seo knows how to win an argument. He’s made it his mission to teach everyone to disagree better. Bo walks us through how to apply the most effective strategies from competitive debate to improve our disagreements at the dinner table. Bo and Maya also discuss how to determine whether an argument is worth having in the first place. For more on Bo’s work, check out his book, “Good Arguments: How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard.” If you enjoyed this episode, we recommend this one from the archives: "A Black Musician Takes on the KKK." For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:41:34

Coming Soon: The Science of Meditation, Self-Compassion, and More!

5/29/2023
A Slight Change of Plans is back on June 5! Maya talks with experts about meditation, self-compassion, the power of debate, and more. Plus, we explore personal stories of change, including what happens when you follow your passion, and that passion is … pizza. For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:02:43

Mental Health: Surviving Grief

5/25/2023
For Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re revisiting some of the most meaningful conversations we’ve had with scientists about navigating our mental health. Julia Samuel is one of the world’s leading grief therapists. She joins Maya to talk about why it’s important to engage with our grief, and offers strategies to help with the grieving process. They also discuss how losing someone can affect our sense of self, and the need to grieve the loss of identity that often accompanies big life changes. Our new season starts June 5. In the meantime, connect with Maya on instagram @DrMayaShankar. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:38:34

Mental Health: Managing Mental Chatter

5/18/2023
For Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re revisiting some of our favorite conversations with scientists about how to live healthier, happier lives. Psychology professor Ethan Kross is an expert on the science of introspection and the role our inner voice plays in shaping our decisions and sense of well-being. While our inner voice has a lot of benefits, it can sometimes turn negative and lead to what Ethan calls “mental chatter.” In this episode, we discuss science-based strategies for how to rein in our mental chatter, including an exercise in mental time travel. Our new season starts June 5. In the meantime, connect with Maya on instagram @DrMayaShanker. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:43:14

Mental Health: The Power of Grandmothers and Community

5/11/2023
For Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re revisiting some of our favorite conversations with scientists about how to live healthier, happier lives. Psychiatrist Dr. Dixon Chibanda has been on a mission for years to help people gain access to mental healthcare in his community. In Zimbabwe, there is only one psychiatrist for every 1.5 million people. To bridge the gap and provide folks with the help they so desperately need, Dixon turned to a rather unorthodox group for help: grandmothers. This episode includes mentions of depression and suicide. If you need additional support, you can call 988 to talk to a trained listener. You can also text with a trained helper by texting “SAVE” to 741741. Our next season starts June 5. In the meantime, connect with Maya on instagram @DrMayaShanker. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:33:33

The Science of Making (and Keeping) Friends

4/10/2023
It's a mistake to prioritize romantic and familial relationships over friendship, argues psychologist Dr. Marisa Franco. Strong, supportive friendships expand our sense of self, she says, and are associated with greater well-being and health. Marisa offers research-based strategies to make new friends and deepen our existing friendships, including helpful concepts like mutuality and the mere-exposure effect. Marisa and Maya also discuss how to stay friends through big life changes, why fighting could make your friendship stronger, and how to break up with a friend with clarity and kindness. For more on Marisa's work, check out her book, “Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make—and Keep—Friends." See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:36:12

The Devastation of Things Going Exactly to Plan

4/3/2023
Writer Kelly Corrigan always wanted a family. She craved the closeness and familiarity of a strong parent-child relationship. When her daughters were little, she relished knowing everything about their lives. But as her daughters grew older, the physical and emotional distance between Kelly and her daughters grew, too. While Kelly knew to expect this transition, it still broke her heart. In this conversation, Maya and Kelly reckon with the question of what parents and children owe each other. For more on Kelly, check out her podcast, "Kelly Corrigan Wonders" and her PBS show, "Tell Me More." See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:45:30

How to Build Empathy and Avoid Burnout

3/27/2023
For a long time, scientists believed our capacity for empathy remains more or less fixed throughout our lives. But research by Jamil Zaki, a psychology professor at Stanford, shows that empathy is actually a skill we can cultivate. Jamil explains that there are different types of empathy — three, to be exact! — and we can learn to be more discerning about when we apply them. Maya and Jamil also discuss the dangers of caring too much, and how we can show compassion for others while avoiding burnout. For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:39:09

A Science Journalist Tries to Hack Heartbreak

3/20/2023
Science writer Florence Williams felt blindsided when her twenty-five-year marriage unexpectedly fell apart. The heartbreak opened her up to a whole range of new and intense feelings, but it also made her sick. Trained as a journalist, Florence set out on an expedition to understand the science of heartbreak and game her way back to health. She tried novel forms of therapy, immersed herself in nature, and consulted cutting-edge research on the science of awe. But her greatest discovery came when she tried an alternative to “hacking” heartbreak. If you’re interested in hearing more of Florence’s story, listen to “Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey,” a uniquely immersive audiobook, narrated by the author and accompanied by in-the-moment diary recordings and interviews. For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:32:03

Stick to your Goals with Dr. Maya Shankar on Slate's How To! Podcast

3/13/2023
It's only March and we're already starting to veer off track with our resolutions for the year. Don't worry! 90% of people fail to reach their goals each year, which means there's got to be a better way. On this episode of How To!, a listener named Emily is feeling discouraged by her eating habits and lack of exercise. Maya, a behavioral scientist, helps Emily (and the rest of us!) form better habits so we can set ourselves up for success. Hear more episodes of How To! wherever you listen to podcasts. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:34:23

You Have More Influence Than You Think

3/6/2023
Influence is often seen as a skill we have to cultivate, a charismatic quality leveraged by select leaders, business people, and successful social media accounts. But in her new book, “You Have More Influence Than You Think,” social psychologist Vanessa Bohns demonstrates that we all have influence through our words, choices, and even just our presence. Maya and Vanessa discuss how we can become more aware of our power to persuade, and learn to wield it wisely. For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:31:26

Hasan Minhaj is Trying Not to Care If You Like Him

2/27/2023
Lately, comedian Hasan Minhaj is taking a second look at his motives for performing. Hasan was initially drawn to comedy because it allowed him to hold people in power accountable. In shows like “Patriot Act" and "The Daily Show," he often took on controversial topics and challenged world leaders. But after some of his provocative commentary went viral, he realized his motives were less pure than he thought. In this conversation, Hasan reveals how that realization is making him reconsider his career altogether. For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:31:58

The Upside of Stress

2/20/2023
We’re all familiar with the ways that stress can make us feel bad. But professor and stress expert Modupe Akinola argues that a simple change in our mindset can turn short-term stress into a helpful resource. Modupe walks us through some strategies for how to better tolerate and understand our stress, and gives us tools for coping when a small “mindset shift” isn’t enough. You can follow the show on Instagram @DrMayaShankar. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:31:49

Coming Soon: Stories about Heartbreak, Empathy, Stress, and Much More!

2/12/2023
A Slight Change of Plans returns February 20, with new personal stories of change, including an interview with comedian Hasan Minhaj about the pitfalls of his career path. Maya also talks with scientific experts about new ways of looking at heartbreak, empathy, stress, and other life-changing topics. Here’s a sneak peek at the season ahead! For a behind-the-scenes look at the show, follow @DrMayaShankar on Instagram. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:02:40

Made, Not Born: How Grit Helps Us Change

1/19/2023
When it comes to reaching our big goals, focusing too much on natural ability can be counterproductive because it’s something we can’t change. Instead, psychologist Angela Duckworth wants us to focus on cultivating grit. For our final episode of this special New Years miniseries, Maya selected this interview from the archives about grit, which Angela defines as a “power combination of passion and perseverance.” Plus, Angela offers four key strategies we can use to more easily resist temptations and stay the course. As always, we’d love to hear which insights resonate most with you. You can connect with Maya on Instagram at @drmayashankar. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:33:15

Changing Your Mind with Adam Grant

1/12/2023
One thing that can hold us back from becoming better versions of ourselves is when we stubbornly cling to old beliefs and ways of thinking. So, for the second installment of our New Year’s guide to the science of change, Maya handpicks an interview from the archives with Adam Grant, psychologist and author of the book “Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know.” Adam gives us strategies for cultivating a more open mind. Plus, Maya and Adam debate the merits of imposter syndrome and the importance of revisiting our fundamental beliefs about the world, not just our opinions. As always, we’d love to hear which insights resonate most with you. You can connect with Maya on Instagram at @drmayashankar. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:37:45

Reach your 2023 Goals with these... Slight Changes!

1/5/2023
Maya wants to help you achieve your goals for the new year, so she's sharing some of her favorite interviews about the science of change from the archives, starting with her friend and fellow cognitive scientist, Dr. Katy Milkman. Dr. Milkman shares evidence-based strategies we can use to change our behavior, including leveraging identity shifts and making habits more pleasurable, through techniques such as the fresh start effect and temptation bundling. Also, she argues for the power of a “commitment device” which locks you into a plan to reach your long-term goals. We'd love to hear about which insights resonate most with you and which ones you’re planning to try out! You can connect with Maya on Instagram at @drmayashankar. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:35:35

"I Survived the Unsurvivable"

11/28/2022
At age nine, Javier Zamora embarked on a harrowing, 3000-mile immigration journey from El Salvador to the United States. More than twenty years later, he’s finally ready to revisit that period of life and what it took for him to survive such treacherous circumstances. You can follow the show on Instagram @DrMayaShankar. If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:44:43

A Short Message From Maya!

11/20/2022
We’re on break for the holiday this week, and Maya wanted to share a quick note with listeners. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:02:40

A Theranos Whistleblower (Rebroadcast)

11/19/2022
Hi Slight Changers — this past Friday, Elizabeth Holmes, the founder and CEO of the fraudulent biotech company Theranos was sentenced to 11.25 years in a Federal prison. I wanted to reshare my interview with Erika Cheung today. She had the courage to stand up for what was right and blow the whistle, even when her personal safety was at risk. Erika was instrumental in bringing Holmes to justice. You can follow the show on Instagram @DrMayaShankar. If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Duration:00:51:32