Shankar tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.
The role of the “hidden brain” in everyday life. Highly engaging and interactive presentation that gives audiences a combination of “brain food” and action items designed to help them see how unconscious biases shape the world.
Unconscious factors play an enormous role in shaping how we think about risk — whether you’re a gambler at a roulette table in Las Vegas, an investor or an employee at a company trying to decide how best to save for retirement. Ideas from this presentation have proven highly effective in a variety of settings, including at events that discuss health and wellness, personal finance and public policy.
The world of money is shaped by norms, expectations and fears. This presentation explores how the behavior of companies and individuals are shaped by hidden psychological factors they rarely stop to consider.
Creativity is among the most talked about and least understood of all psychological phenomena. We often “know it when we see it” when we come across superstars, but how do we identify it in children, nurture it among artists, and harness it for our employees?
There is robust evidence to show that diversity can improve the way organizations and communities grapple with problems. But it is also the case that, handled wrong, diversity can sometimes turn out to be ineffective or even counter-productive. This presentation sets aside the “thou shalts” and the “thou shalt nots” to take a science-based approach to understanding how diversity can be effective, and how organizations can capitalize on its strengths.
From police eyewitness identifications to jury selection, from the behavior of lawyers to that of judges, our legal system is shot through with all manner of unconscious biases. This presentation aims to help legal scholars and practitioners understand how the mind sometimes plays tricks on even the well-intentioned — and has the power to misdirect the course of the law.
Choices, biases and the unconscious mind. Consumers and marketers are constantly engaged in an arms race to game each other out. How do companies shape the way people think of their products? How do consumers return the favor? From the “Decoy effect” to the “Ikea Effect” learn about the many subtle ways in which your mind can make you a better consumer, a better marketer and a better innovator.
Peer pressure is a powerful force, except when it isn’t. Learn about the rapidly evolving science of peer pressure, which can cause people to behave more responsibly — but also less responsibly! Done right, peer pressure can change the way schools function and companies get the most from their employees. Done wrong, peer pressure can do great damage — and produce counterproductive results.
Hidden factors that lie below the horizon of conscious awareness play an enormous role in shaping how we think about what’s right and what’s wrong. The results of these forces are often funny, and can also be heartwarming — or malevolent. Ideas from this presentation have been highly effective in school settings, and provide entertaining “brain food” at conferences and retreats.
Shankar is passionately interested in questions related to gender equity. He has powerful personal stories and a slew of live experiments designed to drive home the powerful role that gender plays in shaping our attitudes, our politics and our judgments about one another. Ideas from this presentation have elicited applause in non-profit, educational and corporate settings, with many participants reporting after the talk that they can now see the world through entirely new eyes.
Most of us know we ought to eat right, exercise regularly and get a good night’s rest. So why do so many of us fall short in reaching those goals? The gap between insight and action is the focus of this presentation — which also suggests a number of surprising and counter-intuitive ways we can use the “hidden brain” to actually reach our goals.
Why have Brazil and Germany won a disproportionate number of World Cup Soccer Championships? Why do we see the same small handful of teams show up year in and year out at the Superbowl? What explains the dominance of some teams in sports, science and innovation? In this mind-expanding presentation, Shankar shares new social science research into the nature of excellence, by bringing together compelling science and entertaining storytelling.
Big data promises to unlock all sorts of mysteries, and holds out tantalizing possibilities for understanding how the brain works. Simultaneously, however, our fascination with big data raises important questions and concerns — including the risk that techniques involving big data might unintentionally amplify our unconscious biases. This presentation explores how our minds process information and data, and the importance of keeping the "Hidden Brain" front and center as we design data systems.