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Program: Specials and Documentaries

Airing Sundays at 6 p.m.

Invisibilia is about the invisible forces that shape human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and thoughts. Produced by NPR’s Science Desk, Invisibilia continues NPR’s tradition of reimagining science programming from something dry and scholarly into something whimsical and captivating. Co-hosted by Lulu Miller and Alix Spiegel, Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.

July 3 – The Problem with the Solution
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.

July 10 – Frame of Reference
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.

July 17 – Flip the Script
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.

July 24 – The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes
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.

July 31 – Outside In
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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