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Brains and Big Data
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Brains and Big Data

Airs Wednesdays, Sept. 9 - 30, 2020 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV+ Sundays, Sept. 13 - Oct. 4 at 10 p.m. on KPBS 2 + PBS Video App

HACKING YOUR MIND takes you inside the world of hackers ­­— from presidential campaigns and social media companies, to corporate marketers and governments — to reveal how they influence your behavior without your even being aware of it.

The series is hosted by Jake Ward, longtime editor of “Popular Science” and NBC’s science correspondent. Featuring best-selling authors, including Michael Lewis (“Moneyball,” “The Big Short”) and Nobel Prize winners, including Daniel Kahneman (“Thinking, Fast and Slow”) and Richard Thaler, creator of behavioral economics, HACKING YOUR MIND is a fun and fast-paced adventure filled with discoveries that are incredibly relevant to your life, to our nation and our world.


Throughout the program, discover how we evolved to make many of our decisions not based on what we “think,” but based on our feelings, intuition and habits. This enables us to make decisions almost instantly, as though we’re operating on autopilot. Most of the time these autopilot processes serve us well, but they can also lead us to make predictable mistakes.

Ward reveals how these common mistakes make us vulnerable to bias and misinformation. Even more important, Ward will show us how we can protect ourselves and fight back, so you can learn how to hack your own mind to make your life better, and by doing it, improve the lives of everyone around you.



Episode 1: Living On Auto-Pilot” airs Wed., Sept. 9 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sun., Sept. 13 at 10 p.m. & Mon., Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Take a trip around the world to discover how you go through life on auto-pilot, and get an auto-pilot owner's manual.

Episode 2: “Weapons Of Influence” airs Wed., Sept. 16 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sun. Sept. 20 at 10 p.m. & Mon., Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. on KPBS 2 - See how politicians, social media companies and corporate marketers use big data to hack your auto-pilot decision making system, and learn how to defend yourself.

Episode 3: “Us Vs. Them” airs Wed., Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sun., Sept. 27 at 10 p.m. & Monday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Discover how the auto-pilot biases we all experience fuel our nation's divisions, see how authoritarians can hack them and find out how to overcome them.

Episode 4: “The Wings Of Angels”airs Wed., Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. on KPBS TV + Sun., Oct. 4 at 10 p.m. & Monday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. on KPBS 2 - Find out why hacking for good may be the most important scientific discovery of this century, and learn how to hack your mind to improve your life and the lives of your family and friends.

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With the PBS Video App, you can stream your favorite and local station shows. Download it for free on your favorite device. The app allows you to catch up on recent episodes and discover award-winning shows.


Producer, Writer, Director: Carl Byker. Series Producer, Writer: Kate McMahon. Host, Writer: Jacob Ward. Music and Sound Design: Christopher Hedge. Editors: Lisa Suinn Kallem and Bruce Barrow. Production Manager: Debra Simon. Web Producer: Catherine Stimac. Senior Production Manager: Cheri Arbini. Executive Producer: David Davis. Executive in Charge of Production: Steven M. Bass