At the end of each week, I share the podcast episode I listened to that stood out among all the others. Here is this week’s selection for your listening pleasure!
Best Podcast This Week: Frame of Reference on Invisibilia
The best podcast I heard this week was “Frame of Reference” on NPR’s Invisibilia podcast. Invisibilia is about “the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions.” It has the high quality content you would expect from NPR.
This week’s Invisibilia’s episode on “Frame of Reference” is all about the experiences and biology that affect how we see the world around us. Frame of reference is the lens in which you see the world. To illustrate the power that frame of reference plays in our lives, the podcast episode dives into three compelling stories. I will try my best to tell you a little bit about the stories without spilling all the details that made it such a riveting listen.


African American Troop Morale During World War II

The podcast opens up with an interview of a social psychologist who was tasked with studying troop morale during WWII. Specifically, black troops. And to be even more specific, black troops in the South. The government was concerned about how they were faring during the hard times. The findings from the research were not what you would expect. And the reason for that had to do with the frame of reference of these black troops stationed in the South.

Best Podcast This Week: Frame of Reference on InvisibiliaThe Physician’s Story

The next story  was about about a woman named Kim. She is a physician who struggled terribly throughout her childhood and into her work life with social interaction. She had constant conflicts with other kids and was bullied because of her inability to relate.
Then one day Kim was researching Aspergers syndrome. While reading through the description, she realized that it was describing her to a tee. According to Kim, this came as a shocker for her, but it helped to explain so much of the pain she had experienced throughout her life. It was almost a relief.
Until, the day she signed up for an experimental trial. A trial that involved placing special magnets on her head to see the effects. And the effects happened. For a short-lived moment, she was able to see herself as others saw her. I will let you listen to the episode to hear how she reacted to stepping into this world of clarity for a moment.
This story was so fascinating, I had my boys listen to it with me. Kim’s recounting of the suffering she went through at the hands of being so different was good for them to hear. You could hear a pin drop in the car when we listened together.
Hasan Minhaj (Twitter)

Hasan Minhaj

To close out the episode, they interviewed the comedian Hasan Minhaj. You may know who he is, but I don’t watch late night TV, so I had no idea. Apparently he is on The Daily Show.  Hasan’s parents came over from India during a very violent time in the country’s history. That experience affected his father’s frame of reference tremendously. And in turn, it affected Hasan’s upbringing. Because anything he went through growing up was nothing when compared to what his dad thought was real tragedy. Although you could tell it was not an easy for him, Hasan talks about it in such a funny way you are cracking up the whole time.

Listen to the full episode of Invisibilia HERE and let me know what you think!