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Rhaina Cohen

Rhaina Cohen

Rhaina Cohen is an associate producer for the social science show Hidden Brain. She's especially proud of episodes she produced on why sexual assault allegations are now being taken seriously, on obstacles to friendship that men face and why we rehash difficult memories.

She got her start in public radio as an intern for Planet Money. Before entering the audio world, Cohen was part of the production team for ABC News' This Week with George Stephanopoulos. She also worked as a research assistant for Rebecca Traister on the New York Timesbestselling book All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation,and for Peter Slevin on the biography Michelle Obama: A Life.

As a Marshall Scholar, Cohen received a master's in comparative social policy from Oxford (and while there, competed in a dance style that hasn't yet gained ground in the United States: acrobatic rock'n'roll). She holds a bachelor's degree in American studies from Northwestern University. In college and graduate school she researched family policies, traveling to Denmark, Iceland and a U.S. military base. As a 2018 , she studied journalism ethics in Germany and Poland.

  • The demand for "proper" English can be used to shut people out of spaces and opportunities. The folks at NPR's "Rough Translation" podcast have a story to tell.
  • After the shooting at the Capital Gazettenewspaper, the surviving staff resolve to rebuild their paper.
  • Judy, Lyn and Donna Ulrich were driving to a volleyball game when their Ford Pinto was hit from behind by a Chevy van. The Pinto caught fire, and the three teenagers were burned to death. This week on Hidden Brain, we talk to a former Ford insider who could have voted to recall the Pinto years before the Ulrich girls were killed — but didn't. And we ask, is it possible to fairly evaluate our past actions when we know how things turned out?
  • If you've ever flown in economy class on a plane, you probably had to walk through the first class cabin to get to your seat. Maybe you noticed the extra leg room. The freshly-poured champagne. Maybe you were annoyed, or envious. Social psychologist Keith Payne says we tend to compare ourselves with those who have more than us, but rarely with those who have less. This week, we revisit our 2019 episode on the psychology of income inequality, and how perceptions of our own wealth shape our lives.
  • Some challenges feel insurmountable. But psychologist Emily Balcetis says the solutions are often right in front of our eyes. This week, as part of our annual series on personal growth and reinvention, Emily explains how we can harness our sight to affect our behavior.
  • In the past few weeks, the nation has been gripped by protests against police brutality toward black and brown Americans. The enormous number of demonstrators may be new, but the biases they're protesting are not. In 2017, we looked at research on an alleged form of bias in the justice system. This week, we revisit that story, and explore how public perceptions of rap music may have played a role in the prosecution of a man named Olutosin Oduwole.
  • President Trump said this week that a few "bad apples" were to blame for police killings of black people. But research suggests that something more complicated is at play — a force that affects everyone in the culture, not just police officers. In this bonus episode, we revisit our 2017 look at implicit bias and how a culture of racism can infect us all.
  • In recent months, many of us have become familiar with the sense of fear expressing itself in our bodies. We may feel restless or physically exhausted. At times, we may even have trouble catching our breath. The deep connection between mind and body that seems so salient now was also at the center of our episode about the placebo effect. This week, we return to this 2019 story that asks what placebos might teach us about the nature of healing.
  • Confined to our homes, many of us are experiencing a newfound appreciation for our social relationships. What we may not realize — and what physicians and researchers have only recently started emphasizing — is the importance of these connections to our physical health. This week, we talk with former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy about why he considers loneliness a matter of public health, and how we can all deepen our social ties.
  • A virus is more than a biological organism. It's a social organism. Historian Nancy Bristow shares the lessons about human behavior that we can take away from a century-old pandemic.