The Mind, Explained returns for a second season today on Netflix. Narrated by Academy Award winner Julianne Moore, The Mind, Explained explores how our minds are capable of great things, but can also undermine our best intentions. Over five episodes, the series will dive into the science behind personality, the teenage brain, brainwashing, focus, and creativity.
The second season of The Mind, Explained marks the 9th installment of the Explained franchise from Vox and Vox Media Studios for Netflix. Explained is executive produced by Claire Gordon, Joe Posner and Ezra Klein for Vox, and Chad Mumm and Mark W. Olsen for Vox Media Studios. Marina Stadler is Co-Executive Producer for Vox Media Studios.
Most personality tests are bunk — but one isn’t. This episode looks at the forces that shape our personalities, our capacity to change them, and how certain traits color how we see the world, using the one personality measure that holds up astonishingly well.
All of us go through this same phase, where we’re irritable, self-centered, self-conscious, reckless, annoyed with authority, and obsessed with our friends. It exists throughout recorded history, and in every culture ever studied. But only in the last couple decades have we started to understand what’s really going on in the fibers of the teenage brain itself. (All our experts in this episode are teenagers, including Greta Thurnberg.)
The term “brainwashing” pops up in moments of history when we’ve wanted a way to explain behavior that seems unexplainable. But neuroscience has now revealed the basic mechanisms of how this kind of radical conversion works — whether it’s a political extremist or a Qanon follower — and also offers some clues as to how to pull people back (spoiler: rational argument doesn’t work).
How to Focus
You might have seen scary news reports that our attention spans are shrinking. Or maybe you’ve come across the booming cottage industry of productivity gurus who claim to have the secret to working harder, faster, smarter. The first camp is wrong, and the second camp largely misses the point. The issues we have focusing today stem from a different, deeper source.
Creativity is often held up as a mystical process — something that some people have and some people don’t. But we’re now able to see how it actually works in the brain, and it’s a lot more accessible than that — but no less extraordinary. (This episode also has the most creative structure the show’s ever attempted!)
Vox explains the news. In a world of too much information and too little context, too much noise and too little insight—Vox’s journalists candidly shepherd audiences through politics and policy, business and pop culture, science, and everything else that matters, empowering its audience with the context they need to answer questions they didn’t know they had. Vox is home to influential verticals including Recode, The Goods, and The Highlight; a robust podcast lineup featuring “Today, Explained,” “The Weeds,” and more; and acclaimed video production with popular series like “Explained” on Netflix, and “Missing Chapter” and the Emmy Award winning series “Earworm” on YouTube.
About Vox Media Studios:
Vox Media Studios is one of the leading independent studios producing premium non-fiction and scripted programming for television, OTT, podcasts, films, and brand partners. Vox Media Studios is an Emmy-nominated full-service production studio that works both independently and in partnership with Vox Media’s category-leading editorial networks—Curbed, The Cut, Eater, Grub Street, Intelligencer, New York Magazine, Polygon, Recode, SB Nation, The Strategist, The Verge, Vox, and Vulture—to extend the company’s storytelling capabilities to the most relevant modern platforms including Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV+, YouTube Originals, HBO, and CNN. Vox Media Studios is also home to the award-winning Vox Media Podcast Network and the Academy Award winning storytelling powerhouse, Epic.