Am I Normal? with Mona Chalabi

Am I Normal? with Mona Chalabi

We all want to know if we’re normal—do I have enough friends? Should it take me this long to get over my ex? Should I move or stay where I am? Endlessly curious data journalist Mona Chalabi NEEDS to know, and she’s ready to dive into the numbers to get some answers. But studies and spreadsheets don’t tell the whole story, so she’s consulting experts, strangers, and even her mum to fill in the gaps. The answers might surprise you, and make you ask: does normal even exist? Am I Normal? with Mona Chalabi is produced in partnership with Transmitter Media.

Episodes

August 22, 2022 43 min

Future forecaster and game designer Jane McGonigal ran a social simulation game in 2008 that had players dealing with the effects of a respiratory pandemic set to happen in the next decade. She wasn’t literally predicting the 2020 pandemic—but she got eerily close. Her game, set in 2019, featured scenarios we're now familiar with (like masking and social distancing), and participant reactions gave her a sense of what the world ...

Mark as Played

It’s 1988, and Somalians are fleeing the city of Hargeisa. People are trying to get out, trying to save their families and sometimes their things. But in the city’s radio station, staff are packing cassettes and reel to reel recordings into a secret underground bunker. What's on them? A slice of the country’s musical heritage, to remain for years in an underground room—until now.

This is an episode of Far Flung with Saleem Res...

Mark as Played

Perfectionism is on the rise–and not just in job interviews when people claim it’s their greatest weakness. But the desire to be flawless is not always productive—or healthy. As a recovering perfectionist, organizational psychologist Adam Grant dives into how he managed to abandon the quest for 10s while holding onto his drive for excellence. This is an episode of WorkLife with Adam Grant, another podcast in the TED Audio Collectiv...

Mark as Played
March 17, 2022 1 min

The first season of Am I Normal? centered around the questions of data journalist Mona Chalabi. In Season 2, launching in September this year, we want to answer the questions on YOUR mind. If you’ve ever wondered if something’s normal–whether that something is about you or the world AROUND you–or you just have that nagging question you simply NEED the data on, then Mona’s excited to figure it out with you (or to at least try to)! L...

Mark as Played
November 29, 2021 25 min

Charles Darwin. Edgar Allen Poe. Albert Einstein. What do all of these men have in common? Yes, they’ve made major contributions to science and literature. Buuuut they also all married their first cousins. Mona looks at the genetic consequences of cousin marriage, and what taboos really tell us about the social norms and power.

Mark as Played
November 22, 2021 19 min

The obvious answer: no. Though you haven’t exactly committed to a life of crime if you jaywalk on an empty street. But if we bend the law on jaywalking, why not drunk driving? Well, there was a time when people thought drunk driving didn't really matter either. So what changed? How do we decide to follow a law or not? What even IS a law? Mona meets with social psychology of law professor, Kenworthy Bilz to understand how laws c...

Mark as Played
November 15, 2021 23 min

We’re constantly checking boxes on forms, whether it’s for eye color or sexual orientation. Those categories can be empowering or, they can make you feel invisible, like when Mona painted a portrait of 100 New Yorkers based on the New York Census data, and realized she couldn’t see herself. There was no “Arabic” box to check in the census—the closest being “white” or “other.” So what happens when someone spends their whole life che...

Mark as Played
November 8, 2021 29 min

"You should start thinking about kids at your age! Your biological clock is ticking!” When we talk about fertility, there's one section of the population that's consistently subjected to fear mongering: the people with the ovaries. But is that worry backed up by data? Should we be stressed out about sperm too? Scientist Joe Osmundson divulges his own fears and findings on the journey to save his sperm, and Mona breaks d...

Mark as Played
November 1, 2021 21 min

Did you consider moving over the last two years? If you did, you’re not alone. People all over the world for so many different reasons considered moving: to be closer to family, to live somewhere more affordable, to kick back in a warmer climate. When Mona wrestles with this question, she pulls out a spreadsheet and weighs her options: Want to maintain current friendships? Stay in New York. Want to be close to family? Go back to Lo...

Mark as Played
October 25, 2021 23 min

When a dentist tells us something is wrong with our teeth, we tend to follow their advice. But when Mona visits two different dentists, they give her two wildly different diagnoses (with wildly different price tags). So how do we know who's telling the tooth? Mona digs up the dental data to look for answers, and finds that in reality, the study of dentistry is riddled with holes.

Mark as Played
October 18, 2021 22 min

Time with friends just isn’t the same with a screen in between you. That’s a struggle many have faced recently, with half of Americans saying they’ve lost touch with at least one friend during the pandemic. It can be sad, but is falling out of touch with friends normal? How many relationships should we maintain, and what are the different kinds of friendships we need anyways? Evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar has been studying...

Mark as Played
October 18, 2021 20 min

Search “How long does it take to get over a break up?” and you’ll find answers ranging from three weeks to three-and-a-half years. Despite heartbreak being one of the most universal human experiences, we know very little about what—and how LONG—it takes to get over someone. On the mend from a breakup herself, Mona set out to find a number while enlisting help from a psychology professor, her relationship counselor, and  yes—her Mum...

Mark as Played

Launching October 18 from the TED Audio Collective. We all want to know if we’re normal—do I have enough friends? Should it take me this long to get over my ex? Should I move or stay where I am? Endlessly curious data journalist Mona Chalabi NEEDS to know, and she’s ready to dive into the numbers to get some answers. But studies and spreadsheets don’t tell the whole story, so she’s consulting experts, strangers, and even her mum to...

Mark as Played

Popular Podcasts

    Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

    Crime Junkie

    If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

    The Piketon Massacre

    The most notorious mass murder in Ohio’s history happened on the night of April 21, 2016 in rural Pike County. Four crime scenes, thirty-two gunshot wounds, eight members of the Rhoden family left dead in their homes. Two years later a local family of four, the Wagners, are arrested and charged with the crimes. As the Wagners await four back-to-back capital murder trials, the KT Studios team revisits Pike County to examine: crime-scene forensics, upcoming legal proceedings, and the ties that bind the victims and the accused. As events unfold and new crimes are uncovered, what will it mean for all involved? What will it mean for Pike County?

    Stuff You Should Know

    If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

    Morbid

    It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.

Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

    Connect

    © 2022 iHeartMedia, Inc.