June 24, 2016

Choosing Wrong

Stories of people making the wrong choice, even though the right one is staring them squarely in the eye. Basketball players making a conscious decision to not do the thing that makes them better, pollsters refusing to see the truth of Donald Trump, and more.

Wilt Chamberlain doing an underhand free throw. 

Getty Images

Act One

Swish Miss

Wilt Chamberlain - easily one of the best basketball players of all time - was a terrible free throw shooter. Except for one season when he changed technique and scored more free throws in one game than anyone ever has. Then, crazily, he gave up the technique. Malcolm Gladwell explains why we often make the wrong decisions, in full awareness that they're wrong. This story was adapted from Gladwell's new podcast Revisionist History, which is produced by Panoply. (28 minutes)

Act Two

Poll Dance

Ira talks to Tom, who regrets his vote on Brexit this week. And Zoe Chace talks to Harry Enten, a senior analyst at the website FiveThirtyEight, about Donald Trump. When Trump announced his campaign for the presidency in June 2015, pundits dismissed him and pollsters said the numbers proved he'd never win the nomination. Only that's not at all what they showed! Trump was in the lead. Enten explains what they all missed. (13 minutes)