What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite

What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite

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by David Di Salvo
     
 

This book reveals a remarkable paradox: what your brain wants is frequently not what your brain needs. In fact, much of what makes our brains "happy" leads to errors, biases, and distortions, which make getting out of our own way extremely difficult.

Author David DiSalvo presents evidence from evolutionary and social psychology, cognitive science, neurology,

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Overview

This book reveals a remarkable paradox: what your brain wants is frequently not what your brain needs. In fact, much of what makes our brains "happy" leads to errors, biases, and distortions, which make getting out of our own way extremely difficult.

Author David DiSalvo presents evidence from evolutionary and social psychology, cognitive science, neurology, and even marketing and economics. And he interviews many of the top thinkers in psychology and neuroscience today. From this research-based platform, DiSalvo draws out insights that we can use to identify our brains’ foibles and turn our awareness into edifying action. Ultimately, he argues, the research does not serve up ready-made answers, but provides us with actionable clues for overcoming the plight of our advanced brains and, consequently, living more fulfilled lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781616144838
Publisher:
Prometheus Books
Publication date:
11/22/2011
Pages:
280
Sales rank:
183,732
Product dimensions:
8.94(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.94(d)

Meet the Author

David DiSalvo (Atlanta, GA) is a science, technology, and culture writer whose work appears in Scientific American Mind, Psychology Today, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Mental Floss, and other publications. He is also the writer behind the well-regarded science blogs Neuronarrative and Neuropsyched.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword by Wray Herbert....................9
Introduction: Hacking the Cognitive Compass....................15
Chapter 1: Adventures in Certainty....................29
Chapter 2: Seductive Patterns and Smoking Monkeys....................55
Chapter 3: Why a Happy Brain Discounts the Future....................69
Chapter 4: The Magnetism of Autopilot....................77
Chapter 5: Immersion and the Great Escape....................83
Chapter 6: Revving Your Engine in Idle....................99
Chapter 7: Writing Promises on an Etch-a-Sketch....................113
Chapter 8: Want, Get, Regret, Repeat....................125
Chapter 9: Socializing with Monkeys Like Us....................137
Chapter 10: The Great Truth Rub Off....................149
Chapter 11: How Your Brain Catches Psychosocial Colds....................163
Chapter 12: The Hidden Power of Stuff....................175
Chapter 13: Your Mind in Rewrites....................183
Chapter 14: Born to Copy, Learn to Practice....................199
Chapter 15: Mind the Gap....................211
Chapter 16: Shake Your Meaning Maker....................237
Special Section 1: Suggested Resources....................241
Special Section 2: Even More....................261
Acknowledgments....................273
Notes....................275
Index....................289

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