Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You

Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You

by Jim Davies
Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You

Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are: The Science of a Better You

by Jim Davies


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A crisp and sparkling blend of cognitive science and human behavior that offers meaningful and attainable pathways towards becoming our best selves.

Why do we feel like in order to be productive, happy, or good, we must sacrifice everything else? Is it possible to feel all three at once? Without even knowing it, we’re doing things everyday to sabotage ourselves and our societies, habits that prevent us from optimizing long term happiness. Where most books imagine solutions that, when enacted, fail to fundamentally improve our lives, Jim Davies grounds his research in cognitive science to show you not only what works, but how much it works.

Being the Person Your Dog Thinks You Are shows us how we can use science to become our best selves, using resources we already have within our own brains.

Davies' book challenges and inspires us to approach the big picture while also staying mindful of the everyday details in real life. Davies proves why multitasking is bad for you, when a little unmindfulness can be good for you, how to best justify which charities to donate to, and how to hack your brain.

The most surprising truth Davies offers us spreads across these pages like wildfire: you too can lead an optimally good life, not through uprooting your life from the ground up, but from adapting your mentality to your given present. A better life doesn’t need to look like a massive change—like our beloved dogs who already view us as our best selves, it’s already much closer than you think.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643136509
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Publication date: 02/02/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 660,495
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Jim Davies is a professor at the Institute of Cognitive Science at Carleton University. He is the director of the Science of Imagination Laboratory and the co-author on two editions of The GNU Scientific Library Reference Manual. He is the author of Riveted and Imagination: The Science of Your Mind’s Greatest Power, also available from Pegasus Books. He lives in Ottawa, Canada.

Table of Contents

Front Matters xi

Front Unmatters and Front Antimatters xiii

Part I About You 1

1 Productivity 3

An Optimizer 3

Personal Productivity 4

Sharpening the Saw vs. Cutting 5

Your Mind, Your Time, Your Attention 10

The Effects of Distraction 13

Why Are People Sabotaging Themselves? 18

2 Hacking Your Brain, Hacking Your Life 26

How to Hack Your Cognitive System 30

How to Hack Your Habit System 40

How to Hack Your Reward System 51

Working Without Distraction: I'm Here to Make an Hour Out of Fifteen Minutes 59

The Project List 62

The Half-Hours Method 66

The Half-Hours Method: Master Class 81

Competing Methods 82

How to Read More Effectively 86

Idea Capture 96

How to Sleep 105

Helping Yourself by Helping Others 109

3 Happiness 112

Your Life Satisfaction 123

Habituation 128

Happiness Is In-born 138

Happiness Comes from Within 139

Happiness Comes from Without 144

Hang Out with Friends and Loved Ones 156

A (Good) Marriage and [Maybe] Children 161

Happiness and Memory 166

There Is More to a Good Life than Being Happy 171

Part II It's Not About You 177

4 What We Think Is Right and Wrong 179

Morality vs. Selfishness 185

The Expanding Circle 187

The Social Group 188

The Out-Group and Animals 189

Anything That Can Suffer 193

Morality, Personality, and Emotion 196

The Good of the Many vs. the Rights of the Few 201

Your Identity as a Charitable Person 211

Doing Bad Is More Powerful than Doing Good 213

Your Brain on Morals 215

5 What's Actually Right and Wrong 228

6 A Work in Progress 238

Having and Not Having Children: Moral Issues 240

Ethical Purchases 245

Think Globally, Act Globally 247

7 The (Numerical) Value of Human Life 254

8 Choosing a Career 269

9 Measuring Good Done 280

10 Animals 284

Is Life Suffering? 305

Helping Animals 315

11 Comparing Human to Animal Suffering 330

12 Environmental Morality 333

13 Choosing Charities 341

14 How to Mobilize People to Be Good 353

How People Give, How People Donate 353

Are Humans Good for the World? 363

15 When Giving Gives Back 364

Where Does It All End? How Much Is Too Much? 366

The Only Local Activism that Makes Sense 374

Acknowledgments 379

Endnotes 381

Index 419

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