The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain

by Annie Murphy Paul


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A bold new book that proves our bodies and surroundings know more than our brains do

For centuries, we’ve believed that our thoughts happen entirely inside our brains. But in the last decade, new research has revealed that our bodies, our gestures, and our surroundings dramatically impact our intelligence and mental health. For example, did you know that closing your eyes makes you smarter, that half an hour among trees is as effective as a dose of Ritalin at controlling ADHD, that certain hand gestures aid memory, and that negotiators win an average of 80 percent more value when on their own turf? Indeed, as Annie Murphy Paul shows, we are constantly thinking outside our brains.

Like Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences or Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence,Thinking Outside the Brain offers a dramatic new view of how our minds work, full of practical advice on how to think—and feel—better.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544947665
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/08/2021
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 19,171
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

ANNIE MURPHY PAUL is an acclaimed science journalist and book author who contributes to Scientific American,the New York Times,Time, and Slate, among many other publications. A former senior editor at Psychology Today, Paul is currently a Future Tense fellow at New America, as well as a senior adviser at the Yale University Center for Teaching and Learning. She is the author of The Cult of Personality Testing—a cultural history and scientific critique of personality testing hailed by Malcolm Gladwell as a “fascinating new book”—and Origins, a personal and scientific exploration of how the nine months before birth shape the rest of our lives, selected for The Best American Science Writing. A graduate of Yale College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, Paul lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with her husband and two sons.

Table of Contents

Prologue vii

Introduction: Thinking Outside the Brain 1

Part I Thinking with Our Bodies

1 Thinking with Sensations 21

2 Thinking with Movement 44

3 Thinking with Gesture 68

Part II Thinking with Our Surroundings

4 Thinking with Natural Spaces 91

5 Thinking with Built Spaces 114

6 Thinking with the Space of Ideas 139

Part III Thinking with Our Relationships

7 Thinking with Experts 163

8 Thinking with Peers 187

9 Thinking with Groups 211

Conclusion 241

Acknowledgments 253

Notes 256

Index 330

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