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

DiSalvo, David
Prometheus Books 2011
ISBN 978-1-61614-483-8
287pp
Date finished: 2016-08-28

This was our science book club's selection. Prometheus Books is a publisher that concentrates on skeptical literature for a long time, and the house style seems to be "competent but not exciting and sometimes boring". This book doesn't break that pattern. It contains many (oh, so many!) accounts of psychological experiments that indicate our in-built biases and blind spots. For example, memory is less reliable than we think and it's not difficult to reshape memories or form false ones. Exercising will power is difficult, and we get tired of it after a while. Et cetera... this is all well-trodden territory that this book discusses competently but uninspiringly. Other books have done it better, such as our book club selection just one month ago, Sam Kean's The Tale of the Dueling Neurosurgeons, which was much better constructed and more interesting. If you've never read a book on neuroscience and behavioural biases, this one might be decent enough; it's one pretty short volume and does cover a lot of territory. But if you've read several books on these topics, this book won't tell you anything new and it'll seem plodding and slow while it does it.

Tagged: neuroscience, psychology

Permalink: http://books.amk.ca/2016/08/What_Makes_Your_Brain_Happy.html

%T What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do The Opposite
%A DiSalvo, David
%K psychology, neuroscience
%G ISBN 978-1-61614-483-8
%I Prometheus Books
%C Amherst NY
%P 287pp
%D 2011
%@ 2016-08-28

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