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Extended Audio Sample Annoying: The Science of What Bugs Us, by Joe Palca Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (401 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joe Palca, Flora Lichtman Narrator: Joe Palca, Flora Lichtman Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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It happens everywhere: offices, schools, even your own backyard. And, seemingly, anything can trigger it: cell phones, sirens, bad music, constant distractions, your boss, or even your spouse. We all know certain things get under our skin. Can science explain why?

NPR’s Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman take you on a scientific quest through psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and other disciplines to uncover the truth about being annoyed. Annoying:

  • Gives fascinating, surprising explanations for why people react the way they do to everything from chili peppers to fingernails on a blackboard
  • Explains why irrational behavior (like tearing your hair out in traffic) is connected to worthwhile behavior (like staying on task)
  • Includes tips for identifying your own irritating habits!
With fascinating insights and fun explanations, Annoying is anything but.

Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nena | 1/29/2014

    " I'm sure a lot more could be written about what's annoying. I thought a lot of the points the authors made were interesting. It's great if you like nonfiction, but it's not the kind of thing that tells you definitively why something is annoying or how to keep it from annoying you. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by False Millennium | 1/24/2014

    " I don't know what would have to exist to have make me like this book more. Better writing? Not sure. I could be flippant and say it was "annoying" reading this, but it wasn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sara | 1/13/2014

    " The writing is terrible. But the science is interesting: the book summarizes and compares experiments from a range of fields, including music and emotional psychology and medicine. Because of the attention to sensory annoyances, it might be a good read for those interested in aesthetic philosophy; because of the behavioral science, it is definitely a satisfying read for those who work in customer service! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kay Wright | 1/6/2014

    " I expected a clever take on all the little things that bug us-like mosquitoes and hang-ups and found a wonky scientific explanation of why each thing, car alarm, one sided conversations, etc. really bother us. Not clever, not interesting,the book turned out to be mostly, well, annoying. "

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