Download The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter Audiobook

The Village Effect: How Face-to-Face Contact Can Make Us Healthier, Happier, and Smarter Audiobook, by Susan Pinker Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Susan Pinker Narrator: Donna Postel Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9781494572174
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From birth to death, human beings are hardwired to connect to other human beings. Face-to-face contact matters: tight bonds of friendship and love heal us, help children learn, extend our lives, and make us happy. Looser in-person bonds matter too, combining with our close relationships to form a personal "village" around us, one that exerts unique effects.

Marrying the findings of the new field of social neuroscience together with gripping human stories, Susan Pinker explores the impact of face-to-face contact from cradle to grave, from city to Sardinian mountain village, from classroom to workplace, from love to marriage to divorce. Most of us have left the literal village behind and don't want to give up our new technologies to go back there. But, as Pinker writes so compellingly, we need close social bonds and uninterrupted face time with our friends and families in order to thrive—even to survive. Creating our own "village effect" can make us happier. It can also save our lives. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A terrific book…Susan Pinker makes a hardheaded case for a softhearted virtue. Read this book. Then talk about it—in person!—with a friend.”

    Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of Drive

  • Donna Postel gives a solid narration of this timely exhortation to strengthen our personal relationships in an age in which many of us find ourselves hiding behind the screens of our various forms of technology. AudioFile
  • “What do Sardinian men, Trader Joe’s employees, and nuns have in common? Real social networks—though not the kind you’ll find on Facebook or Twitter. Susan Pinker’s delightful book shows why face-to-face interaction at home, school, and work makes us healthier, smarter, and more successful.”

    Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of The Power of Habit

  • The Village Effect is a fascinating explanation of why we need regular contact with people, not just screens—and why time spent with your neighbors will enrich and extend your life in ways you never imagined.”

    John Tierney, New York Times bestselling co-author of Willpower

  • “How many of us recognize that the simple face-to-face contact that our ancestors took for granted can enhance our lives? Susan Pinker’s The Village Effect uses recent findings from social psychology and other research to demonstrate that even hanging out with your best buds or chatting with your Significant Other has hidden benefits that can lengthen your life and lessen your stress.”

    Barnes&, editorial review

  • “The benefits of the digital age have been oversold. Or to put it another way: there is plenty of life left in face-to-face, human interaction. That is the message emerging from this entertaining book by Susan Pinker, a Canadian psychologist. Citing a wealth of research and reinforced with her own arguments, Pinker suggests we should make an effort—at work and in our private lives—to promote greater levels of personal intimacy.”

    Financial Times (London)

  • “Drawing on scores of psychological and sociological studies, [Pinker] suggests that living as our ancestors did, steeped in face-to-face contact and physical proximity, is the key to health, while loneliness is ‘less an exalted existential state than a public health risk.’ That her point is fairly obvious doesn’t diminish its importance; smart readers will take the book out to a park to enjoy in the company of others.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Pinker explores the powerful effects of face-to-face contact in our increasingly computer-mediated world…Serves as a hopeful, warm guide to living more intimately in an disconnected era.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “It takes a village to raise—well, just about everybody…[Pinker] examines why social people live longer, on the whole, than loners, why playing cards around a table is better than playing cards online, and why it is that ‘social isolation kills’ and being alone works contrary to ‘the complex genetic code we’ve developed as a social species.’ There are, she allows, different styles of being social and of being lonely, but the thrust of the book squares with all that’s intuitive: It’s good to play (birds and bees both do it), it’s good to play with others of our kind, and it’s better to play than to watch TV, which makes us ‘less happy and competent than [our] peers.’”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Provocative and engaging…Pinker is a great storyteller and a thoughtful scholar. This is an important book, one that will shape how we think about the increasingly virtual world we all live in.”

    Paul Bloom, author of Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil

  • “A fascinating, nuanced study of that most fundamental need: the need for human connection.”

    Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to Think like Sherlock Holmes

  • “With a raft of surprising data, this compulsively readable, lively and meticulously researched book shows that direct and frequent human contact is at least as important to our survival as clean air or good nutrition.”

    Christina Hoff Sommers, author of Freedom Feminism: Its Surprising History and Why It Matters Today

  • “Donna Postel gives a solid narration of this timely exhortation to strengthen our personal relationships in an age in which many of us find ourselves hiding behind the screens of our various forms of technology…Postel’s pacing is easy to follow, and her voicing is clear, albeit sometimes lacking a degree of variation that would liven things up a bit. Ultimately, her performance is good, allowing the material speak for itself and underscoring the need for many of us to take a step back from our devices in order to cultivate relationships the old-fashioned way.”


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About the Author

Susan Pinker is a developmental psychologist, columnist, and broadcaster who writes about social science. Her first book, The Sexual Paradox, was published in seventeen countries and was awarded the William James Book Award by the American Psychological Association. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Times of London, the Economist, the Atlantic, Financial Times, and Der Spiegel and on the BBC, the CBC, and NBC’s Today show. She lives in Montreal.

About the Narrator

Donna Postel, an Earphones Award–winning narrator, is absolutely passionate about audiobooks and has narrated close to fifty titles across multiple genres, from memoir and biography to literary fiction, romance, mystery, and suspense. She uses her innate curiosity, talent, and decades of experience on stage and in the recording studio to bring books to life. When she’s not in the studio, she can be found down at the barn cleaning up after and occasionally riding horses.