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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (340 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David DiSalvo Narrator: David DiSalvo Publisher: Gildan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Why do we routinely choose options that don’t meet our short-term needs and undermine our long-term goals? Why do we willingly expose ourselves to temptations that undercut our hard-fought progress to overcome addictions? Why are we prone to assigning meaning to statistically common coincidences? Why do we insist we’re right even when evidence contradicts us?

In What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, science writer David DiSalvo reveals a remarkable paradox: what your brain wants is frequently not what your brain needs. In fact, much of what makes our brains “happy” leads to errors, biases, and distortions, which make getting out of our own way extremely difficult. DiSalvo’s search includes forays into evolutionary and social psychology, cognitive science, neurology, and even marketing and economics—as well as interviews with many of the top thinkers in psychology and neuroscience today.

From this research-based platform, DiSalvo draws out insights that we can use to identify our brains’ foibles and turn our awareness into edifying action. Ultimately, DiSalvo argues, the research does not serve up ready-made answers but provides us with actionable clues for overcoming the plight of our advanced brains and, consequently, living more fulfilled lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • This lively presentation of the latest in cognitive science convincingly debunks what DiSalvo calls 'self-help snake oil.' Publishers Weekly
  • DiSalvo offers 'science-help' (as opposed to self-help) by detailing the mental shortcuts our minds like to take but that don't always serve us well, with the assumption that understanding brain function helps us fight its stubborn behavior. Psychology Today

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jane | 2/20/2014

    " An eye opening read that will have you nodding your head in agreement in every page, thinking, yes, I do that - but this book helps us to understand why we won't admit when we're wrong, or why we see patterns in random events. I enjoyed this book but when I lent it to a friend who didn't have a science background, she told me she had to look up too many words. Di Salvo does have quite an extensive vocabulary but, as someone with an interest in popular science, I found the book approachable and readable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Seth | 2/16/2014

    " I wanted to like it more, but it was just a little too random. I would stick with "Thinking, Fast and Slow" and "Stumbling on Happiness" instead. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Cara | 2/13/2014

    " An easy read, not nearly as detailed as thinking fast and slow. Main points-slow down, form useful habits and don't take things on face value alone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Elliedakota | 2/10/2014

    " Interesting, worthwhile, information but heavy writing style. My mind kept wandering so I took a close look at some of the paragraphs and there were many extra, unnecessary, words. I found myself needing to read paragraphs several times just to cut through the fluff adjectives and modifiers to get to the main idea. "

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