Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: What Makes Your Brain Happy

By Sandy Amazeen Dec 20, 2011, 7:49 GMT

Book Review: What Makes Your Brain Happy

Foreword by Wray HerbertAuthor of On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind\'s Hardwired HabitsFormer editor in chief of Psychology Today Regular contributor to Science, Scientific American, and Science NewsWhy 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 ...more

DiSalvo’s latest, engaging look at the workings of the brain explains how certain behaviors that have evolved to keep us safe can frequently sabotage us. This is because everyone’s brain is wired to quickly recognize patterns, often where none beyond a passing coincidence exists. Our brains crave the feeling of being right and toward that end; will work hard at making information fit into our preconceived notions, even if it means disregarding valid input to the contrary. Such cognitive bias can frequently get us into trouble as graphically illustrated by several entertaining antidotes but what sets this book above so many others on the subject is the very helpful chapter on recognizing and counteracting the brain’s natural tendencies.

Engaging, often amusing in an “I can’t believe someone did that” vein, DiSalvo touches on several hot button topics including religion, the evidence (or lack of) for the existence of God, politics and more. Readers will gain a great deal of insight into why they think the way they do, what shortcomings they have and best of all, how to address them. The list of internet and published resources is extensive and should prove invaluable to anyone looking to follow up on interesting points or read more about a particular study. Anyone interested in gaining insight into why they respond to certain situations the way they do need to get a copy of this.

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