John Bargh, PhD, is an award-winning social psychologist and the world’s leading expert on the unconscious mind. His research has appeared in over 190 publications. He is currently the James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale University and director of the ACME (Automaticity in Cognition, Motivation, and Evaluation) laboratory. Before You Know It is his first book.
Social cognition attempts to explain the most fundamental of questions. It looks at why other people are not simply ‘objects’ to be perceived and how the social world provides dramatic and complex perspectives on the Self and Others.
The subtitle of this book ‘From Brains to Culture’ reflects the journey that Social Cognition has been on since it first emerged as a dynamic and forward-looking field of research within social psychology. Structured in four clear parts, Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture begins with a clear outline of the basic concepts before moving into more topical sections: understanding individual selves and others, followed by making sense of society. The authors finish by looking beyond cognition to affect and behaviour.
Challenging and rigorous, yet strikingly accessible, this book is essential reading for all students of social psychology from undergraduate to post-graduate and beyond.
In The Happiness of Pursuit, Edelman offers a fundamental understanding of pleasure and joy via the brain. Using the concept of the mind as a computing device, he unpacks how the human brain is highly active, involved in patterned networks, and constantly learning from experience. As our brains predict the future through pursuit of experience, we are rewarded both in real time and in the long run. Essentially, as Edelman discovers, it's the journey, rather than the destination, that matters.
The idea that cognition is computation—the brain is a machine—is nothing new of course. But, as Edelman argues, the mind is actually a bundle of ongoing computations, essentially, the brain being one of many possible substrates that can support them. Edelman makes the case for these claims by constructing a conceptual toolbox that offers readers a glimpse of the computations underlying the mind's faculties: perception, motivation and emotions, action, memory, thinking, social cognition, learning and language. It is this collection of tools that enables us to discover how and why happiness happens.
An informative, accessible, and witty tour of the mind, The Happiness of Pursuit offers insights to a thorough understanding of what minds are, how they relate to each other and to the world, and how we can make the best of it all.
In The Influential Mind, neuroscientist Tali Sharot takes us on a thrilling exploration of the nature of influence. We all have a duty to affect others—from the classroom to the boardroom to social media. But how skilled are we at this role, and can we become better? It turns out that many of our instincts—from relying on facts and figures to shape opinions, to insisting others are wrong or attempting to exert control—are ineffective, because they are incompatible with how people’s minds operate. Sharot shows us how to avoid these pitfalls, and how an attempt to change beliefs and actions is successful when it is well-matched with the core elements that govern the human brain.
Sharot reveals the critical role of emotion in influence, the weakness of data and the power of curiosity. Relying on the latest research in neuroscience, behavioral economics and psychology, the book provides fascinating insight into the complex power of influence, good and bad.
In a lush grove on the banks of the Neranjara in northern India—400 years before the birth of Christ, when the foundations of western science and philosophy were being laid by the great minds of Ancient Greece—a prince turned ascetic wanderer sat beneath a fig tree. His name was Siddhartha Gautama, and he was discovering the astonishing capabilities of the human brain and the secrets of mental wellness and spiritual “enlightenment,” the foundation of Buddhism.
Framed by the historical journey and teachings of the Buddha, Siddhartha’s Brain shows how meditative and Buddhist practice anticipated the findings of modern neuroscience. Moving from the evolutionary history of the brain to the disorders and neuroses associated with our technology-driven world, James Kingsland explains why the ancient practice of mindfulness has been so beneficial and so important for human beings across time. Far from a New Age fad, the principles of meditation have deep scientific support and have been proven to be effective in combating many contemporary psychiatric disorders. Siddhartha posited that “Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think.” As we are increasingly driven to distraction by competing demands, our ability to focus and control our thoughts has never been more challenged—or more vital.
Siddhartha’s Brain offers a cutting-edge, big-picture assessment of meditation and mindfulness: how it works, what it does to our brains, and why meditative practice has never been more important.