Leonard Mlodinow, the best-selling author of The Drunkard’s Walk and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), gives us a startling and eye-opening examination of how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world and how, for instance, we often misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates, misunderstand the reasons for our investment decisions, and misremember important events.
Your preference in politicians, the amount you tip your waiter - all judgments and perceptions reflect the workings of our mind on two levels: the conscious, of which we are aware, and the unconscious, which is hidden from us. The latter has long been the subject of speculation, but over the past two decades researchers have developed remarkable new tools for probing the hidden, or subliminal, workings of the mind. The result of this explosion of research is a new science of the unconscious and a sea change in our understanding of how the subliminal mind affects the way we live.
Employing his trademark wit and lucid, accessible explanations of the most obscure scientific subjects, Leonard Mlodinow takes us on a tour of this research, unraveling the complexities of the subliminal self and increasing our understanding of how the human mind works and how we interact with friends, strangers, spouses, and coworkers. In the process he changes our view of ourselves and the world around us.
©2012 Leonard Mlodinow (P)2012 Random House Audio
“One of the 10 books to watch out for in 2012.” (NewScientist.com)
“Mlodinow never fails to make science both accessible and entertaining.” (Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time)
“Think you know the whys and hows of your choices? Follow Mlodinow on a gorgeous journey that will make you think again.” (David Eagleman, author of Incognito)
This is such an enjoyable listen, I highly recommend it. Leonard Mlodinow is a great writer and narrator. He used so many good examples I was captivated throughout. I listened to it at work while I was doing tedious tasks and it carried me through easily. If you want to understand why you do certain things, this book will help you. I'm looking forward to listening to more books by this author.
I was curious about the impact of our unconscious minds on our everyday behaviors, having come to this subject from an interest in non-verbal communication. Leonard Mlodinow does, to this novice, a great job of explaining the unconscious mind. He goes on to give numerous examples, many humorous or otherwise entertaining, of the impact of the unconscious over our thinking, sometimes rationalizing, part of the mind. He also narrates his book and does an admirable job. His voice is easy to listen to, and he keeps a good pace.
Subliminal was given a four star rating because I began to get bored, but that is not on Mlodinow. It is on me. I found out some of the things I wanted to know about the importance of the unconscious and kept thinking of what else I could be listening to. So many books, so little time!
Overall, an entertaining treatment of the subject matter, but some of the anecdotes/science tidbits i had read in other books (e.g., David Eagleman's "Incognito"), and the total read was not as cohesive or wow-ing as Mlodinow's "Drunkard's Walk" (which i really enjoyed).
"theory of mind" - very interesting. i look forward to learning more about it.
....I cannot remember much of it now (but that is probably only me.). It is the classical "get the gist of many interesting social science and psychology experiments together" and it was all really well brought together. It was interesting that all the research cited has strong links to behavioral economics, but (as far as I can remember), Kahnemann and Tversky are not mentioned, as you would expect. But this just shows how things come togeher from many angles.The author narrates it, which comes out really well, I think.
Curiously, there are many things I thought I would want to remember and use, but now I do not remember any ony of them anymore :)
Genius, important, correct.
The part that started with the first sentence of the book and ended with the last.
His alter ego.
Yup, hard to put down. Takes ten hours to get through .
The writer is highly intelligent. We should (in this case) be happy that he smoked some weed in his first Caltech years so he could drop out and focus on social science instead, this book raises the level of this type of writing. Had Mlodinow not taken his irregular route through life he may have (predictably) taken home his Nobel prize in boring old physics, we can be happy he chose as he did (subliminal driven or not) to raise the bar of former 'trivial' and 'un-scientific' science.
We listened to this on a long car trip. The author is the narrator, and he did a great job. It sounds like a regular guy just talking to you instead of someone reading a book out loud. He has a light touch and entertains while educating.
The book gives many examples of studies where people's actions and conscious decisions are controlled by their subconscious, much more than the study participants ever expected. You hear a lot of examples where the subconscious also affects memories.
The author describes in detail how your mind has to fill in certain gaps in perception, and the subconscious controls how the gaps are filled in. There was substantial evidence that a person's perception of events or interpretation of evidence is heavily influenced by the person's position or possible gain, even when the person is offered a separate incentive to remain neutral.
There are examples where people are tricked into "remembering" events that never happened. One interesting study asked students in the week after 9/11 to write down their memories of that day. A year later, they were asked to recount the memories again, and the majority of students had enhanced the drama of what happened to them on that day (how they heard about it, what they did, etc.). When presented with their own written version of events from the week of 9/11, the students denied that was what had happened.
Overall, this is very enjoyable and informative 7 hours of listening. I'm definitely going to get Mlodinow's other book next.
It's interesting, but I guess that the bottom line is that I don't remember much about the audio book even though I just listened to it not more than a week ago, but that would be okay since my memory betrays me according to the author. It's another book to make the drive to and from work more interesting...
Lots of examples.
Hard to nail down the most memorable moment. Collectively, the moments illustrated the authors intention of showing how important the subconscious is determining most of our decisions. Individually, the moments ran on from one to the next and on to the next and on to the next. There were so many references to tests and their results that I began to lose focus. Still, I was glad I listened to it. I'm better informed on how little control I have in my conscious thought.
I have not listened to any other Mlodinow's books.
My conscious thought is greatly influenced by my subconscious.
What you think--is not what you think you think. Your conscious mind--because it's the only part that speaks to you--is taking credit for a lot of the real work done in the much deeper parts of the brain. Very recent breakthrough discoveries in neuroscience have resulted in several surprisingly counter-intuitive insights into our intuition.The author turns what could have been a complicated subject, into clear explanations backed up with results of several very interesting experiments. This was a fun and fascinating journey into the the inner-space of the mind, giving the reader a peek into who 'they' really are.
Yes, the information is valuable in understanding how others can manipulate our choices.
I liked that he read it himself.
Yes, it was valuable in how the mind works, and how we remember our own experiences compared to others experiencing the same thing.It may not answer all the questions about ones self but it's a good portion of the puzzle of how we think we are thinking.
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