What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite Audiobook | David DiSalvo | Audible.com
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What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite | [David DiSalvo]

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2011 David DiSalvo (P)2012 Gildan Media LLC

What the Critics Say

"This lively presentation of the latest in cognitive science convincingly debunks what DiSalvo calls 'self-help snake oil.'" (Publisher's 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)

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  •  
    Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States 08-02-12
    Sean BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States 08-02-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cursory but not instructive"

    The book provides a decent tour of current psychology and behavior science but does not offer any substantive tips about how to use the information.

    As a science author (as opposed to a scientist) he does a good job of explaining subtle concepts. The other side of this coin is that most of the information is presented in layman's terms. So if you are looking for a more scientific exploration of these issues you should look at other titles.

    Like most books in this category, the author spends a great deal of time describing how we are led astray by cognitive biases without offering any insight about how to avoid them. I would like to see a book that tried to tackle that problem more seriously.

    Unfortunately, the author chose to read his own book, which is almost always a mistake. The delivery is rather flat--not monotone, but it doesn't really hold your attention.

    Overall, the content is accurate and informative and the performance is adequate. If you are looking for an introduction to cognitive bias then the book will be interesting. If you want a more in depth scientific approach I would recommend "Thinking Fast and Slow."

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole Van Ness San Diego 03-17-13
    Nicole Van Ness San Diego 03-17-13 Member Since 2012

    Nicole Van Ness

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "slow down"
    What did you love best about What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite?

    The content of the book is relevant, interesting, and captivating. I had to listen twice, though, because he reads it a bit too fast. Awesome book and so useful, reminding me of topics I haven't studied for awhile, and adding new info and support in a way that is accessible to those versed or new to psychology concepts. It would be a lot better if the reader slowed down so I didn't have to listen twice :-)


    What was one of the most memorable moments of What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite?

    Reviewing the concepts


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Read slower


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roberta L. Ruben Chicago, Illinois 08-23-12
    Roberta L. Ruben Chicago, Illinois 08-23-12 Member Since 2006

    Roberta L. Ruben

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too much data for audio"
    Would you try another book from David DiSalvo and/or David DiSalvo?

    No hard too understand what the point of the book really is. Too many studies no good summary of the results and how it relates to the title of the book. What is this about? Not for average reader. Every other paragraph is a quote from an work or study. Maybe a number crunched would like this book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite?

    Happy brain never defined. Nothing is memorable. Would not recommend to anyone looking for insigh to their behavior. WE IMITATE OTHERS.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    SPEAKER HAS A LISP. HE NEEDS TO SLOW DOWN AND STOP AFTER IMPORTANT IDEAS. AUTHOR NEED TO CHOSE A READ WHO WAS NOT HIMSELF.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    If you finally get to the last chapter; you might get some useful info.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Crystal Lake, IL, United States 05-17-13
    Chris Crystal Lake, IL, United States 05-17-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Good content, untrained narration"
    What did you like best about What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite? What did you like least?

    This book is good on all fronts, except for when it comes to narration (which is about half the battle when it comes to audiobooks). I recommend the non-audio version of this book. The author narrates it himself. The recording quality and clarity is acceptable, but the inflection and delivery is so off it's painful to listen to after five minutes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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