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Publisher's Summary

It happens everywhere: offices, schools, even your own backyard. And, seemingly, anything can trigger it: cell phones, sirens, bad music, constant distractions, your boss, or even your spouse. We all know certain things get under our skin. Can science explain why?

NPR's Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman take you on a scientific quest through psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and other disciplines to uncover the truth about being annoyed. Annoying:

  • Gives fascinating, surprising explanations for why people react the way they do to everything from chili peppers to fingernails on a blackboard
  • Explains why irrational behavior (like tearing your hair out in traffic) is connected to worthwhile behavior (like staying on task)
  • Includes tips for identifying your own irritating habits!

With fascinating insights and fun explanations, Annoying is anything but.

©2011 Original material by Joe Palca and Flora Lichtman. (P)2011 HighBridge Company

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Much ado about very little...

I purchased this book as I am beginning a series of research projects on the topic of aural annoyance and thought it might be a good primer. This book, however, plays fast and loose with the word annoying. The authors point out the shaky ground upon which they stand on numerous occasions, but then continue using the term annoyed as if it suddenly applies. Unfortunately, this makes me doubt even the few interesting ideas the authors presented.