Foreword by Wray Herbert
Author of On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind’s Hardwired Habits
Former editor in chief of Psychology Today
Regular contributor to Science, Scientific American, and Science News
"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."
“A five-star intellectual smorgasbord of the latest speculations on what makes us tick.”
—Robert Burton, MD, author of On Being Certain:
Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not
“This book is the Swiss Army knife of psychology and neuroscience research—handy, practical, and very, very useful. It boils down the latest findings into simple easy-to-understand lessons you can apply to your daily life.”
—Joseph T. Hallinan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Why We Make Mistakes
“Reading What Makes Your Brain Happy is like eating intellectual dim sum at your favorite Chinese restaurant. Each morsel is tasty and you will keep coming back for more."
—Bruce Hood, PhD, author of Super Sense: Why We Believe the Unbelievable and director of the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre
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.
FURTHER CRITICAL ACCLAIM FOR WHAT MAKES YOUR BRAIN HAPPY
AND WHY YOU SHOULD DO THE OPPOSITE:
"The chapters in this book are crystal-clear and multifaceted, and each transmits a ray of insight about how we think. It's jewelry for the mindful mind."
—Phillip Alcabes, PhD, author of Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Plague to the Avian Flu
"Packed full of scientific insights with practical applications to everyday life–a thought-provoking and entertaining page-turner.”
—Gary Small, MD, UCLA professor of psychiatry and author of The Memory Bible, iBrain, and The Other Side of the Couch: A Psychiatrist Solves His Most Unusual Cases
"David DiSalvo takes us on mind trips to the frontiers of brain and behavior research, and—being a superb guide—shows us how each development is useful, exciting, and inspired by wonder."
—Jena Pincott, author of Do Gentleman Really Prefer Blondes? Bodies, Brains, and Behavior—The Science Behind Love, Sex & Attraction
“It's hard to put down this smart, readable discussion of the latest brain science from science writer David DiSalvo. As always, DiSalvo deftly offers both expert and lay readers news we can use, in context and with style. Read on!”
—Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age
Shipping Weight: 1lbs
David DiSalvo (Orlando, FL) is a science, technology and culture writer for Scientific American Mind, Psychology Today, Mental Floss, Forbes.com, and other publications, and the writer behind the well-regarded science blog Neuronarrative. He has appeared on CNN’s Headline News, written for the Wall Street Journal, and his work has been referenced in major publications worldwide. He has also served as a consulting research analyst and communications specialist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several public and private organizations in the U.S. and abroad. Visit David DiSalvo online at www.daviddisalvo.org