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Meet Your Happy Chemicals: Dopamine, Endorphin, Oxytocin, Serotonin Paperback – 14 Feb 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (14 Feb. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463790929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463790929
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 448,330 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD is Professor Emerita at California State University, East Bay, and a docent at the Oakland Zoo. She founded the Inner Mammal Institute to help people make peace with their mammalian brain chemicals. Dr. Breuning is author of Beyond Cynical, and I, Mammal, as well as the Psychology Today blog, "Your Neurochemical Self." She spent a year in Africa as a United Nations Volunteer, and has lectured worldwide on resisting corruption. She's a graduate of Cornell University and Tufts, and the mother of two tax-paying adults.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By James on 26 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hoped that this book would be a compelling introduction to a subject I know little about. Unfortunately, it is not.

A total lack of citations* leaves the reader unsure what is true (as in verifiable) and what is just plain made up by the author. (Her PhD, I am pained to note, is not in neuroscience, as one might expect given its appearance on the front cover.)

The work is structured thus: 1) a simplistic overview of the four subject neuro-chemicals, 2) discussion of how these shape our brains in unplanned based upon our own eclectic collection of experiences, 3) self-help techniques based on (2). While (3) is clearly a collection of the author's own ideas, without being able to verify (2), I cannot take it seriously. (And indeed the little reading I've done since has made me question whether (1) is a useful simplification or just plain misleading.)

The work is also not proof read, with misplaced commas, capitals, and "to" instead of "too" throughout.

These shortcomings are unfortunate because I think that there is real good in this book. Some of the discussions about how we build circuits in our brains, and why we make the choices we do, seem very insightful. But, again, I cannot tell whether there is good reason to believe that these claims or true, or whether they just seem so. It doesn't matter how true something seems; unless it's verifiable, it does not belong in any text claiming to be scientific.

I have resolved to read much more on this subject but, I'm afraid, not from this author.

*The author gives some excuse about the work being 'synthesised' from many sources. All scientific work is so synthesised! You must still make clear which ideas are your own and which are backed by evidence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tombright on 28 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was looking for a straightforward introduction to our neurochemicals like serotonin, dopamine etc as I've become interested in the findings of happiness research and this seems to be a relatively under-reported area in that field. Most of the writing I've seen on this issue seems to polarise into the technical or the superficial. This book is just what I was looking for; I found it informative and clear without being patronising.

What I like best about the book is its eclecticism and the clarity of the writing. I also like the fact that the author considers some practical implications rather than just leaving it at the theory.

For me, the best books are those, like this one, that raise questions that would not otherwise have occurred to me.

I really enjoyed this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SwissMac on 8 April 2014
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You don't need to be a scientist to benefit from reading this book. Anyone can! Most popular science books are either too patronising, or actually miss out important information. Ms Breuning does neither. She clearly explains how our thoughts and habits, our desires and fears, and our very motivations are affected by how our brains record our past experiences - and how these four "Happy Chemicals" are involved.

Not only that, but the book provides methods of changing how we react, what we fear, how to deal with unpleasant experiences, how to gain control of more of our lives. The 45 day ten minute a day plan to change a bad habit into a good new habit is just one of many great ideas the book contains. I liked the book so much I bought two more and gave them as gifts!
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