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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What lies beneath - the tip of the iceberg!
As others have commented, this offers nothing new regarding the workings of the human mind and features no cutting edge research. But what it does offer is a well written, engaging, instructive and reasonably comprehensive review of where we are now in terms of understanding the degree to which our actions, feelings and thoughts are influenced beyond our conscious...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Primer
For those exploring for the first time the intricacies of our conscious and un-conscious selves this will undoubtedly be an exciting book, as a number of other reviews testify. Mlodinow writes clearly and with a lightness of touch that manages to get some pretty profound concepts across in an interesting and intriguing way.

There are of course a number of...
Published on 22 Nov 2012 by Zipster Zeus


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting, 17 April 2014
I totally recommend this book, Though it's not easy to read, it is full of very interesting experiments that explain how the human brain works. I will but it as a present for many of my friends.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reprogramming fruitflies with false memories, 17 Aug 2012
By 
David Spanswick (Brighton United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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My oh my but this is an entertaining, informative, mind-expanding adventure ride of a book. Never have I been so fascinated, never have I longed to dive back into it, rarely have I been so inspired. I found myself muttering "of course, of course" and my jaw hitting my chest in amazement at the constantly recognisable elements especially the details of experiments on the way the unconscious just takes over as auto pilot at times of crisis, keeping us safe and often in completely inexplicable ways.

Mlodinov's new book really does do the business, not only of looking at the whole unconscious thing ~ I became so aware of so much about myself in devouring this book ~ but his playful interaction with his readers; there are so many actual reading "games" or experiments that you, as reader, can undertake and in doing so contribute to his hypotheses.

For this reviewer, having reached a certain age when memory is both a challenge and an adventure the chapter on Remembering and Forgetting was both encouraging and dispiriting. False memory has become both a personal and a collective reality for us living in the 21st century when we are bombarded with so much information that differentiation becomes a mythical labyrinth. Mr Mlodinov is so supportingly encouraging that I felt my own personal doubts evaporate as he records the various test results on everyday folk and the fabric of their memories both real and imagined.

This is a book to enjoy slowly and leisurely and certainly one I will return to even if it is just tocheck whether what I remember was really said or imagined
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3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a letdown, 28 Aug 2014
By 
R. A. Mansfield "bertieronbob" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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This really should have even better. The writer has an incredible pedigree, but this is a bit of a letdown.

This field of psychology has become ever more popular in the past few years. Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational (which Mlodinow references in this book) and Daniel Kahneman's Thinking Fast & Slow, which puts forward the sub-conscious and conscious mind, are two stand-outs.

This book isn't terrible, but if you've read one or both of the above, then Mlodinow's book will feel a bit old hat and a bit of a retread.

Good as a starter to this topic, but there are better out there.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging and pleasurable read., 30 Sep 2014
By 
Pallus (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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For such an intellectual sounding subject, Leonard Mlodinow manages to present his points in a very palatable way.

He uses many examples drawn from his own past experiences to illustrate his points. This brings a friendly and sometimes humerous angle to the book and helps make it an easy and pleasurable read.

I haven't finished the book yet but have no hesitation in awarding 5 stars; I am not a keen reader but found this a very good read which held my attention and interest.

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[My ref: Amusing book about the subconcious Spt 14]
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting summary of research, but hardly ground-breaking, 15 Oct 2012
This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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I was intrigued by Subliminal as soon as I received it - largely because it has been written by a theoretical physicist, with no background (as far as I can see) in social psychology or the unconscious. As such, I half expected the book to be about the links between quantum theory and the brain (which would be absolutely fascinating!)

Instead, Subliminal was, for me, a rather run-of-the-mill summary of some fascinating research insights in the fields of psychology, social psychology and particularly social neuroscience.

Each piece of research that Mlodinow picked up was intriguing, and he writes them up very well in a flowing, interesting narrative laced with a few anecdotes along the way. But none of these pieces of research were particularly new, and I didn't feel as though Mlodinow brought them together into an overall coherent narrative.

As such, the book reads to me rather like Mlodinow got interested in social neuroscience and this is the result of his initial investigations. The problem is that this sort of information was available five years ago through, for example, the UK Royal Society of Art's Social Brain project. In other words, Subliminal is behind the times.

As an introduction to social neuroscience, you could do far worse than read this. But if it's a field you're already familiar with, you won't find much new here I don't think.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars MY UNCONSCIOUS MADE ME DO IT, 14 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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"Subliminal" is easily readable but it follows on the heels of at least two better books ("Thinking Fast And Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, and "Who's In Charge" by Michael Gazzaniga) that cover much the same ground.

"Subliminal" treats of the "new science of the unconscious." Mlodinow lays out the now accepted view of the human brain as being made up of a "collection of many modules that work in parallel, with complex interactions, most of which operate outside of our consciousness." Our conscious mind is therefore only one of several systems at work and our sense that it is "in charge" is simply an illusion. Most of our decisions, judgments and actions happen before our conscious mind has processed the relevant information. While the conscious mind can override our unconscious modules under some circumstances, its principal role is more that of a narrator than a controller.

Mlodinow makes much of the new technologies, especially fMRI, that enable study of the brain. Nonetheless, most of his data is drawn eclectically from the vast canon of psychology experiments of the type that involves student volunteers performing trivial tasks in artificial conditions. Many of these examples, I had come across before.

Mlodinow allocates much of his book to demonstrating how the workings of our unconscious brain modules drive (often to a biased outcome) everyday decisions that we tend to attribute to our conscious minds. Here, he tends to stray into much traveled territory. The role of our unconscious in making product selections and the consequent "hidden persuader" power of marketing is hardly new news having been pioneered by Ernst Dichter in the 1940's. He warns of how unconscious biases sway job interviews - I attended a company seminar warning about that in the nineties. He cites the Nixon-Kennedy Television debate as proof that we are unconsciously influenced by visual and aural perceptions, something which most of us would put in the category of Basil Fawlty's "the bleeding obvious," (and of course, scientific rigor would also require the elimination of other possible explanations such as different demographics among TV and radio audiences). The unreliability of eye witness accounts has been well documented before, and so on....

Subliminal is by no means a dreadful book, but general readers interested in understanding our minds would do better to begin with Kahneman or Gazzaniga. The first is more magisterial and comprehensive and the second more thought provoking.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mlodinow is rightly acclaimed, 9 Jun 2014
By 
Hugo Minney "hugie" (Durham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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Very enjoyable read, and at the same time very instructive.
If you want to understand how you really make decisions, then this is a good book for you. Get back in control of your conscious decisions, don't let your subconscious hijack you. Alternatively (if you like that sort of thing), let your subconscious do the work, and learn which intuitions are correct and which are just plain silly.
There's another aspect to this. If you understand how you are affected, then perhaps you can work out how the things you do will affect others. Perhaps you can even use this to help you communicate more effectively, influence more powerfully, and even develop charisma!
Mlodinow has an easy reading style, and manages to convey complex and powerful information in an easily accessible way. He doesn't dumb down, but the style keeps your brain engaged with touches of quirky humour that don't distract from the message but take your mind off the power of the information and the depth of detail he goes into.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable. Accessible, entertaining & true., 10 May 2014
By 
Roger Sharp (Kenley, Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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The author draws from many areas of cited scientific research in the book so the truth of what he says is unassailable. It's both a serious work but has the lightness of touch that makes it an easy and fascinating read. If you like "Thinking, Fast and Slow" by the nobel prise winner Daniel Kahneman you'll have to buy this.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Informative and Enjoyable Read, 25 Mar 2014
By 
G. Bright "chronically sedulous" (Derbyshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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This book is about understanding the human mind - examining senses, selves, memories, feelings, social, self and subliminal self.

Written in two parts, chapters 1-4 looks at the two tiered brain. How we have an active unconscious life that plays out in parallel to our conscious thoughts and feelings. Our unconscious self has a powerful effect, and to understand the human experience, we need to understand our conscious and unconscious selves and how they interact.

The second part is made up of chapters 5-10 and explores the social unconscious. How we can communicate without speaking and how we interact within groups. The ideas are supported with the results of much research over many years.

I learnt that science now has technology called Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) - this can create three dimensional images of the working brain and map the level of activity, reconstructing an image from what a person is looking at. This has been a revolutionary step forward and has given birth to a new field called Social Neuroscience.

This book has piqued my interest and I would like to read more on the subject of neuroscience.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Why do you behave in the way you do?, 26 Feb 2014
By 
Mr. M Errington "Chelonist" (Hereford UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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You may have rationalised that what you believe is the logic of your decisions yet be unaware just how much your unconscious nature affects those choices. Everyone makes thousands of choices an hour, and those that you don’t think about are automatic, and unconscious. Even those which require deliberate thought are profoundly affected by tour subconscious.
The way we experience the world is dependent on the signals received by our brain and the way this information is processed. No matter how much we believe that we are independent and logical beings, there is much underlying which is inbuilt or learned unconsciously.
In this readable and entertaining book Leonard Mlodinow provides many examples of the effect of the unconscious and links this with research, much recent, which links such behaviour with information about the workings of the brain. Arranged into handy chapters, this is a book to dip into, or to read by subject areas rather than a novel to be taken in at one time. I recommend it be read in manageable chunks and fully appreciated for what it can tell you about yourself.
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Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us
Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us by Leonard Mlodinow (Hardcover - 10 May 2012)
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