Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Brains, 8 May 2013
This review is from: What Makes Your Brain Happy: And Why You Should Do the Opposite (Paperback)
Sure, DiSalvos books is basicly a collection of anecdotes demonstrating the quirks and twists of the human mind. And sure, to some that is just pop cognitive psychology.

Still, I kind of liked the DiSalvo book. IMHO, the various studies, anecdotes, and thought experiments presented in the book does make us a little wiser about what a happy brain is all about.

According to DiSalvo, the brain is really a prediction machine.
An amazingly complex organ that process information to determine what is coming next.
Where, our brains prefer stability, certainty, and consistency, and perceives unpredictability, uncertainty, and instability as threats to its survival.

DiSalvo also makes it absolutely clear that our brains are social brains that perform and work within a group.
Brains that becomes lonely, when something isn't right for us in the group. And, certainly,
our brains are not independent thinkers.
Ours is an existence of influence of and counterinfluence - and none of us live on one-way streets.
All of which DiSalvo describes very entertainingly in this book.

In DiSalvos account, it also becomes clear that the brain is not a completely rational machine. Many things influence our thinking:
The books section about ''Weight as an Embodiment of Importance''
is especially telling. I.e. in english, the term weighty is used to signify something substantial and important. The term gravitas is used to connote seriousness. The more someone can lift, the more impressive...
Not exactly completely rational thinking...

Luckily, we can improve our thinking.
DiSalvo explains how geting assistance, slowing-down, breaking goals up into smaller goals and
a finish what you start approach etc. can all help us achieve better results.

All in all, a lively presentation with rays of insight. An interesting book.
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