Customer Review

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not so new, but very interesting..., 3 Aug 2013
This review is from: Subliminal: The New Unconscious and What it Teaches Us (Hardcover)
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I had great hopes of getting a new perspective on consciousness but have to admit I lost a little heart as early as page 12. As soon as I saw the word 'anthropomorphizing' I knew the book would lack something for me. That whole idea, so loved by science, that if WE can't see it or measure it, it's not real, just does not make sense. Life experience has taught me otherwise.

Saying that, this is a very interesting book and it does cover a lot of ground. Is well written, very accessible and gives many fascinating insights into the subtle and not-so-subtle influences on our behaviours and choices - and memories.

Lots of psychological research info in there as well. And, while a lot of insight may be gained, it is as well to remember that both experimental design and interpretation will be both personal and subjective to the researcher, to some degree at least. Researchers, too, are human and so make assumptions based on their own experiences - and understanding of them - as well as what they have learned in their studies. And, as this book so ably shows, our conscious mind is not always driving the bus.. A very useful thing for all of us to understand.

Even the author himself makes assumptions - the first being that his mother's response to him 'going missing' was solely to do with her life experience. As just about ANY mother could have told him, it is normal behaviour when your child (of any age) goes missing (or is not where they should be/does not call when expected), to call their friends, the hospitals and the police (or at least seriously consider it) - and also to at least wonder if those contacted are lying to protect your feelings when you cannot get the answer you want - that your offspring is alive and well!

Science does not yet hold all the answers. Just because it is possible to measure brain responses, it does not necessarily follow that the brain causes the response - it may well just be mediating it. Receiver rather than transmitter? Part of the vehicle rather than part of the driver?? Lots more to be explored yet.

Good book, though, and well worth reading.
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