This book offers a fascinating, informative and non-judgmental exploration of two interrelated questions: (1) Why are some people relatively altruistic and others less so? (2) How does our attitude towards others affect our own emotional well-being and physical health?
Graham Music addresses these questions by elucidating the interactions between our childhood experiences, social world, cultural environment and evolutionary heritage. As part of that endeavor he interweaves a wealth of research from fields as diverse as attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, endocrinology, social and moral psychology, game theory, primatology and evolutionary anthropology. Particularly impressive is that way that Music makes this research accessible and engaging, without glossing over the contradictions and subtleties of our complex nature.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in what makes us who we are, as well as to all those who are concerned with fostering well-being.
This book is a must-read for pretty much anyone: parents, teachers, policy-makers, therapists, and anyone at all concerned with the future wellbeing of humanity. Graham explains, with lots of scientific evidence, why we humans are inherently altruistic (as well as having a selfish side) and what we can do to nurture this part of our selves. Given the current state of the world, with violence still playing such a prominent role, and the continuing devastation of the biosphere which we need to support us, it is clear that we are not learning our lessons from history. This book provides the one lesson we need to learn right now.
What a wonderful , informative, engrossing and enlightening book Dr. Graham Music has written. A dense yet easily digested journey through a world of research, experiments in social psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, psychoanalysis and child development and all through the particular slant of Dr. Music's political and social world view. It is in essence a plea not to let the best of our instincts toward empathy, generosity, and social cooperation be evolved out of us in the name of corporate Capitalism and greed. A timely warning to us all, yet ultimately optimistic and hopeful reminder of what it is that makes us human. Please read it !
This is a great book. Very readable, it nevertheless is crammed with scholarship. The author shows how an evolutionary perspective on life makes sense of much of human behaviour - but he does so in a way that avoids any sort of crude genetic determinism. Much better than the 'Men are from Mars' genre of popular psychology offerings.
Supreb and deeply important book. I read it in onre sitting and now need to return and read more thoroughly. Statistics on the rise of Sociopathy (probably among our leaderships is hardly suprising -but deeply worrying!.