quirk brain science makes sense of your peculiar personality

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Quirk

Author : Hannah Holmes
ISBN : 9780679604525
Genre : Science
File Size : 64. 26 MB
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Who are you? It’s the most fundamental of human questions. Are you the type of person who tilts at windmills, or the one who prefers to view them from the comfort of an air-conditioned motorcoach? Our personalities are endlessly fascinating—not just to ourselves but also to our spouses, our parents, our children, our co-workers, our neighbors. As a highly social species, humans have to navigate among an astonishing variety of personalities. But how did all these different permutations come about? And what purpose do they serve? With her trademark wit and sly humor, Hannah Holmes takes readers into the amazing world of personality and modern brain science. Using the Five Factor Model, which slices temperaments into the major factors (Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness) and minor facets (such as impulsive, artistic, or cautious), Holmes demonstrates how our genes and brains dictate which factors and facets each of us displays. Are you a Nervous Nelly? Your amygdala is probably calling the shots. Hyperactive Hal? It’s all about the dopamine. Each facet took root deep in the evolution of life on Earth, with Nature allowing enough personal variation to see a species through good times and bad. Just as there are introverted and extroverted people, there are introverted and extroverted mice, and even starfish. In fact, the personality genes we share with mice make them invaluable models for the study of disorders like depression, schizophrenia, and anxiety. Thus it is deep and ancient biases that guide your dealings with a very modern world. Your personality helps to determine the political party you support, the car you drive, the way you eat M&Ms, and the likelihood that you’ll cheat on your spouse. Drawing on data from top research laboratories, the lives of her eccentric friends, the conflicts that plague her own household, and even the habits of her two pet mice, Hannah Holmes summarizes the factors that shape you. And what she proves is that it does take all kinds. Even the most irksome and trying personality you’ve ever encountered contributes to the diversity of our species. And diversity is the key to our survival. From the Hardcover edition.

The Emotional Life Of Your Brain

Author : Sharon Begley
ISBN : 9781444708837
Genre : Body, Mind & Spirit
File Size : 45. 93 MB
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This groundbreaking book by a pioneer in neuroscience brings a new understanding of our emotions - why each of us responds so differently to the same life events and what we can do to change and improve our emotional lives. If you believe most self-help books, you would probably assume that we are all affected in the same way by events like grief or falling in love or being jilted and that only one process can help us handle them successfully. From thirty years of studying brain chemistry, Davidson shows just why and how we are all so different. Just as we all have our own DNA, so we each have our own emotional 'style' depending on our individual levels of dimensions like resilience, attention and self-awareness. Helping us to recognise our own emotional style, Davidson also shows how our brain patterns can change over our lives - and, through his fascinating experiments, what we can do to improve our emotional responses through, for example, meditation. Deepening our understanding of the mind-body connection - as well as conditions like autism and depression - Davidson stretches beyond mainstream psychology and neuroscience and expands our view of what it means to be human.

The Well Dressed Ape

Author : Hannah Holmes
ISBN : 9781921372520
Genre : Human behavior
File Size : 31. 45 MB
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For readers of Frans de Waal and Diane Ackerman, The Well-Dressed Ape is a gleeful naturalist's extensive, profound, and entertaining biological description of a much-vaunted mammal, the human, including a treasure-trove of factoids about every species that shares this planet with us, and fresh answers to age-old human questions: Who are we, animally speaking? How do we compare? Where do we fit in? The human animal's ballyhooed status as the only clever tool-user who can talk about our feelings is crumbling. Prairie dogs can make up words for new animals. Crows are born with the ability to make tools. Elephants recognise and stroke the bones of a lost family member. As biologists delve into these subjects, they're demonstrating that we're not nearly as unique as we once thought. It's the perfect time, scientifically speaking, to reassess our place in the animal kingdom. The Well-Dressed Ape does just that. Science journalist Hannah Holmes wryly adopts the format of a biologist's boilerplate description of an animal, with chapters for Diet, Habitat, Reproduction, and so on, to describe our species in comparison to every other. The narrative wraps around the author's own corpus and behaviour, which stands in for all of humanity. Yet even as she exposes our animal nature, Holmes discovers that Homo sapiens exhibits some traits and behaviours found in no other animal on earth. We can alter our habitat in ways that shame the beavers and moles. And although other animals communicate far more than we realised, our own linguistic ability is an absolute marvel. Our species is among the most generous, and is clearly the most thoughtful. Not so admirably, we kill ourselves any number of ways, including by eating ourselves to death. All this in addition to a patently bizarre physical appearance, and shocking lack of defences. With a mix of personal stories, from face-to-face examining her own body in a mirror to face-to-face with a polar bear on the western shore of Hudson Bay, Canada, and deft synthesis of the latest scientific theories and observations, with an engaging voice and winning sense of humour, Hannah Holmes gives us a fresh way to understand ourselves in the world. And trying to understand ourselves is, after all, one of those things that only humans do.

The Hidden Brain

Author : Shankar Vedantam
ISBN : 9781921640247
Genre : Discrimination
File Size : 53. 11 MB
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What if it is simply unconscious biases — in the way of memory, emotion and attention — that produce most misunderstandings and conflicts between people, groups and even nations? How can you tell if it isn't just your brain running on 'auto-pilot' that makes your moral decisions for you, instead of the logical thinking you've nurtured and developed? Reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, The Hidden Brain takes a look at how we actually think both consciously and unconsciously. In The Hidden Brain: how our unconscious minds elect presidents, control markets, wage wars, and save our lives, author and science journalist Shankar Vedantam describes unique cases of everyday unconscious decision making while applying the latest scientific studies to each situation. The result is fascinating. The Hidden Brain explores numerous questions and doubts about the choices we make and updates us on the most recent scientific research on unconscious thinking. Shankar believes most everything we do boils down to the inner workings of our brains. Most human actions are based on unconscious biases, not conscious decisions. Looking into 'the hidden brain' is how he can best explain, scientifically, the many contradictory and illogical things people say and do, regardless of their ability to reason. Shankar's recent journalism enables the lay-person to understand what the scientific and human behaviorist communities are discovering. And his book delves into a wide variety of stories that intriguingly point toward the astounding notion that people are much more dependent on the unconscious than most of us would like to believe, by linking this research to real life situations. If it isn't the unconscious how else do you explain biases that prompt us to think that a black woman leaning over a hospital bed is a nurse, rather than a surgeon? How do you explain why well-meaning managers choose some candidates for job interviews while eliminating others who are equally qualified? Can you explain why people don't always run out of a burning building?

This Is Your Brain On Sports

Author : L. Jon Wertheim
ISBN : 9780553447415
Genre : Sports & Recreation
File Size : 25. 51 MB
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This is Your Brain on Sports is the book for sports fans searching for a deeper understanding of the games they watch and the people who play them. Sports Illustrated executive editor and bestselling author L. Jon Wertheim teams up with Tufts psychologist Sam Sommers to take readers on a wild ride into the inner world of sports. Through the prism of behavioral economics, neuroscience, and psychology, they reveal the hidden influences and surprising cues that inspire and derail us—on the field and in the stands—and by extension, in corporate board rooms, office settings, and our daily lives. In this irresistible narrative romp, Wertheim and Sommers usher us from professional football to the NBA to Grand Slam tennis, from the psychology of athletes self-handicapping their performance in the boxing ring or the World Series, to an explanation of why even the glimpse of a finish line can lift us beyond ordinary physical limits. They explore why Tom Brady and other starting NFL quarterbacks all seem to look like fashion models; why fans of teams like the Cubs, Mets, and any franchise from Cleveland love rooting for a loser; why the best players make the worst coaches; why hockey goons (and fans) would rather fight at home than on the road; and why the arena t-shirt cannon has something to teach us about human nature. In short, this book is an entertaining and thought-provoking journey into how psychology and behavioral science collide with the universe of wins-and-losses, coaching changes, underdogs, and rivalry games. — Boston Globe, Best Books of 2016, Sports

Shiny Objects

Author : James A. Roberts
ISBN : 9780062093622
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49. 72 MB
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In Shiny Objects, a cross between In Praise of Slowness and The Tipping Point, consumer behavior expert Professor James A. Roberts takes us on a tour of America's obsession with consumerism—pointing out its symptoms, diagnosing specific problems, and offering a series of groundbreaking solutions. Roberts gives practical advice for how to correct the materialistic trends in our lives which lock us into a cycle of financial hardship and stress. Shiny Objects, a new The Paradox of Choice for the modern reader, is more than a critique of capitalism—it's also an exploration into how we can live happier, fuller, more productive lives today.

Annoying

Author : Joe Palca
ISBN : 9781118028094
Genre : Science
File Size : 20. 62 MB
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Two crackerjack science journalists from NPR look at why some things (and some people!) drive us crazy It happens everywhere?offices, schools, even your own backyard. Plus, seemingly anything can trigger it?cell phones, sirens, bad music, constant distractions, your boss, or even your spouse. We all know certain things get under our skin. Can science explain why? Palca and Lichtman take you on a scientific quest through psychology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and other disciplines to uncover the truth about being annoyed. What is the recipe for annoyance? For starters, it should be temporary, unpleasant, and unpredictable, like a boring meeting or mosquito bites Gives fascinating, surprising explanations for why people react the way they do to everything from chili peppers to fingernails on a blackboard Explains why irrational behavior (like tearing your hair out in traffic) is connected to worthwhile behavior (like staying on task) Includes tips for identifying your own irritating habits! How often can you say you're happily reading a really Annoying book? The insights are fascinating, the exploration is fun, and the knowledge you gain, if you act like you know everything, can be really annoying.

The Intelligibility Of Nature

Author : Peter Dear
ISBN : 9780226139500
Genre : Science
File Size : 62. 18 MB
Format : PDF
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Throughout the history of the Western world, science has possessed an extraordinary amount of authority and prestige. And while its pedestal has been jostled by numerous evolutions and revolutions, science has always managed to maintain its stronghold as the knowing enterprise that explains how the natural world works: we treat such legendary scientists as Galileo, Newton, Darwin, and Einstein with admiration and reverence because they offer profound and sustaining insight into the meaning of the universe. In The Intelligibility of Nature, Peter Dear considers how science as such has evolved and how it has marshaled itself to make sense of the world. His intellectual journey begins with a crucial observation: that the enterprise of science is, and has been, directed toward two distinct but frequently conflated ends—doing and knowing. The ancient Greeks developed this distinction of value between craft on the one hand and understanding on the other, and according to Dear, that distinction has survived to shape attitudes toward science ever since. Teasing out this tension between doing and knowing during key episodes in the history of science—mechanical philosophy and Newtonian gravitation, elective affinities and the chemical revolution, enlightened natural history and taxonomy, evolutionary biology, the dynamical theory of electromagnetism, and quantum theory—Dear reveals how the two principles became formalized into a single enterprise, science, that would be carried out by a new kind of person, the scientist. Finely nuanced and elegantly conceived, The Intelligibility of Nature will be essential reading for aficionados and historians of science alike.

Murderous Minds

Author : Dean A. Haycock
ISBN : 9781480447981
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 38. 79 MB
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“Part true crime, part neuroscience and a page-turner from start to finish,” this is a look at the biology behind violent psychopathic behavior (Kirkus Reviews). How many times have you seen a murder on the news or on a TV show like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and said to yourself, “How could someone do something like that?” Today, neuroscientists are imaging, mapping, testing and dissecting the source of the worst behavior imaginable in the brains of the people who lack a conscience: psychopaths. Neuroscientist Dean Haycock examines the behavior of real life psychopaths and discusses how their actions can be explained in scientific terms, from research that literally looks inside their brains to understanding how psychopaths, without empathy but very goal-oriented, think and act the way they do. Some don’t commit crimes at all, but rather make use of their skills in the boardroom. But what does this mean for lawyers, judges, psychiatrists, victims, and readers—for anyone who has ever wondered how some people can be so bad. Could your nine-year-old be a psychopath? What about your co-worker? The ability to recognize psychopaths using the scientific method has vast implications for society, and yet is still loaded with consequences.

Prehistory

Author : Colin Renfrew
ISBN : 9781780225814
Genre : History
File Size : 54. 66 MB
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A brief and original prehistory of the world Prehistory covers human existence before written records, i.e. most of human existence. But it also refers to the discipline through which we scrutinize prehistoric times. PREHISTORY begins by looking at the discovery of a remote human past and the subsequent dramatic growth of the study of prehistory: early archaeology; geology; Darwin's ideas of evolution; cave paintings; fossil discoveries of human ancestors; museums and collections; radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis. Renfrew challenges the conventional assumption of an all-important 'human revolution' 40,000 years ago - when Homo Sapiens first appeared in Europe - and suggests that the key developments were much later. The author's case-studies range widely, from Orkney to the Balkans, from the Indus Valley to Peru, from Ireland to China, and provide fresh insights on landmark monuments such as the Egyptian pyramids, the Valley of the Kings, Stonehenge and the sacrificial burial pyramids at Teotihuacan in Mexico. The book closes with a fascinating chapter on the transition from Prehistory to History, on early writing systems.

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