The Influential Mind What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2017-09-19
Publisher(s): Henry Holt and Co.
List Price: $28.00

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A research-based exploration—and natural antidote to The Wisdom of Crowds— of how the decisions we make as individuals are largely based on the unconscious influence of those around us
Did you know that your IQ is constantly changing in response to the people around you, or that there is a biological basis for the flow of false information on Facebook and Twitter? Are you aware that financial traders who can easily read emotional expressions are more likely to “ride” market bubbles–or that other people’s preferences guide most of the decisions we make?

Research shows that most people perceive themselves to be individualistic thinkers. In fact, the majority see themselves as more independent than their peers, which, of course, is impossible. Since social influence is automatic and often works under the radar, we are unaware that many decisions; from the names we give our children to the projects we take on at work, are largely based on the unconscious influence of those around us. Sharot will unveil the hidden power of social learning, good and bad, and will enable us to identify instances in which we fall prey to delusions. The book will search deep below the surface—relying on the latest research in neuroscience and psychology—to provide new insight into human behavior.

Author Biography

Tali Sharot is the author of The Optimism Bias and is the director of the Affective Brain Lab at University College London. Her papers on the neuroscience of optimism, emotional memories, and cognitive dissonance have been published in Nature, Science, Nature, Neuroscience and Psychological Science. She has also written for The New York Times and Time Magazine. Sharot has conducted research at the University of California, Harvard University and the Weizmann Institute for Science and is currently a visiting professor at Harvard Medical School.

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