Book review: The Hidden Brain

I just finished the book The Hidden Brain, and it is excellent. This sort of thing is what I'm on about! We think we know why we do things, but all too often, we're fooling ourselves. The Hidden Brain is all about the many ways we fool ourselves, and the (sometimes beneficial, sometimes tragic) results.

Here are some of the subjects covered:
  • How can a murder take place in front of scores of people, but no one interferes or even says anything?
  • How much of the McCain vote in the last election was because of racism? How can science even answer such a question?
  • Do small children show a preference for one race or another?
  • What motivates suicide bombers? It's not what you think.
  • Eyewitness testimony is reliable, isn't it? Not so much, as it turns out.
  • Do we learn morality? No. So where does it come from?
  • We can't do experiments to investigate systematic bias against women, but modern life has provided such an experiment, already set up for us to observe.
  • Who survived 9-11, and who didn't, and why?
  • Why do we not take action to stop genocide, even when such action is simple and easy?
  • Why is there an epidemic of suicide among police officers?
We live in amazing times, when such questions have real answers, based on real evidence.

Click here to buy the book from Amazon.
Click here to find the book in a library near you.

If you don't feel like reading the book, there are a couple of really good websites: one for the author, Shankar Vedantam, and one for the book itself.

Stand by, I'll be posting a few short excerpts from The Hidden Brain.

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