The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains, therefore, are designed not just to hunt and gather, but also to help us get ahead socially, often via deception and self-deception. But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise. The less we know about our own ugly motives, the better - and thus we don't like to talk or even think about the extent of our selfishness. This is "the elephant in the brain." Such an introspective taboo makes it hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. The aim of this book, then, is to confront our hidden motives directly - to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights. Then, once everything is clearly visible, we can work to better understand ourselves: Why do we laugh? Why are artists sexy? Why do we brag about travel? Why do we prefer to speak rather than listen? Our unconscious motives drive more than just our private behavior; they also infect our venerated social institutions such as Art, School, Charity, Medicine, Politics, and Religion. In fact, these institutions are in many ways designed to accommodate our hidden motives, to serve covert agendas alongside their "official" ones. The existence of big hidden motives can upend the usual political debates, leading one to question the legitimacy of these social institutions, and of standard policies designed to favor or discourage them. You won't see yourself - or the world - the same after confronting the elephant in the brain.
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When we study how people interact with each other on the small scale— in real time and face to face— we quickly learn to appreciate the depth and complexity of our social behaviors and how little we're consciously aware of what's going ...
Many other ideas, however, face an uphill battle and may never achieve widespread acceptance. When an idea emphasizes competition and other ugly motives, people are understandably averse to sharing it. It sucks the energy out of the ...
As a result, primate fur needs periodic grooming to stay clean. Individual primates can (and do) groom themselves, but they can only effectively groom about half their bodies. They can't easily groom their own backs, faces, and heads.
own backs, faces, and heads. So to keep their entire bodies clean, they need a little help from their ... We can't take social grooming at face value. There are some puzzling facts that cast doubt on the simple hygienic function: • Most ...
The groomer says, “I'm willing to use my spare time to help you,” while the groomee says, “I'm comfortable enough to let you approach me from behind (or touch my face).” Meanwhile, both parties strengthen their alliance merely by ...
ما يقوله الناس - كتابة مراجعة
LibraryThing Reviewمعاينة المستخدمين - Paul_S - LibraryThing
There is nothing surprising or even taboo in this book. What sheltered lives do the authors lead? This is one step above a bloke in a pub. An interesting, articulate guy but still not any kind of expert in the field. Scholarly paper - this is not. قراءة التقييم بأكمله
LibraryThing Reviewمعاينة المستخدمين - Tytania - LibraryThing
I really didn't learn anything. We are primates who seek to elevate our status. Almost anything we do can be viewed in this light, if you squint hard enough. This really didn't add any "a-ha" moments ... قراءة التقييم بأكمله