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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Patients are also easily satisfied with the appearance of good medical care, and show shockingly little interest in digging beneath the surface— for example, by getting second opinions or asking for outcome statistics from their doctors ...
For example, when U.S. bankers angled for a bailout during the 2008 financial crisis, they argued that it would benefit the entire economy, conveniently neglecting to mention that it would line their own pockets.
Gelada baboons, for example, might be able to keep their fur clean with only 30 minutes of social grooming every day, but instead they spend 120 minutes. (This seems similar to a human showering four times a day.) ...
A babbler who takes a stint at guard duty, for example, foregoes his own opportunity to eat. Likewise, a babbler who attacks an enemy assumes risk of serious personal injury. On more careful inspection, however, these activities turn ...
A prestigious alpha, for example, may take all the mating opportunities for himself. But if the beta has earned high prestige, the alpha will occasionally allow him to mate with some of the females.17 In this way, the alpha effectively ...
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