"David DiSalvo takes us on a whistle-stop tour of our mind's delusions. No aspect of daily life is left untouched: whether he is exploring job interviews, first dates or the perils of eBay, DiSalvo will change the way you think about thinking...an enjoyable manual to your psyche that may change your life."
“The expression ‘knowledge is power’ has never been more appropriate. Mr. DiSalvo takes the mystery out of our daily self-sabotage. Using science and psychology he leads us into awareness and provides us action steps to make our lives better.”
Why do we routinely choose options that don’t meet our short-term needs and undermine our long-term goals? Why do we willingly expose ourselves to temptations that undercut our hard-fought progress to overcome addictions? Why are we prone to assigning meaning to statistically common coincidences? Why do we insist we’re right even when evidence contradicts us?
In What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, science writer David DiSalvo reveals a remarkable paradox: what your brain wants is frequently not what your brain needs. In fact, much of what makes our brains “happy” leads to errors, biases, and distortions, which make getting out of our own way extremely difficult. DiSalvo’s search includes forays into evolutionary and social psychology, cognitive science, neurology, and even marketing and economics—as well as interviews with many of the top thinkers in psychology and neuroscience today.
From this research-based platform, DiSalvo draws out insights that we can use to identify our brains’ foibles and turn our awareness into edifying action. Ultimately, DiSalvo argues, the research does not serve up ready-made answers, but provides us with actionable clues for overcoming the plight of our advanced brains and, consequently, living more fulfilled lives.
Foreword by Wray Herbert, Author of On Second Thought: Outsmarting Your Mind’s Hardwired Habits, former editor in chief of Psychology Today, and regular contributor to Science, Scientific American, and Science News.
Published by Prometheus Books
What others are saying:
This lively presentation of the latest in cognitive science convincingly debunks what DiSalvo calls "self-help snake oil."
"This book will make your brain happy — in a good way. With engaging prose and compelling stories, DiSalvo provides a fast-paced overview of mental shortcuts and foibles that make us happy in the short-term, often to our long-term detriment."
— Daniel Simons, author of The Invisible Gorilla, and Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us
“This book is the Swiss Army knife of psychology and neuroscience research—handy, practical, and very, very useful. It boils down the latest findings into simple easy-to-understand lessons you can apply to your daily life.”
—Joe Hallinan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Why We Make Mistakes