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Reviews


"A five-star intellectual smorgasbord of the latest speculations on what makes us tick."

             —Robert Burton, MD, author of On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not


"This book is a well-researched and effectively argued guide to uncovering the reasons why we so often think and act in ways that undermine our best interests, and it's also full of knowledge about why humans manipulate each other. If you want to know more about why you do what you do, and how to avoid becoming the victim of someone else's manipulation tactics, I encourage you to read this book."

— Philip Zimbardo, PhD, author of The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil, and past president of the American Psychological Association


"Every week the media delivers to the public a barrage of psychology and neuroscience findings. They sound fascinating, but are untethered from daily life. David DiSalvo extracts the practical potential of these discoveries, and in so doing performs a public service that is creative and witty.”

— J.D. Trout, PhD, author of The Empathy Gap: Building Bridges to the Good Life and the Good Society, and Professor of Philosophy and Psychology, Loyola University Chicago

 

"David DiSalvo provides an unusually well written foray into the fascinating fields of neuroscience and social psychology. The book contains an intriguing collection of studies made highly accessible by the author’s engaging style. It will pique your curiosity and help you understand people in new ways.”

— Charles H. Elliott, PhD, Coauthor of 9 psychology books including: Overcoming Anxiety for Dummies, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder for Dummies, Borderline Personality Disorder for Dummies

 

"Want to know how all the little ins and outs of your neurochemistry hold you dangling like a puppet on a set of strings? David DiSalvo’s gleanings from current neuroscience and psychology are entertaining, intriguing, and instructive.  And who knows? The more you know, the more control you might gain over how those strings make you dance.”

— Joseph Carroll, PhD, author of The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative

 

"Reading this book is like eating intellectual dim sum at your favorite Chinese restaurant. Each morsel is tasty and you will keep coming back for more."

— Bruce Hood, PhD, author of SuperSense: Why We Believe the Unbelievable, and Director of the University of Bristol Cognitive Development Center

 

"What a delightfully illuminating read. David DiSalvo has written a witty compendium of recent research from places like neuroscience, social psychology, and even behavioral economics. But his book is not specifically about research, nor is it about brains and minds. What it is about is you and me and how science can help with the messy business of trying to live a meaningful, good life. Bravo!”

— Todd Essig, PhD, Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst, William Alanson White Institute, and contributor to Psychology Today

 

"The chapters in this book are crystal-clear and multifaceted, and each one transmits a ray of insight about how we think. It’s jewelry for the mindful mind.”

— Philip Alcabes, PhD, author of Dread: How Fear and Fantasy have Fueled Epidemics from the Black Death to the Avian Flu

 

"David DiSalvo takes us on mind trips to the frontiers of brain and behavior research -- and being a superb guide, shows us how each development is useful, exciting, and inspired by wonder.”

— Jena Pincott, author of Do Gentleman Really Prefer Blondes? :  Bodies, Brains, and Behavior -- The Science Behind Love, Sex & Attraction

 

"This book is packed full of scientific insights with practical applications to everyday life – a thought-provoking and entertaining page-turner.”

— Gary Small, M.D., UCLA Professor of Psychiatry and author of The Memory Bible, iBrain, and The Naked Lady Who Stood on Her Head: A Psychiatrist’s Stories of His Most Bizarre Cases.

 

" It's hard to put down this smart, readable discussion of the latest brain science from science writer David DiSalvo. As always, DiSalvo deftly offers both expert and lay readers news we can use, in context and with style. Read on!”

— Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age

 

More...

"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."

 —New Scientist

 

“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.”

 —New York Journal of Books

 

“This lively presentation of the latest in cognitive science convincingly debunks what DiSalvo calls ‘self-help snake oil.’"

—Publisher's Weekly

 

"DiSalvo offers 'science-help' (as opposed to self-help) by detailing the mental shortcuts our minds like to take but that don't always serve us well, with the assumption that understanding brain function helps us fight its stubborn behavior."

—Psychology Today

 

“Anyone interested in gaining insight into why they respond to certain situations the way they do need to get a copy of this.”

—Monsters & Critics

 

"By weaving together the latest studies,  science writer DiSalvo examines why people’s desires often thwart their goals."

 —Science News

 

“Science writer-blogger DiSalvo (Neuronarrative and Neuropsyched) points out that many of our actions that make our brains "happy" actually place roadblocks in our way. With input from many of the top thinkers in psychology and neuroscience, he offers helpful strategies to avoid pitfalls.”

—The Sacramento Bee 

 

“A really fascinating look into the workings of the brain, combining a physiological and psychological model, with chapters that are linked together like literary sausages, making it hard to put the book down.”

San Francisco Review of Books

 

“Lots of books tell you what you should do to be happy. But call me thorough -- I like to know what not to do, too. Science writer David DiSalvo fills out the "happiness" category with insights into why we pursue things that don't really make us happy…you will learn a lot about the self-destructive behaviors that keep you from being fulfilled.”

—The Huffington Post

 

"A comprehensive overview of the latest in psychology and neuroscience developments, backed by experiments conducted on each point...this really well-written book is highly recommended."

—The Portland Book Review

 

With one eye on neuroscience and the other on cognitive psychology, David DiSalvo reveals what's 'behind the curtain' when it comes to common self-defeating human behaviors...written in an engaging yet erudite style anyone can grasp.  Read it for the science and DiSalvo's very solid and evidence-based advice."

—Good Reads