The Wisest One in the Room

Author: Thomas Gilovich
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 9781780746494
Release Date: 2016-01-18
Genre: Psychology

When people get together, there is often one stand-out individual who others turn to for answers. This person has the best advice on everything from raising children to running a business, and offers the most penetrating insights into world events. Their understanding of people, and why we act as we do, makes them the wisest one in the room. Psychologists Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross reveal their discipline’s greatest discoveries so we can all become wiser. From conflict resolution to overcoming social shyness, and from winning a tennis match to encouraging people to recycle, they demonstrate how even small changes in social context, feedback or presentation can achieve dramatic results. Replete with real-world examples, The Wisest One in the Room is a fascinating examination of human behaviour, revealing how we can become more adept at tackling the challenges, great and small, that we face every day.

The Wisest One in the Room

Author: Thomas Gilovich
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451677553
Release Date: 2016-12-20
Genre: Psychology

"Two prominent social psychologists, specializing in the study of human behavior, provide insight into why we trust the people we do and how to use that knowledge in understanding and influencing people in our own lives, "--NoveList.

The Wisest One in the Room

Author: Thomas Gilovich
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781451677560
Release Date: 2015-12-01
Genre: Psychology

Renowned psychologists describe the five most useful insights from social psychology that will help make you “wise”: wise about why we behave the way we do, and wise about how to use that knowledge to understand others and change ourselves for the better. When faced with a challenge, we often turn to those we trust for words of wisdom. Friends, relatives, and colleagues: someone with the best advice about how to boost sales, the most useful insights into raising children, or the sharpest take on a political issue. In The Wisest One in the Room, renowned social psychologists Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross ask: Why? What do these people know? What are the foundations of their wisdom? And, as professors and researchers who specialize in the study of human behavior, they wonder: What general principles of human psychology are they drawing on to reach these conclusions? They find that wisdom, unlike intelligence, demands some insight into people—their hopes, fears, passions, and drives. It’s true for the executive running a Fortune 500 company, the candidate seeking public office, the artist trying to create work that will speak to the ages, or the single parent trying to get a child through the tumultuous adolescent years. To be wise, they discover, one must be psych-wise when dealing with everyday challenges. In The Wisest One in the Room Gilovich and Ross show that to answer any kind of behavioral question, it is essential to understand the details—especially the hidden and subtle details—of the situational forces acting upon us. Understanding these forces is the key to becoming wiser in the way we understand the people and events we encounter, and wiser in the way we deal with the challenges that are sure to come our way. With the lessons gleaned here, you can learn the key to becoming “the wisest one in the room.”

Pink Brain Blue Brain

Author: Lise Eliot
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 9781780740867
Release Date: 2010-01-05
Genre: Family & Relationships

Turning conventional thinking about gender differences on its head, Lise Eliot issues a call to close the troubling gaps between boys and girls and help all children reach their fullest potential. Drawing on years of exhaustive research and her own work in the field of neuroplasticity, Eliot argues that infant brains are so malleable that small differences at birth become amplified over time as parents, teachers, and the culture at large unwittingly reinforce gender stereotypes. Indicating points of intervention where social pressures can be minimised, she offers concrete solutions for helping everyone grow into wellrounded individuals.

How We Know What Isn t So

Author: Thomas Gilovich
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439106746
Release Date: 2008-06-30
Genre: Psychology

Thomas Gilovich offers a wise and readable guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. When can we trust what we believe—that "teams and players have winning streaks," that "flattery works," or that "the more people who agree, the more likely they are to be right"—and when are such beliefs suspect? Thomas Gilovich offers a guide to the fallacy of the obvious in everyday life. Illustrating his points with examples, and supporting them with the latest research findings, he documents the cognitive, social, and motivational processes that distort our thoughts, beliefs, judgments and decisions. In a rapidly changing world, the biases and stereotypes that help us process an overload of complex information inevitably distort what we would like to believe is reality. Awareness of our propensity to make these systematic errors, Gilovich argues, is the first step to more effective analysis and action.

The Mind Club

Author: Daniel M. Wegner
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101606421
Release Date: 2016-03-22
Genre: Psychology

“Compelling, and so beautifully written…’The Mind Club’ deftly brings the most up-to-date research about other minds to readers of all backgrounds. It may cause you to think differently about crime and punishment, about business transactions and health care, and even about the upcoming elections. Things might just start looking up.”–The Wall Street Journal From dogs to gods, the science of understanding mysterious minds—including your own. Nothing seems more real than the minds of other people. When you consider what your boss is thinking or whether your spouse is happy, you are admitting them into the "mind club." It’s easy to assume other humans can think and feel, but what about a cow, a computer, a corporation? What kinds of mind do they have? Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray are award-winning psychologists who have discovered that minds—while incredibly important—are a matter of perception. Their research opens a trove of new findings, with insights into human behavior that are fascinating, frightening and funny. The Mind Club explains why we love some animals and eat others, why people debate the existence of God so intensely, how good people can be so cruel, and why robots make such poor lovers. By investigating the mind perception of extraordinary targets—animals, machines, comatose people, god—Wegner and Gray explain what it means to have a mind, and why it matters so much. Fusing cutting-edge research and personal anecdotes, The Mind Club explores the moral dimensions of mind perception with wit and compassion, revealing the surprisingly simple basis for what compels us to love and hate, to harm and to protect. From the Hardcover edition.

Seeing What Others Don t

Author: Gary Klein
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781610392754
Release Date: 2013-06-25
Genre: Business & Economics

Insights—like Darwin's understanding of the way evolution actually works, and Watson and Crick's breakthrough discoveries about the structure of DNA—can change the world. We also need insights into the everyday things that frustrate and confuse us so that we can more effectively solve problems and get things done. Yet we know very little about when, why, or how insights are formed—or what blocks them. In Seeing What Others Don't, renowned cognitive psychologist Gary Klein unravels the mystery. Klein is a keen observer of people in their natural settings—scientists, businesspeople, firefighters, police officers, soldiers, family members, friends, himself—and uses a marvelous variety of stories to illuminate his research into what insights are and how they happen. What, for example, enabled Harry Markopolos to put the finger on Bernie Madoff? How did Dr. Michael Gottlieb make the connections between different patients that allowed him to publish the first announcement of the AIDS epidemic? What did Admiral Yamamoto see (and what did the Americans miss) in a 1940 British attack on the Italian fleet that enabled him to develop the strategy of attack at Pearl Harbor? How did a “smokejumper” see that setting another fire would save his life, while those who ignored his insight perished? How did Martin Chalfie come up with a million-dollar idea (and a Nobel Prize) for a natural flashlight that enabled researchers to look inside living organisms to watch biological processes in action? Klein also dissects impediments to insight, such as when organizations claim to value employee creativity and to encourage breakthroughs but in reality block disruptive ideas and prioritize avoidance of mistakes. Or when information technology systems are “dumb by design” and block potential discoveries. Both scientifically sophisticated and fun to read, Seeing What Others Don't shows that insight is not just a “eureka!” moment but a whole new way of understanding.

The Person and the Situation

Author: Lee Ross
Publisher: Pinter & Martin Publishers
ISBN: 9781905177448
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Psychology

How does the situation we're in influence the way we behave and think? Professors Ross and Nisbett eloquently argue that the context we find ourselves in substantially affects our behavior in this timely reissue of one of social psychology's classic textbooks. With a new foreword by Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point.


Author: Eliezer Sternberg
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307908780
Release Date: 2016-01-12
Genre: Medical

A groundbreaking investigation of the brain’s hidden logic behind our strangest behaviors, and of how conscious and unconscious systems interact in order to create our experience and preserve our sense of self. From bizarre dreams and hallucinations to schizophrenia and multiple personalities, the human brain is responsible for a diverse spectrum of strange thoughts and behaviors. When observed from the outside, these phenomena are often written off as being just “crazy,” but what if they were actually planned and logical? NeuroLogic explores the brain’s internal system of reasoning, from its unconscious depths to conscious decision making, and illuminates how it explains our most outlandish as well as our most stereotyped behaviors. From sleepwalking murderers, contagious yawning, and the brains of sports fans to false memories, subliminal messages, and the secret of ticklishness, Dr. Eliezer Sternberg shows that there are patterns to the way the brain interprets the world—–patterns that fit the brain’s unique logic. Unraveling these patterns and the various ways they can be disturbed will not only alter our view of mental illness and supernatural experience, but will also shed light on the hidden parts of ourselves. (With black-and-white illustrations throughout.) From the Hardcover edition.

Situations Matter

Author: Sam Sommers
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9781101553794
Release Date: 2011-12-29
Genre: Self-Help

An "entertaining and engaging" exploration of the invisible forces influencing your life-and how understanding them can improve everything you do. The world around you is pulling your strings, shaping your innermost instincts and your most private thoughts. And you don't even realize it. Every day and in all walks of life, we overlook the enormous power of situations, of context in our lives. That's a mistake, says Sam Sommers in his provocative new book. Just as a museum visitor neglects to notice the frames around paintings, so do people miss the influence of ordinary situations on the way they think and act. But frames- situations- do matter. Your experience viewing the paintings wouldn't be the same without them. The same is true for human nature. In Situations Matter, Sommers argues that by understanding the powerful influence that context has in our lives and using this knowledge to rethink how we see the world, we can be more effective at work, at home, and in daily interactions with others. He describes the pitfalls to avoid and offers insights into making better decisions and smarter observations about the world around us.

Everything Is Obvious

Author: Duncan J. Watts
Publisher: Crown Business
ISBN: 9780385531696
Release Date: 2011-03-29
Genre: Business & Economics

Drawing on the latest scientific research, along with a wealth of historical and contemporary examples, Watts shows how common sense reasoning and history conspire to mislead us into believing that we understand more about the world of human behavior than we do; and in turn, why attempts to predict, manage, or manipulate social and economic systems so often go awry. It seems obvious, for example, that people respond to incentives; yet policy makers and managers alike frequently fail to anticipate how people will respond to the incentives they create. Social trends often seem to be driven by certain influential people; yet marketers have been unable to identify these “influencers” in advance. And although successful products or companies always seem in retrospect to have succeeded because of their unique qualities, predicting the qualities of the next hit product or hot company is notoriously difficult even for experienced professionals. Only by understanding how and when common sense fails, Watts argues, can we improve how we plan for the future, as well as understand the present—an argument that has important implications in politics, business, and marketing, as well as in science and everyday life.

Success and Luck

Author: Robert H. Frank
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400880270
Release Date: 2016-04-19
Genre: Business & Economics

From New York Times bestselling author and economics columnist Robert Frank, a compelling book that explains why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in their success, why that hurts everyone, and what we can do about it How important is luck in economic success? No question more reliably divides conservatives from liberals. As conservatives correctly observe, people who amass great fortunes are almost always talented and hardworking. But liberals are also correct to note that countless others have those same qualities yet never earn much. In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance plays a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people imagine. In Success and Luck, bestselling author and New York Times economics columnist Robert Frank explores the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success—and why that hurts everyone, even the wealthy. Frank describes how, in a world increasingly dominated by winner-take-all markets, chance opportunities and trivial initial advantages often translate into much larger ones—and enormous income differences—over time; how false beliefs about luck persist, despite compelling evidence against them; and how myths about personal success and luck shape individual and political choices in harmful ways. But, Frank argues, we could decrease the inequality driven by sheer luck by adopting simple, unintrusive policies that would free up trillions of dollars each year—more than enough to fix our crumbling infrastructure, expand healthcare coverage, fight global warming, and reduce poverty, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. If this sounds implausible, you'll be surprised to discover that the solution requires only a few, noncontroversial steps. Compellingly readable, Success and Luck shows how a more accurate understanding of the role of chance in life could lead to better, richer, and fairer economies and societies.


Author: Jamie Holmes
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 9780385348386
Release Date: 2015-10-13
Genre: Psychology

An illuminating look at the surprising upside of ambiguity—and how, properly harnessed, it can inspire learning, creativity, even empathy Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. Whether it’s a confounding work problem or a faltering relationship or an unclear medical diagnosis, we face constant uncertainty. And we’re continually bombarded with information, much of it contradictory. Managing ambiguity—in our jobs, our relationships, and daily lives—is quickly becoming an essential skill. Yet most of us don’t know where to begin. As Jamie Holmes shows in Nonsense, being confused is unpleasant, so we tend to shutter our minds as we grasp for meaning and stability, especially in stressful circumstances. We’re hard-wired to resolve contradictions quickly and extinguish anomalies. This can be useful, of course. When a tiger is chasing you, you can’t be indecisive. But as Nonsense reveals, our need for closure has its own dangers. It makes us stick to our first answer, which is not always the best, and it makes us search for meaning in the wrong places. When we latch onto fast and easy truths, we lose a vital opportunity to learn something new, solve a hard problem, or see the world from another perspective. In other words, confusion—that uncomfortable mental place—has a hidden upside. We just need to know how to use it. This lively and original book points the way. Over the last few years, new insights from social psychology and cognitive science have deepened our understanding of the role of ambiguity in our lives and Holmes brings this research together for the first time, showing how we can use uncertainty to our advantage. Filled with illuminating stories—from spy games and doomsday cults to Absolut Vodka’s ad campaign and the creation of Mad Libs—Nonsense promises to transform the way we conduct business, educate our children, and make decisions. In an increasingly unpredictable, complex world, it turns out that what matters most isn’t IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It’s how we deal with what we don’t understand. From the Hardcover edition.