The Hidden Brain: How Our Unconscious Minds Elect Presidents, Control Markets, Wage Wars, and Save Our Lives

By Shankar Vedantam

The hidden mind is the voice in our ear once we take advantage of vital judgements in our lives—but we’re by no means conscious of it. The hidden mind makes a decision whom we fall in love with and whom we hate. It tells us to vote for the white candidate and convict the dark-skinned defendant, to rent the skinny lady yet pay her lower than the fellow doing an identical task. it might direct us to protection whilst catastrophe moves and circulation us to remarkable acts of altruism. however it is usually manipulated to show a typical individual right into a suicide terrorist or a gaggle of bystanders right into a mob.

In a sequence of compulsively readable narratives, Shankar Vedantam trips during the most up-to-date discoveries in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral technology to discover the darkest nook of our minds and its decisive effect at the offerings we make as contributors and as a society. packed with interesting characters, dramatic storytelling, and state of the art technological know-how, this can be an engrossing exploration of the secrets and techniques our brains retain from us—and how they're revealed. 

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May you subscribe to any such deal? “I ask humans, ‘Would you die for intercourse? ’” stated Marc Sageman, one other terrorism researcher who is dependent upon empirical proof. “Women giggle at that quicker than males. ” Sageman has outfitted a database of thousands of profiles of proven al-Qaeda terrorists. Three-fourths are married, and two-thirds have teenagers, lots of kids—these are usually not sex-starved youngsters. What approximately spiritual fanaticism? the crowd that introduced suicide bombings into style within the smooth period was once the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, or LTTE, a predominantly Hindu crew that fought for a separate place of origin in Sri Lanka. however the group’s critical identification was once equipped no longer round faith yet round the Tamil language. It used to be Tamil tradition and Tamil delight that LTTE cadres appeared keen to die for. “Two-thirds of [suicide] assaults in Lebanon have been conducted by way of secular organizations,” further Ariel Merari, the Israeli psychologist at Tel Aviv college. “Religion is neither useful nor a adequate reason. ” Many teams that produce suicide bombers do say that methodical humiliation is the foundation explanation for their anger, yet this doesn't suggest that suicide bombers themselves have suffered such humiliation. “Lots of individuals have intestine emotions that humiliation is critical [in motivating suicide bombers], and we try issues and we discover such a lot people’s intestine emotions are wrong,” stated Atran. “We locate humiliation is inversely proportional to the willingness to devote violence. Humiliated humans don’t dedicate violence, yet humans do act within the identify of others who're humiliated. ” whilst Spanish experts positioned the various 2004 conspirators on trial, it became out that almost all of the plotters have been from a small local in northern Morocco. whilst Atran tracked down biographical information regarding the lads, he realized that their favourite hangout used to be now not the neighborhood mosque however the neighborhood café. Had al-Qaeda recruiters come trying to find the Spanish bombers? No. It used to be the bombers who had long past searching for al-Qaeda. “Bunches of men party and create a parallel universe,” acknowledged Atran, who chanced on an analogous development after interviewing the buddies of Mohammed Atta, chief of the September 11 assaults, and 9-11 organizer Ramzi bin al-Shibh. “They introduced in twenty mattresses and stayed jointly. They have been dwelling in one other global. ” Atran went to Morocco, to appreciate the area from which the terrorists who attacked Spain had sprung. “I was once in a barrio known as El Principe in Morocco. i used to be sitting during this plaza and speaking to little ones approximately who their heroes are. they are saying Ronaldinho [the football big name] and the Terminator and Osama bin encumbered. the children are weighing the professionals and cons of turning into bin encumbered or Ronaldinho. There are cafés. i'm going to either one of those cafés. The younger males invite me over for tea, and Al Jazeera is on 24–7. the inside track is ten mins on Iraq, 5 mins on Palestine, and 5 mins for the remainder of the area. they're conversing approximately gory photographs and the way Islam is being attacked. One man brings over his six-year-old son and says, ‘If i will be able to be a martyr, I swear i might.

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