How the Mind Works (Penguin Press Science)

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9780140244915: How the Mind Works (Penguin Press Science)
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From bestselling author Stephen Pinker, How the Mind Works draws on the latest scientific research to present a blueprint for the most sophisticated machine on Earth: the human brain. Why do we laugh? What makes memories fade? Why do fools fall in love? Why do people believe in ghosts? How do we recognize a face? How the Mind Works explores every aspect of our brains, showing that our minds are not a mystery, but rather a system designed by natural selection over years of human evolution. Whether looking at optical illusions or religion, Mozart or films, Stephen Pinker offers us a new way of understating ourselves. 'Witty, lucid and ultimately enthralling' Observer 'Powerful and gripping ... To have read it is to have consulted a first draft of the structural plan of the human psyche ... a glittering tour de force' Spectator 'Witty popular science that you enjoy reading fro the writing as well as for the science ... He is a top-rate writer, and deserves the superlatives that are lavished on him' The New York Times 'Pinker has a remarkable capacity to explain difficult ideas and he writes with the comic verve of Martin Amis or Woody Allen ... How the Mind Works will change the way your mind works' The Times Steven Pinker is a best-selling author and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for cognitive Neuroscience at MIT. Pinker has been awarded research prizes from the National Academy of Sciences and the American Psychological Association, graduate and undergraduate teaching prizes from MIT, and book prizes from the American Psychological Association, the Linguistics Society of America and the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of How the Mind Works, The Blank Slate, The Better Angels of Our Nature, and The Language Instinct.

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Why do fools fall in love? Why does a man's annual salary, on average, increase $600 with each inch of his height? When a crack dealer guns down a rival, how is he just like Alexander Hamilton, whose face is on the ten-dollar bill? How do optical illusions function as windows on the human soul? Cheerful, cheeky, occasionally outrageous MIT psychologist Steven Pinker answers all of the above and more in his marvelously fun, awesomely informative survey of modern brain science. Pinker argues that Darwin plus canny computer programs are the key to understanding ourselves--but he also throws in apt references to Star Trek, Star Wars, The Far Side, history, literature, W. C. Fields, Mozart, Marilyn Monroe, surrealism, experimental psychology, and Moulay Ismail the Bloodthirsty and his 888 children. If How the Mind Works were a rock show, tickets would be scalped for $100. This book deserved its spot as Number One on bestseller lists. It belongs on a short shelf alongside such classics as Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life, by Daniel C. Dennett, and The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology, by Robert Wright. Pinker's startling ideas pop out as dramatically as those hidden pictures in a Magic Eye 3D stereogram poster, which he also explains in brilliantly lucid prose.

About the Author:

Steven Pinker is a best-selling author and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at MIT. "Deserves the superlatives that are lavished on him" - The New York Times Book Review

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