How the Mind Works

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 9780393069730

Category: Science

Page: 672

View: 9207

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"A model of scientific writing: erudite, witty, and clear." —New York Review of Books In this Pulitzer Prize finalist and national bestseller, one of the world's leading cognitive scientists tackles the workings of the human mind. What makes us rational—and why are we so often irrational? How do we see in three dimensions? What makes us happy, afraid, angry, disgusted, or sexually aroused? Why do we fall in love? And how do we grapple with the imponderables of morality, religion, and consciousness? How the Mind Works synthesizes the most satisfying explanations of our mental life from cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and other fields to explain what the mind is, how it evolved, and how it allows us to see, think, feel, laugh, interact, enjoy the arts, and contemplate the mysteries of life. This edition of Pinker's bold and buoyant classic is updated with a new foreword by the author.

How the Mind Works

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141927879

Category: Philosophy

Page: 672

View: 9112

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Why do we laugh? What makes memories fade? Why do people believe in ghosts? How the Mind Works explores every aspect of mental life, showing that our minds are not a mystery, but a system of organs of computation designed by natural selection.

How the Mind Works

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0140244913

Category: Philosophy

Page: 660

View: 6264

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"Presented with extraordinary lucidity, cogency and panache...Powerful and gripping...To have read [the book] is to have consulted a first draft of the structural plan of the human psyche...a glittering tour de force" - Spectator "Why do memories fade? Why do we lose our tempers? Why do fools fall in love? Pinker's objective in this erudite account is to explore the nature and history of the human mind...He explores computations and evolutions, and then considers how the mind lets us "see, think, feel, interact, and pursue higher callings like art, religion and philosophy" - Sunday Times

Inside the Brain

Revolutionary Discoveries of How the Mind Works

Author: Ronald Kotulak

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

ISBN: 9780836232899

Category: Health & Fitness

Page: 222

View: 5278

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Explores how the brain learns, how it controls behavior, how it sustains damage and heals itself, and how scientists are searching for ways to keep it young and healthy.

How the Mind Works

Understanding Human Thoughts and Behaviors

Author: Carlo Lazzari

Publisher: iUniverse

ISBN: 0595451322

Category: Psychology

Page: 124

View: 5873

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This book is an excursion inside the codes and schemes that mind uses in order to think. We know the efforts of making good guessing and the strain in solving complex problems. We also have experienced how difficult it could be thinking clearly when we are tired, anxious, hungry, or sleeping. Any second, in our life, our brain is literally flooded by a bulk of inputs, information, chemicals from lungs or blood, nutrients and vitamins from gut, or carbodioxide in a crowded environment. This book can be a pleasurable tool for understanding how we usually think and behave, but also what are the mental processes that generate biased thoughts, behavioural problems, or a difficult problem solving. Several theoretical models are used, and extensive explanations are given to make difficult concept approachable.

The Mind Doesn't Work that Way

The Scope and Limits of Computational Psychology

Author: Jerry A. Fodor

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262561464

Category: Psychology

Page: 126

View: 9398

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In this engaging book, Jerry Fodor argues against the widely held view that mental processes are largely computations, that the architecture of cognition is massively modular, and that the explanation of our innate mental structure is basically Darwinian. Although Fodor has praised the computational theory of mind as the best theory of cognition that we have got, he considers it to be only a fragment of the truth. In fact, he claims, cognitive scientists do not really know much yet about how the mind works (the book's title refers to Steve Pinker's How the Mind Works). Fodor's primary aim is to explore the relationship among computational and modular theories of mind, nativism, and evolutionary psychology. Along the way, he explains how Chomsky's version of nativism differs from that of the widely received New Synthesis approach. He concludes that although we have no grounds to suppose that most of the mind is modular, we have no idea how nonmodular cognition could work. Thus, according to Fodor, cognitive science has hardly gotten started.

The Mind Works

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Author: Will Beswick

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781847479198

Category: Medical

Page: 258

View: 9268

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ENDORSED BY THE NATIONAL PHOBICS SOCIETY BASED ON THE WEBSITE AWARDED 5* BY THE UK 'MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION' 'This is an illness caused by the fear of losing control. Ironically, we achieve exactly the opposite of what we set out to achieve - as when we are 'actually' in the process of 'cutting-off' from our thoughts, we then decide to take a second look or run away.' - Will Beswick Description Has the 'secret of the mind' been uncovered as a by-product of one persons experiences/recovery from destructive anxiety? Will's 'C.O.P.A.S.T' (Concept of Primary and Secondary Thinking) shows that this book is more than just an account of personal triumph - but also a serious concept that can be applied to many situations in people's lives This book is dedicated to helping people, like Will, who suffer at the hands of panic. Using written testimony will shows that the problem with both 'fighters' and 'flighters' - is that they don't realise they have a natural ability to cope - and thus, go further than they need to. With information taken from Will's very own website, this book aims to help those who suffers from panic attacks and OCD using email correspondences and instructive schematics to underline theories. This is a highly informative and very useful guide. About the Author I must admit, I didn't really know what I was suffering from when I was younger, but now I have a much more educated view of what has been a terrifying illness at times. I have created this book because I believe I have recovered from this illness and would like to share my experiences. As I also have a major interest in sport, I can see panic disrupting 'performance' in many other walks of life. To this extent, this book may also help people 'understand' what is happening when they panic and how this can affect their performance in life. Book Extract THE PANIC KNOT I'm not talking about medication here - I'm talking about REAL recovery - based on understanding. You're not mad, in fact, you're very much the opposite. This is the start of quite a long explanation of a problem, which I've had for most of my life, especially since being a teenager onwards. It's something, which has 'put the blocks' on a lot of happiness - I know we all have our own 'crosses to bear', but this has been what I would call a 'major' problem, because of its frequency and detrimental effect on me and those around me (especially the closest). This is certainly not a 'sob' story - anything but - I feel quite proud that I have 'come out the other side' of this, although I have had many setbacks, but have nevertheless had a very strong will to pull through and lead a happier life. Why should this account be worth reading? Well, I would hope that it is interesting and also informative, especially for those who have had similar experiences of destructive, compulsive panic or, more to the point, 'knotted' tension, which makes life sometimes intolerable and incredibly lonely. This is not to say that I am lonely in my 'fight' (by the way - I use this term as merely a term - as this has been a major part of my problem). I had to learn that, being the type of person that I was, meant that there was a strong resistance to help or 'talking', because I was trying to achieve perfection in my life and this did not mean 'putting my hands up' and admitting I had not got it quite right.

Computing the Mind

How the Mind Really Works

Author: Shimon Edelman

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780199717637

Category: Psychology

Page: 640

View: 7942

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In a culmination of humanity's millennia-long quest for self knowledge, the sciences of the mind are now in a position to offer concrete, empirically validated answers to the most fundamental questions about human nature. What does it mean to be a mind? How is the mind related to the brain? How are minds shaped by their embodiment and environment? What are the principles behind cognitive functions such as perception, memory, language, thought, and consciousness? By analyzing the tasks facing any sentient being that is subject to stimulation and a pressure to act, Shimon Edelman identifies computation as the common denominator in the emerging answers to all these questions. Any system composed of elements that exchange signals with each other and occasionally with the rest of the world can be said to be engaged in computation. A brain composed of neurons is one example of a system that computes, and the computations that the neurons collectively carry out constitute the brain's mind. Edelman presents a computational account of the entire spectrum of cognitive phenomena that constitutes the mind. He begins with sentience, and uses examples from visual perception to demonstrate that it must, at its very core, be a type of computation. Throughout his account, Edelman acknowledges the human mind's biological origins. Along the way, he also demystifies traits such as creativity, language, and individual and collective consciousness, and hints at how naturally evolved minds can transcend some of their limitations by moving to computational substrates other than brains. The account that Edelman gives in this book is accessible, yet unified and rigorous, and the big picture he presents is supported by evidence ranging from neurobiology to computer science. The book should be read by anyone seeking a comprehensive and current introduction to cognitive psychology.

The Language Instinct

How The Mind Creates Language

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780062032522

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 576

View: 2783

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The classic book on the development of human language by the world’s leading expert on language and the mind. In this classic, the world's expert on language and mind lucidly explains everything you always wanted to know about language: how it works, how children learn it, how it changes, how the brain computes it, and how it evolved. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution. The Language Instinct received the William James Book Prize from the American Psychological Association and the Public Interest Award from the Linguistics Society of America. This edition includes an update on advances in the science of language since The Language Instinct was first published.

Brainworks

The Mind-bending Science of how You See, what You Think, and who You are

Author: Michael S. Sweeney

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 1426207573

Category: Science

Page: 223

View: 7695

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A companion book to the National Geographic TV series uses brain teasers and optical illusions to shed light on the workings of the amazing human brain.

MindWorks

A Practical Guide for Changing Thoughts, Beliefs and Emotional Reactions

Author: Gary van Warmerdam

Publisher: BookBaby

ISBN: 0990584615

Category: Self-Help

Page: 375

View: 657

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Why do we generate thoughts and emotional reactions which drive us to sabotaging behaviors and emotional drama? Making life altering changes requires more than just telling yourself to think happy thoughts. Learning to understand and shift your point of view, your beliefs and even your language, can end much of the emotional suffering you create for yourself and in relationships. MindWorks offers a simple guide for understanding the complexities of your mind's inner workings and a step by step practice to facilitate change. Whether your transformation is large or small, you will surely look at yourself and the world in a completely new way. As humans we live in two worlds. The first is the external, physical world of family, friends, work, and environment. The second is the internal world of our mind, imagination, thoughts, emotions, and beliefs: an inner world that can feel just as real to us as the first one. This book is about that second world and how to change what happens there.These two worlds aren’t separate—they impact each other all the time. In particular, our internal world invisibly influences how we experience and relate to the external world around us. Our overactive mind, driven by our beliefs, can sabotage our relationships and our attempts at happiness while tempting us to point the finger at everyone else. Our beliefs and thoughts can also convince us that we are somehow lacking, that we don’t deserve happiness and success, or that we are essentially failures. The result is a lot of unnecessary, unpleasant emotional reactions and unhappiness. As children we were naturally happy. As we grew up, our perceptions and experience became conditioned by the values, beliefs, and emotional patterns we absorbed from those around us. We learned to please others and sought approval from them; when we got it, we felt loved and accepted. We also learned to fear their criticism and to feel hurt by it. Over the years we developed our own thoughts and beliefs about our self-worth and value, and we adopted behavior patterns accordingly. We created our own emotions and emotional reactions based on our own beliefs. If we succeeded or won we felt good about ourselves; if we failed we automatically felt bad about ourselves. We developed a part of our mind to constantly assess ourselves and find ourselves good enough or not good enough throughout the day. Our mind ran automatically with opinions, thinking, and emotional responses whether we wanted it to or not. If we want to live in happiness that is sustainable, we will have to take steps to free ourselves from these automatic thought patterns and emotional reactions. This book offers clear explanations and several practices to help you change how your mind works. Once developed, you can apply these skills to any situation for the rest of your life. Within these pages you will find and understand in a commonsense way: • How beliefs are formed. • Why many of our beliefs are unconscious to us and yet affect our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. • Practical exercises to identify and effectively change these beliefs. • How to focus your attention and perspective in a way that can reduce and eliminate emotional reactions. • How to inventory and organize your beliefs so that you don’t become overwhelmed and confused by your emotional reactions and conflicting thoughts and behaviors. • How to recover the personal power previously lost to your beliefs and the unnecessary emotions they create. • Why you feel the emotions you feel and practical tools to make changes in yourself. • Why many self-help techniques or other attempts at change are often ineffective or make things worse, and how to avoid those pitfalls.

The Blank Slate

The Modern Denial of Human Nature

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101200322

Category: Psychology

Page: 528

View: 9720

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A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." -Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

Mind Is Flat

The Remarkable Shallowness of the Improvising Brain

Author: Nick Chater

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300240619

Category: Psychology

Page: 320

View: 5226

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In a radical reinterpretation of how the mind works, an eminent behavioral scientist reveals the illusion of mental depth Psychologists and neuroscientists struggle with how best to interpret human motivation and decision making. The assumption is that below a mental “surface” of conscious awareness lies a deep and complex set of inner beliefs, values, and desires that govern our thoughts, ideas, and actions, and that to know this depth is to know ourselves. In this profoundly original book, behavioral scientist Nick Chater contends just the opposite: rather than being the plaything of unconscious currents, the brain generates behaviors in the moment based entirely on our past experiences. Engaging the reader with eye-opening experiments and visual examples, the author first demolishes our intuitive sense of how our mind works, then argues for a positive interpretation of the brain as a ceaseless and creative improviser.

The Mechanism of Mind

Understand how your mind works to maximise memory and creative potential

Author: Edward de Bono

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473527570

Category: Self-Help

Page: 352

View: 9705

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The Mechanism of Mind presents Edward de Bono’s original theories on how the brain functions, processes information and organises it. It explains why the brain, the ’mechanism’, can only work in certain ways and introduces the four basic types of thinking that have gone on to inform his life’s work, namely ‘natural thinking’, ‘logical thinking’,’ mathematical thinking’ and ‘lateral thinking’. De Bono also outlines his argument for introducing the word ‘PO’ as an alternative to the word ‘NO’ when putting lateral thinking into practice. Drawing on colourful visual imagery to help explain his theories and thought-processes, from light bulbs and sugar cubes to photography and water erosion, The Mechanism of Mind remains as fascinating and as insightful as it was when it was first published in 1969. This is a must-read for anyone who wants to gain a greater understanding of how the mind works and organises information – and how Edward de Bono came to develop his creative thinking tools.

Why Don't Students Like School?

A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

Author: Daniel T. Willingham

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 9780470730454

Category: Education

Page: 240

View: 5070

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Easy-to-apply, scientifically-based approaches for engaging students in the classroom Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals-the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences. Nine, easy-to-understand principles with clear applications for the classroom Includes surprising findings, such as that intelligence is malleable, and that you cannot develop "thinking skills" without facts How an understanding of the brain's workings can help teachers hone their teaching skills "Mr. Willingham's answers apply just as well outside the classroom. Corporate trainers, marketers and, not least, parents -anyone who cares about how we learn-should find his book valuable reading." —Wall Street Journal

The Seven Words You Can't Say on Television

Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141889837

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 96

View: 3010

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Why do so many swear words involve sex, bodily functions and religion? Why are some words rude and others aren't? Why can launching into expletives be so shocking - and sometimes so amusing? Steven Pinker takes us on a fascinating and funny journey through the world of profanities, taken from his bestselling The Stuff of Thought, to show us why we swear (whatever our language or culture), how taboos change and how we use obscenities in different ways. You'll discover that in Québecois French the expression 'Tabernacle' is outrageous, that the Middle Ages were littered with four-letter words, that 'scumbag' has a very unsavoury origin and that in a certain Aboriginal language every word is filthy when spoken in front of your mother-in-law. Covering everything from free speech to Tourette's, from pottymouthed celebrities to poetry, this book reveals what swearing tells us about how our minds work. (It's also a bloody good read).

Your Brain at Work

Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long

Author: David Rock

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780061943546

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 2312

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In Your Brain at Work, David Rock takes readers inside the heads—literally—of a modern two-career couple as they mentally process their workday to reveal how we can better organize, prioritize, remember, and process our daily lives. Rock, the author of Quiet Leadership and Personal Best, shows how it’s possible for this couple, and thus the reader, not only to survive in today’s overwhelming work environment but succeed in it—and still feel energized and accomplished at the end of the day.

The Moral Animal

Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology

Author: Robert Wright

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307772748

Category: Psychology

Page: 496

View: 7929

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Are men literally born to cheat? Does monogamy actually serve women's interests? These are among the questions that have made The Moral Animal one of the most provocative science books in recent years. Wright unveils the genetic strategies behind everything from our sexual preferences to our office politics--as well as their implications for our moral codes and public policies. Illustrations. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Subliminal

How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

Author: Leonard Mlodinow

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307472256

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 260

View: 8902

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An examination of the ways in which the unconscious mind shapes everyday life traces recent scientific advances to reveal the pivotal role of the subliminal mind in influencing experiences and relationships. By the author of The Drunkard's Walk. 100,000 first printing.