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Useful delusions : the power and paradox of the self-deceiving brain / Shankar Vedantam and Bill Mesler.

Vedantam, Shankar, (author.). Mesler, Bill, (author.).

Available copies

  • 6 of 13 copies available at Bibliomation. (Show)
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Derby Public Library.
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Derby Public Library 153.4 VED (Text to phone) 34047150109487 Adult Nonfiction In transit -

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Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary, etc.:
"From the New York Times-bestselling author and host of NPR's Hidden Brain comes a counter- intertuitive, thought-provoking exploration of deception's role in human success. Everyone agrees that lies and self-deception can do terrible harm to our lives, to our communities, and to the planet. But in Useful Delusions, host of NPR's Hidden Brain Shankar Vedantam argues that, paradoxically, deceiving ourselves and others can also play a vital role in human success and well-being. The lies we tell each other and the lies that we tell ourselves sustain our daily interactions with friends, lovers, and coworkers. They explain why some people live longer than others, why some couples remain in love and others don't, why some nations and tribes hold together while others splinter. Filled with powerful personal stories and drawing on new insights in psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, Useful Delusions offers a fascinating tour of an upside- down world"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject: Deception.
Self-deception.
Truthfulness and falsehood.
Delusions.

Syndetic Solutions - BookList Review for ISBN Number 0393652203
Useful Delusions : The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain
Useful Delusions : The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain
by Vedantam, Shankar; Mesler, Bill
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BookList Review

Useful Delusions : The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain

Booklist


From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

We all lie to ourselves. Turns out, that's not necessarily a bad thing or even a character flaw. This curious book inquires, "When should we fight self-deception and when--and how much--should we embrace it?" Deluding ourselves and promoting false optimism can generate beneficial outcomes, posits author, public radio host, and podcaster Vedantam (Hidden Brain, 2010) and his coauthor. In a gloomy reality, fooling ourselves into believing something can heighten well-being by offering hope and optimism. A self-deceiving brain has a possible evolutionary role in enhancing survival. Although honesty ranks high as a valued virtue, deceptions are ubiquitous. We lie out of kindness to protect or comfort others. Lies assist in steering our social relationships. Lies function as a defense mechanism. The best part of this inquiry is the final third, a probe of the pervasiveness of self-deception in rituals, patriotism, and religion. The authors conclude that we are all vulnerable to falsehoods and myths not because we are simpletons, but rather because we are flawed and frightened beings. Welcoming our inner Pinocchio may just be prudent behavior.

Syndetic Solutions - Library Journal Review for ISBN Number 0393652203
Useful Delusions : The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain
Useful Delusions : The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain
by Vedantam, Shankar; Mesler, Bill
Rate this title:
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Library Journal Review

Useful Delusions : The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain

Library Journal


(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Many books have been written about the downside of self-deception. Journalists Vedantam (host of podcast and radio show Hidden Brain and author of the best-selling book of the same name) and Mesler provide a counter argument. They maintain that some deceptions are functional, as they enable us to accomplish social, psychological, and biological goals. In the introduction, Vedantam makes the case that believing what we want to believe and seeing what we want to see is often the result of one's circumstances. When thinking of deception, the authors urge readers to ask more complicated questions: What are the costs and benefits? Whom does the falsehood serve? In a particular situation, is it more important to be honest or kind? Referencing both historical resources and popular culture, the authors show how the lies we tell are often societal niceties. The chapter on the founding myths of the United States, and what it means to be a nation, make for urgent reading. It is essential not to miss the authors' more significant proposition: to compassionately consider others' perspectives even if they do not seem rational or true. VERDICT This excellent narrative nonfiction work will engage a variety of readers, and is a solid choice for book clubs who like to discuss current events.--Beth Dalton, Littleton, CO


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