Drunk Tank Pink Book Summary - Drunk Tank Pink Book explained in key points
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And Other Unexpected Forces that Shape How We Think, Feel, and Behave

4.2 (69 ratings)
22 mins

Brief summary

In "Drunk Tank Pink," Adam Alter explores the subtle ways in which our environment shapes our behaviors and emotions. From color to language, he reveals how we can manipulate our surroundings to improve decision-making and overall well-being.

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    Drunk Tank Pink
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    Your name influences the life you lead by triggering strong mental associations in others.

    Guess how many baby “Adolfs” there have been since the Second World War? Hardly any? You’re right.

    Parents tend to steer away from names that have strong associations with negative concepts. And the world will forever associate any dear little “Adolf” with right-wing dictatorship.

    Besides concepts, we also associate names with demographic information. This means that you can guess a person’s approximate age, gender, ethnicity and even social status from his or her name.

    For instance, most people would presume that Dorothy is a white female, Fernanda is Hispanic, and Aaliyah is black.

    Studies have even revealed a strong relationship between a mother’s education and the names she chooses for her children. For example, white boys named Sander are much more likely to have mothers who finished college than white boys named Bobby.

    What’s more, names even have the power to influence important life outcomes.

    For instance, a study showed that job applicants with white names (Emily, Anne, Brad) receive callbacks 50 percent more often than applicants with black names (Aisha, Kenya, Jamal), though their applications were equally strong. This indicates, disturbingly, that names can lead to racial discrimination and shape the life outcomes of the name-bearer.

    So we know that our names affect how other people see us, but do they also influence our own behavior?

    Most definitely!

    Psychologist Jozef Nuttin demonstrated that people like the letters in their own name so much, that they tend to donate more often and more handsomely to causes that share their initials. This meant that after Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans in ruins in 2005, charitable donations from people whose names began with K increased by 150 percent.

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    What is Drunk Tank Pink about?

    Drunk Tank Pink probes the hidden psychological and social influences that shape the way we see, think, feel, and act in the world.

    Drunk Tank Pink Review

    Drunk Tank Pink (2013) by Adam Alter explores the fascinating ways our environment shapes our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Here's why this book is definitely worth a read:

    • With its eye-opening research and compelling examples, the book reveals how subtle cues in our surroundings can have a profound impact on our perceptions and decisions.
    • Alter delves into topics like color psychology and the power of names, showcasing the unexpected ways these factors influence our behavior and interactions.
    • The book's thought-provoking insights and practical implications make it a compelling read for anyone interested in understanding human behavior and optimizing their environment for success.

    Best quote from Drunk Tank Pink

    Labels are immensely powerful, shaping not only what we see but also events that havent actually taken place.

    —Adam Alter
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    Who should read Drunk Tank Pink?

    • Anyone who wants to learn about the hidden influences that shape their perceptions and behavior
    • Anyone interested in how the weather and scenery affect their moods
    • Anyone who thinks their behavior is mostly rational and free of influence from random factors

    About the Author

    Adam Alter is a New York University psychology and marketing professor whose research deals with behavioral economics and the psychology of judgment and decision making. He has contributed to magazines such as the New Yorker, the New York Times, Psychology Today and Popular Science.

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    Drunk Tank Pink FAQs 

    What is the main message of Drunk Tank Pink?

    The main message of Drunk Tank Pink is that our environment has a profound impact on our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

    How long does it take to read Drunk Tank Pink?

    The reading time for Drunk Tank Pink varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Drunk Tank Pink a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Drunk Tank Pink is a fascinating read that explores the hidden forces that shape our behavior. It provides valuable insights and practical implications for understanding human psychology.

    Who is the author of Drunk Tank Pink?

    The author of Drunk Tank Pink is Adam Alter.

    What to read after Drunk Tank Pink?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Drunk Tank Pink, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • The Seven Sins of Memory by Daniel L. Schacter
    • Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely
    • The Little Book of Stoicism by Jonas Salzgeber
    • Anatomy of a Breakthrough by Adam Alter
    • What Every BODY is Saying by Joe Navarro
    • The Humor Habit by Paul Osincup
    • Think by Simon Blackburn
    • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
    • Think This, Not That by Josh Axe
    • Linked by Omar Garriott & Jeremy Schifeling