In The Happiness Hypothesis, Jonathan Haidt examines the ideas of famous ancient thinkers in light of modern knowledge and uses scientific findings to answer the question, “What makes a person happy?” The book will provide you with a better understanding of human social behavior and enable you to increase your own happiness.
Sex, Murder and the Meaning of Life (2011) looks at the many ways in which our evolutionary survival and reproductive instincts influence our behavior in the modern world. From conspicuous consumption to cold-blooded murder, it often seems that humans will do just about anything to survive and reproduce, and these blinks takes a closer look at what drives these profound desires.
Reading the Comments (2015) delves into the social phenomenon of online commentary. These blinks explore how online commenting became the force it is and examine commenting’s positive and negative influence on communication at large. Importantly, these blinks encourage you to think about the implications of online comments for the modern internet user.
Willful Blindness (2011) is about a common phenomenon through which humans block out the uncomfortable realities of the world. These blinks explain how and why people so often fail to see what’s right in front of their noses and outlines the steps we can all take to open our eyes to the truth.
Discipline & Punish (1975) is a celebrated work of renowned French philosopher and sociologist Michel Foucault. Foucault studies the history of forms of power, punishment, discipline and surveillance from the French Ancien Régime through to more modern times, seeing it as a reflection of a changing society.
When (2018) combs through around 700 scientific studies to get a better understanding of how big a role timing plays in our lives. Daniel H. Pink sifts through data from the fields of economics, anthropology, social psychology and others, giving the reader a thorough look at why we make the decisions we do, and why we make them when we do.
Why Does He Do That? (2003) reveals the psychology behind abusive men. Drawing on his experience as a counselor to male abusers, author Lundy Bancroft explains the nature of abusive thinking, the early warning signs of abuse, and the steps women can take to free themselves from an abusive relationship.
Man and His Symbols (1964) was the final work of the influential psychologist Carl Jung, and the only one written for a general audience. It breaks down some of Jung’s most complex ideas, such as his theories about archetypes and the unconscious, and it explores the vast expanse of symbols and stories that dwell within our minds.
Human Hacking (2021) is a guide to the art of ethical social engineering. Using the same tools of psychology and influence deployed by security hackers, it demonstrates how to boost social interactions in daily life. It covers a range of tips on how to adjust your natural communication tendencies to steer encounters to your advantage, with practical tools on how to influence others using empathy and compassion.
What’s it about?
Not Born Yesterday (2020) investigates common claims that humans are inherently gullible creatures. With the help of studies, evolutionary biology, and historical anecdotes, the author chips away at these claims one by one. He shows that humans have actually developed sophisticated cognitive mechanisms designed to aid the decisions of who to trust, what to believe, when to change our minds, and how to reject implausible information.
Who’s it for?
Beyond Order (2021) is a prescription for how to navigate the complexities of modern life. While Peterson’s previous work warned of the danger of excessive chaos, this new guide to living details the perils of too much rigid order.
You’re Invited (2021) is your guide to creating connections and building communities around what personally matters most. It reveals the key things you need to know about behavioral psychology in order to design events that best fit your business and values – and shows how you can make a real difference in the world.
Power Hour (2020) introduces a way to take charge of your life by devoting the first hour of each day to a goal or passion. In today’s busy world, it’s easy to procrastinate. Instead of waiting for the perfect time to pursue a goal, you have to make time to do it. One hour each day can change your attitude, habits, health, and social connections – and these changes can lead to a more fulfilling and productive life.
Mine! (2021) explores the hidden rules of ownership that govern our world and influence our behavior. From who rides first at Disney World to who owns the space behind your seat on an airplane, it reveals the secrets of who gets what and why.
Wanting (2021) provides a riveting, philosophical answer to the question Why do we want the things we want? Drawing on theories originally developed by the celebrated polymath René Girard, it reveals an uncomfortable truth: that our desires are all ultimately a product of other people’s desires. The point isn’t to eliminate them, but rather to choose, carefully and consciously, which ones we should actually strive for.
The Sweet Spot (2021) is a refreshing antidote to all the books we read about being positive at all costs. It argues that negative experiences like pain, suffering, and discomfort are not something to be shied away from. In fact, they can add value to our lives. Instead of trying to avoid discomfort, we need to find the right discomfort. That is, the kind of challenge that makes our lives meaningful.
The Hidden Psychology of Social Networks (2020) describes how brands can create effective and authentic content by understanding the basics of human psychology. Drawing on Freudian psychoanalysis, it gets to the bottom of our online habits and shows brands how to connect with people on a deeper level.
Everyday Vitality (2021) explores how we can cultivate resilience while juggling the small, nonstop stresses of everyday life. Those who thrive do so because they build vitality, a force of power and flexibility that allows them to handle difficulties. The people who cope best are the ones who find ways to turn their stress into strength through intentionality, purpose, and connection.
The Daily Laws (2021) is a compendium of 366 rules for life, covering everything from seduction and power to the discovery of your life’s great task. It distills the insights author Robert Greene has uncovered in a series of best-selling books spanning 22 years of word.
The Power of Strangers (2021) explores why we don’t talk to strangers – and why we definitely should. It looks at how humans evolved to communicate and collaborate with strangers and reveals why our modern alienation from one another is such a problem.
Drunk (2021) is a scientific and historical inquiry into the evolutionary reasons why humans started getting drunk. Drunk examines how inebriation helped our ancestors evolve into creative, communal, cultural beings, and considers whether or not alcohol is an appropriate tool for the modern age.
In the audio version of these blinks, you'll hear "Also Sprach Zarathustra," composed by Richard Strauss, made available under a Creative Commons Attribution license by Kevin MacLeod. Thanks, Kevin!
You Are Your Best Thing (2021) is an anthology of original essays that explore Black experiences of living, loving, and parenting in America today. It examines concepts like vulnerability and shame, and shows that the key to personal healing lies in confronting white supremacy and the racist systems that make Black people feel unsafe in their communities.
Wired for Love (2012) is a guide to maintaining closeness and emotional security within romantic partnerships. It uses research from neurobiology and psychology to show why long-term couples come into conflict, and it offers practical tips on how to use knowledge about brain functions to promote peace and mutual security in your relationship.
Toward a Psychology of Being (1962) expands on famed psychologist Abraham Maslow's pivotal theories of motivation and self-actualization, which were first introduced in Maslow's 1954 book, Motivation and Personality. It presents a series of hypotheses about the human condition, dealing with important questions about people’s innate desires, the nature of well-being, and the process of psychological growth.
The Quick Fix (2021) is a skeptical study of recent trends in behavioral psychology. Academic studies and TED talks may appear to make a convincing case for the power of positive thinking or the impact of implicit bias, but sometimes the evidence just isn’t there. In a complex world, the explanations for human behavior are often more nuanced than some modern psychologists would have you believe.
Big Feelings (2022) is a guide to coping with some of the toughest emotions we ever face, from anger to despair. By acknowledging and facing up to these emotions, it’s possible to work through them.
Dopamine Nation (2021) explores the connection between pleasure and pain. Our modern world is filled with more dopamine-inducing stimuli than ever – including everything from drugs and sex to smartphones and shopping. Citing years of clinical experience and patients’ stories, this book helps to understand addiction and explains how to achieve a healthy balance in our lives.
Collective Illusions (2022) explores the idea of conformity bias: how it shapes our decisions for better or worse, and how we can overcome this behavior and even use it for good.
Scattered Minds (1999) takes aim at a well-established myth: that attention deficit disorder, or ADD for short, is an inherited illness. It doesn’t deny the biological foundations of the disorder – genes also play a role. But it urges us to widen our perspective and pay closer attention to psychological and social factors that may be contributing to the symptoms. ADD often develops within specific familial and societal contexts. Recognizing this isn’t just about correcting the scientific record – it offers a key to effective treatment.
The Handbook of Strategic 360 Feedback is a guide to the pros and cons of 360 Feedback, including detailed guidance on how to implement the process as well as how to avoid pitfalls such as unconscious bias or people who try to game the system.
The Rational Male (2013) implores men to adopt a pragmatic view of intersexual relationships founded on evolutionary and behavioral concepts. Waking up to the evidence, it argues, will set men on a course to prioritizing their needs over the survival instincts of women who currently (covertly) rule the roost.
The Evolution of Desire (1994) drew on the largest study of human mating at the time to analyze the evolutionary foundations that lie behind our everyday desires and mating preferences. It was updated with new material in 2016.
Awe (2023) is a deep dive into this elusive emotion. Drawing on new research, it shows how awe can improve your mood, well-being, cognitive abilities, and relationships with others.
Crime and Punishment (1866) is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Russian literature. It follows a young man called Rodion Raskolnikov – first as he plots to kill an elderly pawnbroker, then as he commits the deed, and finally as he confronts the many consequences of his actions. Emotionally poignant as well as philosophically and psychologically complex, the novel has left a visible mark on generations of writers, thinkers, and artists ever since its publication.
How Big Things Get Done (2023) explores what it takes to make large-scale projects work. It tackles tough questions like why so many big projects fail, and what makes the ones that succeed stand out from the rest. With real-life success stories as well as cautionary tales, its lessons can be applied to projects of any size, shape, or form.
What’s Our Problem (2023) offers a fun and unique perspective on the strange state of the modern world in which we live. Using the author’s iconic comedic style, it draws on observations from political theory, psychology, history, and modern-day events to explain what is going on in our society, and what we can potentially do to fix it.
Mixed Signals (2023) sheds light on the power of incentives, drawing on behavioral economics research to explore how various factors like money, social status, and external nudges can influence our choices. It explores how incentives often have complex and counterintuitive effects, offering an understanding of these dynamics to improve decision-making and outcomes.
Fool Proof (2023) explores how the universal human fear of being a sucker contributes to the social order and drives our actions and behaviors. By explaining how the “sucker’s game” permeates so many aspects of our lives, it shows us how we can recognize our fears and keep them from influencing our values and beliefs.
Reset (2023) is a guide to change for anyone who feels stuck. Drawing on Scripture and her experience as a counselor, Debra Fileta unpacks the psychology behind behavioral patterns and presents simple yet effective daily habits to kickstart change and healing.
Psych (2023) offers an informed, insightful, and approachable overview of psychology, starting with its origins and earliest thought leaders to the most recent findings in modern practice. Based on the author’s popular Introduction to Psychology course developed for Yale University, it uses lively storytelling and studies to easily relate the complex science of the human mind.
Read People Like a Book (2020) unravels the complex tapestry of human behavior, guiding readers to decipher verbal and non-verbal signals broadcast by people 24/7. Marrying scholarly wisdom to sly real-world tales, the book presents the art and science of people-reading with both flair and finesse. Dive in, and soon you'll be navigating human interactions like a seasoned anthropologist.
Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain (2020) is an engaging exploration of the human brain that debunks numerous misconceptions along the way. It explains what brains are actually for, how they develop, what makes them unique, and why they’re often one step ahead of everything you do.
Laws of UX (2020) is a handy guidebook for anyone interested in user experience, or UX – especially as it applies to web or app design. It lays out some of the fundamental rules that inform superior product design and shows how these rules are tied to human psychology.
Don't Overthink It (2020) unveils the mental entanglements that come with constant rumination, highlighting how overthinking can rob us of time and precious moments. Drawing on her own experience as an overthinker, Anne Bogel provides readers with tangible solutions to break free from the chains of repetitive, negative thought patterns.
Wired for Intimacy (2010) is a practical and hopeful guide for Christian men looking to find freedom from pornography. Combining science and spirituality, it reveals how pornography affects the male brain and provides hands-on solutions to redeem modern masculinity.
The Status Game (2019) explores the unspoken social hierarchies and competitions for status that drive much of human behavior. Examining the hidden rules of the status game provides insight into the psychological dynamics behind people’s everyday choices and interactions, clearing a path for the ethical player to maintain their locus while thriving in a chaotic world.
Doppelganger (2023) explores what happened after the author, Naomi Klein, spent years being mistaken for media personality Naomi Wolf, her ideological opposite, and how this bizarre situation provided insight into our polarized era. Blending memoir, analysis, and doppelganger mythology, Klein uses her uncanny experience to investigate the fragmented culture of social media avatars, conspiracy thinking, and political tribalism threatening modern democracies.