From School Library Journal
Designated by Newsweek
in 1997 as one of the 100 Americans most likely to shape the century, Pentland (director, Digital Life Consortium, MIT) introduces a fascinating new way to understand how we read our social environment. To gather scientific data, Pentland has devised the "sociometer," an ingenious instrument for measuring the ways in which humans communicate by "honest," or unconscious, signaling. This device allows Pentland to track social networking by measuring four kinds of signals: influence, mimicry, activity, and consistency. He argues that the influence each person has in social interactions, the reflexive copying of gestures, increased levels of activity when mutual interest occurs, and the consistency of emphasis and timing contribute to our unconscious, hardwired paths of communication. Pentland's lucid treatment of complicated psychobiological principles effectively enables lay readers to grasp difficult but significant concepts. Moreover, his appendixes provide full descriptions of the relevant research methodology. Similar in scope to Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
, Pentland's book is better-suited and recommended for university collections.—Lynne F. Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law Lib., PA
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A technology poised to change the world.
A new understanding of organizational effectiveness.
Pentland's lucid treatment of complicated psychobiological principles effectively enables lay readers to grasp difficult but significant concepts... Similar in scope to Malcolm Gladwell's Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Pentland's book is better-suited and recommended for university collections.
Sandy Pentland, always ahead of everyone, has captured in this snappy and well written book, the deep signals we use to communicate and how they shape and reveal our social behavior. A must read.
(Michael S. Gazzaniga
, Director, Sage Center for the Study of Mind, University of California, Santa Barbara)