“A colorful romp through psychology, philosophy and popular culture.” (New Humanist)
“Voted one of the 11 Best Psychology Books of 2011.
Blending empirical evidence from seminal research with literary allusions and cultural critique, Bering examines the central tenets of spirituality, from life’s purpose to the notion of an afterlife, in a sociotheological context underlined by the rigor of a serious scientist.” (The Atlantic)
“Witty . . . . [Bering] employs examples and analogies that make his arguments seem like common sense rather than the hard-earned scientific insights they really are.” (New Scientist)
“Bering ranges comfortably among evolutionary biology, psychology, and philosophical concerns, and finds the good science in belief.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“An interesting and pleasurable book to read, mainly because it throws up demanding challenges. It may never achieve the notoriety of The God Delusion but its fundamental approach took me from Professor Dawkins's cliché-ridden arguments into more original territory.” (The Catholic Herald)
“Bering's contribution to answering the question [of God] is worthy of consideration by any thinking person.” (The Scientist (Magazine of the Life Sciences))
“[Bering] approaches these dicey subjects with a dazzlingly insightful reading of the empirical literature on human cognition and development, a sly sense of humor, and an obvious compassion for those who do not share his beliefs. He also has a lot of fun. Richard Dawkins and others have surveyed some of this terrain before, but few have done it as convincingly and enjoyably.” (American Library Association, Choice Reviews (Top 25 books of 2011))
“Jesse Bering is a brilliant young psychologist, a gifted storyteller, a careful reader of Jean-Paul Sartre, and a very funny man. And his first book, The Belief Instinct, is a triumph―a moving, provocative, and entertaining exploration of the human search for meaning.” (Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University, author of How Pleasure Works)
Jesse Bering, Ph.D., is a frequent contributor to Scientific American, Slate, and Das Magazin. His work has also appeared in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The New Republic, and has been featured on NPR, the BBC, Playboy Radio, and more. Bering is the former director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen's University, Belfast, and began his career as a professor at the University of Arkansas. He lives near Ithaca, New York.
Jesse Bering achieves two tasks here. First he provides a nice overview of the status of theory of mind hypotheses in the scientific community, both for humans and other... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael Heath
This book provides excellent insight into why the human mind searches for causes for personal observations and experiences and assigns their existence to acts by supernatural... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jack Dostal
belief instinct is an accessible and enjoyable read about the meaning of life. it's the theory of mind that makes our species truly unique. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Joseph L. Kolb
A bit slow to start but well worth the time. I sensed some meandering between points at times. But overall I would recommend this book to others for sure.Published 7 months ago by Christiane M Houde
The last third of the book drags and is repetitive but the subject is impressive researched and treated very scholarlyPublished 8 months ago by ALIX C. REY4802
The basic gist ; we are deeply social creatures, and our much-prized cognitive faculties are due to our highly complex primate sociability and the associated need to decipher what... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Arjun