- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 36 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: University Press Audiobooks
- Audible.com Release Date: November 21, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006BCJWZK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Though I admit approached this work in a recreational mindset - you know, that 'this looks like a fun read'...boy was I wrong in some respects! This little book will kick your notions of consciousness and just who or what is in charge of you right on their head. You get to face concept that it's not always the conscious you that is at the helm (even when you're sure it is)...in some respects the conscious you is often just a spectator. Weird, but true I feel. How many times for example somebody will ask you something and you know the answer the instant they have finished speaking? You haven't even had time to work out the answer and there it is (i'm not talking about automaticity or simple stuff)...then you have to check the answer with your conscious mind to see that it is right (which it is: often my conscous mind takes much longer to arrive at the same answer when checking). That is your adapative unconscious! And this thing is far more pervasive and in control then we may imagine or realize.
Ok, this isn't a massively scholarly work that is so arcane as to be unapproachable by most. Indeed it is simply written exposition of a particular philosophy of mind than, while not heavily evidenced, is rather commonsensical. As Richard Feynman suggested you can describe virtually anything in simple terms if you understand it well enough, and both I and my unconscious both agree that Timothy D Wilson has a firm grasp on this concept. Though I suspect there is an ulterior motive: get people to undertand how to interpret their behavior by seeing how other's see them and modify this so they act in more approapriate and decent way toward others (now there's a goal...)
Freud's Genius, Freud's Myopia
The Adapative unconscous
Who's in charge?
Knowing who we are
Knowing How we feel
KNowing how we will feel
Introspection and self-narratives
Looking outward to know ourselves
Observing and changing our behavior
So Mr WIlson basically does some things with this book, for example:
* He teaches you recognize that your conscious you is not entirely in charge
* He teaches you that, although you can't 'see' your unconscious mind directly, you can see it's effects and interactions with others and therefore you can view and interpret it indirectly.
* We typically delude and misinterpret ourselves to protect and enhance our mental wellbeing
* we tend to overexaggerate the effect of various phenomena
* we tend to consciously want things that we convince oursleves would improve our lives, that really our detrimental to our wellbeing
* He suggests that often our feelings about things are not legitmate, and that there is a difference between what we actual feel and what we think we are feeling because we reinterpret our feelings in a light that is not quite stark but rather softer, more protective, safer - a bit like a fading actress and the filter/stocking over the camera lens that blurs the view and hides much?
* introspection is not a bad thing (though given most people who read this are probably highly introspective anyway- that might be preaching to the choir)
There is so much more so rather than spoil it for you I will say this: leave your pretentions at the door with this book. Its approachable and interesting and certainly worthy of consideration. Expect to at least question your view of yourself, your identity and how you view your interactions with the world. For some people this might be a truly disconcerting thing...as is always the case when we learn we might not be quite the person we thing we are or are forced to look at oursleves in a less delusionary and favorable light.. Of course that takes an open mind, courage and a willingness to pursue greater truth. I for one am glad I did take this journey.
This is a good book. Read it and be glad you did!
Wilson, a psychology professor, is not really going out on a limb here, but rather reporting the strong results of recent research (some of which is his own) on the "adaptive unconscious". The new view of the mind that is gradually being built up by controlled experiments is often at variance with Freud's compelling but fanciful views on the unconscious and repression. The current model has the mind composed of a conscious part and, perhaps, several unconscious parts, each of which has a special ability, like recognizing faces, responding to emergencies, or selective remembering and forgetting. The author normally lumps these specialized parts together for purposes of discussion, since his intent is to contrast our conscious mind with our unconscious, and to re-evaluate what it is we can know about ourselves through examining our conscious motives, thoughts, and feelings.
Anyone who has ever been surprised at an emotion that has come over him, seemingly from nowhere, or by his actions in a new situation knows how disconcerting it can be. Are one's conscious emotions just fake - placeholders for real feelings that well up when one isn't looking? Are one's firm intentions just flimsy self-deceptions that are blown away by the right circumstances? It's probably not that bad (usually!), but we should know just how much of what we feel and think and think we remember is under our conscious control. The author is not really in the self-help business, but he does recommend several things we can do to find our real selves - and even to change. His tone is modest but hopeful: it's true that self-knowledge is elusive, but one can find out important things about one's self by indirect means. One can even influence one's unconscious, so change is possible. Perhaps an introvert will never become the life of the party, but he can take action to readjust his socializing comfort level so as to at least enjoy the party.
This book will interest someone who wants to see what sorts of things psychologists are learning about the mind these days, or who just wants to learn some things about his own mind. I liked it. In spite of the fact that much of the time we are running on autopilot, Wilson by no means absolves us of the responsibility for our actions, and gives us techniques and suggestions that help us to control our (often obstreperous) unconscious minds. Most usefully, he points out that self-knowledge is not simply "there", nor is it particularly easy to get. On the other hand, he made me realize that there is a new person that I might want to know better - myself.
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