- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (February 12, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307472256
- ISBN-13: 978-0307472250
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 314 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior Paperback – February 12, 2013
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“With great wit and intelligence, Mlodinow takes us on a sweeping tour of this [mental] landscape and the latest revelations in neuroscience.”
—The Huffington Post
“Mlodinow plunges into the realm of the unconscious mind accompanied by the latest scientific research . . . [with] plenty of his trademark humor.”
—Los Angeles Times
“Clever [and] engaging. . . . A popular-science beach book, the sort of tome from which cocktail party anecdotes can be mined by the dozen.” —The Oregonian
“Fascinating. . . . Shows how the idea of the unconscious has become respectable again.” —The Economist
“A must-read book that is both provocative and hugely entertaining.” —Jerry A. Webman, chief economist, OppenheimerFunds, Inc., and author of MoneyShift
“Leonard Mlodinow never fails to make science both accessible and entertaining.”
—Stephen Hawking, author of A Brief History of Time
“An assault against the idea that we control our decisions and our beliefs in the way that we think we do . . . . A useful addition to the growing body of work arguing convincingly against the idea of the rational human brain.”
—The Daily Beast
“Mlodinow thinks in equations but explains in anecdote, simile, and occasional bursts of neon. . . . The results are mind-bending.”
“Mlodinow argues his case persuasively and with humor.”
—The Montreal Gazette
“In a loose, easygoing style, Mlodinow combines numerous accounts of scientific studies with pop-culture references and even personal anecdotes.”
“Mlodinow is the perfect guy to reveal the ways unrelated elements can relate and connect.”
—The Miami Herald
“This very enlightening book explores the two sides of our mental lives, with a focus on the subconscious or subliminal element. Drawing on clinical research conducted over a period of several decades and containing a number of rather startling revelations . . . the book appeals to readers with an interest in the workings of the human mind.”
“Think you know the whys and hows of your choices? Think again. Follow Mlodinow on a gorgeous journey into the enormous mental backstage behind the curtain of consciousness.”
—David Eagleman, neuroscientist and author of Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain
“With the same deft touch he showed in The Drunkard’s Walk, Mlodinow probes the subtle, automatic, and often unnoticed influences on our behavior.”
—Daniel J. Simons, professor of psychology, University of Illinois, and coauthor of The Invisible Gorilla
“If you liked The Drunkard’s Walk, you’ll love Subliminal. This engaging and insightful book not only makes neuroscience understandable, it also makes it fascinating. You will look at yourself (and those around you) in a new way.”
—Joseph T. Hallinan, author of Why We Make Mistakes
“A highly readable, funny, and thought-provoking travelogue by Mlodinow, a trusted traveler in this treacherous region, who leads us on a tour of the little-known country that is our unconscious mind.” —Christof Koch, professor of cognitive and behavioral biology, California Institute of Technology
About the Author
Leonard Mlodinow received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of California, Berkeley, was an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute, and now teaches at the California Institute of Technology. His previous books include three New York Times best sellers: War of the Worldviews (with Deepak Chopra), The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), and The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives (also a New York Times Notable Book), as well as Feynman’s Rainbow and Euclid’s Window. He also wrote for the television series MacGyver and Star Trek: The Next Generation.
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This is a wonderful book for those concerned with the function and potential of the mind. The author is a famous and respected theoretical physicist. He apparently has a lot of free time and intense interest that he has parlayed into doctoral-level knowledge of how the mind functions. You will find a great amount of surprising information here. One example is the phenomenon of "blind-sight," which he discusses thoroughly.
The title is a bit deceiving. It is not about manipulating people through advertising. Rather it is about the importance of the unconscious mind in everything we do and perceive. The word "unconscious" with its Freudian connotations is inaccurate. Perhaps "nonconscious" is better. The author shows that the nonconscious mind accounts for more of our ideas, perceptions, and actions than we normally believe.
The author pulls out all the stops in surveying what we know, from the early history of Psychology to the newest functional MRI studies. It is a wonderfully organized and extensive survey.Yet, this is no dull treatise. The author has a great sense of organization, a lucid writing style, and an ability to relate sophisticated concepts to everyday experience. Moreover, he is very witty. It is virtually impossible to read this book without laughing out loud here and there.
As a lawyer I have to say that I think every judge and jury in the country should be required to read this book. It would be as worthwhile for teachers, legislators and many others.
Despite its "non-academic" style, this book supplies copious notes and extensive bibliography. On balance, this is a great addition to any thoughtful person's library.
This book covers a lot of topics: some you’re probably familiar with (like that we have visual blindspots that the mind hides from us by filling them in with what it thinks is there) and some you’re probably not familiar with (like that we have a separate section of the brain from our conscious vision for things like detecting smiling faces, or obstacles in our path). The gist of what the book covers is that our senses, our memories, and our perceptions of ourselves and others are all given to our brain like Swiss cheese that our brain then fills in before giving it to our conscious. Our conscious then rationalizes from the illusion its given. The book shows how the brain interprets the different categories and ends up with the final result.
What I had previously read told me that a lot of our reality is an illusion: what we see (the dress thats black and blue or white and gold); what we hear (yanny or laurel); what we think other people are thinking (people who drive faster than us are crazy, slower than us are stupid); and what we remember (we sometimes remember things in third person even though we experienced them in first person). They can all be false but we still believe they are true. This book shows the neuroscience behind why that is. It made me a lot more confident in following the advice to be deliberately and optimistically delusional. It made me more confident in following mindset advice from people like Tony Robbins. It also pushed me to finally work on things like body posture, voice, and how I physically contact people to unconsciously build trust, respect, and likability.
If you have an interest in influence, persuasion, or human behavior, and haven’t yet studied the neuroscience behind those subjects, you should read this book.