Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior – Leonard Mlodinow

Subliminal How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior - Leonard Mlodinow

People have a basic desire to feel good about themselves, and we therefore have a tendency to be unconsciously biased in favor of traits similar to our own, even such seemingly meaningless traits as our names.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.19

Our brains are not simply recording a taste or other experience, they are creating it.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.25

Deep concentration causes the energy consumption in your brain to go up by only about 1 percent. No matter what you are doing with your conscious mind, it is your unconscious that dominates your mental activity—and therefore uses up most of the energy consumed by the brain.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.35

first, people have a good memory for the general gist of events but a bad one for the details; second, when pressed for the unremembered details, even well-intentioned people making a sincere effort to be accurate will inadvertently fill in the gaps by making things up; and third, people will believe the memories they make up.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.62

We might all benefit from being less certain, even when a memory seems clear and vivid.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.70

Memories of events that supposedly happened long ago are particularly easy to implant.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.75

Through evolution, perfection may be abandoned, but sufficiency must be achieved.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.78

Humble, because any great confidence I feel in any particular memory could well be misplaced

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.78

Scientists have even found that parts of our brain linked to reward processing are engaged when we participate in acts of mutual cooperation, so being nice can be its own reward. Long before we can verbalize attraction or revulsion, we are attracted to the kind and repelled by the unkind.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.81

Could the need for innate skill at social interaction have been the reason we developed our “higher” intelligence—and could what we usually think of as the triumphs of our intelligence, such as science and literature, be just a by-product?

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.85

whether or not we wish to, we communicate our expectations to others, and they often respond by fulfilling those expectations

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.113

the researchers found a strong correlation between a child’s popularity and his or her ability to read others.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.124

From early childhood on, those who are good at giving and receiving signals have an easier time forming social structures and achieving their goals in social situations.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.125

we may pack our heads full of twenty-first-century knowledge, the organ inside our skull is still a Stone Age brain.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.130

We think of ourselves as a civilized species, but our brains are designed to meet the challenges of an earlier era

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.130

There is a man or woman behind the curtain of everybody’s persona. Through our social relationships we get to know a small number of beings with the level of intimacy that allows us to peel back the curtain—our friends, close neighbors, family members, and perhaps the family dog (though certainly not the cat). But we don’t get to pull the curtain very far back on most of the people we meet, and it is usually drawn fully closed when we encounter someone for the first time. As a result, certain superficial qualities, such as voice, face and expression, posture, and the other nonverbal characteristics I’ve been talking about, mold many of the judgments we make about people—the nice or nasty people we work with, our neighbors, our doctors, our kids’ teachers, the politicians we vote for or against or simply try to ignore. Every day we meet people and form judgments like I trust that babysitter, This lawyer knows what she is doing, or That guy seems like the type who would gently stroke my back while reciting Shakespeare sonnets by candlelight. If you are a job applicant, the quality of your handshake can affect the outcome of your employment interview. If you are a salesperson, your degree of eye contact can influence your rating of customer satisfaction. If you are a doctor, the tone of your voice can have an impact on not only your patients’ assessment of their visit but their propensity to sue if something goes wrong. We humans are superior to cowbirds in our conscious understanding. But we also have a deep inner cowbird mind that reacts to nonverbal cues, uncensored by those logical judgments of consciousness. The expression “to be a real human being” means to act with compassion. Other languages have similar expressions, such as the German “ein Mensch sein.” A human being, by nature, cannot help but pick up on the emotions and intentions of others. That ability is built into our brains, and there is no off switch.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.143

Your in-group identity influences the way you judge people, but it also influences the way you feel about yourself, the way you behave, and sometimes even your performance.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.170

It is not necessary for you to share any attitudes or traits with your fellow group members, or even for you to have met the other group members. It is the simple act of knowing that you belong to a group that triggers your in-group affinity.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.171

Not only are we different people at fifty than we are at thirty, we also change throughout the day, depending on circumstances and our social environment, as well as on our hormonal levels.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.177

Our character is not indelibly stamped on us but is dynamic and changing. And as the studies of implicit prejudice revealed, we can even be two different people at the same time,

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.177

Some of us, interested in knowing ourselves more deeply—perhaps to make better life decisions, perhaps to live a richer life, perhaps out of curiosity—seek to get past our intuitive ideas of us. We can. We can use our conscious minds to study, to identify, and to pierce our cognitive illusions. By broadening our perspective to take into account how our minds operate, we can achieve a more enlightened view of who we are. But even as we grow to better understand ourselves, we should maintain our appreciation of the fact that, if our mind’s natural view of the world is skewed, it is skewed for a reason.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.194

The secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one’s own infallibility with the power to learn from past mistakes. —GEORGE ORWELL

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.196

Similarly, it makes sense to choose a job you believe is appealing, but it’s irrational to believe a job is appealing because you’ve accepted the offer. Still, even though in each case the latter approach doesn’t make rational sense, it is the irrational choice that would probably make you happier. And the mind generally seems to opt for happy. In both these instances, the research indicates, it is the latter choice that people are likely to make. The “causal arrow” in human thought processes consistently tends to point from belief to evidence, not vice versa.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.201

Our decision-making processes bend but don’t break our usual rules, and we perceive ourselves as forming judgments in a bottom-up fashion, using data to draw a conclusion, while we are in reality deciding top-down, using our preferred conclusion to shape our analysis of the data.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.214

Even if it doesn’t end up turning out to be true in the details of what you accomplish, belief in the self is an ultimately positive force in life.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.216

Those feeling good about themselves are more cooperative in bargaining situations and more likely to find a constructive solution to their conflicts. They are also better problem solvers, more motivated to succeed, and more likely to persist in the face of a challenge.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.216

In fact, studies show that the people with the most accurate self-perceptions tend to be moderately depressed, suffer from low self-esteem, or both. An overly positive self-evaluation, on the other hand, is normal and healthy.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.217

As you confront the world, unrealistic optimism can be a life vest that keeps you afloat.

Leonard Mlodinow, Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, P.217

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