Psych: The Story of the Human Mind (Hardcover)
A compelling and accessible new perspective on the modern science of psychology, based on one of Yale’s most popular courses of all time
How does the brain—a three-pound wrinkly mass—give rise to intelligence and conscious experience? Was Freud right that we are all plagued by forbidden sexual desires? What is the function of emotions such as disgust, gratitude, and shame? Renowned psychologist Paul Bloom answers these questions and many more in Psych, his riveting new book about the science of the mind.
Psych is an expert and passionate guide to the most intimate aspects of our nature, serving up the equivalent of a serious university course while being funny, engaging, and full of memorable anecdotes. But Psych is much more than a comprehensive overview of the field of psychology. Bloom argues that a number of widely accepted theories in the field are probably wrong, and he reveals what psychology can tell us about the most pressing moral and political issues of our time—including belief in conspiracy theories, the role of genes in explaining human differences, and the discussion around implicit racial bias.
Bloom also shows how psychology can give us practical insights into important issues—from the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety to the best way to lead happy and fulfilling lives. Psych is a riveting guide to the most important topic there is: it is the story of us.
Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto, and the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores the psychology of morality, identity, and pleasure. Bloom is the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including, most recently, the million-dollar Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize. He has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Atlantic Monthly. He is the author or editor of eight books, including Against Empathy, Just Babies, How Pleasure Works, Descartes’ Baby, and, most recently, The Sweet Spot.
Praise for The Sweet Spot — ///
“Bloom writes as if speaking, which brings a welcome immediacy to his explorations. . . . The effect, simultaneously authoritative and chummy, is engaging.” — Harper's Magazine
“This book will challenge you to rethink your vision of a good life. With sharp insights and lucid prose, Paul Bloom makes a captivating case that pain and suffering are essential to happiness. It’s an exhilarating antidote to toxic positivity.” — Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
Praise for Against Empathy — ///
"An invigorating, relevant and often very funny re-evaluation of empathy, one of our culture’s most ubiquitous sacred cows, which in Mr. Bloom’s view should be gently led to the abattoir." — New York Times
"Provocative . . . In a time of post-truth politics, his book offers a much-needed call for facts." — The Economist