Mary's Reviews > A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives

A Mind of Its Own by Cordelia Fine
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Nov 23, 2008

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bookshelves: biology-and-bodies
Read in January, 2009

With realistic expectations, this is an enjoyable book. It's definitely pop psychology. Cordelia Fine gives the layman an easy-to-read interpretation of conttemporary research, focusing on the brain's tactics at distorting perception in favor of coddling the ego. She uses a lot of personal anecdotes and some cheeky maneuvering to relate the findings to everyday life and keep people who hate reading entertained. I'm not sure (especially after having absorbed the information Fine presents) whether she backed off of this reader-pampering over the course of the book, or if I simply got used to it as I read it.

Fine saved her most interesting findings for the second half of the book, and having never taken a college psychology course, I was intrigued to learn that yes, subliminal messaging does seem to effective. Other observations, such as the fact that bad weather makes people think their lives are worse than they really are, are hardly revelations. All in all, nothing profound here, but some interesting nuggets. And it's always useful to be reminded that our minds like to take shortcuts when it comes to finding truth. I try to stay on my toes when it comes to understanding the world, so this was a useful refresher.
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