Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior” as Want to Read:
Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  6,525 Ratings  ·  504 Reviews
Leonard Mlodinow, the best-selling author of The Drunkard’s Walk and coauthor of The Grand Design (with Stephen Hawking), gives us a startling and eye-opening examination of how the unconscious mind shapes our experience of the world and how, for instance, we often misperceive our relationships with family, friends, and business associates, misunderstand the reasons for ou ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Pantheon (first published 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Subliminal, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Caroline by: John Kaufmann
Shelves: psychology, science
Whilst this book covered some ground I had already covered elsewhere, it nevertheless painted a good picture of our unconscious minds and motivations, which I found useful.

The unconscious is a slippery critter, sliding out of our grasp nearly every time we reach for it. Various researchers have designed myriad tests to try and monitor it - but it isn't easy.

It's a bit depressing to think about it really. We aren't totally irrational, but my goodness we're a bit woolly around the edges, that is
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
یک تحقیق تحت عنوان "پروژه بی گناهی" نشون می ده 75 درصد کسانی توی زندان افتادن به خاطر شهادت اشتباه بوده. یعنی شخص شاهد باور داره متهم رو در صحنه جرم دیده اما در حقیقت این باور ساخته و پرداخته ناخودآگاه اون شاهدها بوده که درست هم نبودن.

درباره کتاب
این کتاب در مورد مسائلی هستن که ما متوجهشون نیستم، و روی نا خودآگاه ما تاثیر می گذارن و در نتیجه اون ها رفتارمون رو در هر موقعیتی شکل می دن مثل همین مثالی که در بالا آوردم.

I. The new unconscious
فصل اول تشریح این موضوع هست که حدود 95 درصد از فعالیت های
Apr 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book that outlines just how weak human minds are. Or more specifically, how weak the conscious mind really is after all and how overpowering our unconscious is in our everyday lives. We filter the world with our five senses and further reduce that filtered information through evolutionary cognitive biases to construct a mental artificial environment in which we call "reality". Few people ever get to realize this, especially in its entirety. This book is definitely worth reading if you want ...more
John Martindale
May 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
Plenty in this book can be found in others, like "Strangers To Ourselves" or "Blink". But yeah, there was some new stuff as well. What he shared on "Blindsight" was fascinating, and there was other findings in the book that I've found interesting and have been fun to share with others.

In one section of the book Mlodinow covered cognitive biases--how we won't consider the evidence on the other-side and how experiments have proven that none of us are objective. The problem is we unconsciously fil
Ken Montville
Jun 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: neuro science, brain function, psychology, subconscious behavior
Usually I love reading books in the genre. I love learning how people make decisions and how our subconscious mind directs our behavior. This book really tries to do a good job of explaining what our subconscious is and how it influences our behavior. Yet, for me it is a little heavy on the science and a little light on the application.

To be fair, the author really tries to intertwine interesting analogies and folksy anecdotes with the science of how life is really a subjective experience. But,
José Luis
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantástico, outro adjetivo não serve para classificar esse livro. O nosso inconsciente, até há pouco tempo um desconhecido e apenas suspeitado, hoje conhecido e sua influência sobre nossa mente e nossas ações no mundo real estudada e, aos poucos, desvendada. É uma verdadeira atualização de conhecimento em psicologia experimental, conceitos antigos que eu tinha, foram superados por esse livrinho surpreendente. Porque é que tendemos a favorecer membros de nossos grupos mais próximos de influências ...more
Alessandra Anyzewski
Do que eu me lembro, mostra muitos experimentos psicológicos e como são as reações naturais do ser humano, muitas vezes contrasenso com o racional. Não sei se caso eu lesse hoje acharia tão interessante quanto na época, mas por via das dúvidas vou colocar a nota que ficou na minha mente, 5 estrelinhas.
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: neuroscience
Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior by Leonard Mlodinow

"Subliminal" is the provocative and fascinating look at the unconscious part of our minds. One of my favorite authors and physicists, Leonard Mlodinow, takes the readers on a journey into the science of the unconscious. What a fun and enlightening book this was. Mlodinow is the master of making the difficult accessible and fun for the masses. How are mind works is one of the most interesting subjects and I was thrilled
Oct 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Shaun by: Caroline
This was a timely book to read given the political maelstrom has so often in the past and continues to characterize American politics where we see individuals supporting, defending, and promoting their teams quarterback with a fervor that in most cases takes some pretty impressive mental gymnastics.

Think the decisions and choices you make are the result of careful scrutiny, reflection and logical deduction? ABSOLUTELY ...(insert mental drum roll please)(view spoiler)
Eh. A good overview, especially for the person new to the subject, but I personally was underwhelmed. Don't let it put you off, though. It is a very good introduction to a tricky and mysterious subject.
Dec 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Marvelous read.
The dynamic of this book, unlike that of ‘Thinking Fast and Slow', is so righteously tuned, keeping the reader thoroughly hooked. I was eating my way through the pages. The author is outright witty and happens to be a theoretical physicist who’s probing a psychological subject – neuroscience to be precise. Basically, a great mash up.

The theory of mind, how it correlates with human behavior and social norms. The impact of our unconscious on everyday life. The biases and judgments w
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
**edited 01/27/14
When I first saw this book, I knew I had to read it. Not only is it written by an author I've already had a positive experience with (The Drunkard's Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives), but the book had one of the funniest cover designs I've seen all year. In black text on a green background, it says, "Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior." In the spaces in between, in green only slightly lighter than the background, it says, "Psst: Hey There, Yes: You, Se
Clark Hays
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Who's driving this thing?

Ever wonder what’s going on in your brain while you are busy strolling around saying funny stuff and thinking big, important things? Turns out, a whole lot. There’s an entire world of unconscious activity hidden just below the surface. If conscious thought is like a speedboat you pilot across the surface of the ocean(cue the Miami Vice theme), unconscious thought is the teeming, chaotic, beautiful mass of rainbow-colored tropical fish, graceful coral reefs, steely-eyed s
Sep 14, 2012 rated it liked it
Maybe you secretly liked or dislike the book more than you think? Mlodinow presents a solid literature review on recent research that all seems to point to the rationale mind holding far less power in the direction of human behavior than we would like to think. This discounting of the power of human thought follows a long series of scientific discoveries taking our self-image from lesser god to higher animal. Galileo demonstrated the sun did not revolve around us. Darwin negated our notions of d ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
leonard mlodinow's new book, subliminal: how your unconscious mind rules your behavior, is an engaging, stimulating work exploring the relatively young field of social neuroscience. mlodinow, a theoretical physicist (and one time screenwriter for both macgyver and star trek: the next generation), offers an introduction to, and overview of, the current science relating to our understanding of the unconscious and its ever-present role in shaping our daily lives. subliminal considers the two-tier s ...more
Ashley Reid
While there were some good points in this book, the writing wasn't interesting enough to hold my attention for long.
It was too boring to get through and even though I got to ~80% I still couldn't force myself to finish it all.
David Dinaburg
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it
“When you come up with an explanation for your feelings and behavior, your brain performs an action that would probably surprise you: it searches your mental database of cultural norms and picks something plausible.”

There is a touch of existential terror when thinking about the brain as physical. When you're not actively engaged in thinking about what is in your head, it feels natural to treat it like a magical repository of all your experiences and leave it at that. Subliminal took me longer
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t usually write long reviews but I was really fascinated by this work. It is also a good overview for those who are new to this genre. I will share some of what I found interesting about this book.

The first part of the book covers the rudiments of how our unconscious mind governs our senses and perceptions which in turn translate into decisions. Unlike the general notion that our decisions are based on our conscious perspective, its actually the unconscious, or subliminal, part of the brai
Taede Smedes
Leonard Mlodinow is fysicus en bekend van het boek Het grote ontwerp (Orig: The Grand Design) dat hij samen met Stephen Hawking schreef. Stiekeme signalen gaat niet over natuurkunde, maar over psychologie, of meer bepaald: over sociale psychologie. De Nederlandse titel van het boek is uiterst misleidend, en de ook de waarschuwing op de achterflap (“Waarschuwing: dit boek kan schade toebrengen aan je idee van vrije wil”) is een leuk verkooppraatje, maar verder flauwekul. Want Mlodinow is in dit b ...more
Linda  Branham Greenwell
This is a great book. I learned a lot - and I loved the examples
The book is an easily understandable look at our unconscious mind and the impact it has on our behaviors and who we are
The science behind the unconscious is a fascinating topic and this book is loaded with a lot of great research on the topic.
I loved his examples of categorical memory and the bear - I will certainly use that example in class to help students understand schema and why our memories are not always accurate :)
I also en
Jul 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Um dos livros mais incríveis que eu já li. Parece que é sempre a mesma história, mas diferente e sempre com alguma novidade interessante nos mostrando como somos mais sugestionáveis do que imaginamos. E ser sugestionável não é exatamente numa relação consciente com outra pessoas, mas justamente inconsciente de ambos.

Esse livro deveria ser uma sabedoria comum de qualquer pessoa, não apenas estar preso a um livro. Portanto, pra qualquer pessoa que entenda que existe e tenha consciência, eu sugiro
Atila Iamarino
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Mais do mesmo, mas muito legal. Não tem muito mais coisa nova do que já li no "You are not so smart", no "Invisible Gorilla" e outros do gênero, mas o foco no papel do subconsciente nas decisões e na interpretação do mundo é bem legal. O autor tentou dar um tom pessoal ao longo do livro todo, citando sempre a mãe, o pai e os filhos, mas achei meio deslocado. Vale a leitura.
Doug Eymer
Mar 19, 2016 rated it liked it
I am sure that there will be lingering effects of this book. Quite honestly, I was determined to get through it and I succeeded. I can put a check mark next to it. (I have allowed my unconscious mind to write this review.)
Really 2.5/5, but any behavioral econ./neuropsychology/social psychology (I could go on, but you get the gist) book's worth suffers when read right after the work of Kahneman. To be reviewed...
Dave Schey
Aug 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Mlodinow has a great way of making complex subjects easier to understand and he does it again in this book.
Henrik Haapala
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
• New unconscious: Behavior that is automatic, and occurs with a lack of awareness, intention and control.
• We do not understand what is influencing us, and often cannot avoid that behavior.
• Not the Freudian unconscious: No repression, not accessible through therapy. Instead parts of the brain inaccessible to the conscious.
• Power of fMRI: a computer can now with electromagnetic readings of brain activity reconstruct what you are looking at.
• Influencing shoppers: On days when the French mu
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this much more accessible than the author's other book I listened to before it, "The Drunkard's Walk". As someone with very little grasp of mathematics, the numbers in the other were a little overwhelming. This, however, is a fantastic book which is accessible & useful to anyone. Fascinating stories & studies in which I learnt much about psychology & sociology. Read this book to learn more about your own mind and the world you live in, from social situations to politics.
Chris Bauerschmidt II
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good gollow up to Sam Harris's book on free will, and an interesting look into how our subconscious often makes decisions for us that our conscious mind is forced to make up reasons for without fully understanding.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist and a writer of popular science, best known for The Drunkard’s Walk, about probability. I read this book because I am interested to learn psychology as science. I started on an education of engineering and science from freshman year of bachelor’s degree, neglecting social studies subjects. Later, in my career I found myself working in biomedical applications including the fMRI scanning of the human brain.

This book is divided into two sections. Part 1 regards rece
Apr 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, science
Another book about brains and neurology and really interesting scientific goodness. At first glance, this book appears to be a pop-science treatise on a hidden subconscious personality driving our decisions; the cover makes a tongue-in-cheek reference to this. However, the book turned out to be a detailed analysis on how our “unconscious mind” really works, and how it fills in the gaps in our conscious thinking and reasoning.

Rather than trying to make a case for a hidden version of ourselves tha
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Self Illusion: Why There is No 'You' Inside Your Head [Extract]
  • Brain Bugs: How the Brain's Flaws Shape Our Lives
  • The Ravenous Brain: How the New Science of Consciousness Explains Our Insatiable Search for Meaning
  • Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience
  • Everything is Obvious: Once You Know the Answer
  • Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals about Our Everyday Deceptions
  • Making Up the Mind
  • The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life
  • Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain
  • That's Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion
  • Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are
  • The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking: How Irrational Beliefs Keep Us Happy, Healthy, and Sane
  • The Accidental Mind: How Brain Evolution Has Given Us Love, Memory, Dreams, and God
  • Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind
  • Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong
  • What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite
  • Consumerology: The Market Research Myth, the Truth about Consumers and the Psychology of Shopping
  • Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter
Leonard Mlodinow is a physicist and author.

Mlodinow was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1959, of parents who were both Holocaust survivors. His father, who spent more than a year in the Buchenwald death camp, had been a leader in the Jewish resistance under Nazi rule in his hometown of Częstochowa, Poland. As a child, Mlodinow was interested in both mathematics and chemistry, and while in high schoo
More about Leonard Mlodinow...
“Research suggests when it comes to understanding our feelings, we humans have an odd mix of low ability and high confidence.” 10 likes
“Says Bargh: „We all hold dear idea that we´re the captain of our own sould, and we´re in charge, and it´s a very scary feeling when we are not. In fact, that´s what psychosis is – the feeling of detachment from reality and that you are not in control, and that´s a very frightening feeling for anyone.” 8 likes
More quotes…