Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Book Report

Edward Beck
The Influential Mind
August 7th

General Overview

The Influential Mind, by Tali Sharot, is a riveting book that curtails the ins and outs of social psychology. Each Chapter provides insight on different t types of interaction and how much our beliefs control our minds. For example, in the first chapter she speaks to counter-arguing with someone who holds an opposing belief/view and how we remain steadfast, regardless of the evidence opposing our viewpoint that we’re provided. A perfect example of that would be conversations you see online regarding gun control, climate change, or vaccines. Sharot says providing any type of opposing information will only drive the differing sides apart. She believes building a common ground is what’s necessary to influence others.

In the next chapter she touches on the power of positive reinforcement. The general consensus of that chapter was rewards work better than punishment. I’m going to test that theory wholeheartedly with my daughter!  That leads us to control, which is what she touched on in the next chapter. This hit home, and I think a lot of us can relate. Fear always appears when we have to surrender control. Personally, I feel that control is an illusion. If you think about it, what are we truly in control of? But control motivates people, so its existence is paramount.

I wonder where the phrase “curiosity killed the cat” came from. We are all fundamentally curious. We seek knowledge, which is probably one of the reasons social media and the internet became so big. It satisfies our appetite for knowledge. We’re plugged into to each other’s lives and any type of information is accessible 24/7.

Overall, Sharot feels that our emotions have great power over our decisions. The feeling of control plays a huge part in our happiness. The brain is hardwired to gravitate towards a reward, rather than pain or punishment. And we are influenced by others, yet at the same time, our actions influence others. 

Favorite part:

My favorite part was the information about the neuroscientist who wanted to test direct transmission from one human brain to another. It’s unfortunate he lived in present times. I feel as if he lived in the times of Milgram, he would’ve had the opportunity to test/try his theory. I feel like there’s a medical breakthrough waiting to be unlocked there. 


I feel that, The Influential Mind, is a book about how we interact and affect each other. However, rather than simply speak to or about the connection, Sharot throws science behind it. It’s hard to imagine just being positive would have such a great effect on others, but the science is right there to support it. I think Carl Rogers would love Tali Sharot. 

Check out this small video on Persuasion:  

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