Sunday, August 7, 2022

Book Report: The Influential Mind

     In the book The Influential Mind by Tali Sharot, it discusses the brain and how we think, feel, and make decisions is all done by the neurons going off in your brain. This is not lead to be true as some people believe that all brains have a code and this code is constantly changed as we go along and learn different things. Influence also plays a big role in what the author believes is why we think and act in specific ways. In the book they give examples and the reasoning behind why we may act that way or think a certain way. Each part of the book is broken into sections, priors, emotions, incentives, agency, curiosity, state, and others, all of which provide stories and examples as to how these things influence our brain and the effect these things can have on us. Overall, when trying to have influence over someone because that is not how we are able to operate. To be effective there must be a match between what is trying to be done and the "core elements" that are compatible with the workings of the brain. 

    A part of this book that I enjoyed was in the last section, "Is 'Unanimous' as reassuring as it Sounds?". In this section of the book the author talks about when given information or asked questions their is an influence on how you will respond or act as a result. She gives several real life examples and even made it an interactive experience where she asked the readers questions to answer. In one part of the book their was a series of three questions, I answered them all and then continued reading to see the correct answers and I got all the questions wrong but I seemed to give all the same wrong answers that other people had given. I found this quite interesting and was just something I enjoyed about the book. This can closely relate to the section of this class on performance and how given correct or incorrect responses to something can change the levels in which a person can become mentally stimulated. I also liked the authors inclusion of many pictures and diagrams. 

The book closely relates back to this course because it is informative on what can influence someone to react in a particular way or show a certain emotion. In the novel, Endurance, the men were put in positions where they may have felt different emotions leading them to be influenced to do different tasks. Our brain and the influence outside sources can have can be main motivators for why people do things and I think the things described in this book give good insight to how motivation can be linked to how our brains work and process certain things. 

This book is definitely one that can get someone thinking beyond just for this class. It gives a whole new perspective on why someone may think something or do something that may not have been done without some sort of influence. This can help us to get a better understanding on current issues in the world and why something was done in a particular way.

The video below demonstrates how the brain reacts to stimuli and the emotions projected to the outside world when we are threatened or rewarded. 

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