Tag: psychology

It’s Complicated

June 23, 2014 non-fiction, Psychology 17

18342787 (1)Title: It’s Complicated
Author: Danah Boyd
Source: from publisher via NetGalley
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Even though this book had an academic bent, everything was explained clearly and the mix of research with anecdotes and ethical questions made for some fascinating reading.

Being a blogger means I use social media quite a bit, something which often highlights for me how technologically behind I’d be if I didn’t blog. This has made me curious about how more technologically savvy people use social media, so I was excited to see how teens who grew up with social media use these sites. In  It’s Complicated, the author takes a look at teen use of the latest social media sites over the past decade, from MySpace to Facebook to Twitter. The author systematically questions the stereotypes about social media-using teens. These include the assumption that all teens are good at and potentially addicted to technology to the idea that technology has fundamentally changed the way teens interact. She supports her conclusion with facts and figures, as well as hundreds of interviews with teens and parents. Read more »

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Me, Myself, and Why

March 24, 2014 non-fiction, Science 12

18079745Title: Me, Myself, and Why
Author: Jennifer Ouellette
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: I love the author’s sense of humor and the unique fun facts she shared, but was bothered by some oversimplifications and inaccuracies in her coverage of the material I already knew.

“As diverse as people appear to be, all of our genes and brains are nearly identical. In Me, Myself, and Why, Jennifer Ouellette dives into the miniscule ranges of variation to understand just what sets us apart. She draws on cutting-edge research in genetics, neuroscience, and psychology—enlivened as always with her signature sense of humor—to explore the mysteries of human identity and behavior. Readers follow her own surprising journey of self-discovery as she has her genome sequenced, her brain mapped, her personality typed, and even samples a popular hallucinogen. Bringing together everything from Mendel’s famous pea plant experiments and mutations in The X-Men to our taste for cilantro and our relationships with virtual avatars, Ouellette takes us on an endlessly thrilling and illuminating trip into the science of ourselves.” (description from goodreads) Read more »

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The Future of the Mind

March 4, 2014 non-fiction, Psychology, Science 10

IMG_9560Title: The Future of the Mind
Author: Michio Kaku
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: I loved the exciting look at current and future technology, but the explanations weren’t as clear as in some of Kaku’s other books.

Michio Kaku is first and foremost a theoretical physicist, so he begins his book describing a physicist’s perspective on how the brain works. Then he describes the latest and greatest advances in our understanding of how the brain works and makes some incredible predictions for the future. These include everything from the possibility of assisted telepathy and enhanced cognition to uploadable memories and recordable dreams. Read more »

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Hardwiring Happiness

October 8, 2013 non-fiction, Psychology, Self-Help 10

17288646Title: Hardwiring Happiness
Author: Rick Hanson
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Fun Fact: Things you think about often shape your neural pathways.
Review Summary: I only finished this book two days ago and I actually think it’s already making a difference for me because it gives such great actionable advice. Very helpful!

Hardwiring Happiness is all about focusing on the little things. It is not, however, just another one of those books telling you  “live in the moment” which are so popular these days. Instead, it focuses on events and feelings that you can pay attention to in order to build up the inner strength you need to face specific challenges. By focusing on positive experiences, you help yourself remember positive feelings more strongly, despite our brain naturally remembering negative experiences better. Read more »

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Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes

January 8, 2013 Uncategorized 13

Title: Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes
Author: Maria Konnikova
Source: from publisher for review
Rating: ★★★★☆
Fun Fact: Motivation can improve IQ test results and memory formation.
Review Summary: Not the most useful as a self-help book, but a fun and inspiring way to learn about psychology.

Can you learn to think like Sherlock Holmes? Drawing on both anecdotes from Holmes stories and exciting studies in psychology, author Maria Konnikova suggests ways in which you can. She’s clearly familiar with and enthusiastic about both her topics – Homes and the psychology behind his way of thinking – and she does a great job making you feel her enthusiasm too. As someone who understands loving a good book, she had me from her description of her first experience with Holmes. She also integrated real-world, relatable examples with her Holmes/Conan Doyle anecdotes and the psychology studies in a way that constantly piqued my interest.

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