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What's Chip Reading?

The Influential Mind: What the Brain Reveals About Our Power to Change Others

I love books like this one. It is written in the style of Gladwell and the Heath brothers: a fairly simple premise populated by great research and clever anecdotes. The author is a professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University College of London. She is known for her research on the neural basis of emotion, decision making and optimism. And she is a darned good story teller. If you would like to get a sense of the book, take a look at this Google talk.

We know we are being influenced by others, don’t we? Whether it be advertising, conversing with friends or colleagues, news stories or social media, we have ample reason to logically be swayed one way or other. Why does so little of what hear or see change our minds?

Conversely, we have all presented our ideas and backed them up with facts that we deem irrefutable. Yet others refuse to be moved’ Why are we so steadfast in our beliefs? What moves the needle for us? What makes us rethink our point of view? And more importantly why do we stick with our beliefs in the face of facts and evidence that deviate from our belief?

Tali Sharot’s book is an eye-opening look at influence. It is filled with stories, case studies and interesting tidbits to prove her point. A few stand outs from the book: “Do You Recall Being in Control”, “Google Is Always on My Side”, “The Surprisingly Popular Vote”, and “The Amygdala of the Internet”.

We are subtly influenced and influencing daily. This book is an interesting look at what makes us tick. It may just influence you to change your point of view!


Tali Sharot


Henry Holt and Company



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