How Pleasure Works: The New Science of why We Like what We Like

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2010 - Psychology - 280 pages
18 Reviews
The thought of sex with a virgin is intensely arousing for many men. The average American spends more than four hours a day watching television. Abstract art can sell for millions of dollars. People slow their cars to look at gory accidents, and go to movies that make them cry. Pleasure is anything but straightforward. Our desires, attractions, and tastes take us beyond the symmetry of a beautiful face, the sugar and fat in food, or the prettiness of a painting. In How Pleasure Works, Yale University psychologist Paul Bloom draws on groundbreaking research to unveil the deeper workings of why we desire what we desire. Refuting the longstanding explanation of pleasure as a simple sensory response, Bloom shows us that pleasure is grounded in our beliefs about the deeper nature or essence of a given thing. This is why we want the real Rolex and not the knockoff, the real Picasso and not the fake, the twin we have fallen in love with and not her identical sister. In this fascinating and witty account, Bloom draws on child development, philosophy, neuroscience, and behavioral economics in order to address pleasures noble and seamy, highbrow and lowbrow. Along the way, he gives us unprecedented insights into a realm of human psychology that until now has only been partially understood.
  

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Review: How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like

User Review  - Kin Guan - Goodreads

Perhaps I am biased, but I have a particular fondness of psychology books - the study of human mind always boggles me. Why do we behave in this but not that way? Why do we like something but not other ... Read full review

Review: How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like

User Review  - Nancy McKinley - Goodreads

Competent but not pleasurable. The writing starts out strong but weakens with every chapter culminating in a lackluster finish that was better left unsaid; as nothing really was said. A display of facts and not much more. I am glad it is over....on to the next! Read full review

Contents

The Essence of Pleasure
1
Foodies
25
Bedtricks
55
Irreplaceable
91
Performance
117
Imagination
155
Safety and Pain
177
Why Pleasure Matters
203
Notes
223
References
241
Index
265
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About the author (2010)

Paul Bloom is a professor of psychology at Yale University and the author of Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human. He has contributed to The Atlantic, the New York Times, and Nature. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut. Visit his Web site at www.howpleasureworks.com.

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