Brain Tricks: Coping with Your Defective Brain

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Prometheus Books, 1995 - Psychology - 358 pages
". . . get[s] to the bottom of why the human brain seems to propel us toward destructive behavior." - Dallas Morning News
How often have you heard that what distinguishes humans from other forms of advanced life is our superior brain? We can think rationally and make intelligent decisions; we are masters of ourselves and our world. But the fact is that the way we think and react can get us into trouble. We don't "use" our brain - it uses us! Understanding how our instincts, "gut reactions," emotions, and conditioning rule our lives is one powerful part of author David L. Weiner's Brain Tricks.

Brain Tricks probes what Weiner calls the "dark side" of the brain - raw animal instincts rooted in our primitive past when survival, mating, and taming the environment required instant, uncritical, and wholly self-centered decision making. Though modified by early childhood conditioning, our primitive thought patterns continue to this day. Our brain ignores the rituals and rules of civilized society as we overreact to sudden situations, indulge in strong emotions and prejudice, and try to manipulate others. When we succumb to our dark side, "brain tricks" trouble is not far off. We alienate friends and lovers, quarrel with our bosses, become obsessed with possessions, commit murder, and start wars.

In clear, easy to understand language, Weiner dramatizes "the genetic and conditioned programming that can lead us into chaos." Using well-developed vignettes featuring friends, lovers, business and professional associates, he provides an inviting vehicle for discussing our hard-to-resist tendencies to exert power over others, indulge in greed, succumb to jealousy and rage, and invent scapegoats to mask our own faults.

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Contents

Acknowledgments
9
The Process of Realizing the Trickery of the Brain
11
The Brain
19
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

David L. Weiner (Chicago, IL) is author of the psychology bestseller Battling the Inner Dummy: The Craziness of Apparently Normal People, Power Freaks: Dealing with Them in the Workplace or Anyplace, and Reality Check: What Your Mind Knows, but Isn't Telling You. He is also on the external board of advisers of the HealthEmotions Research Institute of the University of Wisconsin, and is the founder and CEO of Marketing Support, Inc., a $100-million marketing agency with clients including IBM, Motorola, Home Depot, Xerox, and many other Fortune 500 companies.

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