How Pleasure Works: Why We Like What We Like

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Vintage, 2011 - Pleasure - 280 pages
5 Reviews

We are attracted, whether we know it or not, to the hidden aspects of things and people.

Some teenagers enjoy cutting themselves with razors. Some men pay good money to be spanked by prostitutes. The average Briton spends over a day a week watching television. People slow their cars to look at gory accidents and go to sentimental movies that make them cry.

In this revealing and witty account, Paul Bloom examines the science behind these curious desires, attractions and tastes, exploring one of the most fascinating and fundamental engines of human behaviour. Drawing on insights from child development, philosophy, neuroscience and behavioural economics, How Pleasure Works shows how certain universal habits of the human mind explain what we like and why we like it.

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User Review  - ohernaes - LibraryThing

"[...] people naturally assume that things in the world - including other people - have invisible essences that make them what they are. Experimental psychologists have argued that this essentialist ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - heike6 - LibraryThing

It was an enjoyable read with lots of interesting anecdotes, but there wasn't much content that didn't seem obvious. "By distorting experience, beliefs, including essentialist beliefs, garner support for themselves, which is one reason why it is so hard to change our minds about anything." Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Paul Bloom is a Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. He has won numerous awards for his research and teaching. He is past-president of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology, and co-editor of Behavioural and Brain. Bloom has written for scientific journals such as Nature and Science, and for popular outlets such as The New York Times, the Guardian, and the Atlantic. He is the author or editor of four books, including How Children Learn the Meanings of Words, and, most recently, Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human.

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