Behave

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Who should read it: Human nature nerds as well as anyone who views the world a little too myopically and thinks that behaviour can be explained adequately through a single lens

 

What I took from it: If there is a better book than Behave that overviews the multiplicity of variables that influence human behaviour, I’ll eat my hat. You will learn a lot from this book if you read it carefully. However, it’s definitely a very dense, and at times dry read. The purpose of reading this book is potentially not to try and absorb it all, but to locate points of interest, and explore those particular sections and the accompanying references more thoroughly. You will likely be better served by treating Behave more like a textbook than a regular book you keep on your bedside table.

 

Notable quote: The brain is heavily influenced by genes. But from birth through young adulthood, the part of the human brain that most defines us (frontal cortex) is less a product of the genes with which you started life than of what life has thrown at you. Because it is the least constrained by genes and most sculpted by experience. This must be so, to be the supremely complex social species that we are. Ironically, it seems that the genetic program of human brain development has evolved to, as much as possible, free the frontal cortex from genes.

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