IniciGrupsConversesMésTendències
Cerca al lloc
Aquest lloc utilitza galetes per a oferir els nostres serveis, millorar el desenvolupament, per a anàlisis i (si no has iniciat la sessió) per a publicitat. Utilitzant LibraryThing acceptes que has llegit i entès els nostres Termes de servei i política de privacitat. L'ús que facis del lloc i dels seus serveis està subjecte a aquestes polítiques i termes.
Hide this

Resultats de Google Books

Clica una miniatura per anar a Google Books.

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best…
S'està carregant…

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (2017 original; edició 2018)

de Robert M. Sapolsky (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
9561216,539 (4.32)22
"Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. A behavior occurs--whether an example of humans at our best, worst, or somewhere in between. What went on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happened? Then Sapolsky pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell caused the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones acted hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli that triggered the nervous system? By now he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going: How was that behavior influenced by structural changes in the nervous system over the preceding months, by that person's adolescence, childhood, fetal life, and then back to his or her genetic makeup? Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than one individual. How did culture shape that individual's group, what ecological factors millennia old formed that culture? And on and on, back to evolutionary factors millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours d'horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do ... for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right"--… (més)
Membre:tmpalmer
Títol:Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
Autors:Robert M. Sapolsky (Autor)
Informació:Penguin Books (2018), Edition: Reprint, 800 pages
Col·leccions:Library -TBR, La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

Detalls de l'obra

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst de Robert M. Sapolsky (2017)

S'està carregant…

Apunta't a LibraryThing per saber si aquest llibre et pot agradar.

No hi ha cap discussió a Converses sobre aquesta obra.

» Mira també 22 mencions

Es mostren 1-5 de 12 (següent | mostra-les totes)
This is a book everyone should read, to at least get an idea of the untrustworthy aspects of our thinking, and maybe even how others take advantage of such.

I initially picked up this book to try to better understand the culturally inculcated apathy regarding the natural world, and subjective avoidance of inconvenient, serious issues affecting humankind. I already understood that, like all creatures with their respective umwelten, on the whole we're so wrapped up in the human bubble that we pay too little attention to the natural world that sustains us. But why, given the supposedly more advanced organization and dendritic connections of our prefrontal cortex (PFC) that subserves reasoning, do we persist to varying degrees in detrimental behavior relative to our sustaining environment (that aside from individual deficiencies and the PFC not maturing until our twenties)?

I found much more in this tome. It is one of the most enlightening books that I've read, not only increasing my understanding and perspective of other books I've read, but also providing insight into why we humans persist in making so many bad decisions, and in ignoring inconvenient problems to our disadvantage. It also gives more depth to the maxim about walking a mile in another person's shoes.

A brilliant treatment of the subject matter to my mind, but this dense and lengthy book made my head hurt. To absorb what the author is conveying takes concentrated reading, a little bit at a time, at least in my case. Working one's way through it carefully though, can be enlightening, even beneficial.

"Looking outward objectively enhances wisdom. Looking inward objectively spawns enlightenment." [paraphrased from Tao Te Ching]

"Human behavior, human social behavior, and in many cases abnormal human social behavior are what this book is primarily about. And it is indeed a mess, a subject involving brain chemistry, hormones, sensory cues, prenatal environment, early experience, genes, both biological and cultural evolution, and ecological pressures, among other things.” That is, the author takes a time regression and situational approach to behaviors. What is currently going on neurologically, and what at various stages in the past facilitated a thought/behavior — that together with exceptions and contradictions.

In tackling this, the author takes an interdisciplinary, and sometimes an interspecies, approach in his presentation, which makes more sense to me than the blinkered bucket approach of some other so-called influential scientists I have felt were full of themselves. To help one understand the material the author includes three explanatory appendices on relevant basic scientific concepts — Neuroscience 101, The Basics of Endocrinology, and Protein Basics. Explaining the subject matter in depth, the author can't avoid scientific terms in differentiating, but once one gets a handle on the terminology the writing is easier to follow.

I liked the author's definition of ethology, i.e. "the science of interviewing an animal in its own language." This leads to the point that the reader should carefully consider what the author is saying, because he will often enough turn a phrase to keep the reader awake. That, and how one's thinking may influence interpretation of what the author presents ;-)

I also liked the author's explanation of evolutionary selection. He begins by noting that, “Evolution rests on three steps: (a) certain biological traits are inherited by genetic means; (b) mutations and gene recombination produce variation in those traits; (c) some of those variants confer more “fitness” than others. Given those conditions, over time the frequency of more 'fit' gene variants increases in a population.” And he addresses common misconceptions about such, “First, that evolution favors survival of the fittest. Instead evolution is about reproduction, passing on copies of genes." ... Second that “evolution can select for preadaptations—neutral traits that prove useful in the future. This doesn’t happen; selection is for traits pertinent to the present. Related to this is the misconception that living species are somehow better adapted than extinct species. Instead, the latter were just as well adapted, until environmental conditions changed sufficiently to do them in; the same awaits us.” [my emphasis]

A surprising chapter to me was Metaphors We Kill By. "Our brains’ confusion of the metaphorical with the literal literally matters." It's an aspect I hadn't previously given all that much thought to in the way he explains. In all of humanity's worst genocidal atrocities derisive metaphors have been used extensively to lethal effect. What come to mind are the Nazi regime, Stalin's regime, Cambodia, Armenia, Rwanda, Bosnia, Queensland, East Timor, and eclipsing the sum of these the ninety to ninety-five percent decimation of the indigenous population of the Americas by Western colonists. The latter more prominent in my mind, growing up with Shoshone friends. Yet, what in Western history predominates our thinking about atrocities — not our own atrocities, and not those in countries we have little identity with. Give that some real thought and you may start to see the malleability of our thinking that the author is trying to instill an understanding of.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." ~ Voltaire

As to clarity, the author does a good job of getting his points across. For example, in explaining the differences between the words inherited and heritability in discussing environmental effects on gene influence on behaviors, the author says, "if you’re trying to guess whether a particular person is likely to have five or four fingers on his hand. Knowing whether he uses buzz saws while blindfolded is more useful than knowing the sequence of his genome."

This book brings to mind Jean Bruller's (pen name Vercors) 1952 novel You Shall Know Them, in which he declared, "All of man’s troubles have arisen from the fact that we do not know what we are and do not agree on what we want to be."

The perceptive reader here may also discern how our thinking is manipulated by others with agendas (whoa, could it be major industries propagandize for the sake of profit :-). Of course there are no pat techniques as effects vary by individual, but such as subliminal stimulus (e.g. certain words and/or seemingly random periphery images) has a respectable success rate in targeted groups with similar inclinations.

"It's easier to fool people than it is to convince them they have been fooled." ~ Mark Twain

Along this line, in comparing primate species with humans, the author notes at one point that primates are unlikely to consciously strategize deception, and when they do practice deception they don't seem to feel bad or morally soiled in doing so, nor actually believe their lies. Concluding that, for those things we need humans ;-) I found the neurological aspects this raised interesting.

"We aren’t chimps, and we aren’t bonobos. We’re not a classic pair-bonding species or a tournament species. We’ve evolved to be somewhere in between in these and other categories that are clear-cut in other animals. It makes us a much more malleable and resilient species. It also makes our social lives much more confusing and messy, filled with imperfection and wrong turns."

The author presents considerable evidencing of numerous studies showing that we humans are less rational and autonomous decision makers than we like to think. As one example dealt with at length, stress, which we all experience in varying situations and degrees, further stimulates poor decision making. But that's not all by a long shot that is at play, as the reader will learn. In numerous chapters, pay particular attention to conclusions and exceptions at the end, and give them some thought. Also, chapter lead-ins, and the trashing of common misconceptions, are important in understanding the following material.

The final chapter, War and Peace, is an optimistic offering such as evidence that our thinking has improved, and examining ways to improve further.

Warning: Many of the studies discussed aren't all that upsetting to a general reader. But, there are some that are likely distressing, depending on the reader's cultural biases.

Another subject relative book that should be read is The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson.

=================

Quiz 1: Cognitively speaking, do you know what the opposite of love is? “Biologically, intense love and intense hate aren’t opposites. The opposite of each is indifference.”

Quiz 2: Strictly speaking, are men better at math than women? If you answered yes, or no for the wrong reason, you are incorrect. Cultural influence strongly affects the difference in math aptitudes. Look at the difference in math aptitudes between gender-equality and gender-inequality cultures.

Quiz 3: Do consistent political orientations arise from deep, implicit factors that have remarkably little to do with specific political issues? Yup, political ideology is but one manifestation of larger internal forces. [This is dealt with at length.]

Such quizzes relative to human behavior could go on and on, showing how our thinking is a mis-mash of conflicting affects, that are not necessarily trustworthy. Read carefully, and you might come to see the relevance of the first chapter epigraph in my own book, "A common hindrance in life is our own thinking."

A final note: "Brains and cultures coevolve." Give that a good hard thought.

“Live as if your Life has consequences far beyond your understanding. It does.” ~ Duncan Morrison

Enhance your frame of reference with a balance of meaningful reading. Please, for our sake, our children's sake, and the sake all the innocents whose futures are threatened.

Okay, I'm ready for some lighter reading now :-) ( )
  LGCullens | Jun 29, 2021 |
4/16/21 Ace Cormier
  Johnsonk | Apr 16, 2021 |
I got through about two thirds of this book, avidly lapping up both the author's wisdom and humor - until I got into chapter dealing with a topic that I knew something about, where I began to feel that the author’s – openly declared – liberal views made him less than impartial on a number of issues. I still thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, but it made me aware of a certain selectivity in the author’s use of sources – both the facts he quotes and their interpretation.

The first half of the book deals with one of the author’s own area of expertise, neurobiology, and how the interaction between the various parts of the brain influences behavior. It is a detailed and comprehensive review of how neurons work, the role of hormones and other chemicals, and genetic factors may influence behavior. He dispels some myths; testosterone doesn’t always equate with aggressive behavior; it just increases the intensity of any type of behavioral reaction. Increased dopamine doesn’t always produce more pleasure, etc. Throughout, he emphasizes “context” as the key factor which mitigates the influence of all these biological factors on behavior, and confounds the ability to make accurate predictions.

In dealing with moral cognition, and the differences between social/political conservatives and liberals, he quotes from the work of social psychologist Jonathan Haidt of NYU, who identifies five foundations of morality - care versus harm; fairness versus cheating; loyalty versus betrayal; authority versus subversion; sanctity versus degradation. Both experimental and real-world data show that liberals preferentially value two foundations, caring and fairness. In contrast, conservatives value all five more or less equally, with less emphasis on the first two. He then implies that Haidt is a closet conservative masquerading as a liberal, in order to support a conservative worldview that liberals are morally impoverished, with half their moral foundations atrophied. The thrust of Haidt's work is in fact quite the reverse; that, in order to reduce polarization, it is important to understand other people's moral priorities - not to condemn them for them. In contrast, Sapolsky supports a more partisan interpretation, espoused by Joshua Greene of Harvard, that liberals have more "refined" moral foundations, having jettisoned the "less important and more historically damaging" ones that conservatives value. In his book “Moral Tribes”, Joshua Greene does dispute Haidt’s view that all moral foundations are of equal value; he says that American social conservatives place special value only on their own “tribal” authorities, “tribal” loyalties, and their own religion; but he does not use the words “more refined” or “less important and historically damaging” about these moral foundations. Greene’s characterization of conservatives’ values is descriptive; Sapolsky’s misrepresentation of his argument characterizes them - by definition - as retrograde and inferior.

He uses a similar tactic in a chapter dealing with empathy and feeling others’ pain. Sapolsky says in a footnote that, considering whose pain you readily feel can be an “informative political litmus test.” His unsubtle example is a fetus versus a homeless person. This is followed with a quote from a book by political scientist Keith Wailoo “What it means to be liberal or conservative became ideologically solidified around the problem of pain.” In his book “Pain; A Political History”, Wailoo explains what he meant. “There was in fact such a thing as a liberal pain standard that had been developed within disability policy, in medicine and in science, and in government in the decades before Reagan became president, and there was, in his (Reagan’s) own time, a severe backlash aiming to impose a conservative standard of pain.” Wailoo was making essentially the same point as Haidt, that views about pain standards and moral stances both are products of specific socio-political and cultural values; while Sapolsky just wants to assert the superiority of the liberal versions.

Other parts of the chapter on empathy are very illuminating:

• That empathy can become an objective in its own right and essentially a road block to action. Too much empathy can impede doing what is necessary; which is why health care professionals are trained to keep empathy at bay.

• That highly charitable people tend to have been brought up by parents who were charitable and who emphasized charitable acts as a moral imperative (particularly in a religious context).i.e. being charitable is part of self-definition.

• That, across a worldwide range of religions, the more people see themselves as accountable to god, the more likely they are to behave “pro-socially” even when no one else is looking.

In his chapter on reforming the criminal justice system, in the light of modern understanding of neurobiological influences on behavior, he gets into the issue of free will. Most people believe in a “mitigated free will”; that is a free will that is subject to influence from biological factors, physical or mental impairment, childhood upbringing, economic circumstances, cultural background, etc. This belief requires an implicit acceptance of Cartesian duality, which the author parodies hilariously, by describing the “homunculus” sitting at a control panel in a concrete bunker somewhere in the brain, whose executive decisions about how to behave are sometimes disrupted or preempted by factors outside of its control. He acknowledges that belief in mitigated free will is bolstered by the fact that, at its current state, brain science is unable to make accurate (or any) predictions about how a given individual will behave; however, he is confident in the ability of science, at some point in the future, to be more reliably predictive of behavior than it currently is. This is the usual pretention of scientists that the “Mind of God” must inevitably yield its secrets to scientific advances. An unapologetic believer in biological determinism, he makes no attempt to grapple with “the hard problem” of consciousness; although – very honestly – he does admit at the end of the chapter that he “can’t really imagine how to live your life as if there is no free will.”

This is a very good read, very informative and LOL funny in parts. For this reason, it is a little bit insidious, because it is not impartial science. Read it, but read it with caution. ( )
  maimonedes | Jan 14, 2021 |
"If you had to boil this book down to a single phrase, it would be “It’s complicated.” Nothing seems to cause anything; instead everything just modulates something else." (674)

An exhaustive study of human behavior by a polymathic neuroscientist who studies baboons and teaches at Stanford, this massive undertaking talks about everything from brain structure and hormones to culture and philosophy, and could easily have been broken up into two or three separate books. Sapolsky is a very good writer (I loved A Primate's Memoir) and is also obviously a good teacher (I recommend the YouTube videos of his class), plus he is anything but arrogant.

He is meticulous about reminding us when he reintroduces a topic he talked about earlier, as well as about foreshadowing that a particular topic is going to reappear. He obligingly attaches appendices that provide basic information about things such as neurology for those who might be tackling a book of this type without knowing much. Of course, that's essential, since this book could be the curriculum for a multi-year college curriculum.

I have a few criticisms of the book. It may seem handy to use acronyms for the various brain structures, and I get it, but it's easier for me to remember "anterior cingulate cortex" than "ACC." Not that I can remember what the anterior cingulate cortex does even after having read the whole thing. I have to look it up every time (It's involved in empathy, impulse control, emotion, and decision-making) (I do, however, remember the amygdala and the insular cortex functions, because damn).

Another criticism is that while I love footnotes ordinarily, he would have done well to resist the urge to include so many of them in this book. I enjoyed reading them, and couldn't keep from looking at them, but it made reading the book a little bewildering and incredibly slow from time to time. He really couldn't resist shoving all the cool facts in, and yeah, they're cool, but I borrowed this book on Kindle from the library and had to renew it twice.

I also wish he had resisted the urge to tackle the philosophical problem of whether or not free will exists, though I guess he had to because if you are examining all the ways in which behavior is determined from synapses to cultures, you have to accept that the idea of free will is implicated. But his "homunculus" discussion either needed to be dealt with in more detail (oh, golly, another hundred pages) or in less, because he was wading into waters that are not only deep but turbulent, and the resulting chapter seemed dismissive, as well as being less grounded in research than even the chapter on religion.

That said, the book is worth wading through. If you buy the physical book, I recommend cutting it into chunks so that you don't get a backache from carrying it around. If you find that heretical, buy two copies. ( )
  dmturner | Jun 29, 2020 |
Magisterial survey of how we make our best and worst decisions, diving right into all the biological details from dendrites and axions on up to the frontal cortex and the amygdala, not forgetting hormones and neurotransmitters. A bit heavy on the chemistry at times, and his love of acronyms confuses, but wonderful overall. Would like to listen again. ( )
  Matt_B | Feb 19, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 12 (següent | mostra-les totes)
What happens in brains and bodies at the moment humans engage in violence with other humans? That is the subject of Stanford University neurobiologist and primatologist Robert M. Sapolsky’s Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. The book is Sapolsky’s magnum opus, not just in length, scope (nearly every aspect of the human condition is considered), and depth (thousands of references document decades of research by Sapolsky and many others) but also in importance as the acclaimed scientist integrates numerous disciplines to explain both our inner demons and our better angels.
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Robert M. Sapolskyautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Goldstrom, MichaelNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Has d'iniciar sessió per poder modificar les dades del coneixement compartit.
Si et cal més ajuda, mira la pàgina d'ajuda del coneixement compartit.
Títol normalitzat
Títol original
Títols alternatius
Data original de publicació
Gent/Personatges
Llocs importants
Esdeveniments importants
Pel·lícules relacionades
Premis i honors
Informació del coneixement compartit en anglès. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
Epígraf
Dedicatòria
Primeres paraules
Informació del coneixement compartit en anglès. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
The fantasy always runs like this: A team of us has fought our way into his secret bunker.
Citacions
Darreres paraules
Informació del coneixement compartit en anglès. Modifica-la per localitzar-la a la teva llengua.
(Clica-hi per mostrar-ho. Compte: pot anticipar-te quin és el desenllaç de l'obra.)
Nota de desambiguació
Editor de l'editorial
Creadors de notes promocionals a la coberta
Llengua original
CDD/SMD canònics

Referències a aquesta obra en fonts externes.

Wikipedia en anglès

No n'hi ha cap

"Why do we do the things we do? Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky's genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky's storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person's reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its evolutionary legacy. And so the first category of explanation is the neurobiological one. A behavior occurs--whether an example of humans at our best, worst, or somewhere in between. What went on in a person's brain a second before the behavior happened? Then Sapolsky pulls out to a slightly larger field of vision, a little earlier in time: What sight, sound, or smell caused the nervous system to produce that behavior? And then, what hormones acted hours to days earlier to change how responsive that individual is to the stimuli that triggered the nervous system? By now he has increased our field of vision so that we are thinking about neurobiology and the sensory world of our environment and endocrinology in trying to explain what happened. Sapolsky keeps going: How was that behavior influenced by structural changes in the nervous system over the preceding months, by that person's adolescence, childhood, fetal life, and then back to his or her genetic makeup? Finally, he expands the view to encompass factors larger than one individual. How did culture shape that individual's group, what ecological factors millennia old formed that culture? And on and on, back to evolutionary factors millions of years old. The result is one of the most dazzling tours d'horizon of the science of human behavior ever attempted, a majestic synthesis that harvests cutting-edge research across a range of disciplines to provide a subtle and nuanced perspective on why we ultimately do the things we do ... for good and for ill. Sapolsky builds on this understanding to wrestle with some of our deepest and thorniest questions relating to tribalism and xenophobia, hierarchy and competition, morality and free will, and war and peace. Wise, humane, often very funny, Behave is a towering achievement, powerfully humanizing, and downright heroic in its own right"--

No s'han trobat descripcions de biblioteca.

Descripció del llibre
Sumari haiku

Dreceres

Cobertes populars

Valoració

Mitjana: (4.32)
0.5
1
1.5 1
2 3
2.5
3 6
3.5 5
4 28
4.5 6
5 43

Ets tu?

Fes-te Autor del LibraryThing.

 

Quant a | Contacte | LibraryThing.com | Privadesa/Condicions | Ajuda/PMF | Blog | Botiga | APIs | TinyCat | Biblioteques llegades | Crítics Matiners | Coneixement comú | 160,669,767 llibres! | Barra superior: Sempre visible