political animals how our stone age brain gets in the way of smart politics

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Political Animals

Author : Rick Shenkman
ISBN : 9780465073825
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 43. 25 MB
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Can a football game affect the outcome of an election? What about shark attacks? Or a drought? In a rational world the answer, of course, would be no. But as bestselling historian Rick Shenkman shows in Political Animals, our world is anything but rational. This isn't because we aren't smart. Instead, modern cues are setting off ancient, instinctive responses that worked to keep us safe in the Stone Age but lead us astray today. Pop culture tells us we can trust our instincts. But science is demonstrating that when it comes to politics, our Stone Age brains can malfunction and misfire. Fortunately, we can learn to override our instincts and ensure that they work in our favor. Drawing on science, politics, and history, Shenkman explores the hidden reasons behind our political choices and uncovers the invisible forces that are truly responsible for victory or defeat at the ballot box.

Political Animals

Author : Rick Shenkman
ISBN : 9780465073825
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 42. 6 MB
Format : PDF, ePub
Download : 246
Read : 930

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Can a football game affect the outcome of an election? What about shark attacks? Or a drought? In a rational world the answer, of course, would be no. But as bestselling historian Rick Shenkman shows in Political Animals, our world is anything but rational. This isn’t because we aren’t smart. Instead, modern cues are setting off ancient, instinctive responses that worked to keep us safe in the Stone Age but lead us astray today. Pop culture tells us we can trust our instincts. But science is demonstrating that when it comes to politics, our Stone Age brains can malfunction and misfire. Fortunately, we can learn to override our instincts and ensure that they work in our favor. Drawing on science, politics, and history, Shenkman explores the hidden reasons behind our political choices and uncovers the invisible forces that are truly responsible for victory or defeat at the ballot box.

Political Animals

Author : Rick Shenkman
ISBN : 9780465033003
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 39. 28 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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Why, when it comes to politics, do we often seem so gullible and uninformed? InPolitical Animals, the bestselling historian and journalist Rick Shenkman reveals the hidden biases at work in all of us when we enter the voting booth. Drawing on cutting-edge research in neuroscience, evolutionary psychology, and behavioral psychology, he explains that evolution has left us with a brain wired for the Stone Age. While these ancient instincts often work to our advantage in our personal lives, in politics they usually don't. Modern cues set off ancient instinctive responses that prompt us to behave in ways contrary to the good governance of our nation. Shenkman illuminates not only the curious habits of the American voter today but also the ways in which voter biases have shaped American political historyfrom the shark attacks that got Woodrow Wilson elected to the people who still defend Richard Nixon against the Watergate charges. In so doing, Shenkman probes the depths of the human mind to reveal what we must do to fix our floundering democracy.

Just How Stupid Are We

Author : Rick Shenkman
ISBN : 9781458775801
Genre : History
File Size : 80. 65 MB
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Fifty percent of Americans can name four characters from ¢¬The Simpsons,¢¬ but only two out of five can name all three branches of the federal government. No more than one in seven can find Iraq on a map. Just how stupid are we? Pretty stupid. In Just How Stupid Are We?, best-selling author Rick Shenkman takes aim at our great national piety: the wisdom of the American people. American democracy is as direct as it's ever been¢¬"but voters are misusing, abusing, and abdicating their political power. At once a powerful indictment of voter apathy and political indifference, Just How Stupid Are We? also provides concrete proposals for reforming our institutions¢¬"the government, the media, civic organizations, political parties¢¬"to make them work better for the American people. But first, Shenkman argues, we must reform ourselves.

Democracy Despite Itself

Author : Danny Oppenheimer
ISBN : 9780262300957
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 45. 56 MB
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Voters often make irrational decisions based on inaccurate and irrelevant information. Politicians are often inept, corrupt, or out of touch with the will of the people. Elections can be determined by the design of the ballot and the gerrymandered borders of a district. And yet, despite voters who choose candidates according to the boxer--brief dichotomy and politicians who struggle to put together a coherent sentence, democracy works exceptionally well: citizens of democracies are healthier, happier, and freer than citizens of other countries. In Democracy Despite Itself, Danny Oppenheimer, a psychologist, and Mike Edwards, a political scientist, explore this paradox: How can democracy lead to such successful outcomes when the defining characteristic of democracy -- elections -- is so flawed?Oppenheimer and Edwards argue that democracy works because regular elections, no matter how flawed, produce a variety of unintuitive, positive consequences. The brilliance of democracy, write Oppenheimer and Edwards, does not lie in the people's ability to pick superior leaders. It lies in the many ways that it subtly encourages the flawed people and their flawed leaders to work toward building a better society.

The Negotiator

Author : George J. Mitchell
ISBN : 9781451691399
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 80. 20 MB
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Compelling, poignant, enlightening stories from former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell about growing up in Maine, his years in the Senate, working to bring peace to Northern Ireland and the Middle East, and what he’s learned about the art of negotiation during every stage of his life. It’s a classic story of the American Dream. George Mitchell grew up in a working class family in Maine, experiencing firsthand the demoralizing effects of unemployment when his father was laid off from a lifelong job. But education was always a household priority, and Mitchell embraced every opportunity that came his way, eventually becoming the ranking Democrat in the Senate during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Told with wit, frankness, and a style all his own, Senator Mitchell’s memoir reveals many insights into the art of negotiation. Mitchell looks back at his adventures in law and politics—including instrumental work on clean air and water legislation, the Iran-Contra hearings, and healthcare reform—as well as life after the Senate, from leading the successful Northern Ireland peace process, to serving as chairman of The Walt Disney Company, to heading investigations into the use of steroids in baseball and unethical activity surrounding the Olympic Games. Through it all, Senator Mitchell’s incredible stories—some hilarious, others tragic, all revealing—offer invaluable insights into critical moments in the last half-century of business, law, and politics, both domestic and international.

Ordinarily Well

Author : Peter D. Kramer
ISBN : 9780374708962
Genre : Psychology
File Size : 75. 83 MB
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Do antidepressants work, or are they glorified dummy pills? How can we tell? In Ordinarily Well, the celebrated psychiatrist and author Peter D. Kramer examines the growing controversy about the popular medications. A practicing doctor who trained as a psychotherapist and worked with pioneers in psychopharmacology, Kramer combines moving accounts of his patients’ dilemmas with an eye-opening history of drug research to cast antidepressants in a new light. Kramer homes in on the moment of clinical decision making: Prescribe or not? What evidence should doctors bring to bear? Using the wide range of reference that readers have come to expect in his books, he traces and critiques the growth of skepticism toward antidepressants. He examines industry-sponsored research, highlighting its shortcomings. He unpacks the “inside baseball” of psychiatry—statistics—and shows how findings can be skewed toward desired conclusions. Kramer never loses sight of patients. He writes with empathy about his clinical encounters over decades as he weighed treatments, analyzed trial results, and observed medications’ influence on his patients’ symptoms, behavior, careers, families, and quality of life. He updates his prior writing about the nature of depression as a destructive illness and the effect of antidepressants on traits like low self-worth. Crucially, he shows how antidepressants act in practice: less often as miracle cures than as useful, and welcome, tools for helping troubled people achieve an underrated goal—becoming ordinarily well.

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