I requested this book from BookBridgr in exchange for an honest review.
In Unthink, Chris Paley demonstrates the ways in which are minds work subconsciously. How it reacts without our control, can be easily manipulated and responds to different stimuli. Paley mixes science, psychology and philosophy to explain how we understand our mind, and how the professionals try to understand it. After all, the only way we can understand our own minds, is to study others.
The Ebbinghaus Illusion – which blue circle is larger?
I could write an essay on what I have learnt, but that would be boring, enjoy these little factoids instead:
- We all instinctively mimic each other. It’s not deliberate, but it is socially important. ‘People who are naturally empathetic automatically mimic more, and when we want to get on with someone we are likely to imitate them without realising that we are doing so.’
- Want to attract a mate? Try wearing red, or taking a picture on a red background. Red implies romance and we are subconsciously drawn to that. Of course, this probably applies more to women as women are the target of the romance market.
- Think you’ll never find someone and you never will – negativity is self destructive.
- ‘Remembering something doesn’t mean it happened.’
- Plato probably should have rethought his ethical superhero, empathy is more valuable than he realised.
“When The X-Files was popular, the number of reported alien abductions, some recovered under hypnosis or in therapy, rose dramatically. […] Memory’s a strange thing, and just as unreliable as those grainy photos of UFOs. The truth may be out there, but don’t rely on finding it in your head.’
The layout of Unthink was an added bonus to the generally interesting nature of the book. Paley neatly formats his information in to small chunks easily readable and allows you to dip in and out of the book with ease. A more standard format and I think I would have found it harder to consume (was this you testing my subconscious, Paley?).
Unthink may change the way you analyse the actions you take, but it probably won’t change them. We are programmed by certain controls and while I believe some of these can be altered or re-programmed, it would take time. That’s not a criticism of Unthink, that’s just who and how we are. Fascinating, isn’t it.
Unthink by Chris Paley is published on the 14th August by Coronet.