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The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies--How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them As Truths

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Hardcover, Henry Holt & Co, 2011, ISBN13 9780805091250, ISBN10 0805091254
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Important Made in USA Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information.
Draws on three decades of research to outline a provocative theory about how humans form beliefs about the world, tracing the ways in which the brain finds patterns in sensory data that are then reinforced with meaning.

About this item

Important Made in USA Origin Disclaimer: For certain items sold by Walmart on Walmart.com, the displayed country of origin information may not be accurate or consistent with manufacturer information. For updated, accurate country of origin data, it is recommended that you rely on product packaging or manufacturer information.

Draws on three decades of research to outline a provocative theory about how humans form beliefs about the world, tracing the ways in which the brain finds patterns in sensory data that are then reinforced with meaning.

"The Believing Brain" is bestselling author Michael Shermer's comprehensive and provocative theory on how beliefs are born, formed, reinforced, challenged, changed, and extinguished.

In this work synthesizing thirty years of research, psychologist, historian of science, and the world's best-known skeptic Michael Shermer upends the traditional thinking about how humans form beliefs about the world. Simply put, beliefs come first and explanations for beliefs follow. The brain, Shermer argues, is a belief engine. From sensory data flowing in through the senses, the brain naturally begins to look for and find patterns, and then infuses those patterns with meaning. Our brains connect the dots of our world into meaningful patterns that explain why things happen, and these patterns become beliefs. Once beliefs are formed the brain begins to look for and find confirmatory evidence in support of those beliefs, which accelerates the process of reinforcing them, and round and round the process goes in a positive-feedback loop of belief confirmation. Shermer outlines the numerous cognitive tools our brains engage to reinforce our beliefs as truths.

Interlaced with his theory of belief, Shermer provides countless real-world examples of how this process operates, from politics, economics, and religion to conspiracy theories, the supernatural, and the paranormal. Ultimately, he demonstrates why science is the best tool ever devised to determine whether or not a belief matches reality.

Specifications

Number of Pages: 400
Original Languages: English
Author: Shermer, Michael
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
ISBN-13: 9780805091250
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H): 6.25 x 9.25 x 1.50 Inches
ISBN-10: 0805091254
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