Mind Other Resources

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Core Readings

  • Mind: A Brief Introduction 1p. 2 min.
  • Magic. "On Wanting to Die." Link 1p. 2 min.
  • Magic. "Balancing Manipulation and Accommodation." Link 1p. 5 min.
  • Gilbert, Daniel, et. al. (2009). "The Surprising Power of Neighborly Advice." Link 3pp. 5 min.

Gilbert explains in evolutionary terms why our attempts to anticipate how we will feel in specified future circumstances is generally inferior to expecting to feel as others similar to us have felt in these circumstances.

  • Gilbert, Daniel. (2006). "If Only Gay Sex Caused Global Warming." Los Angeles Times. Link. 3pp. 5 min.

Gilbert explains in evolutionary terms our thus far ineffectual response to global climate change.

  • Keltner, Dacher. (2010). "The Science of Touch." Greater Good. Link 5pp. 5 min.

Authors confirm importance of touch for human well-being and provide evolutionary arguments to explain their findings.

  • Fisher, Helen. (1994). "Courting." Anatomy of Love. Link pp. 19-36. 20 min.

Fisher uses evolutionary biology to shed light on universal human courting behaviors.

  • Swedell, Larissa. (2012). "Primate Sociality and Social Systems." Link 5pp. 5 min.
  • Widrich, Leo. (2013). "The Secrets of Body Language: Why You Should Never Cross Your Arms Again." Buffer. Link 10pp. 5 min.

Widrich explains evolutionary roots of various postures and offers advice for using body position to enhance well-being.

  • Ekman, Paul and Keltner, Dacher. (2014). "Are Facial Expressions Universal?" Link 2pp. 5 min
  • Magic. (1983). "Thoughts on Addiction." Link 5pp. 10 min.
  • Duhigg, Charles. (2012). "Keystone Habits, or the Ballad of Paul O'Neill." (Chapter 4). The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Link 4pp. 10 min.

Duhigg makes a case that some habits are so central that by altering them we can make other change much more readily. Read this if you've yet to do so.

  • Totman, Richard. (1985). "Notes." "Translation." "Distillation." Link

David's notes on the book, Social and Biological Roles of Language: The Psychology of Justification. Each is more condensed than prior. "Distillation" is on p. 8. 1p. 5 min. "Translation" is on pages 6-7. 2pp. 5 min. If you want to explore further, read "Notes," a page-by-page summary of the book, on pages 1-5. 5pp. 10 min. Totman claims that we derive meaning by acting and justifying action. He describes how we evolve narrative and world-view by standing and explaining stands. In dismissing as pathological "non-negotiable" views, he implicitly endorses science in a broad sense that we use the term in class. In addition he argues that behavior necessary to further a valuescience paradigm shift is at once meaningful and healthful. His writing is dense, which is why we've processed it for you. We find it illuminating of our inner world, persuasive, affirming of our venture.

  • Hagen, Steve. (1999). "Introduction," "Journey Into Now," Buddhism: Plain and Simple. Link pp. 1-11, 10 min.

Hagan writes simply and lucidly about the essence of Buddhism. Please read these pages with an eye to asking how we might claim that Buddhism can be viewed as science.

  • Gilsinan, Kathy. (2015). "The Buddhist and the Neuroscientist." The Atlantic. Link 2pp. 2 min.

Gilsinan reports on Richard Davidson's studies of monks, less experienced meditators, and people trained to be grateful, all of which confirm that well-being is highly correlated with generosity and gratitude.

  • Manoogian, John. (2016) "Cognitive Bias Codex." Better Humans. Link 1p. 5 min.

Interest Readings

  • Hagen, Steve. (1999). "Wisdom." Buddhism: Plain and Simple. Link pp. 63-76. 20 min.

Read this if you want more about Buddhist practice.

  • Hagen, Steve. (1999). "Practice." Buddhism: Plain and Simple. Link pp. 95-109. 15 min.

Read this if you want yet more about Buddhist practice.

  • Killingsworth, Matthew; Gilbert, Daniel. (2010)."A Wandering Mind Is an Unhappy Mind." Science. Link 1p. 5 min.

The authors provide evidence that we benefit by cultivating awareness and presence.

  • Emmons, Robert; McCullough, Michael. (2003). “Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well-Being in Daily Life.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Link. 1p. 5 min.

Evidence that gratitude is highly correlated with general well-being.

  • Dunn, Elizabeth, et. al. (2008). "Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness." Science. Link. 2pp. 5 min.

Evidence that generosity is correlated with well-being.

  • "The Roseto Effect." Link 6pp. 10 min.

Remarkable longitudinal study that showed living in loving community to be more important in lowering morbidity and mortality than many now commonly cited risk factors.

  • Fowler, James; Christakis, Nicholas (2008). “Dynamic Spread of Happiness in a Large Social Network: Longitudinal Analysis over 20 Years in the Framingham Heart Study.” BMJ. Link. 20pp. 5 min.

Read the abstract and conclusion. Look at the figures if you want. Authors provide evidence that well-being is contagious.

  • Vaillant, George. (2013). "What Are the Secrets to a Happy Life?" Link 5pp., 5min.

Psychiatrist who for 30+ years oversaw the Grant Study, a longitudinal research into the lives of more than three hundred people, describes findings.

  • Gertner, Jon. (2009). "Why Isn't the Brain Green." New York Times. Link
  • Axelbank, Rachel. (2009). "Professor Happiness." Princeton Alumni Weekly. Link
  • Gilbert, Daniel. (2004). "Why Are We Happy?" TED. Link
  • Krakovsky, Marina. (2007). "The Science of Lasting Happiness." Scientific American. Link
  • Begley, Susan. (2007). "How Thinking Can Change the Brain." Wall Street Journal. Link
  • Lowenstein, George. (2002). "Behavioral Economics: Past, Present, Future." Link
  • Campbell, Sherrie. (2015). Entrepreneur. "15 Traits of Emotionally Intelligent People." Link 4 pp., 5 min.
  • Patel, Sujan. (2015) Entrepreneur. "10 Behaviors of Unstoppable Entrepreneurs." Link 3pp., 3 min.
  • Levitt, Steven. (2015) "To Quit, Force a Moment of Truth." University of Chicago. Link 3pp. 3 min.

Levitt argues that a coin flip is better than waffling on big decisions. Based on data from tens of thousands of people he argues that we are biased against personal change and will more often than not benefit from it when feeling indecisive about it.

  • Pinker, Steven. (2002) end of "Silly Putty," "Last Wall to Fall." The Blank Slate. pp. 28-58. Link
  • Wikipedia. (2009). "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." Link 8 pp.

Maslow proposes a schema, widely referenced for more than half a century, characterizing what he discovered to be universal human wants.

  • Wikipedia. "Illusion of Control." Link 2 min.
  • Wikipedia. "Preconscious." Link 1 min.
  • Smith, Kerri. (2008). "Brain makes decisions before you even know it." Nature. Link 3 min.
  • Wikipedia. "Priming." Link 3 min.
  • Wikipedia. "Mortality Salience." Link 2 min.
  • Wikipedia. "Monogamy." Link 8pp. 10 min.

Data and analysis about human mating strategies. There's a lot of info here. Read enough to gain perspective on your own vision and on the behaviors of those you've known.

  • Wordnik. "Addiction." Link
  • Wikipedia. "Serenity Prayer." Link 2 min.
  • Wikipedia. “Classical Conditioning.” Link 2 min.
  • Wikipedia. “Operant Conditioning.” Link
  • Wikipedia. "Defense Mechanisms." Link