The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity

Most of us believe that we are an independent, coherent self an individual inside our head who thinks, watches, wonders, dreams, and makes plans for the future This sense of our self may seem incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that it is not what it seems it is all an illusion In The Self Illusion, Bruce Hood reveals how the self emergeMost of us believe that we are an independent, coherent self an individual inside our head who thinks, watches, wonders, dreams, and makes plans for the future This sense of our self may seem incredibly real but a wealth of recent scientific evidence reveals that it is not what it seems it is all an illusion In The Self Illusion, Bruce Hood reveals how the self emerges during childhood and how the architecture of the developing brain enables us to become social animals dependent on each other Humans spend proportionally the greatest amount of time in childhood compared to any other animal It s not only to learn from others, Hood notes, but also to learn to become like others We learn to become our self Even as adults we are continually developing and elaborating this story, learning to become different selves in different situations the work self, the home self, the parent self Moreover, Hood shows that this already fluid process the construction of self has dramatically changed in recent years Social networking activities such as blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are fast becoming socialization on steroids The speed and ease at which we can form alliances and relationships are outstripping the same selection processes that shaped our self prior to the internet era Things will never be the same again in the online social world Hood offers our first glimpse into this unchartered territory Who we are is, in short, a story of our self a narrative that our brain creates Like the science fiction movie, we are living in a matrix that is our mind But Hood concludes that though the self is an illusion, it is an illusion we must continue to embrace to live happily in human society.
The Self Illusion How the Social Brain Creates Identity Most of us believe that we are an independent coherent self an individual inside our head who thinks watches wonders dreams and makes plans for the future This sense of our self may seem incredib

  • Title: The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity
  • Author: Bruce M. Hood
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • 1 thought on “The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity”

    1. This book questions our notion of self and identity, arguing they are shaped far more by other people and environments than we care to admit. Not only that, it takes this notion further… saying that myriad impulses in the brain are what really control us – impulses which operate in our unconscious or subconscious – rather than any “self” which seems to be in the driving seat. That ‘self’ is just the mouthpiece. A convenient construct that our brains have engineered to pull all the [...]

    2. This book confuses an abstract existential truth with psychological reality. It has no originality, and is potentially destructive to suffering people or as literature for their psychotherapeutic guides. The main argument of this book is that the sense of self is an illusion. The entire volume is a polemic organized around this single point. Of course it is true that nothing in the universe is enduring and permanent, since even the universe is not. But Bruce Hood confuses the kind of thinking [...]

    3. Bruce Hood gives us a crash course of sorts on all major aspects of the psychology of the mind. His writing is easy to read and keeps one engrossed. However, he has simply woven together different studies and research findings with few inputs of his own. This book is a more interesting version of a psychology textbook. Any reader who is already familiar with the major theories of psychology will be familiar with most of the content in this book. The answer to the main question of why the self is [...]

    4. A super book!Unlike the popular rhetorical claims about the self and free will which have resulted in various identity disorders in the last decade. This book provides both scientific and experimental explanation of the "self" being an illusion and a mere reflection of it's context. It is empowering to have this insight, we can go through life with less attachment to the perceived core self and the need to prove it. Consequently living with more self discipline,mind clarity,success and happiness [...]

    5. Mais um livro na linha de consciência e ilusão de livre-arbítrio. Neste caso, o Bruce M. Hood trabalha com desenvolvimento mental e trabalhou muito com o comportamento de crianças. Como no Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain, na primeira parte do livro ele fala mais sobre a própria área e como crianças se comportam, o que achei o melhor do livro (e o que justifica a leitura).E, como no Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain, na segunda metade, o livro [...]

    6. I read popular science constantly, so I was largely familiar with the psychological and neurophysiological examples that Bruce Hood gave in his book The Self Illusion, yet I had never thought about these examples in the way that Hood has. Hood has provided a beautiful synthesis of (some) familiar examples in the psychological literature to argue that the idea that human beings have a sense of self is an illusion. He writes that this of course does not mean that it "does not exist." By way of ana [...]

    7. This book ought to be titled 'The self illusion illusion' as it's an illusion that Hood has addressed the issue of the self illusion.This is such a disappointing book, considering the potential of the subject matter. I hoped for a detailed exposition on 'why there is no you inside your head' (the book subtitle). Maybe some neuroscientific perspective necessarily spliced with the appropriate philosophy, whether its Parfit's, Hume's or even Buddha's view on the absence of a self. What I got was a [...]

    8. Understand more about human mind. Some of the most interesting I like the most from this book are"I am not what I think and I am not what you think I am; I am what I think that you think I am.""The mirror neurons" fire when watching someone else's actions then because my actions are already linked to my own mind I simply have to know what is on my mind to know what you are thinking.""Mimicry binds us in an intimate relationship with others.""If you smile I automatically smile back at you this tr [...]

    9. Found out about this book from the You Are Not So Smart podcast and read it on my Kindle.It reeked of a mechanistic, sterile, matter-of-fact "you are your brain" worldview which I must admit I'm tired of and find boring, but I should have expected as much since You Are Not So Smart comes from pretty much the same mental place.I don't find fault with the idea that we don't have an integral self; obviously, just like Bruce Hood thoroughly and with rich supporting bibliography demonstrates in this [...]

    10. It extends with several details the original one Consciousness Explained which introducing consciousness as information gravitation center function and "self" as pandemonium. That was revolutionary. One of those rare best of the best "aha! here's how that works!" moments.This book explains it a bit more, for example, that "self" (as "daemon" or "server", just though off this definition) is "switching" to "another" (relatively, as probably there are no such clear boundaries) daemon depending on s [...]

    11. Hood does his best to demonstrate the book's central thesis without (over-)overwhelming those uninitiated into the convoluted realm that is neuro-psychology. The self is evidenced to not actually be the autonomously singular entity we all like to believe it is. Rather it is an emergent sum of various brain processes we do not control nor consciously know of. These processes, in turn, are heavily influenced by both nature and nurture--again, factors we have very little control over.Where this who [...]

    12. It's not a bad book, and the writing is decent. However, the chapters don't really build on one another to culminate into a conclusion. The reader isn't lead along to the authors way of thinking. The chapters are more or less just a collection of behavioral studies and the results of those studies. Some of the studies mentioned contains some fascinating stuff, but the author doesn't really make much of his case. Also, the last two chapters of the book spend way to much time explaining, the Inter [...]

    13. I liked this book a lot and I really wanted to give it four stars but what prevented me from doing so is there are horrendous grammar issues and typos. The publisher should've assigned a better proof reader. Also, though well written (grammar and typos aside), I found the central thesis of the self as an illusion got lost between chapters. In other words, a summation of what evidence has been gathered from chapter to chapter would've helped tie it all together better. Perhaps this too is an issu [...]

    14. What is the "Self"? Eastern philosophy give us a spiritual outlook. But Behavioural Neurosciences gives us a pinpointed answer. The author has endowed the book wuth the superpowers of cutting edge modern day research to understand our "Self". Though a part of the presented research data is already in works of other authors such as V. S. Ramachandran and Dan Ariely, this book has stuck to what has been promised.Do we really know who we are? Do we really think we know everything about our behaviou [...]

    15. I read this book as part of an exploration to see that "self" doesn't exist. I've been reading Eastern philosophy and needed to temper that with some good ole Western science. It wasn't as exciting or insightful as I had hoped, although it was interesting. Hood warns us against seeing through the illusion, which is the direct opposite of the advice from Eastern gurus. Can we operate without a self? To the proofreaders: OMG. Some of the typos and omissions are so bad that they completely negate t [...]

    16. No doubt this book changed the way i was looking to myself , it redefined illusion and yes everyone has self illusion ,but at the end the aim of the book was not to know your illusion and get rid of it, it just let you know where is it and how it's important to make you, you.

    17. A more thoughtful treatment than most of the books claiming free will as an illusion, but seems to lose its central focus as you get towards the end and the author moves on to other areas. Early chapters then are very good, but the book ends up a little unbalanced for me.

    18. This was an interesting read, but didn't exactly convince me that my self doesn't exist. The author claims that the self is an illusion that is difficult to shakeobably because, as he also acknowledges, the self is conjured by our interactions with our environment. The mind is wired to make sense of our experience and use memories to predict future states of whatever system we want to focus on. To give a concrete example - a mind wired mostly in comfort and a mind wired mostly in abuse will pred [...]

    19. p.5 – There are three major types of neurons. Sensory neurons respond to information picked from the environment through our senses. Motor neurons relay information that controls out movement outputs. But it is the third class of neuron that makes up the majority – the interneurons, which connect the input and the output of the brain into an internal network where all the really clever stuff happens. It is this internal network that stores information and performs all the operations that we [...]

    20. В книзі пояснено що наше сприйняття себе індивідуальністю часто є ілюзією яку створює мозок для спрощення нашого життя. Автор на прикладі досліджень пояснює як саме ці ілюзії будуються мозком, як індивідуальні риси виробляються в наших головах, як людина приймає рішення, [...]

    21. This was a very slow start, with me, during the first chapter, very much looking for useful examples to add to the narrative. What I considered to be the main downside of this book was corrected very shortly afterwards, and the story continued on a very high note.Considerable parts of this were more biochemical than I would normally appreciate, but it did seem as if the author put considerable effort into making things understandable. Similarly, his examples -- though not very different if one h [...]

    22. author cited many medical conditions, psychological and social experiments to argue that it's a illusion that we have a consistent inner self. who we think we are are made up, influenced and as a result of social interactions.

    23. The books looks at mind tricks and discoveries that show we don't always keep the same reality we had the day before. It's great food for thought!

    24. The Self Illusion is a fantastic book which has reaffirmed some of my personal psychology interests, whilst it also provided me with new perspectives on some theories, experiments, and scientific explanations.I wouldn't describe this book as 'groundbreaking' - as Bruce Hood uses many psychology studies which have weaved their way out of the exclusive academic sphere and into the accessible realms of popular knowledge. Examples of this can be found in his references to Pavlov in his famous classi [...]

    25. 4.5 starsIn the last two weeks, "The Self Illusion" took for a ride in free-will roller coaster. I'm kidding. Unlike many self-help books out there reasoning that you have total control of yourself, this book challenges that hypothesis and consider it as an illusion, underscoring our lives under the false belief of our free will. Our decisions are sharpened by our surrounding environment and people around us.A chapter that tightly grabbed my attention the most is "Caught in the Web". Like the ti [...]

    26. “We Must Believe in Free Will—We have No Choice.” SingerThis is an interesting, fast-moving inquiry into the concept of self, the belief (misguided in the opinion of the author) that there is a distinct “me” in charge of my thoughts and actions. Using a variety of classic and not-so-classic psychological studies, case histories of patients with uniquely damaged brains, an audit of historical beliefs and his own keen insights, the author slowly, methodically takes that theory apart. Wha [...]

    27. The book starts well, but then slowly devolves into a sea of personal anecdotes and opinions until you are left wondering if the author has just finished his Psychology 101 and has to share his discoveries with the world. There is a solid walk through the relevant classic experiments, but where you'd expect the current state of research, we are instead treated to the opinions of outliers with little experimental evidence to back up their claims. Indeed, throughout the book you have to be extreme [...]

    28. I don't think the argument that our selves are illusions has ever been put more concisely; nor has there been a more substantiated deterministic account of our being than this book (in my reading, anyway). One must remain stubborn/human in the face of this book if they remain to believe that everything we do is controlled by our own free will; one should also be reproached if upon its scrutiny we do not consider ourselves a social species. Nothing has been more elucidating, more balanced, nor mo [...]

    29. Most of us believe that we have an independent, coherent self – an individual inside our head who thinks, watches, wonders, dreams, and makes plans for the future. This sense of our self may seem incredibly real, but a wealth of scientific evidence reveals that it is not what it seems – it is all an illusion.Hood tracks how the self emerges during childhood, during which time we not only learn from others, but learn to become like others. We learn to create a self, and, more importantly, to [...]

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