Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie [EPUB]

Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie [EPUB]
Anatomy of a Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie by Gail Saltz
2006 | EPUB | 0.2MB

What do these people have in common?

  • The traveling businessman who brings prostitutes back to his hotel room
  • The wealthy woman who is arrested for shoplifting
  • The seemingly happily married man who cruises gay clubs

They are all—despite differences in degree, gender, and age—living a double life, one of our most deeply ingrained, but poorly understood psychological drives. Now, Dr. Gail Saltz steps into the breach to explore —in detail and based on the latest research—our impulse to create and nurture alter egos.

Saltz reveals how assuming a different identity can be healthy and tremendously liberating. For proof, we need look no further than the innumerable people who reinvent themselves by moving to the big city, or the countless pseudonymous bloggers. But, as she also makes clear, leading a secret life comes with potentially serious psychological risks. She shows that, in more extreme cases, leading a secret life can have devastating emotional, social and familial consequences—both for the person leading the secret life, and for those close to him or her.

The definitive popular work on how a secret life is formed, lived, justified, and exposed, Saltz’s Anatomy includes contemporary case studies and historical examples (Lindbergh, T. E. Lawrence, Tchaikovsky, et cetera) of people who have risked it all for a taste of forbidden fruit.

Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose [EPUB]

Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose [EPUB]
Supernormal Stimuli: How Primal Urges Overran Their Evolutionary Purpose by Deirdre Barrett
2010 | EPUB | 1.27MB

A Harvard psychologist explains how our once-helpful instincts get hijacked in our garish modern world.

Our instincts―for food, sex, or territorial protection― evolved for life on the savannahs 10,000 years ago, not in today’s world of densely populated cities, technological innovations, and pollution. We now have access to a glut of larger-than-life objects, from candy to pornography to atomic weapons―that gratify these gut instincts with often-dangerous results. Animal biologists coined the term “supernormal stimuli” to describe imitations that appeal to primitive instincts and exert a stronger pull than real things, such as soccer balls that geese prefer over eggs.

Evolutionary psychologist Deirdre Barrett applies this concept to the alarming disconnect between human instinct and our created environment, demonstrating how supernormal stimuli are a major cause of today’s most pressing problems, including obesity and war. However, Barrett does more than show how unfettered instincts fuel dangerous excesses. She also reminds us that by exercising self-control we can rein them in, potentially saving ourselves and civilization.

The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature [EPUB]

The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature [EPUB]
The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature by Geoffrey Miller
2011 | EPUB | 2.06MB

At once a pioneering study of evolution and an accessible and lively reading experience, The Mating Mind marks the arrival of a prescient and provocative new science writer. Psychologist Geoffrey Miller offers the most convincing–and radical–explanation for how and why the human mind evolved.

Consciousness, morality, creativity, language, and art: these are the traits that make us human. Scientists have traditionally explained these qualities as merely a side effect of surplus brain size, but Miller argues that they were sexual attractors, not side effects. He bases his argument on Darwin’ s theory of sexual selection, which until now has played second fiddle to Darwin’ s theory of natural selection, and draws on ideas and research from a wide range of fields, including psychology, economics, history, and pop culture. Witty, powerfully argued, and continually thought-provoking, The Mating Mind is a landmark in our understanding of our own species.

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