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SuperSense: Why We Believe in the…
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SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable (urspr publ 2009; utgåvan 2009)

av Bruce M. Hood (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
312963,378 (3.53)13
A neuroscientist identifies a high prevalence of belief in supernatural phenomena and superstition while explaining why people are innately subject to such beliefs, in an account that explores why superstitions promote societal bonding.
Medlem:runningbeardbooks
Titel:SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable
Författare:Bruce M. Hood (Författare)
Info:HarperOne (2009), 320 pages
Samlingar:personal list of to-reads
Betyg:
Taggar:to-read

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SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable av Bruce M. Hood (2009)

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Certainly gave some ideas of why the brain creates weird things like feelings of ghosts and being stared at. Will likely read more about the concept in the future. ( )
  melsmarsh | May 18, 2020 |
This is a fairly interesting book about the nature and origin of irrational or supernatural belief - taking these terms not necessarily in a derogatory sense, but as representing a spectrum of non-scientifically verifiable views from mainstream religious beliefs, through belief in ghosts and fortune telling, to customary beliefs such as believing in luck, not walking under ladders, and even common or garden phenomena like believing we can tell when someone behind us is looking at us. His central thesis is that such beliefs are not necessarily taught as part of culture, but sometimes arise from our instinctive thinking as babies and young children. It's interesting stuff, albeit rather repetitive and this could probably have been rather shorter, though it is enlivened by some interesting experiments, for example offering people money to wear a cardigan, then challenging them by saying it belonged to a murderer - society's instinctive conventions prevent most people from wearing it knowing this, even though it's still the same garment. 3.5/5 ( )
  john257hopper | Feb 22, 2019 |
Abandoned. Seems like a nice enough book, but a bit wordy and short on new insights.
  mrgan | Oct 30, 2017 |
Why do people find it so easy to believe in supernatural things, from gods to ghosts to lucky socks to ESP? Some think that we're taught these things as children and simply fail to question them, but Bruce Hood contends that it has a lot more to do with the way our brains naturally experience and categorize the world, from the time we're very young. For instance, he argues that we have an intuitive sense that everything -- and particularly every living thing -- has a fundamental, invisible essence that defines it, and which can rub off on the world around it. This explains, among other things, why people are so keen to touch things that used to to belong to celebrities, and why we instinctively recoil from the thought of wearing a serial killer's sweater, no matter how thoroughly it may have been washed.

There are a lot of deeply interesting ideas in this book, many of which are bound to be quite eye-opening if you've never encountered them before, and are still fairly thought-provoking even if you have. Hood also provides lots of fascinating (if often quite disturbing) examples of this "SuperSense" at work. Unfortunately, though, the structure isn't quite as good as the content: there's a lot of rambling and repetition here, and Hood sometimes seems to circle around the points he wants to make for a long time, rather than getting at them directly. ( )
2 rösta bragan | Dec 21, 2012 |
When Hood says that he knows his readers are superstitious otherwise they wouldn't be reading his book, that took me back a little. Those of us who are not religious on occasion want to know why others are. He does indeed wind some things around to fit his theories, but some of his theories explain a lot. He says intuitive thinking arises naturally in childhood because of human's need to find causation and patterns in their environments. Intuitive spiritual reasoning consists of animism or the idea that all natural objects have souls; vitalism, the idea that the activities of life are under the guidance of something; and teleological reasoning, that things in nature exist for a end. No one has to instill these ideas in children, but they can be reinforced by religion. Rational thinking is more difficult and arises as a person is educated in the sciences. He also cites a little bit of the studies on the VMAT2 gene that encourages spirituality and dopamine which encourages a person to see patterns in life where they may or may not exist. So he says in a way we have no free will in whether or not we are religious. He talks a little about secular forms of supernatural belief such as a belief in esp or the conviction that you can feel someone staring at you. He says supernatural beliefs are good in that they hold society together in a sense of connectedness within the group and within humanity.

I can relate a little to this as I don't struggle about whether or not to believe, it just comes naturally to me not to. Guess I have low dopamine and no VMAT2 gene. He does tend to repeat himself and probably is simplistic, but I found much of this enlightening. ( )
  Citizenjoyce | Dec 4, 2010 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Bruce M. Hoodprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Vanloozenoord, SharonFormgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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I dedicate this book to my girls (from the Acknowledgments)
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The house at 25 Cromwell Street, Gloucester, England, is no longer there. (Prologue)
Weird stuff happens all the time.
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Isn't it ironic that we immerse our children in make-believe as preschoolers, only to tell them to put away such foolish ideas and "grow-up" when they reach school age? (Chap. 1)
The obvious answer is that there is a real benefit to believing what others tell you. Communicating and sharing ideas with others expands your knowledge so that you don't have to discover everything by yourself. (Chap. 1)
Our physical resemblance to chimpanzees may make it easier for us to understand that we share around 98 percent of our genetic makeup. Much harder to accept is that we also share 50 percent of our genetic makeup with a banana. (Chap. 3)
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A neuroscientist identifies a high prevalence of belief in supernatural phenomena and superstition while explaining why people are innately subject to such beliefs, in an account that explores why superstitions promote societal bonding.

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