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The Strength of the Lurking Unconscious — ‘The Hidden Mind’ by Shankar Vedantam

March 17, 2012

Author Shankar Vedantam and his book ‘The Hidden Brain’ tackle how much our unconscious mind impacts our life. Most of us like to believe that our actions are based on our beliefs and our volition to live as we see fit. But, Vedantam shows how the hidden parts of our being, of our unconscious actually tend to affect the trajectories and paths of our life much more than our conscious selves. Combining neuroscience, psychology, and sciology, the book provides great insight into the most transformational moments of our lives, our childhoods, and the contexts through which our child selves absorb what goeson around them to form our conscious and more importantly, our unconscious selves. The micro-contexts of our childhood; our parents, their beliefs, their communication, and who and what types of environments they expose us to — consciously and unconsciously — feed a constant stream of cues that solidify our conceptions of everything under the sun. A more macro-contextual approach, feeds another stream of values and characteristics that fuel and pack our unconscious. This unconscious foundation of beliefs affect people more than we imagine. Vedantam says more times than not (which I assume means at least 50%), the ‘invisible co-pilot’ (a.k.a. the unconscious) drives/flies the car/plane, etc., that represents the choices and actions that forge our life path. Yet, simple unawareness prevents people from having any clue about the notion, and hence any possible chance at taking the unconscious into account to improve faults, mistakes, or disaster.

NPR/PRI’s Weekend, Michael Feldman’s ‘Whad’ya Know’ feat. interview with Vedantam
http://www.notmuch.com/

‘The Hidden Brain’ by: Shankar Vedantum
http://www.hiddenbrain.org/

Shankar Vedantam’s Website
http://vedantam.com/

‘The Hidden Brain’, on Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0385525214

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