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The Idiot Brain by Dean Burnett

8 December 2021 (1 minute read)

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💯 100 Days to Offload

This article is one of a series of posts I have written for the 100 Days to Offload challenge. Disclaimer: The challenge focuses on writing frequency rather than quality, and so posts may not always be fully planned out!

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Dean Burnett’s The Idiot Brain is an interesting insight into why people think the way they do, personality, emotion, and the biology of the brain.

The Idiot Brain cover

The author (who happens to live in the same city as me: Cardiff), covers a wide range of examples of human behaviour and relates them to brain function. Often these are based on defence mechanisms developed over the vast time of human evolution, and it’s amazing how our perception of fear and “uncertainty” can have an impact on other feelings and emotions too - such as embarrassment.

I really enjoyed learning about how seemingly-complex traits and personalities in other people can be driven by relatively simple innate characteristics and biology, and how relationships between traits can form - such as how more intelligent people are typically less confident.

I was also surprised by how much we - as humans - have come to understand about the brain, although of course there is still much to be discovered.

The book is well-written and uses very witty examples throughout. It’s a great read and I can certainly recommend it.

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