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Cognitive Psychology

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  1. 8.7 hrs • 8/23/2016 • Unabridged

    The pioneering veterinarian and author of the New York Times bestseller The Dog Who Loved Too Much recounts his uniquely entertaining—and poignant—stories of treating animals for all-too-human problems as he reveals his amazing breakthroughs with the new science of One Medicine. The Oliver Sacks of animal brains, Dr. Nicholas Dodman is an internationally renowned veterinarian and research scientist who wrote one of the first popular books to recognize the complex emotional lives of dogs and to reveal innovative ways to help them, including with Puppy Prozac. Now Dr. Dodman once again breaks new ground with the practice of One Medicine, the profound recognition that humans and other animals share the same neurochemistry, and that our minds and emotions work in similar ways. Racehorses with Tourette’s syndrome, spinning dogs with epilepsy, cats with obsessive-compulsive disorder, feather-plucking parrots with anxiety, and a diffident bull terrier with autism—these astonishing cases were all helped by One Medicine, which emphasizes the similarities rather than differences between animals and humans. Inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking, and utterly fascinating, Pets on the Couch demonstrates how what we share with our animals can only lead us to a greater appreciation for them—and for our mutual bonds.

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    Pets on the Couch by Nicholas Dodman, DVM

    Pets on the Couch

    8.7 hrs • 8/23/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 10.8 hrs • 5/10/2016 • Unabridged

    So, you’ve earned a seat at the table. What happens next? From confidence gaps to power poses, leaning in to calling bias out, bossypants to girl bosses, women have been hearing a lot of advice lately. Most of this aims at greater success, but very little focuses on a key set of skills that ensures such success—making the wisest, strongest decisions. Every day, in every part of our lives, we face an increasing number of choices. Our futures depend not just on the results, but on how well we handle making these hard choices and the serious scrutiny that comes with them. But is a woman’s experience issuing a tough call any different from a man’s? Absolutely. From start to finish. Men and women approach decisions differently, though not necessarily in the ways we have been led to believe. Stress? It actually makes women more focused. Confidence? A healthy dose of self-questioning leads to much stronger decisions. And despite popular misconceptions, women are just as decisive as men—though they may pay a price for it. So why, then, does a real gap arise after the decision is made? Why are we quick to question a woman’s decisions but inclined to accept a man’s? And why is a man’s reputation as a smart decision-maker cemented after one big call, but a woman is expected to prove herself again and again? How Women Decide delivers lively, engaging stories of real women and their experiences, as well as expert, accessible analysis of what the science has to say. Cognitive psychologist Therese Huston breaks open the myths and opens up the conversation about how we can best shape our habits, perceptions, and strategies, not just to make the most of our own opportunities, but to reshape the culture and bring out the best decisions—regardless of who’s making them.

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    How Women Decide

    10.8 hrs • 5/10/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 11.8 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    A fascinating exploration of how computer algorithms can be applied to our everyday lives, helping to solve common decision-making problems and illuminate the workings of the human mind. All our lives are constrained by limited space and time, limits that give rise to a particular set of problems. What should we do, or leave undone, in a day or a lifetime? How much messiness should we accept? What balance of new activities and familiar favorites is the most fulfilling? These may seem like uniquely human quandaries, but they are not: computers, too, face the same constraints, so computer scientists have been grappling with their version of such problems for decades. And the solutions they’ve found have much to teach us. In a dazzlingly interdisciplinary work, acclaimed author Brian Christian and cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths show how the simple, precise algorithms used by computers can also untangle very human questions. They explain how to have better hunches and when to leave things to chance, how to deal with overwhelming choices and how best to connect with others. From finding a spouse to finding a parking spot, from organizing one’s inbox to understanding the workings of human memory, Algorithms to Live By transforms the wisdom of computer science into strategies for human living.

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    Algorithms to Live By

    11.8 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 8.4 hrs • 1/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Tired of endless dieting? Not getting results that last? It’s time to change your relationship to food and change the way you look—for life! Thin from Within explores the emotional triggers and ingrained behaviors driving overindulgence. It offers you powerful cognitive tools that will retrain your brain, along with simple self-coaching techniques proven to break self-sabotaging cravings, compulsions, and emotional eating. These strategies will turn healthy eating into an effortless process of ongoing weight mastery. Thin from Within will make it easier than you ever imagined for you to lose those extra pounds for good.

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    Thin from Within by Joseph J. Luciani, PhD

    Thin from Within

    8.4 hrs • 1/1/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 6.7 hrs • 10/6/2015 • Unabridged

    A leading behavioral economist shows how businesses can improve consumer thinking and decision making on screens.The typical American office worker now spends the majority of his or her waking hours staring at a screen. In the twenty-first century, every business is a digital business, which is why it’s so critical to understand how we think and behave online.Acclaimed behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi reveals a toolkit of interventions for the digital age. Using provocative case studies and engaging reader exercises, Benartzi shows how businesses can update their nudges to help consumers make better decisions on screens.Consider these solutions:The tournament model used for Wimbledon and March Madness may help consumers identify what they want more easily. While most websites attempt to display as many options as possible, if people can select options from manageable rounds they tend to make better choices.People are more willing to tell a gadget the truth about their risky health behaviors than an actual doctor. When dealing with sensitive subjects, the absence of human feedback—an absence made easy in an age of screens and machines—can be a great advantage.The precise location of an option on a screen can have a massive impact on consumer choice. (In some instances, screen location matters more than personal preference.) The same logic also applies to information, as certain layouts can dramatically influence our levels of attention.Although most websites are designed to make the act of reading as easy as possible, Benartzi explains why this can be a big mistake. Sometimes, the careful use of ugly fonts and other forms of “visual disfluency” are an important way to boost reading comprehension and retention.This book will help you transform the challenges of the digital world into powerful new opportunities that will drive your success in an age of screens.

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    The Smarter Screen

    By Shlomo Benartzi, with Jonah Lehrer
    Read by Rob Shapiro
    6.7 hrs • 10/6/15 • Unabridged
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  6. 5.6 hrs • 8/28/2015 • Unabridged

    Adults who want to learn a foreign language are often discouraged because they believe they cannot acquire a language as easily as children. Once they begin to learn a language, students may be further discouraged when they find the methods used to teach children don’t seem to work for them. What is an adult language learner to do? In Becoming Fluent, Richard Roberts and Roger Kreuz draw on insights from psychology and cognitive science to show that adults can master a foreign language if they bring to bear the skills and knowledge they have honed over a lifetime. Adults shouldn’t try to learn as children do; they should learn like adults. Roberts and Kreuz report evidence that adults can learn new languages even more easily than children. Children appear to have only two advantages over adults in learning a language: they acquire a native accent more easily, and they do not suffer from self-defeating anxiety about learning a language. Adults, on the other hand, have the greater advantages—gained from experience—of an understanding of their own mental processes and knowing how to use language to do things. Adults have an especially advantageous grasp of pragmatics, the social use of language, and Roberts and Kreuz show how to leverage this metalinguistic ability in learning a new language. Learning a language takes effort. But if adult learners apply the tools acquired over a lifetime, it can be enjoyable and rewarding.

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    Becoming Fluent by Richard Roberts, Roger Kreuz

    Becoming Fluent

    5.6 hrs • 8/28/15 • Unabridged
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  7. 7.7 hrs • 8/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Through the vivid, true stories of five people who journeyed into and out of addiction, a renowned neuroscientist explains why the “disease model” of addiction is wrong, and illuminates the path to recovery. The psychiatric establishment and rehab industry in the Western world have branded addiction as a brain disease, based on evidence that brains change with drug use. But in The Biology of Desire, cognitive neuroscientist and former addict Marc Lewis makes a convincing case that addiction is not a disease, and shows why the disease model has become an obstacle to healing. Lewis reveals addiction as an unintended consequence of the brain doing what it’s supposed to do: seek pleasure and relief in a world that’s not cooperating. Brains are designed to restructure themselves with normal learning and development, but this process is accelerated in addiction when highly attractive rewards are pursued repeatedly. Lewis shows why treatment based on the disease model so often fails, and how treatment can be retooled to achieve lasting recovery, given the realities of brain plasticity. Combining intimate human stories with clearly rendered scientific explanation, The Biology of Desire is enlightening and optimistic reading for anyone who has wrestled with addiction either personally or professionally.

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    The Biology of Desire by Marc Lewis, PhD

    The Biology of Desire

    7.7 hrs • 8/1/15 • Unabridged
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  8. 3.5 hrs • 7/1/2015 • Unabridged

    How did the human mind emerge from the collection of neurons that makes up the brain? How did the brain acquire self-awareness, functional autonomy, language, and the ability to think, to understand itself and the world? In this volume in MIT’s Essential Knowledge series, Zoltan Torey offers an accessible and concise description of the evolutionary breakthrough that created the human mind. Drawing on insights from evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and linguistics, Torey reconstructs the sequence of events by which Homo erectus became Homo sapiens. He describes the augmented functioning that underpins the emergent mind—a new (“off-line”) internal response system with which the brain accesses itself and then forms a selection mechanism for mentally generated behavior options. This functional breakthrough, Torey argues, explains how the animal brain’s “awareness” became self-accessible and reflective—that is, how the human brain acquired a conscious mind. Consciousness, unlike animal awareness, is not a unitary phenomenon but a composite process. Torey’s account shows how protolanguage evolved into language, how a brain subsystem for the emergent mind was built, and why these developments are opaque to introspection. We experience the brain’s functional autonomy, he argues, as free will. Torey proposes that once life began, consciousness had to emerge—because consciousness is the informational source of the brain’s behavioral response. Consciousness, he argues, is not a newly acquired “quality,” “cosmic principle,” “circuitry arrangement,” or “epiphenomenon,” as others have argued, but an indispensable working component of the living system’s manner of functioning.

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    The Conscious Mind by Zoltan Torey

    The Conscious Mind

    3.5 hrs • 7/1/15 • Unabridged
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  9. 10.1 hrs • 6/16/2015 • Unabridged

    Weaving together historical examples, scientific studies, and compelling court cases—from the border collie put on trial in Kentucky to the five teenagers who falsely confessed in the Central Park jogger case—Benforado shows how our judicial processes fail to uphold our values and protect society’s weakest members. With clarity and passion, he lays out the scope of the problem and proposes a wealth of reforms that could prevent injustice and help us achieve true fairness and equality before the law.

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    Unfair

    10.1 hrs • 6/16/15 • Unabridged
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  10. 3.4 hrs • 5/19/2015 • Unabridged

    Three-time New York Times bestselling author Dan Ariely presents an expanded collection of his immensely popular Wall Street Journal advice column, “Ask Ariely.” Behavioral economist Dan Ariely revolutionized the way we think about ourselves, our minds, and our actions in his books Predictably Irrational, The Upside of Irrationality, and The Honest Truth about Dishonesty. Ariely applies this scientific analysis of the human condition in his “Ask Ariely” Q & A column in the Wall Street Journal, in which he responds to readers who write in with personal conundrums ranging from the serious to the curious:What can you do to stay calm when you’re playing the volatile stock market?What’s the best way to get someone to stop smoking?How can you maximize the return on your investment at an all-you-can-eat buffet?Is it possible to put a price on the human soul?Can you ever rationally justify spending thousands of dollars on a Rolex? In Irrationally Yours, a broad variety of economic, ethical, and emotional dilemmas are explored and addressed. Using his trademark insight and wit, Ariely helps us reflect on how we can reason our way through external and internal challenges. Readers will laugh, learn, and most importantly gain a new perspective on how to deal with the inevitable problems that plague our daily life.

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    Irrationally Yours

    3.4 hrs • 5/19/15 • Unabridged
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  11. 8.3 hrs • 5/12/2015 • Unabridged

    A transformative, fascinating new theory that reveals how our unconscious fear of death powers almost everything we do, shining a light on the hidden motivations of human behavior. More than one hundred years ago, the American philosopher William James wrote that the knowledge that we must die is “the worm at the core” of the human condition—a universally shared fear that informs all our thoughts and actions, from the great art we create to the devastating wars we wage. Using data collected from human subjects, Sheldon Solomon, Jeff Greenberg, and Tom Pyszczynski show conclusively that the fear of death and the desire to transcend it inspire us to buy expensive cars, crave fame, put our health at risk, and disguise our animal nature. The fear of death can also prompt judges to dole out harsher punishments, make children react negatively to people different from themselves, and inflame intolerance and violence. But the worm at the core need not consume us. This book also reveals how human beings have come to terms with death and learned to lead lives of courage, creativity, and compassion. It infuses our lives with order, stability, significance, and purpose, and these anchors enable us to function moment to moment without becoming overwhelmed by the knowledge of our ultimate fate.

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    The Worm at the Core

    8.3 hrs • 5/12/15 • Unabridged
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  12. 4.8 hrs • 5/1/2015 • Unabridged

    Do you overthink before taking action? Are you prone to making negative predictions? Do you worry about the worst that could happen? Do you take negative feedback very hard? Are you self-critical? Does anything less than perfect performance feel like failure? If any of these issues resonate with you, you’re probably suffering from some degree of anxiety, and you’re not alone. The good news: while reducing your anxiety level to zero isn’t possible or useful (anxiety can actually be helpful!), you can learn to successfully manage symptoms—such as excessive rumination, hesitation, fear of criticism and paralysing perfection. In The Anxiety Toolkit, Dr. Alice Boyes translates powerful, evidence-based tools used in therapy clinics into tips and tricks you can employ in everyday life. Whether you have an anxiety disorder, or are just anxiety-prone by nature, you’ll discover how anxiety works, strategies to help you cope with common anxiety “stuck” points and a confidence that—anxious or not—you have all the tools you need to succeed in life and work.

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    The Anxiety Toolkit

    4.8 hrs • 5/1/15 • Unabridged
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  13. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    11.9 hrs • 4/28/2015 • Unabridged

    An impassioned, tender, and joyous memoir by the author of Musicophilia and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat When Oliver Sacks was twelve years old, a perceptive schoolmaster wrote in his report, “Sacks will go far, if he does not go too far.” It is now abundantly clear that Sacks has never stopped going. From its opening pages on his youthful obsession with motorcycles and speed, On the Move is infused with his restless energy. As he recounts his experiences as a young neurologist in the early 1960s, first in California, where he struggled with drug addiction, and then in New York, where he discovered a long-forgotten illness in the back wards of a chronic hospital, we see how his engagement with patients comes to define his life. With unbridled honesty and humor, Sacks shows us that the same energy that drives his physical passions—weight lifting and swimming—also drives his cerebral passions. He writes about his love affairs, both romantic and intellectual; his guilt over leaving his family to come to America; his bond with his schizophrenic brother; and the writers and scientists—Thom Gunn, A. R. Luria, W. H. Auden, Gerald M. Edelman, Francis Crick—who influenced him. On the Move is the story of a brilliantly unconventional physician and writer—and of the man who has illuminated the many ways in which the brain makes us human.

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    On the Move

    11.9 hrs • 4/28/15 • Unabridged
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  14. 6.9 hrs • 4/21/2015 • Unabridged

    The New York Times bestselling author of The Beck Diet Solution teams up with her daughter and colleague at the Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior to teach readers how to think their way thin, offering practical, proven tools for escaping common diet traps for good. Most diet programs work at first. But then life happens—stress, bad habits, holidays, travel—and we revert to bad habits, and the weight comes back. In this invaluable book, Dr. Judith Beck offers the solution to break free from these common diet traps and keep the weight off for life. Dr. Beck explains that when it comes to losing weight, it’s not just about what we eat. It’s also about how we think. To consistently eat differently, we must learn to think differently. Diets fail us because they don’t offer effective strategies for overcoming the common traps—emotional eating, social pressure, dining out—that can derail us. Now, she and her daughter, Deborah Beck Busis, share the techniques they have successfully used with thousands of clients, revealing how to overcome the thoughts and behaviors that have held us back. With The Diet Trap Solution, readers on any diet regimen can learn to identify their specific diet traps and create action plans to strengthen their “resistance muscle”—making losing weight easy, sustainable, and enjoyable.

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    The Diet Trap Solution

    6.9 hrs • 4/21/15 • Unabridged
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  15. 7.8 hrs • 4/21/2015 • Unabridged

    The power of uncertainty in a world of too many answers Life today feels more overwhelming and chaotic than ever. We face constant political and economic upheaval, and we’re bombarded with information, much of it contradictory. Managing uncertainty—in our jobs, our relationships, and our everyday lives—is fast becoming an essential skill. What do we do when we have no idea what to do? In Nonsense, Jamie Holmes shows how we react to ambiguous situations and how we can do it better. Being confused is unpleasant, so we tend to shutter our minds as we grasp for meaning and stability, especially in stressful circumstances. We’re hard-wired to resolve contradictions quickly and extinguish anomalies. But in doing so, we lose a vital opportunity to learn something new, solve a hard problem, or see the world from another perspective. Over the last few years, new insights from social psychology and cognitive science have deepened our understanding of the role of ambiguity in our lives, and Holmes brings this research together for the first time, showing how we can use uncertainty to our advantage. Drawing on CIA spy games, doomsday cults, medical diagnoses, and medieval ciphers, Nonsense promises to transform the way we conduct business, educate our children, and make decisions.  In an increasingly unpredictable, complex world, it turns out that what matters most isn’t IQ, willpower, or confidence in what we know. It’s how we deal with what we don’t understand.

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    Nonsense

    7.8 hrs • 4/21/15 • Unabridged
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  16. 13.6 hrs • 4/14/2015 • Unabridged

    From the bestselling editor of The Universe, This Explains Everything, and This Idea Must Die comes a cutting-edge exploration of the mysteries of rational thought, decision-making, intuition, morality, willpower, problem-solving, prediction, forecasting, unconscious behavior, and beyond. Edited by John Brockman, publisher of Edge.org, Thinking presents original ideas by today’s leading psychologists, neuroscientists, and philosophers, who are radically expanding our understanding of human thought: Daniel Kahneman on the power (and pitfalls) of human intuition and “unconscious” thinking;Daniel Gilbert on desire, prediction, and why getting what we want doesn’t always make us happy;Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the limitations of statistics in guiding decision-making;Vilayanur Ramachandran on the scientific underpinnings of human nature;Simon Baron-Cohen on the startling effects of testosterone on the brain;Daniel C. Dennett on decoding the architecture of the “normal” human mind;Sarah-Jayne Blakemore on mental disorders and the crucial developmental phase of adolescence;Jonathan Haidt, Sam Harris, and Roy Baumeister on the science of morality, ethics, and the emerging synthesis of evolutionary and biological thinking; andGerd Gigerenzer on rationality and what informs our choices.

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    Thinking

    Edited by John Brockman
    Read by Tom Perkins
    13.6 hrs • 4/14/15 • Unabridged
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