Raj Persaud in conversation - the podcasts ((2) general podcasts)

You can also listen to this interview on a free app on iTunes and google play store entitled 'Raj Persaud in conversation', which includes a lot of free information on the latest research findings in mental health, plus interviews with top experts from around the world. Download it free from these links



David Humbert discusses with psychiatrist Dr Raj Persaud his new book on Violence in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock and uses a depth psychological analysis to show that there are often hidden layers of meaning behind the use of violence in film. This analysis also helps us understand ourselves better and why we turn to anger and violence ourselves.



Violence in the Films of Alfred Hitchcock
A Study in Mimesis
Parting ways with the Freudian and Lacanian readings that have dominated recent scholarly understanding of Hitchcock, David Humbert examines the roots of violence in the director’s narratives and finds them not in human sexuality but in mimesis. Through an analysis of seven key films, he argues that Girard’s model of mimetic desire—desire oriented by imitation of and competition with others—best explains a variety of well-recognized themes, including the MacGuffin, the double, the innocent victim, the wrong man, the transfer of guilt, and the scapegoat. This study will appeal not only to Hitchcock fans and film scholars but also to those interested in Freud and Girard and their competing theories of desire.
Subjects: Religion | Psychology | Film Studies
Publication Date: May 1st, 2017
210 pages| 6 in x 9 in
“This book is a brilliant response to a famous volume edited by Slavoj Žižek in which Jacques Lacan takes the place of René Girard. The author convinces us that one of the best guides to understanding Girard is Hitchcock’s filmography. The anguish of the wrongly accused, the irresistible escalation of violence, and the independence of desire from its object are all ingredients of the Hitchcockian suspense, and we follow the author’s analyses with the same pleasure as we watched the movies.”
Jean-Pierre Dupuy, author of The Mark of the Sacred

“Humbert’s commentary is an excellent introduction both to Girard’s thought and to Hitchcock. And a welcome addition to film studies. That postmodern garden has long since gone to weed, overrun by an ‘emancipatory’ obsession with sex that would draw us down the rabbit hole into the lost world of gender theory, where everything is fungible and whose motto must be, ‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.’ Humbert’s book begins to clear out the post-Freudian staleness with a breath of fresh critical air. This book is very well-written and easily accessible. Its interest is not confined to the specialist and academic, as postmodern theory is by definition, but generously welcomes the lay reader and the student as well. Highly recommended.”
Stephen GardnerAssociate Professor of Philosophy, The University of Tulsa
Direct download: raj_persaud_talks_to_david_humbert.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 7:59am UTC

Could you live to 120 years old? Is all disease just a manifestation of a more fundamental biological process referred to aging? Why do we get old and get sick? A revolutionary new approach to aging and disease is being pioneered by one of the foremost authorities on longevity Dr Valter Longo. Dr Raj Persaud interviews him about his latest research and new book. Professor Longo's research suggests that living to 120 is entirely possible and that the average human lifespan could end up being 110 if the right diet and lifestyle is followed.


From https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/valter-longo/133188/



Dr Valter Longo was born in Genoa, Italy, in 1967. He is one of the world leaders in the field of aging and aging-related diseases and has published over 120 papers which include the discovery of some of the genes responsible for longevity and the identification of a genetic mutation protecting humans from some of the most common diseases.

He is currently a professor of Biogerontology and Director of the Longevity Institute in the School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California in Los AngelesThis is his first commercial book.

Valter Longo, PhD, is the Edna Jones Professor in Gerontology and Professor in Biological Science. He is also the Director of the USC Longevity Institute. He is interested in understanding the fundamental mechanisms of aging in yeast, mice and humans by using genetics and biochemistry techniques. He is also interested in identifying the molecular pathways conserved from simple organisms to humans that can be modulated to protect against multiple stresses and treat or prevent cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and other diseases of aging. The focus is on the signal transduction pathways that regulate resistance to oxidative damage in yeast and mice.

Direct download: DR-100_0089.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 12:00am UTC

You can also listen to this podcast using the free app 'Raj Persaud in Conversation' for Android and Apple mobile devices; the app gives you access to more interviews with world class experts plus more free information and bonus content on the latest cutting edge psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, self-help, social science and neuroscience then any other app and is available free from itunes app store and Google Play Store - click on these links
If you are having difficulty viewing any of the content on the app, or the latest updates or bonus content, just uninstall it and re-install it.
Why Enlightenment culture sparked the Industrial Revolution


During the late eighteenth century, innovations in Europe triggered the Industrial Revolution and the sustained economic progress that spread across the globe. While much has been made of the details of the Industrial Revolution, what remains a mystery is why it took place at all. Why did this revolution begin in the West and not elsewhere, and why did it continue, leading to today's unprecedented prosperity? In this groundbreaking book, celebrated economic historian Joel Mokyr argues that a culture of growth specific to early modern Europe and the European Enlightenment laid the foundations for the scientific advances and pioneering inventions that would instigate explosive technological and economic development. Bringing together economics, the history of science and technology, and models of cultural evolution, Mokyr demonstrates that culture—the beliefs, values, and preferences in society that are capable of changing behavior—was a deciding factor in societal transformations.

Mokyr looks at the period 1500–1700 to show that a politically fragmented Europe fostered a competitive "market for ideas" and a willingness to investigate the secrets of nature. At the same time, a transnational community of brilliant thinkers known as the “Republic of Letters” freely circulated and distributed ideas and writings. This political fragmentation and the supportive intellectual environment explain how the Industrial Revolution happened in Europe but not China, despite similar levels of technology and intellectual activity. In Europe, heterodox and creative thinkers could find sanctuary in other countries and spread their thinking across borders. In contrast, China’s version of the Enlightenment remained controlled by the ruling elite.

Combining ideas from economics and cultural evolution, A Culture of Growth provides startling reasons for why the foundations of our modern economy were laid in the mere two centuries between Columbus and Newton.

[back cover bio]Joel Mokyr is the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and professor of economics and history at Northwestern University and Sackler Professor at the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at the University of Tel Aviv. Joel Mokyr is the Robert H. Strotz Professor of Arts and Sciences and professor of economics and history at Northwestern University and Sackler Professor at the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at the University of Tel Aviv. His many books include The Enlightened Economy and The Gifts of Athena (Princeton). He is the recipient of the Heineken Prize for History and the International Balzan Prize for Economic History.

A Culture of GrowthThe Origins of the Modern EconomyJoel Moky 

Direct download: Why_Do_Societies_Make_Progress3F_Is_Progress_Inevitable3F.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 10:32am UTC

Press Release•
Sat, November 04, 2017, 7:16 PM
You can also listen to this podcast using the free app 'Raj Persaud in Conversation' for Android and Apple mobile devices; the app gives you access to more interviews with world class experts plus more free information and bonus content on the latest cutting edge psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, self-help, social science and neuroscience then any other app and is available free from itunes app store and Google Play Store - click on these links
If you are having difficulty viewing any of the content on the app, or the latest updates or bonus content, just uninstall it and re-install it.
Maurice Papworth - The story of one man’s battle against the medical establishment - by Joanna Seldon - University of Buckingham Press - Hardback £14.99 

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Maurice Pappworth’s seminal work Human Guinea Pigs (1967), the controversial book which unearthed shocking practices within the medical establishment including experimentation on humans. Despite ethical principles set up by the Nuremburg code, Pappworth uncovered increasingly invasive procedures on vulnerable groups including babies, pregnant women and cancer patients up until the 1970’s in Britain, the US and Canada. From deliberately inducing heart stoppage to achieve better X-Rays and oxygen deprivation on infants to the deliberate blistering of children’s abdomens, Pappworth named and shamed those that placed the pursuit of science above ethical practice and put lives at risk.

The Whistle-Blower is the first biography exploring the life of Pappworth, a physician who reshaped the medical establishment and helped change the face of medical ethics with Human Guinea Pigs. Brilliant, Jewish, already an outsider, Maurice Pappworth was recognised as the best medical teacher of his generation. Unafraid to speak his mind, Pappworth’s exposés were frequently covered in the press and eventually led to stricter codes of practise for human experimentation. From the Rights of Patients Bill to the establishment of ethical committees in the UK, The Whistle-Blower examines the impact Maurice Pappworth had on the medical establishment.

Maurice Pappworth’s daughter, the late Joanna Seldon, reassesses the importance of Human Guinea Pigs as a major milestone in the development of modern research ethics. The Whistle-Blower calls for a re-evaluation of the pioneering medical ethicist who compromised his own career for the protection of the patient.

About the Author

Dr Joanna Seldon, wife of historian, and political commentator, Sir Anthony Seldon, was an independent teacher and writer who died in 2016 after losing her battle with cancer. She was awarded the top first in her year reading English at Oxford University and went on to complete a Ph.D. She has published a range of novels, short-stories, poems and non-fiction titles including Still Crazy (2013), Squared (2014), Piper’s Hole (2014) and Waterloo to Wellington: From Iron Duke to Enlightened College (2015). 

Sir Anthony Seldon is a political historian and commentator on British political leadership as well as on education and contemporary Britain. He is also Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham.

He was previously the 13th Master (headmaster) of Wellington College, one of the country's most famous and historic independent schools. He was co-founder and first Director of the Institute of Contemporary British History. He is also author or editor of some 40+ books.

From http://www.anthonyseldon.co.uk/biographical-details/

Sir Anthony Seldon MA, PhD, FRSA, MBA, FRHisS

Anthony Seldon is a leading authority on contemporary British history and education and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham. He was formerly Master of Wellington College, one of the world's most famous independent schools. He is author or editor of over 40 books on contemporary history, politics and education and is the author on, and honorary historical advisor to, Downing Street.

After gaining an MA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford, and a PhD at the London School of Economics, he qualified as a teacher at King's College, London, where he was awarded the top PGCE prize in his year.

In 1993, he was appointed Deputy Headmaster and, ultimately, Acting Headmaster of St Dunstan's College in South London. He then became Headmaster of Brighton College from September 1997 until he joined Wellington College in January 2006 as 13th Master. He left Wellington College in summer 2015 to become Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, the only independent university in the UK with a Royal Charter.  He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and King's College London. He was knighted in the Queen's 2014 Birthday Honours list for services to education and modern political history. He founded the Sunday Times (now Telegraph) Festival of Education and most recently the Festival of Higher Education, and is widely known for introducing and promoting happiness, wellbeing and mindfulness across education.

Portrait by Caroline Ayles

Portrait by Caroline Ayles

He founded, with Professor Lord Peter Hennessy, the Institute of Contemporary British History, the internationally renowned body whose aim is to promote research into, and the study of, British history since 1945.

He founded Action for Happiness with Professor Lord Richard Layard and Geoff Mulgan. He is governor of several bodies, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, and is Chair of The Comment Awards.

Some of Anthony Seldon's books include:

Churchill's Indian Summer, which won a Best First Work Prize; Major, A Political Life, the authorised biography of the former Prime Minister; Conservative Century, the standard academic history of the Conservative Party; The Powers Behind the Prime Minister, co-written with Professor Dennis Kavanagh; Number 10: The Illustrated History, which he is currently updating for publication in 2016; The Foreign Office: A History of the Place and its PeopleBlair and Blair Unbound, his acclaimed two-part biography of the former Prime Minister; three volumes of edited books on the Blair governments; Trust: How We Lost it and How to Get it BackBrown at 10, with Guy Lodge; The Great War and Public Schools, with David Walsh; and The Architecture of Diplomacy: The British Ambassador's Residence in Washington, written with Daniel Collings. In March 2015 his new books, Beyond Happiness and The Coalition Effect 2010-2015, co-authored with Dr Mike Finn, were published. His latest political history, the authorised study Cameron at 10 with Peter Snowdon, was published in September 2015. The book is the inside story of the Cameron premiership, based on over 400 in-depth interviews with senior figures in 10 Downing Street, including the Prime Minister himself. He has also been historical consultant on the memoirs of several former Prime Ministers and Foreign Secretaries.

Sir Anthony is regarded as one of the country's most authoritative high profile commentators on contemporary history and on education and appears regularly on television and radio and in the press, and writes for several national newspapers. His views have regularly been sought by the government and political parties.

He was married to Joanna, who also taught and wrote, and they have three children, Jessica, Susannah and Adam. According to 'Who's Who, his interests are sport, directing plays, family and old English sports cars.


Direct download: 1d20180104101023p01280820134.m4a
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 11:07am UTC

You can also listen to this podcast using the free app 'Raj Persaud in Conversation' for Android and Apple mobile devices; the app gives you access to more interviews with world class experts plus more free information and bonus content on the latest cutting edge psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, self-help, social science and neuroscience then any other app and is available free from itunes app store and Google Play Store - click on these links
If you are having difficulty viewing any of the content on the app, or the latest updates or bonus content, just uninstall it and re-install it. 

From www.harpercollins.com/9780062692863/stick-with-it

About the Book

#1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller

An award-winning psychologist and director of the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior shows everyone how to make real, lasting change in their lives in this exciting work of popular psychology that goes beyond The Power of Habit with science and practical strategies that can alter their problem behaviors—forever.

Whether it’s absent-minded mistakes at work, a weakness for junk food, a smart phone addiction, or a lack of exercise, everyone has some bad habit or behavior that they’d like to change. But wanting to change and actually doing it—and sticking with it—are two very different things.

Dr. Sean Young, an authoritative new voice in the field of behavioral science, knows a great deal about our habits—how we make them and how we can break them. Stick with It is his fascinating look at the science of behavior, filled with crucial knowledge and practical advice to help everyone successfully alter their actions and improve their lives.

As Dr. Young explains, you don’t change behavior by changing the person, you do it by changing the process. Drawing on his own scientific research and that of other leading experts in the field, he explains why change can be difficult and identifies the crucial forces that combine to make transformation permanent, from the right way to create new habits to how to harness emotional meaning to motivate change. He also helps us understand how the mind often interferes with creating lasting change and how we can outsmart it, including using "neurohacks" to shortcut the brain’s counterproductive instincts. In addition he provides a powerful corrective to the decades old science of habits, offering a next generation discussion of how habits can change behavior with the right approach.

Packed with pragmatic exercises and stories of real people who have used them successfully, Stick with Itshows that it is possible to control spending, stick to a diet, become more social, exercise regularly, stop compulsively checking e-mail, and overcome problem behaviors—forever.





Direct download: raj_persaud_talks_to_sean_young.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 12:27pm UTC

You can also listen to this podcast using the free app 'Raj Persaud in Conversation' for Android and Apple mobile devices; the app gives you access to more interviews with world class experts plus more free information and bonus content on the latest cutting edge psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, self-help, social science and neuroscience then any other app and is available free from itunes app store and Google Play Store - click on these links
If you are having difficulty viewing any of the content on the app, or the latest updates or bonus content, just uninstall it and re-install it.
From press.princeton.edu/titles/10923.html

Face ValueThe Irresistible Influence of First ImpressionsAlexander Todorov 

The scientific story of first impressions—and why the snap character judgments we make from faces are irresistible but usually incorrect

We make up our minds about others after seeing their faces for a fraction of a second—and these snap judgments predict all kinds of important decisions. For example, politicians who simply look more competent are more likely to win elections. Yet the character judgments we make from faces are as inaccurate as they are irresistible; in most situations, we would guess more accurately if we ignored faces. So why do we put so much stock in these widely shared impressions? What is their purpose if they are completely unreliable? In this book, Alexander Todorov, one of the world's leading researchers on the subject, answers these questions as he tells the story of the modern science of first impressions.

Drawing on psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, computer science, and other fields, this accessible and richly illustrated book describes cutting-edge research and puts it in the context of the history of efforts to read personality from faces. Todorov describes how we have evolved the ability to read basic social signals and momentary emotional states from faces, using a network of brain regions dedicated to the processing of faces. Yet contrary to the nineteenth-century pseudoscience of physiognomy and even some of today's psychologists, faces don't provide us a map to the personalities of others. Rather, the impressions we draw from faces reveal a map of our own biases and stereotypes.

Alexander Todorov is professor of psychology at Princeton University, where he is also affiliated with the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. His research on first impressions has been covered by media around the world, including the New York Times, the Guardian, the New Yorker, the Daily TelegraphScientific American, PBS, and NPR. He lives in Princeton.


An interview with Alexander Todorov, author of Face Value: The Irresistible Influence of First Impressions

What inspired you to write this book? 
I have been doing research on how people perceive faces for more than 10 years. Typically, we think of face perception as recognizing identity and emotional expressions, but we do much more than that. When we meet someone new, we immediately evaluate their face and these evaluations shape our decisions. This is what we informally call first impressions. First impressions pervade everyday life and often have detrimental consequences. Research on first impressions from facial appearance has been quite active during the last decade and we have made substantive progress in understanding these impressions. My book is about the nature of first impressions, why we cannot help but form impressions, and why these impressions will not disappear from our lives.

In your book, you argue that first impressions from facial appearance are irresistible. What is the evidence? 
As I mentioned, the study of first impressions has been a particularly active area of research and the findings have been quite surprising. First, we form impressions after seeing a face for less than one-tenth of a second. We decide not only whether the person is attractive but also whether he or she is trustworthy, competent, extroverted, or dominant. Second, we agree on these impressions and this agreement emerges early in development. Children, just like adults, are prone to using face stereotypes. Third, these impressions are consequential. Unlucky people who appear “untrustworthy” are more likely to get harsher legal punishments. Those who appear “trustworthy” are more likely to get loans on better financial terms. Politicians who appear more “competent” are more likely to get elected. Military personnel who appear more “dominant” are more likely to achieve higher ranks. My book documents both the effortless nature of first impressions and their biasing effects on decisions.

The first part of your book is about the appeal of physiognomy—the pseudoscience of reading character from faces. Has not physiognomy been thoroughly discredited? 
Yes and no. Most people today don’t believe in the great physiognomy myth that we can read the character of others from their faces, but the evidence suggests that we are all naïve physiognomists: forming instantaneous impressions and acting on these impressions. Moreover, fueled by recent research advances in visualizing the content of first impressions, physiognomy appears in many modern disguises: from research papers claiming that we can discern the political, religious, and sexual orientations of others from images of their faces to private ventures promising to profile people based on images of their faces and offering business services to companies and governments. This is nothing new. The early 20th century physiognomists, who called themselves “character analysts,” were involved in many business ventures. The modern physiognomists are relying on empirical and computer science methods to legitimize their claims. But as I try to make clear in the book, the modern claims are as far-stretched as the claims of the old physiognomists. First, different images of the same person can lead to completely different impressions. Second, often our decisions are more accurate if we completely ignore face information and rely on common knowledge.

You mentioned research advances that visualize the content of first impressions. What do you mean? 
Faces are incredibly complex stimuli and we are inquisitively sensitive to minor variations in facial appearance. This makes the study of face perception both fascinating and difficult. In the last 10 years, we have developed methods that capture the variations in facial appearance that lead to specific impressions such as trustworthiness. The best way to illustrate the methods is by providing visual images, because it is impossible to describe all these variations in verbal terms. Accordingly, the book is richly illustrated. Here is a pair of faces that have been extremely exaggerated to show the variations in appearance that shape our impressions of trustworthiness.

Most people immediately see the face on the left as untrustworthy and the face on the right as trustworthy. But notice the large number of differences between the two faces: shape, color, texture, individual features, placement of individual features, and so on. Yet we can easily identify global characteristics that differentiate these faces. Positive expressions and feminine appearance make a face appear more trustworthy. In contrast, negative expressions and masculine appearance make a face appear less trustworthy. We can and have built models of many other impressions such as dominance, extroversion, competence, threat, and criminality. These models identify the contents of our facial stereotypes.

To the extent that we share face stereotypes that emerge early in development, isn’t it possible that these stereotypes are grounded in our evolutionary past and, hence, have a kernel of truth? 
On the evolutionary scale, physiognomy has a very short history. If you imagine the evolution of humankind compressed within 24 hours, we have lived in small groups during the entire 24 hours except for the last 5 minutes. In such groups, there is abundant information about others coming from first-hand experiences (like observations of behavior and interactions) and from second-hand experiences (like testimonies of family, friends, and acquaintances). That is for most of human history, people did not have to rely on appearance information to infer the character of others. These inferences were based on much more reliable and easily accessible information. The emergence of large societies in the last few minutes of the day changed all that. The physiognomists’ promise was that we could handle the uncertainty of living with strangers by knowing them from their faces. It is no coincidence that the peaks of popularity of physiognomists’ ideas were during times of great migration. Unfortunately, the physiognomists’ promise is as appealing today as it was in the past.

Are there ways to minimize the effects of first impressions on our decisions? 
We need to structure decisions so that we have access to valid information and minimize the access to appearance information. A good real life example is the increase of the number of women in prestigious philharmonic orchestras. Until recently, these orchestras were almost exclusively populated by men. What made the difference was the introduction of blind auditions. The judges could hear the candidates’ performance but their judgments could not be swayed by appearance, because they could not see the candidates.

So why are faces important? 
Faces play an extremely important role in our mental life, though not the role the physiognomists imagined. Newborns with virtually no visual experience prefer to look at faces than at other objects. After all, without caregivers we will not survive. In the first few months of life, faces are one of the most looked upon objects. This intensive experience with faces develops into an intricate network of brain regions dedicated to the processing of faces. This network supports our extraordinary face skills: recognizing others and detecting changes in their emotional and mental states. There are likely evolutionary adaptations in the human face—our bare skin, elongated eyes with white sclera, and prominent eyebrows—but these adaptations are about facilitating the reading of other minds, about communicating and coordinating our actions, not about inferring character.

Direct download: Raj_Persaud_talks_to_Alexander_Todorov.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 8:30am UTC

You can also listen to this podcast using the free app 'Raj Persaud in Conversation' for Android and Apple mobile devices; the app gives you access to more interviews with world class experts plus more free information and bonus content on the latest cutting edge psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, self-help, social science and neuroscience then any other app and is available free from itunes app store and Google Play Store - click on these links
If you are having difficulty viewing any of the content on the app, or the latest updates or bonus content, just uninstall it and re-install it.


from www.amazon.co.uk

cover image of more than happiness

Do you consider yourself stoical? Do a bit of meditation or mindfulness practice? Buddhism and Stoicism have a lot to offer modern readers seeking the good life, but they’re also radical systems that ask much of their followers. In More than Happiness, Antonia Macaro delves into both philosophies, focusing on the elements that fit with our sceptical age, and those which have the potential to make the biggest impact on how we live. From accepting that some things are beyond our control, to monitoring our emotions for unhealthy reactions, to shedding attachment to material things, there is much, she argues, that we can take and much that we’d do better to leave behind.

In this synthesis of ancient wisdom, Macaro reframes the ‘good life’, and gets us to see the world as it really is and to question the value of the things we desire. The goal is more than happiness: living ethically and placing value on the right things in life. 

Direct download: Raj_Persaud_talks_to_Antonia_Macaro.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 12:57pm UTC




Theseus’s Paradox
I used to subscribe to People.
Then I switched to Us.
Now I just read Self.
—My friend Lenny

I love hearing people talk about their “real” selves. I still remember my first girlfriend, the seemingly perfect Natalie Duberman,1
spooking me with the warning: “Be careful. You don’t know the real me.” Was she a werewolf? Could she be in the witness protection program? No, Natalie explained, “It’s just that I’m not this nice with guys I like.” She went on to detail how insecure, jealous, and passive-aggressive she had been with her first two boyfriends. I wondered what it would take for this new version of Natalie, the one I knew, to assume the mantle of “the real Natalie”? What if we were together for a year and, during that time, she never once became insecure, jealous, or passive-aggressive toward me? What if it stayed that way for ten years? How would she decide when the new
Natalie qualified as the real one?

Then there is my friend Lenny, who utilizes an infuriating twist on
Natalie’s warning. When Lenny acts badly—which, incidentally, is more or less constantly—he explains it away by saying, “Forgive me. I’m just not myself today.” Really? Who are you, then? Because I’d like to know the name of the guy I’m thinking about punching in the nose right now.

And when do you expect your real self to return? I’d like to lodge a complaint with him.



In Stranger in the Mirror, Robert Levine offers a provocative, wide-ranging, and entertaining scientific exploration of the most personal and important of all landscapes: the physical and psychological entity we call our self. Who are we? Where is the boundary between us and everything else? Are we all multiple personalities? And how can we control who we become?

Levine tackles these and other questions with a combination of surprising stories, case studies, and cutting-edge research--from biology, neuroscience, virtual reality, psychology, and many other fields. The result challenges cherished beliefs about the unity and stability of the self--but also suggests that we are more capable of change than we know.

Transformation, Levine shows, is the human condition at virtually every level. Physically, our cells are unrecognizable from one moment to the next. Cognitively, our self-perceptions are equally changeable: A single glitch can make us lose track of a body part or our entire body--or to confuse our very self with that of another person. Psychologically, we switch back and forth like quicksilver between incongruent, sometimes adversarial subselves. Socially, we appear to be little more than an ever-changing troupe of actors. And, culturally, the boundaries of the self vary wildly around the world--from the confines of one's body to an entire village.

The self, in short, is a fiction--vague, arbitrary, and utterly intangible. But it is also interminably fluid. And this, Levine argues, unleashes a world of potential. Fluidity creates malleability. And malleability creates possibilities.

Engaging, informative, and ultimately liberating, Stranger in the Mirror will change forever how you think about your self--and what it might become.


Direct download: raj_persaud_talks_to_professor_robert_levine.mp3
Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 6:45am UTC

You can also listen to this podcast using the free app 'Raj Persaud in Conversation' for Android and Apple mobile devices; the app gives you access to more interviews with world class experts plus more free information and bonus content on the latest cutting edge psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, self-help, social science and neuroscience then any other app and is available free from itunes app store and Google Play Store - click on these links
 Soul Machine



A brilliant and comprehensive history of the creation of the modern Western mind.

Taken from http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Soul-Machine/

Soul Machine takes us back to the origins of modernity, a time when a crisis in religious authority and the scientific revolution led to searching questions about the nature of human inner life. This is the story of how a new concept—the mind—emerged as a potential solution, one that was part soul and part machine, but fully neither.

In this groundbreaking work, award-winning historian George Makari shows how writers, philosophers, physicians, and anatomists worked to construct notions of the mind as not an ethereal thing, but a natural one. From the ascent of Oliver Cromwell to the fall of Napoleon, seminal thinkers like Hobbes, Locke, Diderot, and Kant worked alongside often-forgotten brain specialists, physiologists, and alienists in the hopes of mapping the inner world. Conducted in a cauldron of political turmoil, these frequently shocking, always embattled efforts would give rise to psychiatry, mind sciences such as phrenology, and radically new visions of the self. Further, they would be crucial to the establishment of secular ethics and political liberalism. Boldly original, wide-ranging, and brilliantly synthetic, Soul Machine gives us a masterful, new account of the making of the modern Western mind. 


“An enlightening and gracefully written account of a vital aspect of our history that few of us are aware of—the replacement of the soul by the mind, and the struggle to understand its foundations in the brain.” — Steven Pinker, Johnstone Professor of Psychology, Harvard University, and author of How the Mind Works and The Stuff of Thought

“In this sweeping, authoritative, and lively account, George Makari chronicles the emergence of the modern mind as an appealing yet unstable object of scientific inquiry, and shows why the long-standing goal of establishing boundaries between it and the brain and even the soul has proven so elusive. Illuminating and highly engaging.” — Elizabeth Lunbeck, author of The Americanization of Narcissism

“An erudite exploration of the high-stakes struggle to make space in the modern world for that part of our being we call our minds.” — Anne Harrington, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University and author of The Cure Within

“George Makari has written an all-encompassing and invigorated account of how we have come to think about the acts of thinking and feeling. This is a book brimming with knowledge and lucid observations, one that helps us to understand the evolution of our contemporary sensibility.” — Daphne Merkin, author of The Fame Lunches

FROM www.bloomsbury.com/uk/disenchantment-9781472949745/

About Disenchantment

Workplace disenchantment can cause major issues for organisations – productivity decreases, employees can turn actively destructive and individual health and well-being can deteriorate. Most people start a job happy enough and determined to do a good job – if they are lucky, they have found a job which suits their skills and values. They may be eager, hopeful and willing to be engaged. So when and why do they become disenchanted and demotivated? 

In this new book, Adrian Furnham and Luke Treglown look at several theories into job satisfaction and workplace motivation. They explore how much of a motivator money really is, and which personality profiles are more likely to lead to a disruptive, disenchanted employee. 

Disenchantment discusses the related and identifiable behaviours that very clearly lead to disenchantment, and how individuals and organisations can work to prevent this and boost motivation and engagement in a way that is practicable and sustainable. Keeping employees motivated takes more than just ensuring they're not unhappy, and Disenchantment outlines some of the ways that organisations can manage this.


“Superb insight into one of the most difficult areas of the workplace. This book should be required reading for C-suite and HR professionals alike.” –  David Charters, Author and Founder of PartnerCapital

“Adrian and Luke's work is as timely as it is relevant, providing an analytical framework and practical advice to address disenchantment. Read this book to learn what motivates and what demotivates us at work.” –  Ernst von Kimakowitz, Director and Co-founder of the Humanistic Management Center

“A great reference guide for leaders and organizations in understanding why people react the way they do, and breaks some popular assumptions about how to get the best and avoid the worst we often see around us or experience ourselves.” –  Chris Roebuck, Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership, Cass Business School

“In this briskly written and keenly observed book, Adrian and Luke toss aside the prevailing myths regarding the alleged power of Anglo-Saxon management techniques to explain why 70% of the modern workforce hate their jobs.” –  Robert Hogan, CEO Hogan Assessments USA

“This book thoroughly explains causes and effects … and by implication suggests what can be done to change malpractices. The book is inspiring and well written and is hereby recommended.” –  Professor Oyvind Martinsen, BI: Norwegian School of Management

“Nails the key characteristics of poor managers, from arrogance and volatility through to habitual mistrust, and the consequence of this in the cultures and environments they create. This book gives a great insight into the shadow side of people, organizations and culture.” –  Chris Woodman, Founder of Leadenhall Consulting

“It is a very engaging, challenging and important book that should read by everyeone interested in managing and caring for people at work … a must-read for HR professionals.” –  Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Alliance Manchester Business School, University of Manchester

“If you want the kind of things that money can't buy, then this book, another real page-turner from the Adrian Furnham stable, will come closest to buying you love and happiness.” –  Erik de Haan, Director of Ashridge Centre for Coaching & Professor of Organisation Development, VU University

“Adrian's and Luke's work is challenging, practical, thoughtful and accessible. Reading this work stimulates thinking about the challenges and complexities of managing people. It goes way beyond the simplistic solutions posed by many of their contemporaries.” –  Mike Haffenden, CEO Strategic Dimensions London

“A thought provoking read and good primer for being able to deal with reality as it unfolds.” –  Jason Devereux, PhD, Workplace Transformation Consultant, KPMG

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Category:(2) General Podcasts -- posted at: 3:33pm UTC