Star Rating: 4/5
Title: The Domesticated Brain
Author: Bruce Hood
Genre: Non-Fiction, Psychology, Science, Biology
What makes us social animals?
Why do we behave the way we do?
How does the brain influence our behaviour?
The brain may have initially evolved to cope with a threatening world of beasts, limited food and adverse weather, but we now use it to navigate an equally unpredictable social landscape. In The Domesticated Brain, renowned psychologist Bruce Hood explores the relationship between the brain and social behaviour, looking for clues as to origins and operations of the mechanisms that keep us bound together.
I won this book in a giveaway by the psychologist magazine and they actually asked me to review it for the magazine, but as the review was only a short one and may not get published, I thought that I would review the book on my blog too.
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when going into this book, I was hoping to learn more about the brain itself as this is a topic that I do struggle with, and I was not disappointed. I loved that this book had aspects of Evolutionary, Developmental and Neuro Psychology and really enjoyed learning about them all. There was also a lot of history and comparisons, I love history and this just drew me into the book even more.
If you’ve been a follower of my blog for a while you will know that my particular interest in Psychology is in forensics i.e. criminals. As soon as I opened the book and saw that one of the chapters was titled “Are we Born Bad?” I knew that I was going to enjoy this book, and I wasn’t wrong.
I’m obviously interested in the brain, being a psychology student, but with non-fiction academic reading there can sometimes be a point where you want to stop and read something more light and fun, this was not the case with the domesticated brain, it kept my interest the whole way through and also had me laughing to myself on the bus a couple of times.
I found it fascinating to read about children and how much they are influenced by the world around them, I enjoyed reading about imitation and theory of mind as well as about morality.
Overall, The domesticated brain is interesting and easy to follow. Would be suited to anyone from someone with a small interest in the topic to a keen academic. If you have an interest in this area I would highly recommend giving this book a read.
Have you read this book? What did you think?