The Mind Club is an amazing book. It’s the sort of rare non-fiction book a reader can just eat up like its brain candy, filling one’s mind with so much useful information on psychology, neurology and that ever elusive understanding of self. The authors,  Daniel M. Wegner and Kurt Gray, are fabulously witty, writing in a surprisingly entertaining voice on often complex subjects. Their ability to make science accessible – and fun – puts this book in its own league.

The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters is a sweeping assessment of human perception, full of insights into how our minds and viewpoints are shaped – and susceptible to manipulation. The authors draw from a wealth of scientific research, presenting findings in the context of real-world examples.  Through the course of an excellent narrative, the two psychologists explore issues of perception related to groups, enemies and the other, and why some people are punished more than others – plus a lot more.

While The Mind Club was not written for communications professionals, there is much the counter/propagandist can learn from it – such has how being reminded of morals can induce people to immediately behave better. The reader will also be left to ponder the horrifying implications of the scientifically proven fact that humans have no real free will at all – and perhaps how that might compound any ethical dilemmas in an industry using influence to achieve its ends.

The audiobook narrated by David Marantz is particularly well done. David reads the book as if he wrote it – making the telling delightful.

Definitely recommend reading this one – you will enjoy it!

The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters is available on Amazon.



About Author

La Generalista is the online identity of Alicia Wanless – a researcher and practitioner of strategic communications for social change in a Digital Age. Alicia is the director of the Partnership for Countering Influence Operations at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. With a growing international multi-stakeholder community, the Partnership aims to foster evidence-based policymaking to counter threats within the information environment. Wanless is currently a PhD Researcher at King’s College London exploring how the information environment can be studied in similar ways to the physical environment. She is also a pre-doctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation, and was a tech advisor to Aspen Institute’s Commission on Information Disorder. Her work has been featured in Lawfare, The National Interest, Foreign Policy, and CBC.

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