A groundbreaking and timely book about how evolutionary biology can explain our black-and-white brains, and a lesson in how we can escape the pitfalls of binary thinking.
We isolate ourselves from people who are not the same as us. We refuse to listen to the other side of the argument. We think in black and white – them or us, left or right, Leave or Remain – and dangerous possibilities arise. The Alt Right. ISIS. Brexit. Trump.
Our hardwired binary brains have led to increasingly polarized beliefs and a rising tide of religious intolerance and political extremism. But by understanding our evolutionary programming we can learn how to see the grey areas and make rational sense of a complex world. In this alarm call for a better future, Oxford University psychologist Kevin Dutton argues for a world in which we make subtler – and far better – decisions.
Dr Kevin Dutton is a researcher at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, and a member of the Oxford Centre for Emotions and Affective Neuroscience (OCEAN) research group. He regularly publishes in leading international scientific journals and speaks at conferences around the world. He is the author of the acclaimed Flipnosis: The Art of Split-Second Persuasion.
"Dutton provides simplifying, clarifying and essential insights into the character of human choice and decision-making. You'll not think about thinking the same way afterwards."
– Robert Cialdini, author of Influence and Pre-Suasion
"Kevin Dutton has the great gift of being able to see patterns in human behaviour [...] He talks about his discoveries, and about their implications for all of us, with the flair and clarity of a practised storyteller. Fascinating, important, and entirely convincing."
– Philip Pullman
"Kevin Dutton is a Special Forces style psychologist. Daring. Original. All-action. No nonsense."
– Sir Ranulph Fiennes