FROM THE WEBSITE: DR. KEVIN DUTTON is a psychologist and research fellow at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at Cambridge University. His work has been published in journals that include Scientific American Mind, Journal of Experimental Psychology, and Cognition and Emotion.
Reading too much about the neuroscience of the human animal can, I think, be a bit like learning a little too much about how sausage is made. I mean, it’s better to know how things work (and how things are made), but it can sure put you off your favorite food for a while.
Having tempted you with THAT introduction, I nonetheless can recommend “Split Second Persuasion”, which is really a neuroscience book tarted up as a sort of guide book for would-be master persuaders out there. The author takes situations we are all familiar with (the person in a tense situation that has said just the right thing to defuse things, the smooth talker that has talked us out of something) and takes us to the root of what is happening inside our brains.
The author is an English psychologist, and he references a boat-load of studies and brain scans that paint a pretty clear picture of not only how our brains work when it comes to “persuasion”, but where the frontiers of this sort of research are right now (which inevitably points to where it might be taking us in the near future).
It’s a highly readable book — seasoned with judicious sprinklings of wit — that includes some experiments on the reader (as well as one of the best descriptions and explanations of psychopathy I’ve yet to run across).
If you have any interest at all in just how it is that your own brain makes its own “sausage” when subject to “persuasion”, you’ll enjoy this book.