Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change
ISBN 9780143123743 | 272 pages | 24 Sep 2013 | Penguin | 7.99 x 5.23in | 18 - AND UP
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An exploration of how humans respond to novelty from the New York Times–bestselling author of Rapt
Why are we attuned to the latest headline, diet craze, smartphone, and fashion statement? Why do we relish a change of scene, eye attractive strangers, and develop new interests?
Follow a crawling baby around and you’ll see that right from the beginning, nothing excites us more than something new and different. Our unique human brains are biologically primed to engage with and even generate novelty. This “neophilia” has enabled us to thrive in a world of cataclysmic change, but now we confront an unprecedented deluge of new things—one that shows no sign of slowing. In New acclaimed behavioral science writer Winifred Gallagher, using cutting-edge research and interviews with countless experts, shows us how we can use our adaptive gift to navigate more skillfully through our rapidly changing world by focusing on the new things that really matter.
“Considering experiences that range from video games to consumer food preferences, this book is an engaging, enjoyable read… An accessible, well-researched work that crosses a variety of disciplines and will satisfy scientifically curious readers. It will appeal to those who enjoy Stephen Jay Gould and Oliver Sacks.” –Library Journal
“It’s difficult to categorize Gallagher’s exuberant survey through so many areas of interest, but she proves her point: curiosity about and hunger for the new can certainly take you to many fascinating places.” --BookList
“A bright look at our fascination with the new and different… [Gallagher]… notes neophilia will undoubtedly prove valuable in a future where the only certainly is constant change. Engaging and cautionary.” --Kirkus
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