The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in the Brain Drives Love, Sex and Creativity – – and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race by Daniel Z. Lieberman, Michael E. Long
Published: August 14, 2018
Publisher: BenBella Books
Genres: non fiction, biology, psychology
Rating: 4 stars
Recommend to fans of: learning about psychology and biology, figuring out how things work, human behavior
Foodie Vibes: chocolate to light up those dopamine centers in your brain
Why are we obsessed with the things we want only to be bored when we get them?
Why is addiction perfectly logical to an addict?
Why does love change so quickly from passion to indifference?
Why are some people die-hard liberals and others hardcore conservatives?
Why are we always hopeful for solutions even in the darkest times—and so good at figuring them out?
The answer is found in a single chemical in your brain: dopamine. Dopamine ensured the survival of early man. Thousands of years later, it is the source of our most basic behaviors and cultural ideas—and progress itself.
Dopamine is the chemical of desire that always asks for more—more stuff, more stimulation, and more surprises. In pursuit of these things, it is undeterred by emotion, fear, or morality. Dopamine is the source of our every urge, that little bit of biology that makes an ambitious business professional sacrifice everything in pursuit of success, or that drives a satisfied spouse to risk it all for the thrill of someone new. Simply put, it is why we seek and succeed; it is why we discover and prosper. Yet, at the same time, it’s why we gamble and squander.
From dopamine’s point of view, it’s not the having that matters. It’s getting something—anything—that’s new. From this understanding—the difference between possessing something versus anticipating it—we can understand in a revolutionary new way why we behave as we do in love, business, addiction, politics, religion—and we can even predict those behaviors in ourselves and others.
In The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and will Determine the Fate of the Human Race, George Washington University professor and psychiatrist Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD, and Georgetown University lecturer Michael E. Long present a potentially life-changing proposal: Much of human life has an unconsidered component that explains an array of behaviors previously thought to be unrelated, including why winners cheat, why geniuses often suffer with mental illness, why nearly all diets fail, and why the brains of liberals and conservatives really are different.
Thank you to NetGalley, BenBella Books, Daniel Z. Lieberman and Michael E. Long for an ebook copy for review. As always, an honest review from me.
I learned so much from this book. It was absolutely fascinating!
We’ve all heard about dopamine. It interacts with the reward centers in the brain and explains why we keep seeking more and more. Even when we’re already happy. I learned even more about dopamine and the role it plays in so many more experience than I realized. From solving problems and dreaming, struggles in relationships, political affiliations, and even from an evolutionary standpoint.
The beginning was more an explanation of how dopamine functions and the role in the brain. It was a necessary foundation, but not particularly fascinating. The rest of the chapters were much more interesting. However I didn’t completely agree with everything. Neurotransmitters definitely play a role in human behavior. The studies even prove it. But there is some element of human choice that the book doesn’t discuss. We’re human beings and not just a bunch of chemicals and electrical activity.
Overall, a fascinating look at the role dopamine has on human behavior. Learned a lot and even found myself stopping to read aloud interesting passages to the people around me.
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