In What Makes Your Brain Happy, author David DiSalvo takes us on a tour of all the mind’s delusions. In fact, nothing we remember, feel or think is as it seems. “Your memories are mere figments of your imagination and your decisions are swayed by irrational biases. Your emotions reflect the feelings of those around you as much as your own circumstances.” But DiSalvo’s discussion of happy brains has nothing to do with joy and well being. Instead, he discusses what are the brain’s natural tendencies.
What’s the Big Idea?
While we have historically thought of our brain as the rational organ, opposed to the heart’s emotional pull, today we understand that our gray matter is not automatically suited to a thoughtful dissection of the facts. Instead, it tends to choose the path of least resistance. “When explaining confirmation bias, for instance, DiSalvo cites brain scans showing that we treat conflicting information as if it is a physical threat. As a result, we choose the ‘happier’ option of ignoring details that don’t fit our views.”