What We Are Reading
September 2021

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky

Renowned neurobiologist and primatologist Robert Sapolsky reviews research across a range of disciplines to explain “Why we do the things we do”. He shows how our behavior is impacted by things like genes, hormones, and other chemicals, but explains how these effects are entirely context specific - dependent on our stage of life, personal experiences and cultural learnings. Sapolsky infuses humor and charm into the book’s complex, frequently dense narrative, illuminating the brain to tackle the thorniest of topics: gender identification, right vs. left politics, Asian vs. Western cultural differences, adolescent risk-taking, aggression, empathy, morality, religion, war, free will…you name it! Who knew brain science could be so fun?

HIGHLIGHT(S): There is a big difference between feeling empathy and actually doing something compassionate. Empathy can offer a dangerous sense of completion...that something has been done because something has been felt. The peril of empathy is not that it can make us feel bad, it’s that it can make us feel good. It can make us feel that empathy is an end in itself rather than part of a process...a catalyst to action.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/Behave-Biology-Humans-Best-Worst/dp/0143110918/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1E68ZTQ24LQK8&keywords=behave+sapolsky&qid=1570808830&sprefix=behave+s%2Caps%2C161&sr=8-2

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