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The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life

12 minutes
Discover the reasons behind and benefits of selfishness and self-deception.

Just as “the elephant in the room” refers to an important issue everyone secretly acknowledges but specifically ignores, “the elephant in the brain” refers to the animal instincts in our brains that lurk behind our behavior. Kevin Simler and Robin Hanson’s “The Elephant in the Brain” is an aggregate of human behavior research that attempts to discern the deeper motivations behind our actions. In this Snapshot, you’ll examine the social benefits and incentives of a variety of behaviors.

Read this Snapshot if you:

  • Are interested in human behavior and motivations
  • Want to succeed in politics
  • Often misread people
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