Cover image for The science of sin : why we do the things we know we shouldn't / Jack Lewis.
Title:
The science of sin : why we do the things we know we shouldn't / Jack Lewis.
ISBN:
9781472936141
Publication Information:
London : Bloomsbury Sigma, 2018.

©2018
Physical Description:
304 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Abstract:
In today's society it can often seem like we are utterly surrounded by temptation, from the ease of online shopping and the stream of targeted advertising encouraging us to greedily acquire yet more stuff to the coffee, cake and fast-food shops that line our streets, beckoning us in to over-indulge on all the wrong things. It can feel like a constant battle to stay away from the temptations we know we shouldn't give in to. Where exactly do these urges come from? If we know we shouldn't do something, for the sake of our health, our pockets or our reputation, why is it often so very hard to do the right thing? Anyone who has ever wondered why they never seem to be able to stick to their diet, anyone to whom the world seems more vain and self-obsessed than ever, anyone who can't understand why love-cheats pursue their extra-marital affairs, anyone who struggles to resist the lure of the comfy sofa, or anyone who makes themselves bitter through endless comparison with other people - this book is for you. The Science of Sin brings together the latest findings from neuroscience research to shed light on the universally fascinating subject of temptation - where it comes from, how to resist it and why we all tend to succumb from time to time. With each chapter inspired by one of the seven deadly sins, neurobiologist Jack Lewis illuminates the neural battles between temptation and restraint that take place within our brains, suggesting strategies to help us better manage our most troublesome impulses with the explicit goal of improving our health, our happiness and our productivity - helping us to say `no!' more often, especially when it really counts.
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Summary

Summary

Why do we do things we know we shouldn't?

The Science of Sin brings together the latest findings from neuroscience research to shed light on the universally fascinating subject of temptation--where it comes from, how to resist it and why we all succumb from time to time. With chapters inspired by the seven deadly sins, neurobiologist Jack Lewis illuminates the neural battles between temptation and restraint that take place within our brains, suggesting strategies to help us better manage our most troublesome impulses with the explicit goal of improving our health, our happiness and our productivity.

Anyone who has ever wondered why they never seem to be able to stick to their diet, who marvels at how little work some of their colleagues get away with doing, who despairs at the anti-social behavior of their teenagers, who can't understand how cheaters can juggle extra-marital affairs, who struggles to resist the lure of the comfy sofa and the giant bag of chips, or who makes themselves thoroughly bitter by endlessly comparing themselves to others--this book is for you.


Author Notes

Jack Lewis is a neurobiologist and television presenter. He earned a PhD in neuroscience from University College London, continuing his research using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to investigate how human brains integrate sound and vision as a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. For the past 10 years he has focused on bringing the latest neuroscience research to the attention of the widest possible audience. He has co-authored two popular science books, Sort Your Brain Out and The Mice Who Sing for Sex .

His TV career kicked off in 2008 as a presenter on the BBC series People Watchers , which involved roaming the streets of London conducting secretly filmed social psychology experiments on unsuspecting members of the public. He went on to make regular appearances as an expert on ITV's This Morning , and presented Discovery Science's The Tech Show , the ITV series How to Get More Sex , and the second series of his latest show, Secrets of the Brain , is currently airing in 20 countries from the United States to South Korea. His Geek Chic Weird Science podcast is careering towards its 100th episode, and his brain blog www.drjack.co.uk recently celebrated its 8th birthday.

@DrJackLewis


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lewis (Sort Your Brain Out), a neurobiologist, explores the brain activity behind the seven deadly sins of Christianity in this diverting but messily organized work of popular science. Each sin receives its own chapter exploring its treatment in a variety of world religions (Christianity receives the most thorough examination), accompanied by relevant insights from neuroscience research. For instance, in the chapter on "wrath," he discusses the part of the brain involved in aggression, as shown by cases in which "a tumor pressing up against the amygdala was implicated in extremely violent conduct." Some of these scientific tidbits are intriguing and surprising, but they seem chosen for those qualities rather than to lay out a systematic argument. Lay readers would benefit from plain English about the geography of the brain; references to the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and the like quickly become meaningless. After examining the sins, Lewis devotes a chapter to steps one might take to harness brain behavior to act more ethically, but the ideas seem like the result of brainstorming more than refined and well-considered suggestions (fight "wrath" with Botox injections?) People new to reading about neuroscience will be entertained, but those wanting to delve more deeply into the subject should look elsewhere. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1 In the Beginningp. 7
Chapter 2 Pridep. 31
Chapter 3 Gluttonyp. 57
Chapter 4 Lustp. 81
Chapter 5 Slothp. 115
Chapter 6 Greedp. 139
Chapter 7 Envyp. 163
Chapter 8 Wrathp. 191
Chapter 9 Save Our Soulsp. 219
Chapter 10 Beyond Temptationp. 259
Appendix 1 Desiderata by Max Ehrmanp. 279
Appendix 2 Online Resourcesp. 281
Glossaryp. 283
Select Referencesp. 289
Acknowledgementsp. 293
Indexp. 297