Friday, December 14, 2012

Book Review: The Science of Consequences

The principles of rewards and consequences—along with stories of Pavlov’s dog or the rat in the maze—are such core assumptions in our culture, they’re almost cliché. Susan Schneider quickly moves beyond the cliché, however, in her engaging and fast-paced The Science of Consequences: How They Affect Genes, Change the Brain, and Impact our World. A biopsychologist and naturalist who studied with B.F. Skinner, Schneider moves agilely from the worlds of genetics and neuroscience to animal behavior, education, and ethics. She layers insights from decades of research with personal anecdotes to ask increasingly provocative questions: Why do we typically prefer variable over predictable rewards?...Why is positive reinforcement more powerful than punishment? When are we willing to endure short-term pain for long-term positive consequences? Why and when do we procrastinate? more

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