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Paul Bloom

psychologist
scientist

Recommended Books

Paul Bloom is a Canadian American psychologist. He is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on language, morality, religion, fiction, and art.
11 books on the list
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The Color of Money
Walter Tevis - May 01, 2003 (first published in 1984)
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"Tevis in unequaled when it comes to creating and sustaining the tension of a high stakes game. Even readers who have never lifted a cue will be captivated." -- Publishers Weekly Twenty years after he conquered the underground pool circuit as The Hustler, "Fast" Eddie Felson is playing exhibition matches with former rival Minnesota Fats in shopping...
Paul Bloom
Dec 18, 2020
Been reading Walter Tevis, and finished "The Queen's Gambit" (chess) and "The Color of Money" (pool). They are both excellent stories, but more than that, they do such a great job at capturing what elite competition (and intensive training) is really like.      source
Also recommended by
Kurt Busiek
The Queen's Gambit
A Novel
Walter Tevis - Mar 11, 2003 (first published in 1983)
Goodreads Rating
Eight year-old orphan Beth Harmon is quiet, sullen, and by all appearances unremarkable. That is until she plays her first game of chess. Her senses grow sharper, her thinking clearer, and for the first time in her life she feels herself fully in control. By the age of sixteen, she's competing for the U.S. Open championship. But as she hones her sk...
Paul Bloom
Dec 18, 2020
Been reading Walter Tevis, and finished "The Queen's Gambit" (chess) and "The Color of Money" (pool). They are both excellent stories, but more than that, they do such a great job at capturing what elite competition (and intensive training) is really like.      source
The Kindness of Strangers
How a Selfish Ape Invented a New Moral Code
Michael E. McCullough - Jul 21, 2020
Goodreads Rating
A sweeping psychological history of human goodness -- from the foundations of evolution to the modern political and social challenges humanity is now facing. How did humans, a species of self-centered apes, come to care about others? Since Darwin, scientists have tried to answer this question using evolutionary theory. In The Kindness of Strangers,...
Paul Bloom
Oct 27, 2020
Highly recommended. My blurb: "This fascinating and wide-ranging book presents a new theory of why we are kind to strangers. ... This is a controversial book, but McCullough’s arguments are smart, clear, and ultimately persuasive."      source
The WEIRDest People in the World
How the West Became Psychologically Peculiar and Particularly Prosperous
Joseph Henrich - Sep 08, 2020
Goodreads Rating
Harvard University's Joseph Henrich, Chair of the Department of Human Evolutionary Biology, delivers a bold, epic investigation into the development of the Western mind, global psychological diversity, and its impact on the worldPerhaps you are WEIRD: raised in a society that is Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. If so, you're...
Paul Bloom
Sep 13, 2020
Agreed. I'm also just starting @JoHenrich's book , and it's just filled with cool proposals, insights, and discoveries. (Put another way, there's a pleasingly high ratio of ideas per page)      source
A Theory of System Justification
John T. Jost - Jul 14, 2020 (first published in 2004)
A leading psychologist explains why nearly all of us―including many of those who are persecuted and powerless―so often defend the social systems that cause misery and injustice. Why do we so often defend the very social systems that are responsible for injustice and exploitation? In A Theory of System Justification , John Jost argues that we are mo...
Paul Bloom
Aug 01, 2020
Highly recommended! -- John and I don't agree on everything, but he's one of the sharpest psychologists around and his new book is a summary & synthesis of his research and theorizing about system justification. This will be one of the classic texts of political psychology.      source
The Biggest Bluff
How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win
Maria Konnikova - Jun 23, 2020
Goodreads Rating
How a New York Times bestselling author and New Yorker contributor parlayed a strong grasp of the science of human decision-making and a woeful ignorance of cards into a life-changing run as a professional poker player, under the wing of a legend of the gameIt's true that Maria Konnikova had never actually played poker before and didn't even know t...
Paul Bloom
Jul 31, 2020
Just finished "The Biggest Bluff" by @mkonnikova. I'm a fan of all of Maria's writing, and this was fantastic--best poker book I ever read, but also one of the best books on the psychology of decision-making. Tons of fun too.      source
Fifth Business
Robertson Davies - Jan 01, 2001 (first published in 1970)
Goodreads Rating
Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cross and destined to be caught in a no man's land where memory, history, and myth collide. As Ramsay tells his story, it begins to seem that from boyhood, he has exerted a perhaps mystical, perhaps pernic...
Paul Bloom
Mar 22, 2020
Pandemic-reading: I'm returning to Robertson Davies' "Deptford Trilogy", which I read when I was a teenager. Particularly suitable since I'm now in Toronto. Almost done with the first book and it's extraordinary ...      source
Also recommended by
Susan J. Fowler
Not Born Yesterday
The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe
Hugo Mercier - Jan 28, 2020
Goodreads Rating
Why people are not as gullible as we thinkNot Born Yesterday explains how we decide who we can trust and what we should believe--and argues that we're pretty good at making these decisions. In this lively and provocative book, Hugo Mercier demonstrates how virtually all attempts at mass persuasion--whether by religious leaders, politicians, or adve...
Paul Bloom
Dec 16, 2019
I loved this book. Clever, deep, fun to read, and it defends a very interesting claim. I hope psychologists give it the attention it deserves.      source
Also recommended by
Gary King
Alchemy
The Dark Art and Curious Science of Creating Magic in Brands, Business, and Life
Rory Sutherland - May 07, 2019
Goodreads Rating
HOW DOES MAGIC HAPPEN? The Ogilvy advertising legend—“one of the leading minds in the world of branding” (NPR) and "the don of modern advertising" ( Sunday Times )—explores the art and science of conjuring irresistible products and ideas . "Sutherland, the legendary Vice Chairman of Ogilvy, uses his decades of expe...
Paul Bloom
Nov 23, 2019
About halfway through "Alchemy" by @rorysutherland. I don't like his "anti-reason/pro-magic" framing, but this book contains more clever ideas/great insights/excellent jokes per page than anything I've read in a long time. Very highly recommended.      source
Possessed
Why We Want More Than We Need
Bruce Hood - Sep 03, 2019
Goodreads Rating
Ownership is on most people's lips these days, or at least the lack of ownership. Everywhere people seem to be fighting over what is theirs. They want to take back their property, their lands, their liberty, their bodies, their identity, and their right to do what they want. These demands are quite remarkable when you consider that ownership is not...
Paul Bloom
Apr 28, 2019
Just because I feel like it, 5 recommendations: 1. @profbrucehood's forthcoming book, "Possessed" is science writing at its best--it's funny, smart, and on an fascinating topic: the psychology of ownership.      source
Down Girl
The Logic of Misogyny
Kate Manne - Mar 01, 2019 (first published in 2017)
Goodreads Rating
Misogyny is a hot topic, yet it's often misunderstood. What is misogyny, exactly? Who deserves to be called a misogynist? How does misogyny contrast with sexism, and why is it prone to persist - or increase - even when sexist gender roles are waning? This book is an exploration of misogyny in public life and politics by the moral philosopher and wr...
Paul Bloom
Nov 24, 2018
@ConceptualJames @CHSommers @robertwrighter @philosophybites Hi James -- I praised Manne's book in my @NewYorker article and my interview with @philosophybites--and I particularly liked its rich critique of dehumanization theory. Instead of accusations of sexism, why not tell me where you think this critique (hers or mine) goes wrong?      source
Also recommended by
Ezra Klein