Published by
Oneworld (2014-05)
Current material
1st Pass Pages
Original language
English
Themas
Psychology
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THE POWER OF OTHERS

Peer Pressure, Groupthink, and How the People Around Us Shape Everything We Do

by Bond, Michael

Former senior editor at "New Scientist" shows how easily people are led into terrible or strange forms of behaviour when part of a group. His new book ranges over 50 years of social psychology to show famous and infamous episodes about revolution, riot, war, and genocide to lighter topics of politics, sport and consumerism.

We like to think we’re in control of everything we do – that with the help of our innate personalities and/or our upbringing and experience, we make our own decisions and dictate our own destiny. Not so! However well we think we understand ourselves and think we know how we’ll behave in a certain scenario, our behaviour most of the time is dictated by a potent unknown quantity: other people. Bond mixes narrative with scientific analysis and uses real-world examples to illustrate the strange dynamics of pairs, bands and crowds – how we can be inspired to feats of courage and endurance, or acts of cowardice and evil, and even how the group dynamic can have a profound effect on those in solitude.

THE POWER OF OTHERS is packed with amazing human stories from heroism to terrorism. The author is familiar with all recent literature and the key players, extending to the chief Shin Bet interrogator, and failed suicide bombers. Michael Bond writes with humour and humanity as well as great authority.

Michael Bond is a freelance science writer and editor, specialising in psychology and the behavioural sciences. He is consultant to New Scientist magazine, where from 2001 to 2007 he was senior editor. In 2011 he worked for the UK's Royal Society as lead researcher on a report about science and development in Egypt before and after the Arab Spring. He is also author of a non-fiction book about English pioneers and explorers in Canada, Way Out West (McClelland and Stewart, 2001).

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Sebastian Ritscher

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