Impulse: Why We Do What We Do Without Knowing Why We Do It


Product Details

Belknap Press
Publish Date
5.6 X 1.2 X 8.3 inches | 1.05 pounds

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About the Author

Beverly Lewis, born in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country, has more than 17 million books in print. Her stories have been published in twelve languages and have regularly appeared on numerous bestseller lists, including the "New York Times" and "USA Today". Beverly and her husband, David, live in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking, biking, making music, and spending time with their family. Learn more at


So while neuroscientists and psychologists may dismiss free will as an illusion, it is an illusion individuals and society could never live without... It seems to us that we have conscious will. That we are free agents. That we cause our actions and should take responsibility for what we say and do. And that everyone else should do the same. 'Although it is sobering and ultimately accurate to call all this an illusion, ' says Daniel Wegner, 'it is a mistake to conclude that the illusory is trivial.' This should not, however, blind us to the fact that -- as impulses help demonstrate -- the mind does not run the brain. The brain runs itself. The mind is part of the running.--From the Book
An illuminating guide through the infamously disordered, oft-unwelcomed realm of impulse. In a society that values free will, we rarely think our actions are inherently uncontrollable...This book's readable balance of information and anecdote is sure to provide especially impulsive readers with a necessary moment of reflection.
-- (07/29/2013)
Lewis...examines the role impulses play in falling in love, overeating, and spending, as well as violent and destructive behavior. His conclusions are sobering: most decisions are subliminal, self-control is influenced by outside factors such as genetics, and free will is an illusion necessary to maintain social order...Overall, a fascinating, readable explanation of scientific research on impulses and consciousness.
-- (08/15/2013)