Social Intelligence By Daniel Goleman

I got this book out at the library. It started out super interesting. The case studies were engaging. I’m new to the whole neuroscientific part of psychology. This book explained it in basic terminology. I have always thought that our emotional make-up and was partially due to our upbringing and the environment we’re bought up in. It’s nice to see some evidence to back that up.

As the book went on, I started getting a bit restless as it got repetitive. It took me a whole month to read the damn thing. I felt like my time was wasted where I could have been reading something much more interesting but my stubborn self just had to finish it. Each topic was dragged out to a couple of pages of beating around the bush and saying whatever it was through a 100 different ways.

The case studies/stories were sometimes interesting; they were pointing to the whole theory that the amygdala provides low road response, the prefrontal cortex contributes to high road response and we mimic as synchrony to create closeness – I swear we know that already? It throws in all these keywords like thalamus, OFC and then repeats them a kazillion times. That’s probably how normal people learn: through repeatedly visualising new concepts in different scenarios. I just don’t think this book was engaging enough to imprint this knowledge the way it was set out to do. It was a total snore mid-point onwards. Yes, I definitely learnt a couple of new things but the general topics this book highlighted didn’t really feel ‘groundbreakingly new’ or even different to the information that “The power of Habit” or “Thinking Fast and Slow” offers. I felt like I’d read most of what the author wanted to express in the first half of the book and the rest was just there to pack the book thicker.

It just wasn’t as enlightening as the hype set it out for.


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