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Author: JamesBrown Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 445695  
Subject: Drunk Tank Pink Date: 3/25/2013 10:19 AM
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X-posted to Theist/Atheist Dialogs...

New book out that I saw in my bookstore. I've only read the blurb, but it seems to have relevance to the on-going free will discussion. In what sense does it mean to say that we are in control of our own selves if the color of the room changes our behavior?

http://www.amazon.com/Drunk-Tank-Pink-Unexpected-Forces/dp/1...

The world is populated with words and images that prompt unexpected, unconscious decisions. We are so deeply attracted to our own initials that we give more willingly to the victims of hurricanes that match our initials: Kims and Kens donate more generously to Hurricane Katrina victims, whereas Rons and Rachels give more openly to Hurricane Rita victims. Meanwhile, an illuminated light bulb inspires creative thinking because it symbolizes insight.

Social interactions have similar effects, as professional cyclists pedal faster when people are watching. Teachers who took tea from the break room at Newcastle University contributed 300 percent more to a cash box when a picture of two eyes hung on the wall. We're evolutionarily sensitive to human surveillance, so we behave more virtuously even if we're only watched by a photograph. The physical environment, from locations to colors, also guides our hand in unseen ways. Dimly lit interiors metaphorically imply no one's watching and encourage dishonesty and theft, while blue lights discourage violent activity because they're associated with the police. Olympic taekwondo and judo athletes are more likely to win when they wear red rather than blue, because red makes them behave aggressively and referees see them as more dominant. Drunk Tank Pink is full of revelatory facts, riveting anecdotes, and cutting-edge experiments that collectively explain how the most unexpected factors lead us to think, feel, and behave the way we do.
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