A Mind of Its Own: How your brain distorts and deceives by Cordelia Fine exposes the mind's deceptions, explores how the mind defends and glorifies the ego, and illustrates the brain's tendency to self-delusion. Whether it be hindsight bias, wishful thinking, unrealistic optimism, or moral excuse-making, each of us has a slew of inborn mind-bugs and ordinary prejudices that prevent us from seeing the truth about the world and ourselves.
A Mind of Its Own was one of twelve books long-listed for the prestigious UK Royal Society Science prize 2007
]Dr Elisabeth Herschbach, Metapsychology online reviews
"Drawing on a wide range of studies in cognitive psychology, 'A Mind of Its Own' explores each of these shifty traits of the brain in eight engaging, highly readable chapters ... that document in fascinating detail the extent to which the truth-stretching, ego-boosting tactics of the brain keep us well-insulated from reality. ... there's no shortage of interesting material in the book, and Fine ... has a knack for presenting it in a clear, accessible, even humorous way, mixing crisp summaries of the psychological research with lighthearted anecdotes ... that lend a breezy charm to her writing. ... unsettling as it is to realize just how distorted our perception of ourselves and the world may be, 'A Mind Of Its Own' is a thoroughly enjoyable read, as entertaining as it is informative."
"A fascinating, funny, disconcerting and lucid book ... you'll realise that your brain can (and does) run rings around you."
"Fine [is] a cognitive neuroscientist with a sharp sense of humour and an intelligent sense of reality."
Dr Christian Jarrett, BBC Focus Magazine
"[a] witty survey ... this natty, well-referenced book would make an ideal gift for anyone interested in psychology."
"A light and amusing introduction to the brain and how it works on our perceptions and actions."
Los Angeles Times
Alexander McCall Smith
"This is one of the most interesting and amusing accounts of how we think we think - I think."
Dr Tom Stafford, The Psychologist
"accessible ... with an easy style and light wit. ... A Mind of Its Own is a fun introduction to some of the factors that can distort our reasoning."
"an unsettlingly entertaining tour. ... An edifying exploration, wryly and ruefully expressed."
"Fine writes a more than fine account of how ingenious psychological research methodology has been used to uncover an incredible range of automatic processes that people take for granted and of which many would be unaware and outright deny without direct testing."
Brian Clegg, Popular Science (website)
"Excellent ... Fine's very engaging and chatty style ... will delight many readers ... Fine has got it just right. Although she is an academic, she writes like a human being ... All in all this short and enjoyable book is a must for anyone who wants to get a better understanding of what their brain gets up to when they aren't watching it. First class." Five stars
"... provocative enough to make you start questioning your each and every action."
"Fine writes with clarity and humour ... [and] offers many insights ... Although her style is light-hearted and conversational, making for easy reading, there is a serious side to A Mind of Its Own. It's certainly worth a read and will probably surprise you."
New Zealand Management
"Dr Fine has a way with words ... She also has a light touch and sense of humour rarely displayed by those with an alphabet of letters after their name."
Rita Carter (author of 'Mapping the Mind' and 'Exploring Consciousness') website
"[A Mind of Its Own] pulls the evidence together in a particularly neat and revealing way ... Cordelia Fine writes clearly and elegantly and even made this reader laugh out loud (in public)."
Human Givens Journal
"Fine ... describes with wit and clarity, and without wasting a single word, the brain's capacity to mislead and distort. It is an expert, valuable, if whistle-stop, guided tour of what cognitive psychology reveals to us about the human condition."
"Cordelia Fine lays out in a highly entertaining fashion the myriad ways in which our vain, immoral, pig-headed brains are constantly deceiving us. ...One of the strongest points of this book is the way Fine deftly describes how research is done in psychology. She does not just tell what is known about how the brain deceives, she explains how we know it."
"This is a delightful book, which manages to explain serious science simply, and with humour. It should be required reading for anyone who thinks they are in control of their faculties, if only to shatter that illusion. ... Fine's academic credentials are solid, yet she manages to write for an audience that extends far beyond the circles of experimental psychologists."