Bruce Hood Returns (BSP 88)

Bruce Hood, PhD

The Self Illusion: How the Social Brain Creates Identity by Bruce Hood is a fascinating look at how our brains create both our experience of the world and our sense of being a single, coherent self. As the word "illusion" in the title indicates, neither is exactly what it seems. When I interviewed Dr. Hood (for BSP 88) he explained that The Self Illusion is a broad introduction to this somewhat surprising idea. The  Self Illusion was written with a general audience in mind. For those already familiar with the topic he also puts a new emphasis on the role of development. All readers should come away with a new appreciation for the critical role social interactions play through out human life.

It was fun to talk with Dr. Hood again. I first interviewed him for Books and Ideas #34. At that time we discussed his first book, SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable.

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Bruce Hood, author of "SuperSense" (B&I 34)

Episode 34 of Books and Ideas is an interview with Bruce M Hood, author of SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable.Dr. Hood is a developmental psychologist with a long-standing interest in why people believe weird things. In SuperSense he argues that innate cognitive structures (how we think without being taught) give people a natural tendency toward belief in the supernatural. Our intuitive sense of how the world works is often at odds with the findings of modern science. In this interview we discuss the evidence for these conclusions and their implications.

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References and Links:

  • Bruce Hood's website
  • SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable by Bruce M. Hood
  • Hood, BM, "Gravity Rules for Two-  to Four-Year-Olds?" Cognitive Development 10 (1995): 577-98.
  • Lindeman & Aarnio (2007), "Superstitious, magical, and paranormal beliefs: An integrative model." Journal of Research in Personality 41, 731–744
  • Lindeman, M. & Saher, M. (2007). "Vitalism, Purpose and Superstition." British Journal of Psychology, 98(1), 33-44.
  • Lindeman, M. & Aarnio, K. (2006).  "Paranormal beliefs: Their dimensionality and correlates." European Journal of Personality, 20: 585-602.
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Please send your comments and feedback to Dr. Campbell at gincampbell at mac dot com.

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