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The Village Effect Why Face-to-Face Contact Matters by Susan Pinker

The Village Effect Why Face-to-Face Contact Matters

The Real World   Popular Science   

Sue Baker's view...

With the benefit of new research, Susan Pinker explains our need for human interaction. Facebook “friends” and other web meeting places are no substitute and it’s been found that without networks and face-to-face meetings with other people we lead smaller, more unhealthy lives. The text is illustrated throughout with examples of people’s experiences, a powerful call to recognise the value of all relationships in our lives.

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The Village Effect Why Face-to-Face Contact Matters by Susan Pinker

Sixty years ago the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote 'hell is other people'. Now, new evidence shows us that he was utterly wrong. Beginning from the first moments of life and at every age and stage, close contact with other people - and especially with women - affects how we think, whom we trust, and where we invest our money. Our social ties powerfully influence our sense of life satisfaction, our cognitive skills, and how resistant we are to infections and chronic disease. While information about diet, exercise, and new classes of drugs were the life-changing breakthroughs of the past decades, the new evidence is that social bonds - the people we know and care about-are just as critical to our survival. The Village Effect tells the story of the ways face-to-face human contact changes our minds, literally. Drawing on the latest discoveries in social cognition, social networks and neuroscience, salted with profiles of real people and their relationships, Susan Pinker explains why we are driven to trust other people and form lifelong bonds, and why we ignore these connections at our peril.


An urgent polemic directed at the virtualisation of our lives... Pinker brings a weight of learning and good sense to the case and, no matter how mild-mannered, she swings a wrecking ball through the virtualists
house of cards

-- Bryan Appleyard * Sunday Times * A terrific book . . . Pinker makes a hardheaded case for a softhearted virtue. Read this book. Then talk about it - in person! - with a friend. * Daniel H. Pink, bestselling author of Drive and To Sell Is Human * Susan Pinker's delightful book shows why face-to-face interaction at home, school, and work makes us healthier, smarter, and more successful. * Charles Duhigg, bestselling author of The Power of Habit * The benefits of the digital age have been oversold. Or to put it another way: there is plenty of life left in face-to-face, human interaction. That is the message emerging from this entertaining book by Susan Pinker, a Canadian psychologist. Citing a wealth of research and reinforced with her own arguments, Pinker suggests we should make an effort - at work and in our private lives - to promote greater levels of personal intimacy. * Financial Times * Drawing on scores of psychological and sociological studies, Pinker suggests that living as our ancestors did, steeped in face-to-face contact and physical proximity, is the key to health, while loneliness is less an exalted existential state than a public health risk. * Boston Globe *

About the Author

Susan Pinker is a developmental psychologist and award-winning newspaper columnist who writes about psychology and social science in the Globe and Mail. She has worked as a clinical psychologist for twenty-five years and has taught at McGill University in Montreal, where lives in Montreal with her husband and three children.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th March 2015


Susan Pinker

More books by Susan Pinker
Author 'Like for Like'


Atlantic Books


432 pages


The Real World
Popular Science

Popular psychology
Social, group or collective psychology



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