The subtitle of this book is “How Every Brain Is Different and How to Understand Yours”. Prat explains in detail and with humor how every brain is different. Little quizzes and tests help readers explore their own brains. The results of most of the quizzes did not surprise me except possibly one. I do not think I am as extraverted as the test indicates. You can find some of the tests and quizzes on her website, CHANTELPRAT.COM–without reading the book.
Research details how brains differ and how this difference controls individual behavior. Two people faced with the same potentially threatening situation react differently because their brains differ. Although many of these differences are genetic, brain research also suggests that the ability to understand others and comprehend social cues is learned. For better or worse, brain research also reveals that people with brains that work in a similar way are more likely to spend time together. However, people can learn to understand others whose brains are quite different. She calls this mind modeling (reverse engineering the minds of others)–sort of like what is commonly called walking in another person’s shoes. Being able to “read” correctly another person’s nonverbal cues helps with this and it can be learned. So the next time you find someone behaving in what you consider an idiotic manner, try thinking this: they have a different brain shaped by their own unique genetics and experiences. This might help me at least come to some understanding of behavior and views I consider intolerable.