Book review – a fantastic explanation of why all of us humans are deluded

Cornelia Fine combines cognitive science and behaviour studies to present fascinating insights on how the mind works and how it fools itself. It a very easy read on a complex subject and though not about ADHD gives some great fuel for thought into our different neurology. Ideas and patterns reside in the mind to be drawn upon when required, they lie hidden, emerging sometimes when prompted by events, or remain obscure yet drive our behaviour.

Fine defines the patterns as “Vain Brain”, “Deluded Brain”, “Immoral Brain”, “Bigoted Brain”and describes how the brain manifests these conditions and where the trait originated. Many of these conditions are formed in childhood then remain fixed even when given compelling evidence to the contrary.  Though the human species evolved to live in groups, our brains are primarily concerned ego-centrically with ourselves. When we succeed “we deserve to”, but when we fail, we rationalise the defeat in many ways. The “Weak-willed Brain” makes any excuse for failing to carry out intentions, we give up easily as goal-seeking makes too heavy demands on already over-taxed mental resources.

I have always maintained that people with ADHD are more honest with themselves and struggle(?) more with denial, so found some differences in my own experience. But in her conclusion I could not agree more – that we should not trust or assume we have control of our “unscrupulous” and “unreliable” minds.