WHAT I’VE BEEN READING: Why Everyone (Else) Is a Hypocrite by Robert Kurzban

Amazon keeps suggesting for me books written by evolutionary psychologists. It’s not an area I thought I had a particular interest in, but some of the books and concepts are fascinating. The title of this one caught my attention immediately, because so many of my conflict clients accuse others of hypocrisy. Like blame, it seems to be a common part of many conflicts.

Key take-aways from this book include that it’s normal for human brains to have mutually inconsistent information in different parts, and sometimes these parts do not “talk” to each other, so we don’t even realise our own internal inconsistencies. Sometimes it’s even in our best interests to “not know” things that some part of our brain does know – this allows us to act in hypocritical ways while still believing that we behave consistently with our beliefs.

Kurzban says: “As Walt Whitman wrote, we are large. We contain multitudes. Modules [in our brains] make us conflicted, and inconsistent… But awareness of these conflicts gives us the opportunity to appreciate the conflict, and to change the balance of power”.

#conflict #psychology #hypocrisy #conflictmanagement

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