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Tue 4/2, 2013, 7:30pm
How Unexpected Forces Shape Our Thoughts & Behavior
The human brain is intrinsically complex, but it’s also deeply influenced by our surroundings. Everywhere we are, surprising factors such as words, images, and interactions prompt unexpected, unconscious thoughts, feelings, and decisions: We are intensely attracted to our own initials (Kims and Kens donate more generously to Hurricane Katrina victims than to Hurricane Rita’s); professional cyclists pedal faster when people are watching; blue lights discourage violent activity because they’re associated with the police. As profound as they are, these effects are almost impossible to detect, but Adam Alter, author of Drunk Tank Pink (a shade sometimes used in prisons to calm inmates), uncovers just how deeply our environment shapes who we are. Presented by Town Hall and University Book Store as part of The Seattle Science Lectures, sponsored by Microsoft. Series media sponsorship provided by KPLU.