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New : understanding our need for novelty and change

Author: Winifred Gallagher
Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2011.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Follow a crawling baby around and you'll see that right from the beginning, nothing excites us more than something new and different. Our unique human brains are biologically primed to engage with and even generate novelty, from our ancestors' first bow and arrow to the latest tablet computer. This "neophilia" has enabled us to thrive in a world of cataclysmic change, but now, we confront an unprecedented deluge of
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Winifred Gallagher
ISBN: 9781594203206 1594203202
OCLC Number: 733230645
Description: 259 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: Introduction: What's new? --
pt. 1: Neophilia and us. How we became who we are ; Surprise detector ; Approach, avoid, or maybe --
pt. 2: Neophilia and you. You meet new ; The alchemy of anticipation ; Novelty and nurture ; Culture, curiosity, and boredom ; The ever-new frontier --
pt. 3: Neophilia today. The really new age ; Novelty machines : for better and worse ; Caution ahead : silly, unfocused, and hooked? ; Navigating with neophilia.
Responsibility: Winifred Gallagher.
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Abstract:

Follow a crawling baby around and you'll see that right from the beginning, nothing excites us more than something new and different. Our unique human brains are biologically primed to engage with and even generate novelty, from our ancestors' first bow and arrow to the latest tablet computer. This "neophilia" has enabled us to thrive in a world of cataclysmic change, but now, we confront an unprecedented deluge of new things, from products to information, which has quadrupled in the past 30 years and shows no sign of slowing. To prevent our great strength from becoming a weakness in today's fast-paced world, we must re-connect with neophilia's grand evolutionary purpose: to help us learn, create, and adapt to new things that have real value and dismiss the rest as distractions. In New: Understanding Our Need for Novelty and Change, Winifred Gallagher, acclaimed behavioral science writer and author of Rapt, takes us to the cutting-edge laboratories and ancient archeological sites where scientists explore our special affinity for novelty and change. Although no other species can rival our capacity to explore and experiment with the new, we individuals vary in how we balance the conflicting needs to avoid risk and approach rewards. Most of us are moderate "neophiles," but some 15 per cent of us are die-hard "neophiliacs," who have an innate passion for new experiences, and another 15 per cent are cautious "neophobes," who try to steer clear of them--a 1-5-1 ratio that benefits the group's well-being. Wherever you sit on the continuum, New shows you how to use this special human gift to navigate more skillfully through our rapidly changing world by focusing on the new things that really matter.

Offers insight into the psychological drive to pursue new things, sharing advice for aficionados of new experiences on how to embrace today's dynamic and creative culture while living sensibly and satisfyingly.

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