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Sensation

The New Science of Physical Intelligence

By the world’s leading expert on the psychology of physical intelligence comes this exciting, new view of human behavior that explains how the body profoundly and unconsciously affects our everyday decisions and choices, and will appeal to readers of Predictably Irrational and Emotional Intelligence.

From colors and temperatures to heavy objects and tall people, a whole symphony of external stimuli exerts a constant influence on the way your mind works. Yet these effects have been hidden from you—until now. Drawing on her own work as well as from research across the globe, Dr. Thalma Lobel reveals how shockingly susceptible we are to sensory input from the world around us.

Dr. Lobel takes readers on a systematic tour of the senses, revealing how our sensory experience of the world colors the rational beings we believe ourselves to be. Warm temperatures make us temporarily friendlier. The color red causes us to perform poorly on tests. We take questionnaires that are attached to heavy clipboards more seriously and we believe people who like sweets to be nicer. Clean smells promote moral behavior.

Ultimately, the book’s message is startling: Though we claim ownership of our decisions, judgments, and values, they derive as much from our outside environment as from inside our minds. Now, Sensation empowers you to evaluate those outside forces in order to make better decisions in every facet of your personal and professional lives.

Thalma Lobel, PhD, is an internationally recognized psychologist and a professor at the School of Psychological Science at Tel Aviv University, where she is director of the child development center. She was the chairperson of the school of psychological sciences and a member of the executive board of the university. She has been a visiting professor at Harvard, Tufts, the University of California San Diego, and New York University. She divides her time between Tel Aviv and Southern California.

“Thalma’s research is among the most innovative in psychology. Her lively, thoughtful book will reframe our view of how our minds work and how we become who we are.”

– Daniel Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational

“We think we’re so cool and rational, but the hot new study of physical intelligence shows that we are deeply affected by physical stimuli; red type makes us fail tests, for instance, while red jerseys make sports teams win. Internationally renowned psychologist Lobel explains how we can better evaluate the impact of sights, smells, and sounds.”

– Library Journal

"Sensation is a delightful collection of the most interesting ideas, experiments, and anecdotes from the world of psychology today. A terrific read if you’re interested in why some people fall in love, some fall afoul of the law, and others fall prey to clever marketing ploys."

– Adam Alter, author of Drunk Tank Pink: And Other Unexpected Forces That Shape How We Think, F

"Professor Lobel draws on rigorous science and makes it accessible, interesting, and actionable. By raising our awareness of the influence the external environment has on us, this wonderful book can help us live more fully, more sensually."

– Tal Ben-Shahar, author of Happier

"Sensation is Sensational! Chock full of jaw-dropping studies, fascinating insights, and practical applications that will make you reexamine everything you do. Every page feels like a peek into the hidden workings of the human mind!"

– Guy Winch Ph.D., author of Emotional First Aid and The Squeaky Whe

“An intriguing look at how our sensory perceptions affect our language and ability to understand abstract concepts but can also sway judgment. Shelve alongside Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Ariely and others in the pop-psych realm.”

– Kirkus Review

'Thalma Lobel ... has written an intriguing, sometimes funny, sometimes rather alarming overview of just how much we are influenced by what our senses tell us."

– Sunday Times (UK)

“An intriguing theory of how our physical experiences affect our mental ones… The book chronicles some of the quirky contributions of embodied cognition research and provides a nice reminder that the relation between mind and body is complex.”

– ScientificAmerican.com