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Hivemind

Hivemind

The New Science of Tribalism in Our Divided World

At the crossroads between The Shallows and Presence, Hivemind is a provocative look at how communities can sync up around shared ideas, and how this hive mentality is contributing to today’s polarized times.

Hivemind: A collective consciousness in which we share consensus thoughts, emotions, and opinions; a phenomenon whereby a group of people function as if with a single mind.

Our views of the world are shaped by the stories told by our self-selected communities. Whether seeking out groups that share our tastes, our faith, our heritage, or other interests, since the dawn of time we have taken comfort in defining ourselves through our social groups. But what happens when we only socialize with our chosen group, to the point that we lose the ability to connect to people who don’t share our passions? What happens when our tribes merely confirm our world view, rather than expand it?

We have always been a remarkably social species-our moods, ideas, and even our perceptions of reality synchronize without our conscious awareness. The advent of social media and smartphones has amplified these tendencies in ways that spell both promise and peril. Our hiveish natures benefit us in countless ways-combatting the mental and physical costs of loneliness, connecting us with collaborators and supporters, and exposing us to entertainment and information beyond what we can find in our literal backyards. But of course, there are also looming risks-echo chambers, political polarization, and conspiracy theories that have already begun to have deadly consequences.

Leading a narrative journey from the site of the Charlottesville riots to the boardrooms of Facebook, considering such diverse topics as zombies, neuroscience, and honeybees, psychologist and emotion regulation specialist Sarah Rose Cavanagh leaves no stone unturned in her quest to understand how social technology is reshaping the way we socialize. It’s not possible to turn back the clocks, and Cavanagh argues that there’s no need to; instead, she presents a fully examined and thoughtful call to cut through our online tribalism, dial back our moral panic about screens and mental health, and shore up our sense of community.

With compelling storytelling and shocking research, Hivemind is a must-read for anyone hoping to make sense of the dissonance around us.


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Genre: Nonfiction / Psychology / Social Psychology

On Sale: September 3rd 2019

Price: $28 / $35 (CAD)

Page Count: 304

ISBN-13: 9781538713327

What's Inside

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Reader Reviews

Praise

"With wit and curiosity, Cavanagh explores the notion that human beings are not so much solitary individuals as profoundly social creatures... After raising questions about forms of technology we take for granted, she offers sensible, workable suggestions as to how we can navigate the gap between the individual and the collective in everyday life. An engaging new perspective on human networking."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Hivemind provides a fascinating tour of research that reveals our social nature, for good and for bad. Cavanagh is a natural teacher whose enthusiasm for psychology shines through on every page. Whether you're looking to have healthier technology habits, develop better relationships with others, or address societal challenges, this book will give you food for thought and wisdom to take action."—Kelly McGonigal, author of The Joy of Movement and The Willpower Instinct
Thank goodness that Sarah Rose Cavanagh is here to help us make sense of what can feel like a deeply polarized and tribal world. This fascinating book guides us through the nuanced landscape of why we think and behave the way we do--online and off--and offers a much-needed vision for how we can find our way back from the edge.—Scott Barry Kaufman, author of Wired to Create
"Cavanagh brings you along on her journey through an exquisite collection of scholarly knowledge and empirical insight to ground both your mind and your gut. From zombies to bees, moral panics to conspiracy theories, Hivemind mixes the dark with the light to help readers find a path through a very destabilizing present"—danah boyd, author of It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
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