Leonard Mlodinow: Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior

November 5, 2013

You can watch this episode on YouTube

Point of Inquiry, the flagship podcast of the Center for Inquiry, relaunches with a special episode recorded before a live audience at the 2013 CFI Summit in Tacoma, Washington, with new co-host Josh Zepps of HuffPost Live.

Our unconscious minds offer us something of a paradox. On the one hand, we’d be lost without it, as it processes information without us ever being aware of it — it’s how we deal with the real world in real time. But on the other hand, we don’t always have a complete picture, so the unconscious mind can often draw mistaken conclusions, even though they may feel right at a “gut level.”

This is the subject of the work of Leonard Mlodinow in his most recent book Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior, for which he won the 2013 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences. In this interview, Mlodinow explains how we have trouble poking holes in our own suppositions.

Leonard Mlondinow is a physicist, author, and screenwriter best known for coauthoring (with Stephen Hawking) the New York Times number-one best seller The Grand Design and the international best seller A Briefer History of Time, as well as The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives, a New York Times notable book of the year.

Next week we’ll bring you another episode from the CFI Summit, as our second new co-host, journalist Lindsay Beyerstein, interviews Katherine Stewart, author of The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.

Copyright 2013