The Wall Street Journal:
More than a century ago, Sigmund Freud wrote the “Psychopathology of Everyday Life.” Over two decades ago, Donald Norman published the “Psychology of Everyday Things.” Three years ago, David Myers called a new edition of his textbook “Psychology in Everyday Life.” The word “everyday” has a special appeal in such titles, since so many psychology books, especially of the self-help variety, are written for the self with major problems to contend with—love, illness, grief, identity, conflict—leaving the small tasks of mundane functioning to common sense, or perhaps to business writers who purvey “habits” and “disciplines.”
In “The Organized Mind,” Daniel J. Levitin, a cognitive neuroscientist at McGill University, makes an ambitious attempt to bring research in neuroscience and cognitive psychology to bear on the more ordinary parts of our lives. He focuses on the daily challenges of professionals, managers and knowledge workers. But we are all knowledge workers now, since everyone uses Facebook, communicates by email, and must process, store and retrieve an ever-growing volume of information. In this impressively wide-ranging and thoughtful work, Mr. Levitin stresses the many ways in which evolution designed our minds to succeed in an environment that was utterly unlike the world of information overload we now face. And he aims to help us cope by providing concrete suggestions for solving the daily problems of modern existence.
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