Possessed: Why We Want More Than We Need
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 10: 0190699914
ISBN 13: 978-0190699918
You may not believe it, but there is a link between our current political instability and your childhood attachment to teddy bears. There's also a reason why children in Asia are more likely to share than their western counterparts and why the poor spend more of their income on luxury goods than the rich. Or why your mother is more likely to leave her money to you than your father. What connects these things?
The answer is our need for ownership. Award-winning psychologist Bruce Hood draws on research from his own lab and others around the world to explain why this uniquely human preoccupation governs our behaviour from the cradle to the grave, even when it is often irrational, and destructive. What motivates us to buy more than we need? Is it innate, or cultural? How does our urge to acquire control our behaviour, even the way we vote? And what can we do about it?
Timely, engaging and persuasive, Possessed is the first book to explore how ownership has us enthralled in relentless pursuit of a false happiness, with damaging consequences for society and the planet - and how we can stop buying into it.
"Beautifully written and brilliantly argued, Possessed is one of the few things you really need to own." -- Dan Gilbert, Edgar Pierce Professor of Psychology at Harvard University
"Science writing as its best. Possessed is beautifully written, funny, smart, and on a topic that is central to our lives." -- Paul Bloom, Professor of Psychology, Yale University
"Bruce Hood convincingly shows that we are possessed with possessions, but his book is one possession you have to have, especially now. Engagingly written, Possessed brings psychological science to bear on understanding how to exorcise this demon." -- Robert Plomin, Professor of Behavioural Genetics at Kings College London and author of Blueprint: How DNA Makes Us Who We Are
"Ownership is a surprisingly nuanced and wonderfully colorful topic, and no one is better poised to tell its story than psychologist and author Bruce Hood. The book he's written is a page-turner that puts our intuitions under the spotlight at every turn" -- David Eagleman, Stanford University neuroscientist; New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
Bruce Hood is Professor of Psychology at the University of Bristol and the author of SuperSense, The Self Illusion and The Domesticated Brain. He is an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the British Psychology Society and the Royal Institution of Great Britain.