Why this book?
In the face of abject terror that was put in place by evolution and exacerbated by culture, nothing is quite as calming as facts and science. These psychologists spent three decades testing the various ways people reacted when given a reminder of their own mortality, and they were startlingly uniform. For example, when given a death reminder people are more likely to give in to prejudice, to vote for ‘charismatic’ leaders, to have the urge to shop or place a higher value on material goods, and become more defensive of their cultural symbols.
For me, it’s incredibly comforting to realise the behaviour we see every day—or even in ourselves when bereaved—is a predictable psychological response.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
Proof of a ground-breaking psychological theory: that the fear of death is the hidden motive behind almost everything we do.
'A joy ... The Worm at the Core asks how humans can learn to live happily while being intelligently aware of our impending doom, how knowledge of death affects the decisions we make every day, and how we can stop fear and anxiety overwhelming us' Charlotte Runcie, Daily Telegraph
'Provocative, lucid and fascinating' Financial Times
'An important, superbly readable and potentially life-changing book . . . suggests one should confront mortality in order to live an authentic life' Tim Lott,…