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The Molecule of More

How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity - And Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race
Narrated by: Tom Parks
Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

Why are we obsessed with the things we want and bored when we get them?

Why is addiction “perfectly logical” to an addict?

Why does love change so quickly from passion to disinterest?

Why are some people diehard liberals and others hardcore conservatives?

Why are we always hopeful for solutions even in the darkest times - and so good at figuring them out? 

The answer is found in a single chemical in your brain: dopamine. Dopamine ensured the survival of early man. Thousands of years later, it is the source of our most basic behaviors and cultural ideas - and progress itself. 

Dopamine is the chemical of desire that always asks for more - more stuff, more stimulation, and more surprises. In pursuit of these things, it is undeterred by emotion, fear, or morality. Dopamine is the source of our every urge, that little bit of biology that makes an ambitious business professional sacrifice everything in pursuit of success, or that drives a satisfied spouse to risk it all for the thrill of someone new. Simply put, it is why we seek and succeed; it is why we discover and prosper. Yet, at the same time, it’s why we gamble and squander. 

From dopamine’s point of view, it’s not the having that matters. It’s getting something - anything - that’s new. From this understanding - the difference between possessing something versus anticipating it - we can understand in a revolutionary new way why we behave as we do in love, business, addiction, politics, religion - and we can even predict those behaviors in ourselves and others. 

In The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—And will Determine the Fate of the Human Race, George Washington University professor and psychiatrist Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD, and Georgetown University lecturer Michael E. Long present a potentially life-changing proposal: Much of human life has an unconsidered component that explains an array of behaviors previously thought to be unrelated, including why winners cheat, why geniuses often suffer with mental illness, why nearly all diets fail, and why the brains of liberals and conservatives really are different.

©2018 Daniel Z. Lieberman, MD, and Michael E. Long. (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Publishing by arrangement with BenBella Books.

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Should take some claims with a grain of salt. Still very well written and accessible.

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  • RAUL
  • JONKOPING, Sweden
  • 22-06-19

A tangible piece of a complex puzzle

This book provides a clearly tangible piece of a complex puzzle, the dopamin molecule and how it can explain many things at personal, cultural and even political scales. These higher level interpretations are of course tricky to verify, but taken as ideas, the book may even be considered as a necessary item in a contemporary anthology of scientific explanations. Also; excellent authors and an excellent narrator!

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Very insightful

For a long time I've investigated why my dad was an addict.Why did he choose as he did instead of fighting for recovery. This book sums it up really well. Furthermore, addiction is just one of many chapters in the book. The book provides with a wide range of research-backed analysis of many topics. I fully recommend it.

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Awesomeness

An excellent book. Empowering information, well presented, good science, understanding of self and others . Well worth reading.

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  • Nick Morrison
  • 05-01-19

Wow great book!

I absolutely loved this book. It was so insightful. The Narrator was clear and pleasant. I heard about this book from Brett McKay's The Art of Manliness. The authors came on his podcast and after the interview, I purchased the audio book. I found that I would take another few rounds in the neighborhood before going to the house after work, just so I could hear more of it, which is far from normal for me. I plan to listen to it a few more times because I think the material is useful in understanding important things. There was a part where they explain how dopamine may be genetic and how that may connect to people who explore and people who stay home. Again, very interesting book.

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  • Henry Carr
  • 10-01-19

Wow! Incredibly relevant, incredibly insightful.

It is a rare read that pulls together most of the aspects of life into a single theory, and even rarer that a read that does so as successfully as The Molecule of More. Of all the books I've read about psychology, habit change, neuroscience, politics, and even business and business leadership, all seem to be at least partially explained by this book. By contributing an underlying theory to much of what we see around us, this book also helps to distinguish between garbage advice and good advice, helps to clarify why some solutions work for one person but not another, and helps us better understand those who's lives and decisions seem so different from ours. As a person with ADHD (medicated from a young age) and a history of floundering in personal relationships, I found this book especially illuminating. It will undoubtedly change my life.

I will note that overall the writing is not impressive, but this does little to diminish the value of the book. I will re-listen to this again with a notebook and pen in hand. I strongly recommend.

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  • wbiro
  • 18-12-18

Interesting Perspective -

On our bio-mechanisms, but (of necessity limiting itself to molecules - hormones and genetic predeterminism) limits its view to what drives lower animals (those under experiment) and unenlightened humans (all of them currently). It does not cover enlightened humans.

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  • Richard Daley
  • 07-08-19

Great exploration of dopamine.

This was a very interesting read. I like it very much. It was a great look into dopamine and what it does to humans in general. Strongly recommended.