We make a ridiculous number of decisions every day — possibly even thousands. We make decisions about when to wake up, how to brush our teeth, what to have for breakfast, how to get our kids to school, the amount of coffee to drink, and on and on.
And making so many decisions is tough. It can cause stock analysts to perform progressively worse over the course of a day. It can lead us to make poor decisions about the food we eat (the more brain fatigue, the more junk food consumption). It can have an impact on how physicians prescribe drugs and how judges handle the sentencing of prisoners. And the more deliberate the decisions — that is, the more we need to think about them — the more fatiguing the process. There are many social forces that are increasingly making how and what we choose an unnecessarily anxious process. But it doesn't have to be.
In Relax, Dammit!, health policy expert Timothy Caulfield takes us through a regular day — from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep — and shows the underlying science behind many of the small decisions we make. What he reveals is that we make decisions that are based, to a lesser or greater extent, on misinformation. Many of the things we believe to be healthier, safer, or just better, simply aren't. There is often a science-informed, and less stressful, way forward, which means we can all afford to relax more.
Insightful, sometimes controversial, and always entertaining, Relax, Dammit! is a surprising and liberating guide to modern life. (From Allen Lane)
Timothy Caulfield is a professor at the University of Alberta, the host of the TV series A User's Guide to Cheating Death and the author of Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?
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